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

viernes, 22 de septiembre de 2017

A life of risk

   Natalya stopped by the hotel only for a few minutes, enough time to pick up whatever she had brought along with her to that damn place and then get out of there as fast as she could. She put it all in a small suitcase with wheels and practically ran down to the reception in order to pay whatever she owed. It wasn’t something she did often, but she had been made to pay for dinner in her room, as her target had not being available that night. He was too far for her to follow him as he had to.

 The woman asked for her receipt. As she was grabbing her wallet to pay the reception man, she realized something in just a few seconds: a man wearing all black had suddenly stood up in the living room in front of the reception. Almost at the same time, a tall woman with hair as white as snow, had entered the hotel almost as if she was the impersonation of the wind. Their presence made Natalya feel nervous. Something was going to happen, she just knew it. She extracted two bills from her wallet and tried to seem innocent.

 The moment the reception man received the bills from her hands, Natalya heard the first shot behind her. As fast as she was, it had been impossible to save her luggage entirely. She pulled to the left just in time and then ran away from the lobby area, trying to get away from the scene as fast as possible. Screams came from the area she had just been in and she knew there were bodies there. One of them was probably the young man that had given her that damn dinner’s receipt.

 It was difficult to run with boots on but Natalya was very agile and fast. So fast, that people in the kitchens were surprised to see her run past them, minutes before the two assassins would come running after her. She was fortunate enough to find an exit through the depot were fresh vegetables and meat were received every morning from various markets around the city. She ran past workingmen carrying big crates and didn’t stop until she actually saw traffic and passersby.

 The hotel was located on the most sought out part of the city, where all luxury commerce had found a spot to lure everyone. Not only people that could actually afford to buy any of that stuff but also the ones who liked to see what opportunities others had in life. As it was a Saturday afternoon, the place was packed. The main street of that area was filled with families and couples, with tourists and salary men and women trying to find a good place to have a beer and maybe do something else afterwards. And among them was Natalya, running for her life.

 She knew she had to hide but the first thing to do was to know where her assailants were. Both of them were pretty easy to pick out in a crowd but the street was so crowded and Natalya was substantially smaller than most people. That had always worked in her advantage but it could also be something of a hurdle. She decided to enter a clothing store and run upwards, towards the tallest point of the structure. Sure enough, one could get a great view from the area from the men underwear section.

 A young woman looked at her and asked if she could help her. Natalya was breathing heavily. She tried to smile and said she was just looking for some boxers for her husband. The young woman smiled back and attempted to show some of the newest models to Natalya. The woman stopped her by saying she was going to look around first and then decide on something. The young lady nodded and told her that she could look around all that she wanted, even in the changing rooms.

 The girl walked away leaving Natalya confused. What had she meant? She turned around quickly, remembering why she was inside of the store. Sure enough, she saw the silver mane of the woman that had killed so many people in the hotel just minutes ago. In the distance, Natalya could hear the sound of several ambulances, probably rushing to the place. She hoped the body count was low, as those people had nothing to do with everything that was happening. It was all her fault.

 She started wandering around the store, in order to not look suspicious. She looked at some male underwear, some of them with fun textures and prints but she wasn’t really interested. She was remembering what had happened just over a day ago, when she had stolen a series of documents from a rich man’s mansion, a very rich man that was suspected to have links with several terrorists groups that would give him the advantage if they were capable of reaching the higher spheres of power.

 Natalya had been sent to retrieve the information, as the people that had hired her had an interest in it. She had been ordered to copy everything she had and take it back herself to be given in person. They had also asked her not to use the Internet, make phone calls or even talk to any people beyond the necessary communication. Then, she remembered the young boy from the hotel and realized a tear had come down her face. As she cleaned it off her face, she felt something warmer. Natalya realized what the young woman had meant before, about the changing rooms.

 She walked down one floor and entered the changing rooms with a blouse and a skirt she had grabbed without even properly looking at them. She was assigned a stall and it was then when she realized that one of the bullets had come way closer than she had imagined. The projectile had burned her cheek, leaving a red line below her right eye. She still had her purse hanging around her body, so she took out some tissues and tried to clean her face as thoroughly as she was able to.

 Natalya came out of the store half an hour after she had entered. She decided the best thing to do was to get to the airport. Her flight was still some hours away and it was a priority to get the information back safe. After all, her business was danger and that wasn’t the first time she had been shot or had actively been targeted by someone. She walked for a bit until she found a big avenue. There, she stopped a taxi and asked to be taken to the airport. The man had doubts but she paid up front.

 Arriving in the airport, Natalya thought that it was possible that she could be getting older. She was not the same age as when she had first entered that line of work. She had been trained and recruited because she was agile, both mentally and physically. But now she felt as if everything was getting a little bit too fast for her. Besides, she kept thinking about the boy in the hotel and that had never been an issue before. She had seen many bodies in her life but had never been specially affected by them.

 After checking-in, she rushed to the security checkpoint as her flight was leaving in less than twenty minutes. However, she stopped the moment she saw that damn blonde hair again. And it was impossible to run away from that situation. So she pulled the gun hiding in her purse and started shooting. Everyone around was screaming and running but the two women were just hunting for each other. They were doing what they had been doing for years and it was too late for them both to stop.

 Both ran out of bullets and a physical confrontation ensued. Punches were thrown back and forth. But then, experience appeared in the form of a selfie-stick lying on the floor. Some scared tourist had just left it there, in the middle of the shooting.


 Natalya grabbed it, removed the part that holds the camera with a powerful pull and then impaled the blonde woman with it. The warm blood on her hand made her feel alive but also scared. She had never been scared before and it couldn’t be the best of signs. Not right then.

jueves, 12 de mayo de 2016

Visiting hours

   The large male nurse walked as if it was the most normal place in the world. Esther followed closely, looking sometimes at the windows to sea the weather outside but also to the side, where she could see some other windows but these gave views into the room of several of the residents of the psychiatric hospital. Some of them were apparently silent but when she passed other rooms, it was easy to hear strange sounds like bumping or slapping or strange mouth noises.

 The weather outside had turned worse in the last few minutes. The sky had been dark all day but the first drops of rain had finally begun to drop. Esther thought it was maybe the best weather for such a day, for such a visit. The reached another gate, where she had to show some ID and a guard checked her for anything that couldn’t be allowed inside. She didn’t really know what those objects were, but she didn’t mind at all.

 Her purse had stayed behind, at the first gate. Also her car keys, her house keys, her cellphone and a knitting kit she carried everywhere because it made her feel a lot calmer. The only thing she was able to carry inside was a plastic bag with some chocolate bars inside as well as banana muffins and a bottle of iced tea. They had wanted to open the bottles to check it was really iced tea, but an officer had stated she trusted Esther. Apparently she understood what a mother would feel in such a circumstance.

 When they were done checking her bag again, they walked through another corridor but this one was short and ended up in a large room that was filled with people. The place was very warm and she noticed it was because of the amount of people there. Immediately, she could tell all of them were patients of the hospital. Some of them were blankly staring at nothing in particular. Others were playing by themselves or watching the TV, where a man was explaining to the audience how butterflies mated.

 The male nurse told Esther to wait inside a small room besides the recreation area. It was a small space with a table and two chairs. She sat down in one of the chairs and realized the table had two metallic hooks of some kind, small, possibly to tied down the patients in order for them no to attack or anything. She thought that was awful and decided not to think about it because the image in her mind was horrible.

 The room also had a small window and she decided to stand up, leaving the bag on the table, in order to look out the window and not think about the horrible things that maybe happened in that room, or for the matter, in that hospital. She already felt guilty and imagining situations she didn’t know about, was really not necessary.

 Her son entered the room, followed by the male nurse. She turned around when she heard his voice saying “Mama”. Esther walked to him and huge him as strong as she could and he did the same. They hadn’t seen each other in two weeks, since he had been interned in the hospital by order of a court that had decided that Kevin, Esther’s son, had to undergo psychiatric evaluation and, if necessary, rehabilitation in a psychiatric facility. And that was exactly what had happened.

 They let go of each other and sat down in the two chairs. The male nurse stayed there, by the door, leaning against the wall and pretending he wasn’t hearing anything but it was obvious he was. He had no option. Nevertheless, he had done exactly that for so many years already, that he had learned when he had to be listening and when he could just wander into his brain and imagine what he was going to have for dinner at home or what kind of car he wanted to have.

 Esther told Kevin his hands were very cold and asked him if he was eating properly. The boy, around seventeen years old, told her the food there was pretty okay and that she shouldn’t worry about it. She didn’t really listened to him. She just turned her bag upside down and showed her son all the treats she had brought him. Esther smiled to Kevin and he smiled back but it was obvious he was sad or at least not as happy as she was pretending to be.

 They decided to eat the big banana muffins first and the nurse’s stomach growled because of the delicious smell. Esther offered him a bite but he just raised his hand and moved his face, so she didn’t insisted. She asked Kevin if everything was okay with him, if he felt good there, if there was anything he wanted to tell her about it all. He took his time to answer, preferring to eat his banana muffin, which had been his favorite since he was very little.

 Kevin said to her mother that everyone in the hospital was very nice and that the only bad thing so far was that his room was a bit cold but he slept well with some two blankets and a thick quilt of top of them. She said she could bring more if he wanted it but he just said no and went on to finish his muffin. She ate too but she was more worried about her son. She didn’t know what to ask or how to ask.

 But she had to. She had no choice but ask things. Esther’s next question was about the medication they were giving him. Kevin told her he took a couple of pills everyday to control his anxiety issues and that he took others for physical problems like his blood pressure and such, because it was always very elevated. She nodded when he said that, as she tried to build in her head what that meant for him. Was he getting worse or better?

 Kevin took the chocolate bar next and smiled. It was a weird smile, as he didn’t even know how to do it. And it lasted only a few seconds. He felt the deep scent of the chocolate and took a bite. It was also filled with oranges, which he loved. He thanked his mother and kept eating it, until he reached half of the bar. His mother told him he could have some for later but then he looked at her and, out of the blue, laughed at her. His eyes appeared to transform and his laugh was so exaggerated, she felt bad to say what she had said.

 The male nurse looked at Kevin first and then stated that the patients couldn’t keep anything from the outside in their rooms, no even food. Kevin pointed at the nurse and nodded, indicating he was telling the truth. He told his mother that she should have known that, if she had come earlier to visit him. Esther felt hurt by that but explained to him that they wouldn’t let her in because his treatment had not being properly initiated so they didn’t want her to spoil it.

 Kevin just nodded and it was obvious he didn’t care one bit about what his mother was saying. He didn’t believe her and told her that the first week had been horrible, with all the people there crazier than anyone else in the world and the doctors pinching and poking and asking and everything going on and on every single day. He felt tired every night and in the morning it would begin again and the cycle would repeat, of course, with the horrible therapy that he went through.

 Esther was horrified because he had transformed before her very eyes. He asked her if she knew what the therapy was all about. Before she could deny that she knew, he explained to her that they put him on a chair, with restraints, and made him answers questions and look at pictures and videos and tried to understand what hade being going on at the time he had killed the children in playground. They wanted to know why he had killed three of them.

 The nurse got nearer but didn’t intervene. This time, he was listening carefully. Esther was on the edge of tears, trying to ask for forgiveness about him being there and also asking her son not to say anything else about he did.

 And then he punched the table and told her that was him that’s who he really was and that she had to accept that she had a son who was a murderer and that had enjoyed it. He was hysteric, not laughing or crying, just yelling to make his point be seen. Kevin told his mother that even now, he thought back about it all and even then he enjoyed it. He had taken pleasure out of it and he had no remorse.

 He stood up fast and the nurse was going to grab him but he had no need to do that, as Kevin went through the door by himself, and on to his room. The nurse told Esther to go back to the gate and tell the guard there that her visit was over. But when the nurse went away, she couldn’t stand up. She looked at the food there on the table and then repeated her son’s words in her brain and she just couldn’t understand, she couldn’t.


 What had ever happened to her baby boy?

domingo, 30 de agosto de 2015

The mansion by the woods

   The mansion had been deserted for years. No one had seen what was inside, not even the children that crossed under the broken fence and used the front gardens as a place to play the sport of their preference. They had even broken some of the remaining windows, which were not many, but never dared to enter the building to grab their belongings. They knew that the place was haunted or something worse. When they played, they could sometimes hear someone slamming the windows and punching the walls or something like that. It was very scary and they always left when that happened. For them, it meant that the spirits had been having an especially awful day and they didn’t want to have anything to do with that. They just left and wouldn’t go in for a few days.

 Curious people had also come around but never past the fence that still went all around the property. Somehow, adults felt something else than the children or were frightened easier. The thing was that every adult that came in contact with the fence started screaming and left in a huff. The truth was they instantly saw the way they would die in the future. No one knew if it was an accurate prediction but no one really wanted to find out anything about that. They just felt they had to leave urgently after seeing that and just did. Even the children saw and heard more. Adults just wanted to get the hell out before something scarier presented itself or something like that. With time, no inhabitant of the nearby town would go near the mansion, only crazies from other towns.

 Despite its fame, the mansion was not in such a horrible state, not as one would imagine. The place was falling apart in some areas but the rest looked as beautiful as always, with a mixture of different tones of marble that looked beautiful, especially in the summer. The gardens were, of course, all dead because no one was taking care of them but one could see the past beauty just by taking a stroll. Well, if anyone took a stroll around the place. The place did not looked like the typical dark haunted house. It was a very beautiful place that had fallen into disgrace and no one really knew why. Very few people remain that remember what had happened there.

 The people of the town had always been very apprehensive to anyone that wanted to live in the woods or too far from the main municipality. The mansion was constructed over a hundred years ago and even then people watched it, from afar, with disdain. They thought that only crazy people that shouldn’t be trusted would decide to live in such a place. After all, the mansion was in the margin of the forest. No one lived there and the people of the town even tried to stop the construction arguing that it was a national park. But the forest wasn’t so the mansion was built there without any modifications to its initial design.

 Things were strange even from the start. Not only many workers left the building site because they had claimed they had seen creatures coming in from the forest, but also the place remained empty for at least ten years before a family finally came in to live there. People were very displeased by this and agreed in a town meeting that no one would ever help those people, not by selling food or supplies or helping them out of the region. But that meeting proved useless because the people of the mansion would ever come to them. The only time they would come in contact with those people would be when their cars crossed the small town to go from or into the mansion. Everyone fell silent when that happened, as if a hearse had just passed before them.

 The family that lived in the mansion was said to be one of the richest in the country They owned various oil fields and mines all over the country. And somehow, they had chosen such a lost region to come and live. No one knew if that arrangement would be permanent or only through the summer but asking would mean that they cared for them and that wasn’t what they had agreed on. The family did not even realize of the antagonist reaction of the people on town. The truth was that, for them, the mansion was a small piece of paradise that was only for them. They could have built it anywhere else in the country but the grandfather of the lady of the house had loved this region when young so they went for it.

 There was a father, a mother, two little girls and the youngest, which was a strange little boy. Even people in town knew he was strange because some of the people that worked in the house would often come into town and as they had never promised to deny them any service, they would talk to them even if they were there for only a few minutes. The one who talked the most was the gardener and it was them who had told the people about the youngest boy who would never leave the house and was always in a room for only their parents to see him. The girls had a nanny and they would often spend time with the cook but the boy would never join them. They believed him to be around five years old.

 The family came and went all summers, even staying a little bit more some years. They would never get any visitors but would rather stay inside much of the time. The girls would play a lot around the gardens and where the only members of the family that had an actual exchange with the rest of the staff. The two girls were eight and twelve years old and they would always play together. They would hold hands and skip around the gardens in order to smell the flowers or follow insects or just play around. They were cheerful children and, according to the people that worked in the mansion, no one else but them actually smiled. The father was absent and the mother was always melancholic.

 Then, they stopped coming for some years and returned three years later. It was the last time people saw the girls, who were already grown up. They were very beautiful ladies and it was said that the eldest was about to marry to a well renowned banker. It was on their last visit that they decided to visit the town and greet many of its inhabitants. No one asked anything, of course, but they were all mesmerized when seeing the two women. They had nothing uncommon physically or anything but they just felt strange, like something was off about them but no one really knew what it was. After that visit, they would never come back to town or to the mansion. Only her mother would come and her father, but only some times.

 It was obvious that the man of the house had never liked the mansion or whatever it meant for him. Since the beginning, he would come and go so many times that people ignored his car after a while. People thought it was because of work but the truth was, according to the gardener that the man couldn’t stand to be in that mansion or in the presence of his wife. Somehow, and all staff agreed on this, he hated his wife and couldn’t even look at her. No one had ever seen them being nice to each other, not holding hands or sharing a nice moment. No, the woman was always crying or pacing around the house and the man would just leave and escape everything that tied him there.

 Then, one particularly hot summer, there was an explosion in the mansion that could be heard for many kilometers. Apparently it had been originated in the kitchen. The only casualty was the lady of the house. Every person in the vicinity was shocked to hear this but no one was able to go to her funeral. She was buried over night behind the house and that event marked the time when everyone left the mansion and its slow decay began. Some children now say that the tombstone in honor of the woman can still be seen but no adult had ever come that close to check by themselves. Everything had happened so fast that only years later people would start to remember and question: And the boy?


 Where was the little boy that the staff had sworn had always been kept in his room, only contacted by his parents? When the family left the mansion, no one ever saw a child with them and the gardener remembered clearly he only saw the girls and their father leave. So naturally, many people assumed the kid was still in the mansion. People would come to “rescue” him but then the visions started and no adult ever returned to the mansion. Only children that claim that the sounds where sometimes too much to bear. Some even confessed to have seen a face in the windows. But they didn’t saw a child, rather something much stranger and scarier. Something like the devil himself, they said.

miércoles, 25 de marzo de 2015

The Graves

  A crossbow had been left behind and there were four arrows on the victim’s body, which had being killed by a chilly stream that had defrosted overnight. The body had been found far from any settlement and, although chief Jones and her officers scouted the area for several days, they didn’t find anything else referring to the murderer. Somehow, he had dropped the murder weapon but nothing else. The people in the lab found nothing on the handle of the crossbow either, which was a recent design, almost custom made. That would maybe be useful to find the manufacturer and, from there, the buyer.

 Jennifer jones had been the chief of police for only two years and this was her first big job. Working on an almost desolate county, most of her days she spent her time dealing with disputes over land and maybe a drunk driver. She had been in the force for fifty years and she had always thought the future might hold something brighter for her but that wasn’t the case. She lived only with her teenage son as her husband had been killed in the war a few years ago. Jennifer thought she had been promoted because of whom her husband had been but that didn’t matter anymore. The people of the county liked her and she knew them all.

 She supervised the work of Doctor Pike, the medical examiner who had to be very careful not to damage the victim’s body when extracting the arrows from his body. The dead man was kind of young, but something felt off about him. Maybe he was older… The doctor removed the arrows successfully and put them on a small tray on one side to check them later. Then, he asked Jennifer to help him. She often did as he had no assistants and it was a work that had to be done as a team. So the chief of police help him undress the body. It was then that she realized what was wrong with the body. On her shirt, some stains let her know that the body was wearing makeup.

 Then, Doctor Pike removed the clothes, both the shirt and the pants, and confirmed that the body appeared to be the one of a female. But Jennifer, seeing how he washed the body, thought the girl’s breasts were really small and then she had an idea. She left Doctor Pike for a moment, leaving for her office to call the medical center. It wasn’t a big hospital but it was the biggest one of the county. Then, she called every single hospital near town, even if outside her jurisdiction and went back to Pike’s morgue by night.

 The doctor confirmed what she already knew: the body was from a transgender person. She had been a female but had undergone treatment to change into a male. The breasts and muscular development were proof of that. Jennifer had called every single hospital to ask if someone had gone hormone treatment recently or if they had any sex change surgery scheduled for the coming months. And they did, all of that, but it was a list of at least twenty names, which had surprised her.

 This was a very remote part of the country and people were not very welcome of differences. Maybe that had been the reason for the assassination of this young girl. Or boy… She was con fused because this had never happened before and she had never known anyone like this victim. She left the doctor to finish his job and decided to go back home. On her way there, she stared from the patrol, looking at everyone’s face, just wondering if she had ever known someone else like the girl in the morgue. She couldn’t stop thinking of how hard it must have been for her and what hardships she must have undergone to end up where she now was.

 When Jennifer entered her house, her son Thomas was cooking dinner. For a sixteen-year-old boy, he was very resourceful and always started making dinner, especially when he noticed Jennifer was going to be late. Tonight, he had made pasta with meatballs and a very rich sauce. Jennifer kissed her son on his forehead and hugged him. They were very close and always tried to spent time together but that was hard because of her job. He had learned to cope with it and never condemned her for it but always supported her, even making small lunches for her to take to work.

 She had already discussed with him that she would do the impossible for him. The woman knew her son loved to cook so she had already started saving to put him in the best cooking school she could afford. Jennifer had gone online often to gather a lot of information about schools, costs, what he would learn and so on and would then email it to him to see what he thought of it. He was very eager to do all of it but he been very clear he would be miserable leaving her alone.

As she waited for dinner at the table, she remembered the young woman at the morgue and wondered if she also had a family to worry about her. Was she alone when she had been killed or was someone with her and then escaped the assailant? Nothing pointed to another person ever being there but it was comforting to think someone would have been there. Thinking of death was now common for Jennifer but she found the concept of dying alone much more frightening than anything else.

 Thomas came with two plates and she served some orange juice they had left. She realized she had to go to the supermarket, probably the next weekend before there was nothing left to eat. She forgot all about her case and asked her son for his day in school. He answered there had been nothing special as everyone was to busy talking about the person they had found by the stream, in the forest.

-       How do you know about that?
-       It’s true, then?

  Jennifer hated speaking about work on the house but, for the sake of trust, she decided to tell her son everything, including the fact that the victim was a transgender person. Thomas, surprisingly, knew a lot about the subject and corrected his mother when referring to the victim as a girl. He told her transgender people prefer to be called the gender that they feel they are and not the one that they have been born into. So he said she should start talking about him and not her. But Jennifer was confused and responded that in order to know who he was, she had to ask for a girl. Thomas conceded in that aspect and told her that he had read a lot about it online.

 The chief of police was very curious about why her son was reading about the subject but decided not to ask further questions and preferred to praise him on dinner, which always made him very proud. After dinner, they went to bed and realized she was still thinking about the girl, who she now had to think of as a boy, which lay dead in the morgue. What did he do to deserve two arrows to the heart and one of each leg? Was he escaping from someone or did he do something wrong to the wrong person?

 The next day, surprisingly, it all became quite clearer. Doctor Pike had confirmed the crossbow had been custom made as the arrows and the structure of it were made to properly kill wild animals, so whoever used it to kill the boy had also used it for hunting. They checked the places that would make that kind of weaponry and there was only one for the next two hundred miles. She visited the store and the clerk, an old silent man, showed her the books and the name of his client: Robert Graves.

 Somehow, Jennifer Jones knew that name or at least felt she did. It wasn’t the name of anyone in her county, she was sure of that. That man didn’t leave nearby but somehow she was sure she had seen or read the name recently and they she realized where that had been. She went back to her office and checked the list she had made with all the hospitals, of all the hormone treatment patients they had. Right enough, there was a Graves in the list, under the name Pamela.

 Chief Jones went to the hospital personally and asked for the file on Pamela Graves. Apparently she was seventeen years old and had come to the hospital accompanied by her mother. She had begun treatment six months ago and had been scheduled for another appointment the day she had been killed. And it all pointed to her father being the killer. The next stop for Jennifer was the police of the county where the Graves family lived. She joined them to raid the house and found the man dead, with a bullet in his head. He was there, sitting on the sofa as if he was still alive but he wasn’t.

Then, checking the house, Jennifer realized there was heavy breathing coming from the bathroom of the main room. She opened it by force and discovered who must have been Pamela’s mother and Robert’s wife. She was covered in blood and her eyes were almost out of their sockets. She kept mumbling “my daughter” and staring at her blood-covered hands.


 That night, Jennifer returned to Thomas and told him how much she loved him and how she wanted nothing more but happiness for him. He thought it was a bit strange but accepted her words and hugs.