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

jueves, 28 de julio de 2016

The blue box

   Everyone had an idea about who had send it and why but something compelled them no to check their facts, to respect what the card with the box had written on it: “Please don’t open this until July 28th”. The box didn’t have the name of the person who had sent it, it only had the address of Kevin’s house and that was it. It didn’t even have Kevin’s name or anything. It was wrapped in blue paper and had a blue bow on top. The most mysterious thing of it all was that the present had being sent seven days earlier.

 During that week, every person who came into Kevin’s apartment had a theory about who had sent the gift and why. Some thought it was a former girlfriend; others thought it was an absent-minded relative. They also thought the gift was anything from shoelaces to a severed head. His craziest friends said it smelled funny and that if you moved it, it seemed to have a pulse. But, of course, they were joking. When they left, he would shake the box and hear nothing or find himself smelling it like a dog at the airport.

 He respected the mystery of the small card that came with the box because he realized that no one in this day and age was that interesting with their presents. Everyone was very straightforward, or didn’t even give presents. It was, in a way, a dying art. So the fact that someone had decided to do something interesting with their gift to him was interesting. Every day, when he got home, he got close to the box and just stared at it, as if expecting it to open by itself.

 He assumed it had been sent to him because of his birthday but that could’ve been just a coincidence. What if the present was really something else, something that had nothing to do with him turning thirty years old? Every person that heard him suggest that looked at him as if he was crazy. It was going a little bit too far with the mystery. Granted, the package had arrived very early but that really didn’t mean anything.

 Kevin was not used to presents either, in general. To be honest, he was not used to celebrating his birthday. He found it to be annoying and a little sad. It wasn’t something he looked forward too and, in the past, he had actually forgotten to celebrate a couple of his birthdays. He didn’t care at all about checking his calendar to see how old he had gotten. He just wanted to live.

 That present, that stupid blue box was changing everything in his mind about birthdays and everything related. By the fourth day after it had arrived, he had to grab it and just put it away in a closet. He had decided not to play along with the game of who ever had sent the box. That person wanted him to behave like a fool and he was getting there. Well, not anymore

 The box spent the fifth and sixth days up there, in a corner of the closet. It was the place where he put all the cleaning equipment that he needed in his house. The mop, the green liquid to clean he dishes, the blue one for the floors and so on. The box looked good among ll those crazy colors. But he authentically forgot about it, even the day of his birthday. As his friends were rushing him to eat cake and dinner in order to go and have drinks afterwards, no one really remembered the box and it stayed there far longer that it was supposed to.

 Actually, it wasn’t opened the following week either. Kevin’s workload increased dramatically and he had to stay n the office for several hours, one day even sleeping over there on the floor. The day he came back to his apartment, he slept for two days straight and definitely forgot about his present. It wasn’t something that felt important to him so it slowly got transferred to the back of his head until he forgot completely about it.

 Life went on the apartment. Kevin attended funerals and weddings, he met babies and husbands and wives and he even visited places he had never thought he would ever visit. And during all that time, that blue box with the ribbon was sitting there, on top of that closet. It’s funny when we imagine all the inanimate objects that have always been with us or close to us. The way that, somehow, they have been a really big part of our lives and they’re not even alive.

 Kevin found out about the box once again, the moment he decided to move away from that old apartment. He had a girlfriend and the two of them were going to try and live to together and see if maybe they were as compatible as they seemed. If everything went fine, they would maybe think about getting married. It was a very important time in his life and the day he rediscovered the box, he realized the fact that he had changed in a good way in the last couple of years.

 When he saw the box, he decided he wouldn’t take it with him to the new apartment so he had to open it and see what was inside. Two years had passed since the box had arrived in his house and it seemed a bit silly to be opening it then, after so long. He removed the move the bow, as he thought he would never now who had sent it, unless there was another note inside or something like that.

 His girlfriend came running the moment she heard a scream in his room. She had been helping him pack every glass and plate in the kitchen and almost broke a couple when she heard him screaming. She had never heard him to that sound, not in the time they knew each other. And it worried her because it wasn’t a pleasant sound; it was made out of pure fear.

 When she got to his room, she screamed too. The box had fallen to the floor and its content was there, lying dead on the ground. It was a spider, almost as big as the box. Kevin was livid, unable to move from the bed. His girlfriend grabbed him by the hand and pulled him away from there, to the kitchen. They decided to call an exterminator and not enter his bedroom until that person had seen the whole thing.

 The man that came was apparently very well versed in those creatures. Kevin’s girlfriend had asked for someone with that kind of knowledge and apparently they had such person. He told her, as Kevin was still in shock in the living room, that those spiders were really difficult to find. They normally inhabited deep in the jungle. The weird part was, to him at least, that the creature was very poisonous and that it had died inside that box because of the lack of air and the fact that it had poisoned itself.

 He gave her a card that was inside the box and left with its content and the actual box, per request of the woman. The only thing that remained was that small card which she held on two fingers. It had the phrase: “Hope you enjoy it” written on it and she thought it was the most sickening thing she had ever read. She knew Kevin well and she knew he was horrified of those animals. Apparently the person that had sent the box did know about that too. And that person didn’t only want to scare him but also kill him, at least according to the exterminator.

 Kevin had to go to the hospital, as his shocked state was lasting for too long. He had to stay there for observation for a couple of days, enough time for his girlfriend to pack everything in his house and move. He came to his new house, talking again although a bit nervous. She didn’t want to talk about it but it was him who brought the subject up.


 He said he thought he knew who was involved with that horrible joke. And after he said that, he started crying and the vomited, trembling. He ashamed and very scared. His girlfriend had no idea what was going on.

jueves, 2 de abril de 2015

Dark planet


             - We are able to confirm that the planet is uninhabited. No settlement has been found nor  any signs of intelligent life. No wildlife poses a considerable threat to human          colonization. Pockets of water have been detected on the poles and in small pockets    around the equator. The atmosphere is breathable but the atmospheric pressure takes a big  toll on our bodies. I’ll report again at the end of the week. Chief of mission Okilo, off.

   Carmen stepped away from the communications device and stared at the data. She pressed some buttons and sent the message home, hopefully having an answer by tomorrow morning. She then walked through the corridors of the ship towards her room, where she removed her uniform and laid in bed in her underwear. She was tired but that was normal after so many hours working in the surface of the planet. Carmen had begun feeling sleepy until she suddenly opened her eyes. She then sat on the bed and opened her bedside table drawer. She took out a picture and stared at it.

In the photo, there was a small girl with her parents. They were at Disneyworld, judging for the castle in the back and the character that had joined them for the picture. She caressed the paper and remembered her parents, who had been dead for a long time. Carmen had lost them in an airplane crash just the year after entering the space program. She had suffered alone for a long time but eventually came to be at peace with it by herself. She wasn’t the kind to crumble in front of difficulties. That’s why she had been chosen for leading this mission.

 Carmen put the picture back in the drawer and tried to sleep but that was a waste of time, especially because the speakers in her room carried the voice of her scientist officer to her room.

-               - Carmen. There’s… I need you in the observatory. It’s urgent.

 She detected the worry in his voice and decided to dress with some shorts and a shirt and go to the observatory fast. She was there ten minutes later, yawning and realizing her blouse was stained with chocolate. Norman was there, looking through a machine down to the planet. He hadn’t heard her coming and he almost jumped when she touched him in the back.

 Norman was a short and thin man. He had always looked sick but now he seemed worse, as if he had been informed of the worst news. Without saying a word, he invited Carmen to look through the lens he had been looking on. She leaned forward and realized it was pointed at the planet, somewhere near the Equator.

-                - It’s the region we call Morgana. Desert. Many rocks, no water. Let me put some                  coordinates here.

He pushed some buttons and the telescope aligned. Now, Carmen was looking at a small patch of something black. Or maybe, dark blue. It looked as if the lens was dirty or something but it wasn’t… It couldn’t’ be, out there, in the vacuum of space. Besides, the dark patch seemed to be… to be growing, yes. The edges of the stain seemed to move, like ants when moving in large groups.

-              - What is it? – She asked.
-              - No idea. It appeared only a few hours ago. I thought at first it was a telescope                  malfunction but it clearly isn’t.
-              - Is it life?
-              - Maybe.
-              -But we did a planetary scan… There was nothing big, not like that.

She pulled away from the viewer and went closer to Norman. He appeared to tremble, which was not uncommon in space. It was very cold there and Carmen had just realized she had not put any shoes on. She had to take a decision about the dark stain that seemed to grow. Should they go and investigate or only report the event and wait for instructions on how to engage it? She told Norman to go to bed and that they would discuss it in a meeting with the others. She also decided to send another message to Earth before going to bed, stating the latest events.

 The following day, she met her team. With her, there were seven humans in the ship: two scientific officers, two technical officers, a chief of mission, a navigator and a mechanic. They were all experienced and had been travelling through space for many years. They all trusted each other and knew the risks of the job. But this event was all about what they didn’t know, which visibly scared them. The stain had grown even larger as they slept. Carmen told them of the message she had sent and that she wouldn’t hear anything about an answer for, at least, a whole day. So they needed to make a decision: do or not do.

 Carmen and the two science officers voted for taking their shuttle and landing on the planet to investigate. The technical officers and the mechanic were against it, thinking risking the shuttle was a very dangerous move because they might need it latter in their mission. The decisive vote was the one of the navigator, a young woman that was the least experienced of them all. She loved the stars and planets and was very fond of making calculations and measures but this decision was bigger than her. She finally stated that she had entered the job because she had always been curious about the universe and that this might be a chance to reveal one of its mysteries.

 So later that day, the mechanic made sure the shuttle was just right for a flight over the planet. Carmen had decided she would go with Norman and one technical officer called Sarkar. The three boarded the shuttle in silence and got the instruments ready. Shortly after they had begun their short travel towards the surface. Norman monitored the stain at all moments, being able to do more accurate calculations as he drew closer to it. Sarkar took the ship over the Morgana region and flew over the edge of the stain. It was not a surprise when they all gasped, covering their mouths or just started sweating even more than usual.

 Down there, the dark stain moved. It did. Like soda spilled over a table. But this wasn’t a liquid. Or at least not at first sight. They were thousands, maybe millions of living things down there. Sarkar made the shuttle be still and that way they realized that the creatures were actually gigantic. They weren’t human in form, but rather like insects. They moved tightly, away from a center. Carmen, calm as she could make herself to be, told Sarkar to get the ship over the stain. The creatures seemed to be coming out of somewhere.

 Sarkar started moving the aircraft as Norman took pictures and measures of the creatures. They all knew they had made a big discovery but they still did not understand what it was all about. The planet had been deemed void of any large creatures and, now, there they were, looking down on gigantic insectoid creatures, roaming the desert dunes. After a fifteen minute flyby, they arrived at a point in the desert were mountains had been able to grow. And there, on a small group of peaks, there seemed to be a volcano. Sarkar had to make the ship go up, in order to take a better look.

 Somehow, the volcano was active. There was some smoke and Norman could detect small tremors on the surface. But the volcano wasn’t spilling lava or rocks. It was spilling living creatures, dark as the emptiness of space. And it was then that Carmen covered her mouth. She realized that the creatures emerging from the crater were not all the same. They were smaller ones among the titans. And not all looked like insects. Some even had… had some kind of human form. Not exactly our same biology but so similar. And like their volcano brothers, they were also dark as night.

 Norman took several pictures, Sarkar tried to maintain the shuttle in a good vantage point and Carmen just looked everywhere, amazed. The creatures had not realized or did not care about them. They just came out of the planet and walked, away from it. Then, like coming out of a trance, Carmen ordered Sarkar to flyby again towards any edge of the stain. They did so, faster than the time before and realized the group below had grown by the millions as they watch over them. The creatures kept walking, like under hypnosis.

Carmen decided it was enough and ordered Norman to release a probe and Sarkar to get them back to the ship. They both complied and got to there home minutes later. All the team reunited in the observatory and watched as the planet slowly became invaded by the dark blue stain. The probe sent back images, of every type of creature down there, just walking. Finally, hours later, the whole planet had been covered by the volcano creatures. The probe showed how they all suddenly stopped moving.

 Then, something happened, something that cannot be explained. The planet turned bright, as if it was a sun. It grew brighter and brighter and engulfed everything with its light, even the ship. They all screamed as their heads felt heavy and hurt them. They couldn’t open their eyes. And suddenly it was done. They help themselves up and realized, scared, that the stain had disappeared. The planet was as it had been before. When checking on the volcano, the crater was found to be non-existent.

 Carmen ordered her team to have an early dinner as she reported back to Earth. This event was of a terrific importance. She knew it. Or better yet, she felt it so.