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

viernes, 19 de junio de 2015

The hunter

   The arrow passed just a few centimeters away from the rabbit’s head. It wasn’t the day to die for him. But a wild turkey and a pheasant had not been so lucky. They hanged on one side of Karl’s waist, dangling around as he marched through the woods looking for more game. But he didn’t find anything else to bring back to his shack so he stopped wandering around and went straight back to his place. It was a small cottage in the woods, just a few steps away from the lake. He had built it there so no floods could reach it but close enough to the water to get his everyday ration to cook and bathe.

 As he entered the house, he left the dead animals in a rough wood table. He took off his clothes fast and, with the sun setting in the distance; he came out naked of his house and walked to the lake. He didn’t even hesitate to jump into the cold water. He plunged deep and then resurfaced, scrubbing his skin with his hands. There was no soap and soap would contaminate the lake anyway so he just scrubbed hard, sometimes with a scourer but he only used that some times a week. He submerged many times, looking at the distance, to the sun, which was now glowing orange. As he cleaned his beard and every hair he had on his body, he thought about that decision he had taken a long time ago, the decision that had changed his life by putting him there instead of in the city, in a job with a family and so on.

 He didn’t regret he hadn’t decided to stay with his family or just make a family of his own. It haunted him but he was sure he didn’t wanted to be one of those family men. He didn’t have what it takes to be one and he didn’t wanted to be one. He had always wanted to be free, as free as any human could be and this was the way he had found to be true to his desires. His family had not thoroughly understood but now that didn’t really matter. It had been three years now since he had decided to live in the forest and he knew it had been one of the best decisions he had taken in his life. Here, among animals and plants and fresh water, there was nothing that bothered him or made him feel like there was something wrong. Everything here felt fair and well done, because it was.

 He had always hated the competition, the killing that people submitted themselves to in the “real” world. People used to use those words together to describe to him were their lives happened, as if hid daily life wasn’t real, just a figment of his imagination. Hunting was more real than any bank job he could think off. Swimming naked in a beautiful lake was more real than worrying every day if someone was going to hurt you or your loved ones in any given moment. His world was very real and he had chosen it because he couldn’t take what the world was anymore. It had been a done deal the day he was attacked on the street, mugged and stabbed. He had become disenchanted with the world so he decided to leave it for good and there was not a single day in which he regretted that.

 In any case, it wasn’t as if he never talked or chatted with another human anymore. Many people came to the forest, in spring or summer, and the park rangers had designated him as an official guide. He got paid a small salary but that wasn’t the important thing, it was the fact that he got to share his experiences and knowledge with visitors which was the best part of the job. He would take them hiking or trekking for hours, compensating them with beautiful vistas, information about every plant and animal living in the park and would usually end up with a small “party” by the shore of the lake. Those who wanted could swim but they would all celebrate with a local meal.

 He came out of the water and waited to dry off for a half hour by the shore. As the water dripped away, he threw small stones to the water, trying to make them skip. But he had never managed to do I correctly. Time passed so he walked up his cabin, showered by the orange light of sunset. Inside the house he cleaned up his feet and put on some warm clothes to feel some heat after his swim in the cold water. He decided to eat first and then skin his animals to be put away with salt to be preserved. He had no electric device, except a portable stove, so it was best to consume everything before it went bad. He would eat the pheasant in the morning and the turkey could last a little longer if he treated it well. He ate some vegetables he had cooked earlier and it was then when he heard the sound. He wasn’t sure he had heard it but there it was again.

 The hunter walked up to the window and stayed there. It was already dark outside and he had turned on a gas lamp he had but he decided to turn it off and wait for the sound to come back again. There it was… It was like a moan or a scream that was silenced. He was worried as there was no one else for the next ten kilometers. Maybe he was imagining things, maybe it was an animal or maybe some people had just decided to come into the park and get busy. It wouldn’t be the first time. He decided to stop worrying and walked away from the window but then there was a scream, a piercing sound that broke the silence of the woods in two.

 The scream came from deep in the woods, in the opposite direction of the lake. He didn’t know very well, but he though the scream was from a male. He decided to take his bow and arrow, a rope and his best boots. That person could be trapped between rocks, in the formations that existed in the park in that direction. Or maybe some animal had attacked him and he needed assistance before bleeding to death. There were a few wolfs and they could be very violent, as well as black bears who roamed around the forest for food. Once he was ready, the hunter came out of the cabin and started marching rather fast in the direction he had heard the scream.

 He walked and walked but he didn’t seem to get anywhere. He didn’t usually come out so late at night and his senses were not as accurate in the dark than in the light. But he was sure where he was going and pressed on, worried for the person that had yelled earlier. After some twenty minutes, he finally arrived to a rocky formation and he noticed, with his solar flashlight, that the rocks were tainted with what appeared to be blood. He turned off his light and decided to be still and hear. There were no screams, only crickets and other animals making sounds. But then, he heard panting and someone else, breathing heavily. He ran towards the sound and, without thinking, jumped right onto one of the persons there.

 Apparently he had done correctly, because the voice that had screamed earlier was begin for him to help him. Somehow, his voice felt strange, as if it had changed in less than an hour. But the hunter was a strong man and he was able to submit the man he was fighting with ease. Once he turned on the flashlight again, he gave it to the victim, who happened to be a young man, covered in blood. He was trembling but was able to hold steady long enough for the hunter to use the rope to tie the hands of the other guy, an older man who had his nose broken and seemed to be in a fit of rage. He wasn’t fighting anymore but his eyes were filled with hatred, filled with blood and pure rage. The hunter made him stand up and he told the young man to follow him, so they could call the rangers who would then call the police of whoever had to be in charge of this.

 It wasn’t long before they stepped into the hunter’s house. The tie man was sat in the hunter’s bed and the boy sat in one of the big chair by the only table. The hunter looked for the walkie-talkie he rarely used during this time of year and started talking into it, to no response. As he waited, he asked the young guy to tell him what had happened but the guy refused at the other one seemed to be preparing for another assault. When one of the rangers finally answered, he couldn’t hear a word because the kid had jumped from his chair, with a knife the hunter had not seen, and stabbed the man in the chest. The man screamed and the hunter realized it was him who had screamed earlier.

 He attempted to grab the young guy from behind but now he flung his knife towards him, cutting the surface of his chest. He took advantage of this to turn around and finish off the man in the bed, who bled out just there, looking at the kid with horror. The hunter avoided the kid’s next attack and just punched him hard in the head. The kid was groggy for a minute, time the hunter used to grab his bow and arrow. He told the kid the rangers would come soon, as they never received communications from here and they would be worried to know if there was something wrong. He suggested him to surrender and let him tie his hands.

 But the kid launched himself at him and he just let go of the arrow that pierced his chest deep. He fell to the ground, where the hunter grabbed him and tried to understand what he was saying. Because as he spitted blood, he tried to say something but it wasn’t clear. Then the hunter lowered his head and he understood a couple of words: “got revenge”. Then he died and the hunter never knew what those words meant.