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Author(s): Zoran Drvenkar

Location(s): Berlin

Genre(s): Thriller

Era(s): Modern

Sorry follows four friends in present day Berlin – brothers Kris and Wolf, and best friends Tamara and Frauke. Kris is the most decisive and nominally the group’s leader. He’s the one the others usually defer to. Younger brother Wolf still mourns the death of his girlfriend Erin from a heroin overdose two years prior. And Tamara looks up to her friend Frauke, wishing she could be more confident. She regrets giving up her daughter Jenni at birth and longs to see her again. Meanwhile Frauke has to look after her father, unable to sleep on his own because of the guilt of having his ill wife institutionalised.

What the group have in common is a sense of dissatisfaction with their lives. They find themselves in their late 20s and early 30s, rudderless and adrift. The dreams they had for themselves, personal and professional, have not come true and their youthful sense of invincibility has been replaced with a nagging anxiety that life may never amount to more than what they now have.

Having experienced what it feels like to lose his job, in a flash of drunken inspiration Kris decides the four will form an agency to apologise on behalf of others, and Sorry is born. The guilty client will be absolved and won’t have to face those they’ve wronged, and their victims receive compensation and the chance to move on with their lives. Kris and Wolf do the apologising while Tamara and Frauke liaise with clients and run the business. Sorry proves surprisingly popular and soon they are having to turn away work.

Nothing this good can last, and things take a turn for the worst when Wolf visits a woman at her flat, expecting to complete a routine job. What he finds instead is a murder victim, crucified on the wall with nails through her hands and forehead, and an industrial photo mural behind her. The group contact their client only to be told that if they don’t complete his apology then dispose of the body, they and their families will be murdered too.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021