Extract from Michael Mitchell's translation

Anna Kim's Frozen Time

What can one say when faced with a man who insists on seeing his wife one last time, an incomplete skeleton, a broken, patched-up skull, yellowing bones, with a slight smell of decay over it all; what, when you hand him the objects found beside the body, her ID card, a chain, some clothing, which, more real than the body itself, seem to say: I am dead, I am never coming back; what when he succumbs to grief, starts to cry — his tears would be an invitation to speak.

Is it her or is it not her?

Stupid to try and read features into the skull, futile. How much identity can a corpse have, it's nothing but the last remains indicating the departed human being, a negative print. As the past of the person in the present, it's also a piece of timelessness, no, not timelessness but something outside the general rhythm of time, something that makes the clock go more slowly. It's for that reason that all the examining, sawing, extracting cannot affect it, a corpse has no intentions, it could just as well not exist, it has no goal to achieve, it's a leftover.

The answer has to be: Of course that isn't Fahrie, and yet it seems to you that it is; but that doesn't make the damaged ‘we’ whole again, on the contrary, one image replaces another, the blurred image of the abduction the needle-sharp one of dissolution. What do you mean, At one with her after death, she went long ago, all that's left is her skeleton — which repels you. Perhaps, like the families before you, you should have screamed, wept, fainted, looked for the perpetrator, found the perpetrator, with violence if necessary, but you walk away — your steps thin, your face smooth.

You wait outside the door, a torpid afternoon, the distant view an abandoned field. You're standing in the car park, one could believe you were enjoying the view, in one hand the death certificate, in the other the bag with Fahrie's clothes. You don't notice us, don't feel you're being observed, certainty has caught up with you, a conclusion but no closure.

Sam puts his hand on your shoulder, a cold hand which never really warms up. When you speak, you bruise the silence that has come over us. You ask, What happened?

A hundred and fifty yards downstream in G., a village forty-five miles to the east of Pristina, a grave was found beside a bridge, covered with branches and grass, but so shallow that the tips of fingers were sticking out of the ground. Eighteen corpses were exhumed at that spot, two of them female. The examination revealed that the majority of the group had been killed by shots to the head and chest, some beaten to death.

The assumption is that they were taken while fleeing and executed.