Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta water. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta water. Mostrar todas las entradas

viernes, 17 de noviembre de 2017

Cry of death

   When rain came down the forest, it scrapped off the first layer of every tree. This gave the trees a really scary look, as if they were bleeding from their whole body. It was the reality of the world now, where acid rain had gotten worse. Plants and animals were having a very difficult time surviving the new state of things. In other parts it wasn’t much better. There was sand where there used to be farmland and many islands had disappeared far from the continents. It was a new world.

 Gaby was one of the many women that had decided to form a team to go into the forest every day in the morning in order to pick up as many fruits and mushrooms as they could. They were rare and fragile, so they needed the soft and delicate hands to pick them up from the ground or grab them from the tallest branches. The men, as always, had been doubtful of the enterprise at first but they eventually came around when noticing that everyone had to work in order to survive.

 Even children helped by fishing from the streams or picking up berries that were far more resilient that other fruits and would usually grow close to their camps. They had changed, as humanity had done before, into a nomad kind of people. They would built small towns from old plastics and some wood and stay in the same place for at least six months, at most a year. After that, they scouted for new places to live and then they would just move out, all at once, to start again.

 Gaby had been one of the first women in the morning team and she had already learned the many ways of the new forest. They carried books to check if what they were picking up could be eaten or not and they soon learned that many of the fruits that humanity had enjoyed for a long time, were now extinct. Mostly tropical fruits, but also plants that needed a calmer weather to survive. Maybe they still lived in other places of the planet but that seemed almost impossible.

 Animals, on the other hand, were rare now. Some smaller ones could be seen sometimes when walking around the forest such as rats and squirrels. They were resilient little creatures. But the tall trees had been deprived of other mammals such as monkeys and finding a bird was almost impossible. Their beautiful chants had been silenced. Nature clearly had no place for such delicate creatures anymore. It was a reminder that humanity’s days could be over sooner than expected. But people would still try to live another day, one step at a time.

 Gaby had actually discovered a small woodpecker she had found in the tallest branch of a tree, after picking up some chestnuts she had discovered by accident. She knew for a fact that many of the children and elders would love to eat such a strange thing but it was then when she saw the little bird, with a broken wing. She looked at it for a long time until one of her teammates called from her from the ground. Gaby opened her small bag and put the bird inside, hoping it wouldn’t make a noise.

 This has to be explained further. As bird reminded humans that their immediate future could be extinction, running into a bird wherever they went would be seen as a bad omen. People still had those strange beliefs that came out of nowhere. They were normally things based only on fear and feeling related to such contempt for things alien to ourselves. Birds became a sign of death and an undesirable future, so people left them to die when they found one, never minding the greater meaning of life.

 When she hit the ground, Gaby still had the chestnuts in her hand. She put them fast inside the bag and kept to her work for the rest of the morning. Some black clouds of rain loomed over them and it was decided they should be back home as soon as possible as they had neglected to bring special covers that resisted the acid in the rain. They made it in time and realized the men had also arrived, which was extremely uncommon as they normally spend their days in caves or deep in the forest, where the rain had trouble reaching them.

 They were all reunited in the biggest house in the camp, which was normally used for important matters. As rain started to fall, the men told the women that they had found something very strange in the forest. The women listened in silence, as the men told them they had discovered an abandoned power plant. They had investigated inside the place and, apparently, it was in perfect condition. It generated energy using the waters of a small lake, enclosed by a huge concrete wall.

 That was the problem. The rain, that was making a horrible roaring sound, was the one causing the huge wall to have small holes all over. This made the whole basin below a very dangerous place to stay and it was there they had been living for at least four months. The concrete wall could break at any moment so it was imperative to escape the basin to another place. For the last two years they had been following the same river, slowly, but it was clear they needed to travel further this time in order to find a proper place to live permanently, as nomadism was not sustainable.

 The women had taking advantage of this story in order to leave the food they had found in small pile in the center of the house. It was clearly not enough for everyone but they had all grown accustomed to the lack of food. It was then when Gaby remembered the woodpecker in her bag and checked on it for a bit, when everyone was looking at the men telling the story. She kept a chestnut for it and tried to close the bag as well as she could in order for the small bird to be kept a secret.

 Everyone agreed that it was necessary to leave for another place as a tragedy could happen anytime. They decided to pick up everything they could grab with them and start walking as soon as they rain had stop. Not everyone had fabric to protect themselves from the rain, but those who did decided to go back to their houses and prepare for the evacuation. Gaby was one of those, and she ran as fast as she could in order to properly check on her bird. She lived with other girls her age, but they didn’t mind her closing her door when she entered.

 She finally put out the little bird and noticed it was still trying to flap its broken wing. However, it seemed a little happier than before, maybe because it had eaten half the chestnut she had left for it inside the bag. She looked at it very close and the bird seemed to do the same. They kept their silence, only breathing slowly and moving their eyes from one place to the other. She was amazed to see how bright its feathers were and how small it was. But she knew it had to be different before.

 She took a book from her bookshelf and opened it in a page about birds. Although there was no picture of a woodpecker, it showed a similar bird and stated it was at least twice as big as they one that was curling up on her bed. It looked really cute right there, looking at her at closing its eyes, visibly tired but also happy to have had something to eat. It seemed so fragile, a little bit as the children of the small town who had no spark in their eyes anymore, just a glaring sad look.

 Then, Gaby heard footsteps nearby. She looked at the window and realized there was no more rain on the other side. Just in time, she grabbed the small bird and put it inside her bag, along with a few other things from her shelf, which made her seemed worried when other girls entered the room.

 An hour later, a large group of people was crossing the woods. They thought they had been able to escape their doom but then a strange sound was heard all over the woods, which made the woodpecker cry for the first time. It was a clear cry of death.

miércoles, 21 de junio de 2017


   The next plate came in a matter of minutes. In the hour she spent at that restaurant, she tasted more than 10 dishes and almost the same amount of beverages. She only got to taste a couple of desserts because time was running short and she had to make it to a previous appointment. She thanked the people at the restaurant and promised then the review would be out soon. Their faces hoped for a good one but Laura would have to take her notes and think twice before writing one way or the other.

 Just outside the place, she took a taxi and headed straight to her best friend’s house. His name was Samuel and he was celebrating his birthday at home, with a nice dinner and party with many people that he loved to hang out with. Whenever Laura and Sam were together, they were normally just the two of them. It would be one of the only times she would join him in a big party and she did it only because he had always being so good to her, including recommending her to the job she had at the moment.

 As Samuel worked as an software developer, he knew a lot of people in the world of journalism and such. He recommended Laura for a job at one of the biggest newspapers in town and she was very eager for the opportunity but he interview was a real nightmare. It was obvious they preferred to hire someone they knew and, for the looks of it, there were at least three other people the day of the interview that were very well acquainted with the editor that was handling the process.

 She waited a long time until she was called and then she felt he cold attitude of the editor. It was clear that woman didn’t want Laura there, so she just answered her questions the best way she could and, in only ten minutes, she was out of there. She felt so bad after the interview that she decided to buy a big tub of ice cream to eat at home watching cartoons or something. It was only a two weeks after the interview when Laura finally heard from the newspaper. She had been selected for the post.

 The day she went in to sign her contract, Laura asked why it had taken so long for them to call. After all, it was a writing job and those were assigned fairly fast in normal circumstances. The man that greeted her there told her, in confidence, that the editor than had ran the interviews had been fired because of several misconducts and potentially criminal behavior. Besides, the person she had selected was clearly not the best one for the post. Laura did not ask any further. She was very happy to get a job in she could finally do her two favorite things.

 When she got to Samuel’s house, Laura hoped she was early and could talk to him a little bit before more people arrived. However, she didn’t realize her time at the restaurant had been too long and that her taxi ride had been too slow because of the traffic jams that plagued the city at that time of night. When she entered the apartment, she saw several people all over, more than she had ever seen in such a small space. She moved around carefully, trying not to push anyone.

 Samuel had not been the one to open the door. Some girl that didn’t even say a word had done that and she had disappeared almost instantly. Laura moved around, looking for him friend. Eventually she got to the dining room table were all the food was in display. She grabbed a plastic plate and grabbed some of the things around the table. It was an assortment of food, not only sweets or savory stuff. There was a little bit of everything and she could bet Sam had not done any of them.

 Laura turned around to look for a place to eat what she had taken but there was no place to do so, so she stayed put and grabbed a piece of quiche from her plate and ate it whole, because of the size. Something funny was that Laura never really felt full when eating, so she could do it for a long time and she would only stop once she felt really full. That’s why her job was so ideal for her. Nevertheless, the piece of quiche she had in her mouth was not the kind of food she liked.

 In seconds, she grabbed four or five napkins and spit the whole piece of food into that. She placed the ball of napkins and chewed quiche on her plate and headed for the kitchen. She was sure she could find a garbage can there and maybe even a space to eat the rest of the stuff. Although, maybe, everything else was as dreadful as that tiny piece of quiche. She had never tasted something that tasted so bad before. It was difficult to describe, in the worst way possible.

 Once in the kitchen, she found the garbage can and a spot besides the burners. She couldn’t see her friend there but Laura knew she would eventually see him. It was a bit ridiculous to be in his house and not been able to talk to him at least for a while. The thought of her talking to Sam was interrupted by a cramp, one of those that make you squeal. It was very fortunate that the music was so loud. If it hadn’t been like that, people would have heard a dreadful scream coming from the kitchen. Laura grabbed her belly and looked for a glass or something similar to have some water.

 As she didn’t find any and had no problems with shame, she drank directly from the faucet. No one was watching anyways, they were all very concentrated on their conversations. Weary of all other food elements on her plate, Laura decided to smell them and taste only the tiniest pieces. There was one that looked like cake but it was very salty. She had grabbed some cookies but they were rock hard. And something looking like Chinese rice was undercooked.

 There were some other things in there but she decided to throw away everything. She chose the worst moment to do so because it was right then when Samuel entered the kitchen and saw her. He waved his hand but she clearly didn’t see him while drinking more water and then doing this face that made it clear how awful the food was. When she noticed Sam, her expression changed and she launched herself at him, hugging Samuel very hard, as they usually did.

 When they did, she realized she had not taken off her coat because she could still feel the gift she had brought to her friend. It was in a box on one of her pockets. Laura took the wrapped box out and gave it to her friend. Samuel didn’t look very happy. Nevertheless, he took her by the hand and travelled through the mass of people in order to get to his room, which was empty except for a big mountain of coats and similar clothing. Laura was surprised she could hear her own thoughts there.

 She apologized to Samuel for being late and waited for him to open his present but he didn’t. He looked at her with a very serious expression, a very judgmental expression to be precise. For a moment, she didn’t really understand what it was but then she realized he had seen her throwing out the food, so she explained that it was just dreadful. She detailed the flavors for him and advised him never to let his friends cater ever again. It was obvious they had no idea about cooking.

 Samuel threw the box she had given him to the bed and said that his guests had not cooked anything for him. If that had been the case, he would have wanted her to do something for the party, like the cake for example. Instead, he explained how he had cooked every single dish.

 He had wanted to make it a surprise for everyone but especially for her, as he wanted to be supportive of her recent job and just to connect with her in his own birthday. He sighed and left the room, leaving a very confused Laura, whose belly roared as soon as Samuel was gone.

lunes, 24 de abril de 2017

No one

   The floor was cold and the room was very humid. No light entered the tiny space where he was trapped. He had forgotten his name long ago, maybe because of the many beatings he had received or maybe because it wasn’t something that was important anymore. A name didn’t help anyone survive such a horrible thing. Then again, he wasn’t sure he wanted to survive. He just wanted his awful situation to change, one way or the other, it didn’t matter at all.

 All the days were the same so remembering each one individually was difficult and also useless. There was no point in having a good memory when the schedule every day was the same: early in the morning he would be woken up by a plate of water sliding towards him or by cold water coming out of a hose. It apparently depended on the humor of his captor. Then, he was kept there all day unless his captor wanted something else from else, usually to work for him in the most awful way.

 He would knew it was a “work” day when an old mattress was put inside his cell, alongside the water plate and also some food. The food was never good, some sticky stuff that looked like mashed potatoes, but wasn’t exactly that. He ate it anyway but his stomach always complained. Those days, he would have to wait all day until his captor’s client would come. It was and excruciating wait that didn’t get better after it all ended. Of course, he wouldn’t see any of the money the client paid.

 Actually, he had never seen the face of the man that had kidnapped him and kept him there. He always wore a ski mask, so he had no idea what his face was like. But what he did know was that he was a very strong individual. After many beatings, using both punches and kicks, the captured had learned how heavy the captor’s body was. He had an incredible force in his arms and legs, probably because he exercised a lot. But the man was losing his eyesight living in the dark, so he could only go by what he felt was the truth.

 The beatings took place randomly. It was the only thing in his cell life that changed and, of course, it wasn’t something he would look forward to. When it happened, it almost felt like part of a sick and awful routine that had survived for far too long. The man in the cell knew he had been there for a long time but he had no idea how long that was. More than a year? Probably. Five years? Maybe, he didn’t really know. What was true was the fact that the violent man would never use him as the clients did, which the captured always thought was strange.

 But that was only when he wondered about his situation, which was really that often. Instead, he loved to sleep. It was the only way his body felt actually rested and, when he managed to sleep long hours, he was able to dream. Even when nightmares slipped in, it was a good thing for him. After all, he had forgotten what having an imagination was like and seeing all those images that make no sense inside of his head was a sign that there was still hope for him, in a very sad way.

 In the dreams, he was sometimes free. Not every time and that was very strange. One would think that his obsession was to be free in the world. But a recurring dream happened to be a redecoration of his cell, with more light and nice furniture, as if he was restoring his childhood bedroom, which he didn’t really remember anymore. When he dreamt of freedom, it always ended on a stark note, like a remainder that he wasn’t really free and that he might never be free again.

 What he did want, at least judging by his dreams, was to be able to talk to someone. Once, he did have the chance to do so, when another person was locked in a cell beside him. He had thought for long that he was alone wherever he was and that discovery was the best for him. Except the other person was not very interested in talking, instead crying and demanding an explanation to why they were there. Soon enough, their captor moved that other person somewhere or who knows.

 Voices were rarely heard. In their daily routine, not the captor or the captured would talk, even when one would pull the other by the hair or when the beating was especially brutal. No words were heard, as it was an unspoken rule to actually say something. It was better not to taunt danger, not more that was usual. So words were something inside their brains, wondering around and trying to get out in any way possible. He was afraid he would forget how to talk and behave.

 Many of his dreams and nightmares were an exercise on precisely that, trying not to forget every single thing about himself. He would sometimes remember, for example, the faces of his family. He knew who they were but not their names. It didn’t matter because “mother” was “mother” not matter what. So were “father” and “sister” and “brother”. He would normally wake up soaked in tears when he dreamt about all of them but, in a certain way, it was worth it. Because he still remembered, which meant he hadn’t been completely broken down.

 A day came in which his captor did not come. For an entire day, the poor man was locked in that cell with no water or anything that would indicate the presence of another human being. It felt pathetic and sick but he wanted the man to come and, at least, smack hard. At least that felt real, it felt as if it was happening. But having no one, deep in the dark, was very cruel, even more than the usual. That happened for what seemed like an eternity, but were actually five days.

 Then, someone did open the door. He would normally raise his head and wait for the captor to get close but he couldn’t do that anymore. He was too weak, feeling sick and preferring to sleep and dream about something less depressing. With his eyes tightly closed, he dreamt about an enormous bird carrying him to a magical land that was made of many colors and shapes. He hadn’t dreamt hat before and it was the happiest moment for him in a long time, as he felt loved, in way.

 He woke up several more days later. When he did, it was very dark, like in his room, but he realized he wasn’t there anymore. There was a machine besides him making a sound and he was lying on nice mattress, with clean covers and sheets. He saw the light from a corridor near him but, as his head felt too heavy to bear, he fell asleep again. The last thing he would hear were the steps of several people passing by his room. Or that was what he thought it was, he wasn’t sure.

 When he woke up again, it was day. A thick curtain diminished the light, which was a good thing because the sunlight felt like acid on his skin. He felt very tired but also dry and clumsy. A nurse came in and brought a drink in a bag with a straw. By the flavor, it was obvious it wasn’t water but it didn’t taste bad at all, so the formerly captured man drank it all. The nurse didn’t say a word the time she was there. And he wanted her to tell him something, anything at all.

 However, he would have words to share the following days as doctors and policemen visited him. The first group told him what his physical state was. To sum it up, it wasn’t good but he would be able to recuperate in the future, he just needed to be patient. Go figure.

 The second group, the enforcers of the law, explained to him his captor had been killed by one of his clients and that crime had led them to the cell. Apparently the client was mad because the captor hadn’t let him stay with the man in the cell when he wanted. He never understood that part.

viernes, 17 de febrero de 2017


   Out of nowhere, I decided to grab my wallet, put on my pants and go to the street, to the nearest convenience store I could find. Only one was opened, some five blocks away from the hotel. I bought two packs of cigarettes, one pack of gum and a can of beer, just because I felt to. I paid and went back slowly to the room were I had done something I had never done before: I had told someone I would be with him always, for the rest of our mortal lives, forever.

 As I entered the room, I tried not to make a noise. Of course, I didn’t turn on any lights and only put down my small plastic bag once I had crossed the room and reached the balcony. I thanked God that it was such a big room in which he was staying, in one of the best and most beautiful hotels in the vicinity. He would never travel without getting to rest in a really good place, where everything was according to his very high standards. He had a reputation to look after.

 Thankfully, I didn’t have anything to look after. I had no reputation and there was no possibility for me to pay for such a room, not then or now. The balcony had a very nice view of the ocean and the sound of the waves crashing gently against the rocks soothed my soul. Or maybe it was the fact that I smoked two or three cigarettes in a couple of minutes. I hadn’t done that in so long and now, suddenly, I had comeback to an old and nasty habit that I had been praised for leaving behind.

 As the soft warm wind made my hair move around, I regretted having bought only one can of beer. Then, I remembered that room had every kind of alcoholic beverage one would like to drink. The only problem was money but I guessed that he wouldn’t be very mad if I just drank one of them, as it could last me for the whole night. The can of beer went back to the plastic bag, empty after I drank it in a couple of minutes. I was decided to get myself drunk that night.

 I went inside, grabbed a bottle of vodka. Then, I decided to grab an orange juice bottle too, to make myself some nice little cocktails. I took both bottles to the balcony and used the empty beer can as a glass. I mixed both liquids there and started drinking, watching the apparent never-ending blackness that lived just above the ocean. It seemed so attractive, so beautiful somehow. I kept drinking, slowly, as I thought of the best way to get down to the beach in the next couple of hours. After all, I wasn’t going to be sleeping and he wasn’t going to wake up any time soon.

 I had gone to that hotel in hopes to find him but now, I realized I had done exactly what I shouldn’t have. He had been my only chance of happiness but now I didn’t want to see his face ever again. I had spent every single coin I had in my bank account to get there, to tell him I loved him and that I regretted not telling him that earlier. But hearing the waves, I realized I had done so because I was afraid of being alone, of being a failure at every single level a human male could be one.

 I had nothing to offer him, nothing at all. My so-called feelings were just angst and fear disguised in a week fabric of love and devotion. He would notice soon enough that I was empty, devoid of everything he thought he needed from someone else. Besides, I had no stability, no money, I did odd jobs to survive and I loved to look at the darkness and sleep during the day. I wasn’t what was expecting me to be, not even close. I had lied and lied and now there was no turning back.

 When we met, the first time, I was actually pretending to be someone’s friend in order to crash a party. I had done so with a friend that wanted to meet this girl, who ended up being his best friend. A strange coincidence that made us get acquainted. I remember clearly that, in those moments, he never seemed interested in me at all. I think he didn’t have any of the veils in front of him then, the ones that had clouded his judgment when he had decided to go out with me weeks later.

 Some may think I give myself to little credit but that’s not what’s happening here, not at all. What happens is that I don’t feel anything anymore, for him or for anyone. I actually doubt I ever felt anything for anyone ever. I guess I cared for some time and maybe I had an interest but my feelings were never involved in anything. I just played along and now that game has brought me to a place I have no idea how to get out of. What do I do now that I’m into so deep? Is it possible to go back to where we were before?

 I don’t think so, just hours ago I told him I would be with him forever and he cried and told me that’s what he had always wanted from me. But somehow, I feel that he knows what I really feel and think. I remember those first looks he gave in that party in which we met. He knew then who I was and that I couldn’t be trusted with something so important as his heart. Why does he think that has changed now, especially when we already tried and failed? Maybe he has a thing for failing, or maybe he’s one of those people that think they can fix other people.

 If that’s the reason, I think he means well but it would be an uphill battle. I have never changed anything about me. I have always failed or passed by without getting noticed. He cannot change that, not even if he wanted to do it with all of his energy and money. Not even power can change the fact that I am me, whoever that person may be. Yes, it’s sad for me to admit that there’s no chance for me anymore but I do believe it’s best if I don’t get my hopes without any good reason.

 I decided then to go down to the beach and walk on sand, which I guess feels nice on your body, unless you enter the water too. The people working in the hotel don’t see me walking down with my last can of cocktail, passing the swimming pools and walking into a small but nice little beach. I walk around, trying not to think anymore but that’s impossible. My brain cannot stop telling me things, almost yelling them at me as if I didn’t now them. It’s decided: I’m leaving him and never coming back.

 I have no idea how to get back home but I guess I can always steal some money from him and at least buy a bus ticket back to my city, back to my little and ugly apartment which I pay cleaning floors and serving people in awful little restaurants. That’s what a bachelor’s degree would do for you. Or maybe I could grab some more money and just leave for another city, a new place in which I can begin again. But the dream dies soon, because I’m incapable of really dreaming.

 I sit down just out of reach from the water. There’s no more alcohol in my can, which I throw to the ocean. I looked at the waves, angry with them because they refuse to take me away. I’m angry because this is not the way thing were suppose to go down like. This is not the life I should have had. Or I at least I don’t think anyone should have this life in any way shape or form. It is too cruel and empty, with no rewards and nothing to look forward to. Empty as the blackness of the sky.

 I noticed that I’m walking towards the water, slowly. It feels kind of warm, which is very nice. When it reaches my waist, I am tempted to look back to the hotel but I decided not to. There’s not for me there and there’s no way I’m going back,

 I keep on walking until the waves push me around, hitting me on the face several times, making me tumble and fall to my knees. Under the surface, my body attempts to swim upwards but my mind decides to make us swallow a good gulp of water. Better to end it here.