The very next day, the garden was covered with a very fine layer of snow covering everything. The most beautiful flowers and the largest plants were all covered in white, giving everything a “frozen in time” appearance. The house inhabitants had never seen snow, so when the first workers saw it that morning, they didn’t really know what to think. The low temperatures that winter were something they had never seen either so it was a very particular season for everyone.
The first person to see the garden covered in snow was Mrs. Ross, the cook of the house. She had been living there for so many years but had never seen anything quite like that. She was so surprised that breakfast that morning was not ready on time and some people and the family had to wait or go hungry for a couple of extra hours.
As curious as everyone was for what was happening, every person coming late to work, showing up minutes later for a date or simply not coming because they had seen snow, were all excused as if it was the most normal thing. The snowfall lasted for about a week and then it disappeared. People were very disappointed when snow melted and everything they had thought was so magical was now covered in this very thick layer of mud that was nowhere near as attractive as snow. People returned to their normal lives and the winter experience was soon a thing of stories.
The house were the garden had been covered suffered severe transformations between the first snowfall ever and the following one, which took place fifty years later. Some of the people that had seen it the first time as kids were still alive and they didn’t get tired of telling the story once and again, as if people were not living through it. It was possibly because of the excitement and because not a lot of things happened around there.
The garden of the house was still there but the place was no longer a private place. It had been converted not so long ago into a museum after the family that had lived there for generations had decided to sell to the best bidder because every single part of their business, now related to the technology industry, was located nowadays in the city and having such a grand state in the countryside was very expensive to maintain.
So the building had become a place where people could learn about the past but also where they could remember and experience in a very special way the two times snow had fallen in the region. There were pictures and poems and various others artistic manifestations, remembering what had happened in a variety of ways.
There was even a picture of the cook that had been the first one to see snow. Her descendants came for the opening day of the museum and were very happy to see their relative love forever in such a fabulous space. More pictures, drawings and so on were placed all over the house, which had been decorated in a way it had never probably been decorated before. The museum had disguised the house as something it wasn’t, trying to get more and more people to come and enjoy the place.
Soon, that wasn’t enough so they had to integrate the various areas surrounding the house, in other words the rest of the state that was still being exploited by a private company. Some parts of the land were used to grow various organic vegetables and others had fruit with the largest portion been dedicated to grapes and a small processing plant where the best grapes were chosen to be sent to another place where they were turned into a very decent wine. It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t bad either.
The people who ran the museum decided to make it all part of the daily walks around the house. They wanted to show the visitors how farming worked in the region so they also created a small petting zoo and worked with a foreign company in order to use the grapes in the farm to make their own brand of wine. Of course, the first few bottles wouldn’t be very good but with time they could end up having one of the best products because of the experts they were hiring to ensure that everything was as good as it could be.
People really enjoyed the new additions to the museum. Now it was a more complete experience and many visitors didn’t even care to enter the museum, the enjoyed themselves thoroughly in the fields and with the animals. Various vegetables and fruits were added to the crop selection and the wine started being sold to supermarkets in the city with a very special sticker that invited everyone to witness the creation process of the beverage.
That proved to be a very good move and visits increased once again. The bad thing was that the museum was not being visited as much as it had been before. The situation was so bad for the house as it was that they decided to make it a free entrance if you cared to buy a pass for all the rest of the attraction in the state. That helped the snowfall story become well known once again.
The place was renamed Snowfall Fun Park and they dedicated themselves to find new ways to attract more customers each year. After the name change, they were able to convert a small yard that had only been used for maintenance into a small food court selling various foods from around the world. The place was packed daily.
The biggest news coming from the park was the announcement that they had bought the whole neighboring terrain, which was almost as large as the one they were operating in currently. They would use all that land to build an area for rides and overall entertainment. Every single thing would be themed around snow and winter sports. The main attraction would be a huge roller coaster named the Yeti, which had almost no relation with the region except for the fact that those fantastic creatures allegedly lived in the snow.
The construction of that area was halted when they discovered some bones and rock alignments that seemed to be very interesting to the scientific community. As it turns out, it had been forgotten that the area had been the place for the old homes of the main house workers were located. The famous cook had lived right there and it was her bones that the machines almost crushed to dust.
When her DNA was picked up from them, traditionalists in the region were appalled that such a beloved person would have been died in a place no one knew about and now they had discovered she had never been properly buried anywhere. Many signed a petition to have her remains be buried in the garden of the main house, as a gesture of respect to her legacy and the lives of all the other workers and farmers of the region. After all, she had been a very humble woman, not wealthy or anything like that.
Some even argued that the remains of the houses should not be moved and should be integrated in the project, in order to bring back the main interest why people would go to that place. The company that operated the park was at first very reluctant to make any changes because of the investors but they eventually saw a way they could win with it.
The excavations of the remains of the houses were left alone. The design of the roller coaster was changed in order to not have any negative effects over any of the older structures in the park. Every other building stayed the same as in the original expansion plans except for an area where they would have meet and greets with actual farmers and have classes for interested visitors. That was moved to the farm area in order to surround the exaction area with a low fence and feature it as an attraction.
Five years later, the third snowfall was registered in the region. It had been so many years since the last one that people were happy to have their museum in order to remember the story. Parties and festivals were organized and the legacy of a single moment in history kept on living on the minds and hearts of the people.
martes, 30 de agosto de 2016
viernes, 11 de septiembre de 2015
Because it does, doesn’t it? When Michael had the idea to make his own website, every single person he knew thought he was going insane. But what they weren’t thinking about was the time he had wasted on so many other projects that had only failed one after the other. He had gone to law school but he had never been hired by a proper firm, only as an intern and they had told him, in very few words, that he should be as far from the word of law as he could. It was a bit brutal back then but he understood what they meant. In any case, he had tried to make anything and everything in order to be his own man and have a life of his own, to make his parents proud. Because what he wanted was to repay them for all their efforts to raise him.
Michael opened a cupcake store, which had to close only a month after it opened because absolutely no one bought anything. He had learned how to bake for several months and it all when to the trashcan in a matter of days. Then, he decided to team up with a buddy from college and open a dog walking business. They did everything an owner could want like bathing them and walking them, doing exercises and so on but they failed miserably once his partner let one of the dogs escape and the owner sued him for it. Michael had also tried to make it in the call center world but they told him in the interview his voice was not the right one for the job and in a Burger King they told him he was tall enough, but they failed to tell him what his height had to do with anything.
So many tries and failures had made him a little bit bitter and more of a loner that ever before. He had never been the kind to go out a lot or something like that. He would prefer to stay home and watch movies. So maybe that’s when the idea came to him. Like any man his age, he watched porn from time to time, when being specially aroused. He had never really paid any attention to the movie as such, only to the act they were performing. He must have been really bored that day because he remembered thinking it all look so fake, so prepared and too rushed for his taste. It was gay porn by the way, for reasons not worth explaining as they explain themselves.
The thing was he watched the same clip, which was about fifteen minutes long, like ten times. He watched every single part with detail and then realized sex sells. It was that easy and he had never thought about it. But then he realized he hadn’t thought of it because of how people perceived pornography, no matter if it was between two men, two women or a straight couple. If you said that you worked in porn, must people would think you’re a pervert or that you just want to be having sex all day long and that’s not what it is and that was something Michael understood that night, when he decided to properly investigate.
So, must of the films done in the country were low budget and that’s why their production was such garbage. He knew the video he saw must have been made with a handheld camera and some sort of small microphone and not much else. He investigated further and found out these productions companies, which normally only made very few clips a year, sold what they did to larger companies in the United States and there they were marketed online or, not very often, in sex shops all around that country. But that had to imply to movie was good because if it wasn’t people would make it here and just sell it here or upload it online or something. The thing with all of this was to win money and to make it a proper business, to make it a proper job with everything correctly labeled.
The next thing for Michael was to find the money for it. He had some savings from his earlier jobs and knew he could convince some of his friends but before that he had to have an idea in order to sell it properly. He came up with a film called “The spy”. At first, it seemed like some ridiculous thing but then you realized it had everything a person would want in a movie: sex, drama and even a bit of romance and comedy. He wrote it with the help of a friend that went to film school. His name was George and he was the first person to tell him how insanely great his idea was. He promised to help Michael with cameras and lights and so on if the movie got made but, as a student, he had no money to share with him to do the movie.
Michael decided to pitch it to every person he knew, no matter if the movie was gay porn or if he want it to do it in a way he had never seen porn being made. Most people just looked at him as if he had turned insane in mid sentence. Others were interested but only because it seemed like such a crazy idea. And the only people that were on board, two men and a girl from George’s film school, told Michael they could help with the production and give only a small amount of money. It was a beginning but they needed much more in order to make the movie as such. He tried to remove things from the script and George got the cheapest but best camera he could find at that price and they still weren’t close.
Their next step was to go to the local production companies and offer them a place in the movie if they had money to invest. But all of them were very harsh; telling them you just couldn’t get in into an industry and try to change out of nowhere. They told them they had to have experience and a way of doing things that wasn’t too out there because in porn, differently than in movies, people just wanted the same thing that they had always seen and no one would invest in a movie that, in appearance, seemed to be more like an art film than a porno. Michael was disappointed but George told him most people in cinema were just like that, as they hated competition specially when the competition was good.
Their last resource was to get financing from abroad. So Michael wrote hundreds of emails and sent them all the same day, hoping to be shooting the movie soon. In the mean time, they had created profiles for the characters and, to make things cheap, they had decided that everyone in the crew would appear on the movie but without getting paid, only their names on the credits. One month passed and it was a long wait. Michael was beginning to lose hope but George always tried to cheer him up, trying to make him focus in things about the movie they had not yet thought about like lighting, costumes, makeup and so on.
Finally, when all hope had been lost, Michael received a letter, a proper physical letter, from one of the biggest production companies in the United States. They had agreed to finance the movie but only if it was done according to certain standards they had, mostly things they could agree on easily on a contract. The next month, it was all about flying to Los Angeles and signing the contract. There, an executive told Michael that his vision for pornography was very interesting and that, if the film was a success, they could be thinking about working with him again. They were so happy that day, that George and Michael had a nice dinner to celebrate and, at the end of it, they shared their first kiss ever. They realized right there; they had feelings for each other.
But production started days after that so they put all their focus on the movie. They got some good looking but different guys to participate in the movie as actors and they shot it in the streets of their cities, except the sex scenes of course. For those, George’s friend Alexa had a thing for everything related to art direction. She transformed a room in an old house owned by Michael’s grandparents into a perfect replica of what Michael had imagined for the movie. It was supposed to be the place were the two lovers escaped to be together, away from all the looks. The scenes when they had sex were incredibly easy to film and they even got some money from a condom company because they would show a close up to one of the wrappers.
Filming lasted for a whole month and, at the end, they had a great party to celebrate their success. They announced that a friend of George’s that had already graduated was going to make the editing of the film. He was very good and told George he wanted to be part of the film. The production company sent a guy to monitor their progress and everything went as planned. Another party was held when the movie was displayed as a “new feature” on the website of the production company. In only one week, a million people paid to see it. The movie was an absolute success all over the world, making the actors stars and the crew simply heroes.
They would be hired again for more movies, one of them being a proper sequel to “The spy”. George and Michael began dating and eventually got engaged. They never moved to the United States, even at the insistence of their job. They knew what they did was special because it had another scent to it, if you will. Michael was proud of his achievement and shared it with everyone. Some people left his life but others were just proud of him too, even his parents who wouldn’t see the film but celebrated it all the same.
domingo, 16 de agosto de 2015
The club had some lights, but they were always turning around and changing into other colors. It was very difficult to see anyone and friends had to grab hands to move at the same time if they didn’t want to get lost. Melissa and Valeria did exactly that as they walked towards the bathroom they had seen earlier. It was Melissa who wanted to go there, Valeria had just come as a companion, or as the type of protection women like to have when going to the bathroom. As the bathroom was practically an only stall, Valeria had to wait outside where she checked her phone. She wasn’t expecting any calls or messages but she checked anyway. The truth was that she was very bored in that place. The music, the noise, the people, the lights, the smoke… All of that just wasn’t for her.
But apparently she was the only one who thought that in that place. Not very far from where she was standing, there was a women dancing like she could not stop. She had several people around her but as she danced to a Lady Gaga song, she came close to many of the guys and danced with them for some seconds. Maybe they couldn’t realize it, with the alcohol and everything, but she didn’t look nearly as sexy as she probably thought she was. Valeria kept looking and realized that the girl that was dancing was not a beauty queen but she was beautiful and had a nice body. Maybe she had worked on it so much that she just wanted to show it to the world. It was nice to see how much confidence a single person could have.
Melissa came out of the bathroom and, once more, they had to go through almost the entire place to get to their table, where both their boyfriends and some more friends were drinking and trying to chat over the sound of the music. Valeria sat down by her boyfriend and he greeted her with a kiss on the cheek. She smiled at him. Valeria knew that he realized how much she didn’t like these kinds of places and that it she had only become because of her friend. After all, Melissa was turning twenty-six years old and they wanted to celebrate properly. Her friend did like the place and was practically dancing and singing all the time they were there. It would have been very rude and silly to say no to the invitation.
Valeria’s boyfriend decided to take her to the dance floor and dance slow to the song that was been played, never mind that the rhythm of the song was substantially different. But they didn’t care, as the real intention was to be separated from the rest and just be there, the two of them, sharing one more moment in their lives. The truth was that William, Valeria’s boyfriend, was a pretty serious guy. He knew what he wanted of life and, actually, he was getting there already, before he turned thirty. He was already making tons of money in a business he had invented with his father, had managed to make Valeria his girlfriend, which was pretty difficult, and was a hopeless romantic that any woman would love nearby.
He was about to make one of those romantic moves when the music was cut off and, through speakers, people were advised to evacuate the club as there was a small fire in the kitchen and they wanted to prevent any accidents. People began to move towards the exit and, a few minutes afterwards, they were all outside. The fire was apparently not really serious but the night had been cut short. Melissa was sad because it was the celebration of her birthday, so her boyfriend came near William and talked to him. Valeria didn’t hear, as she was hugging her friend who was cold and sad. The boys came by and told them they could continue the party in William’s apartment. Valeria looked at her boyfriend and he blinked at her. Secretly, she didn’t like when he tried to hard.
All the way to his apartment, Valeria kept thinking that the only reason he was doing all of this was because he felt he had to impress her, even as she had already impressed her many times, in bad ways and good. He could be so impulsive sometimes and, as she had thought before, he tried to hard. It was as he didn’t realized that Valeria already cared deeply for him. Why did he keep trying to make her commit to something more serious? Wasn’t it serious enough to be there with here in her best friend’s birthday party? And now they were going to his place. Valeria sometimes felt that she needed some time away from him and his ways.
William’s place was simply huge, for any young men owning an apartment of their own. Or even for any man owning something like that. It had a Jacuzzi in the main bedroom and a big living room with a terrace besides it. They could take some air at any time or just smoke a bit, not that William did those things. For such a young guy, he was very well balanced. They all sat down on the couches, as William invited them to check out his wine cellar, where he also had other types of liquor. Their friends chose vodka and whisky. Melissa, who was already very drunk, turned up the music and started dancing in the funniest way possible. Her boyfriend was pleases with the situation and everyone celebrated her for it.
Valeria had grabbed a cup of wine and sipped it slowly. Alcohol didn’t affect her that much and she knew how to drink, not like her best friend. She had to dance with her from a moment, when they did a hilarious choreography to a popular song that was the rage all over the place. Everyone laughed and cheered to them and Valeria was happy to see Melissa happy. After all, they knew each other since they had been in kindergarten and had not been too far from each other since. Melissa proposed to use a karaoke system William had and they had fun with it for hours, laughing and singing and just having a great time. It was a such a perfect moment that no one dared to disrupt it.
Later that night, William told everyone that they could stay there for the night if they wanted. They could arrange something in the morning for breakfast and then everyone could go home. They all agreed and in no time people were laying snoring in the sofas, which happened to be very comfortable. Melissa and his boyfriend took the guest room. Valeria was not thrilled about this because her friend was really drunk and her boyfriend was not the sharpest tool in the shed. She didn’t want her to do stupid things while drunk but, then again, she was an adult and if she went to that room with him, it was his decision. Anyway, she was going to be next door if anything happened.
Obviously, Valeria had to share the bed with William. She had done it several times in the past as they had been dating for over a year and she had spent a good amount of that time in his apartment. But that night, she wasn’t really looking forward any type of “fun” or sexy time. Sex was just not on her mind and she hoped she didn’t have to tell him. They dressed up for bed and lay down together, William hugging her from behind. They talked for some minutes until he fell asleep. But Valeria just couldn’t do it. She felt very hot for some reason, so she decided to slide out of bed in order to go the bathroom. There, she stared at the mirror for several minutes until she realized she wasn’t really doing anything.
What she was thinking was making her very uncomfortable but she had to be honest with herself and acknowledge that she felt she didn’t love William anymore. She even wondered if she had ever loved him truthfully. Valeria certainly thought so, but now that she saw what kind of person he was, she had to be honest and say that it wasn’t the kind of person she thought he was. It wasn’t about finding prince charming or anyone like that. Actually, Will was kind of a charming prince but maybe it wasn’t meant for her. Se hated herself for thinking such a thing. She washed her faced and dried it slowly, breathing heavily, as if she had been out for a run or something. She was just to worried by her thoughts.
She went back to bed and lay there besides him but just didn’t sleep. They all had a great time during breakfast, everyone a little bit hung-over but very grateful to William that had proven to be a great host. They all thanked him before leaving and, as Valeria hugger her best friend goodbye, Melissa asked her if William had done anything unexpected. This confused Valeria but then her friend’s boyfriend took her out and just said goodbye. Valeria cleaned up the plates and everything else, as William decided to take a shower. Then, as she washed the plates, she realized what she was doing and just dropped one of the plates to the floor. She looked towards the room but she could only hear the sound of water.
As she picked up the pieces, something clicked on her head. She left what she was doing and ran towards the bedroom. She then looked for the jacket William had been wearing and looked in every pocket but found nothing. She looked in his pants, his shirt drawer, among his underwear and sock. Nothing. Was she going insane? Then, she realized the water had stop running a while a go and he was standing there, on the doorframe, naked. And he had a little case in his hands. Valeria suddenly had no air in her lungs and just collapsed. That should buy her some time.
viernes, 17 de julio de 2015
The smell of chocolate filled the air, liquid chocolate being heated in large tanks. Some of them also had the smell of oranges, others smelled of strawberries. In the factory, they also created various candy and even flavored soft drinks. Temco was one of the largest companies in the country and it only dedicated itself to sugar-based goods. The amount of it that they used in a year, was worth a good contract and that’s why Anna was there, touring the facilities. She wasn’t especially fond of sweets. To be honest, she was one of those people that avoided eating many of the most delicious things. Some called it taking care of herself; others thought it was self-deprivation.
In any case, Anna represented a sugar company that had the capacity to provide several more tons of the precious good in order for Temco to produce more and even new products. Anna was a great saleswoman and the idea of growth always attracted people and companies that wanted to grow more and more. They signed the contract that same afternoon; after a nice lunch where they praised each other often and had no sugar at all. Anna liked to celebrate her contracts with champagne, which was the only time she allowed herself to step out of her strict diet. But maybe this time she shouldn’t have done. Somehow, the following morning when the maid entered the room to clean the bed, she found Anna still in the bathtub but dead.
It was all over the news and many concluded, even before she got to the morgue, that she had fallen asleep and drowned in her own warm water and bubbles. But when the body was thoroughly examined, they found no traces of water in her lungs. Oddly enough, her hair was dry and she had only ingested the equivalent of one cup of champagne. They did a toxicology exam on the contents of her stomach and found out Anna had been poisoned. The police then took the case, as it had happened on one of the most prestigious hotels and soon Temco was also dragged into the storm by various reporters that had found out about everything before anyone else had.
Detective Preston was in charge of the investigation and the first thing he did was talk to the CEO of Temco. After all, he had had dinner with Anna the same day she had died and maybe he could say something about her demeanor during that time. But the man did not remember anything strange, nothing that would be notable. He only said that he found strange she didn’t really ate much. She had ordered a salad with tuna and many vegetables but barely touched any of it. Preston visited the restaurant and talked to the young waiter who had served them. He also remembered the almost full plate of salad at the end of the dinner.
Preston decided then to talk to the family. Surprisingly enough, Anna’s mother was not at all shocked or visibly sad by the death or her daughter. The father had died several years ago from a heart attack and the mother seemed to be focused on other things such as exercising, tanning her skin and also dieting. She told Preston that Anna’s diet was one much more strict than the one she was on. She was very adamant about respecting it and they had quarreled several times over it because the mother thought her ways were better. Besides that, she didn’t really provide anything new or insightful. It was obvious she didn’t really know her daughter besides those silly details. Maybe that’s why she looked absolutely oblivious to the whole thing, as if it had nothing to do with her.
The detective then visited Anna’s house and checked every corner of the apartment. She had no alcohol and no drugs. The medicines she had were harmless and there was barely enough good food to feed an adult human being. The place was tastefully decorated and it was obvious Anna’s job was a very good one. Her clothes and shoes were pretty expensive and they filled a large room she had between the main bedroom and the bathroom. But nothing there could lead anywhere, neither to an accidental death nor to a reason to kill her. She did deal with multi-million contracts but she never handled actual money so why would anyone kill her? Maybe blackmail was the reason.
Preston’s next stop was Anna’s office and it was the first time he met someone that apparently cared about the death of the woman. Her secretary sobbed and cried a bit as she opened the office were her boss had worked for almost three years now. She told Preston that Anna was not really a people person but that she wasn’t and ogre or anything. She saw herself as Anna’s friend and her only one as they had shared a couple of laughs and nice times, mainly attached to work. Preston realized that Linda, the secretary, was absolutely honest so he decided to ask her if Anna was dating someone. Linda only looked at Preston, which was enough of an answer for him.
There was nothing interesting in the office. Many papers relating to contracts she had made with several countries around the country and the world. She was clearly very prolific and documented everything in detail. Linda gave him access to Anna’s personal agenda but there was nothing he didn’t know in there. He couldn’t discard the idea that maybe she did have a lover that no one knew about and that it had been him or her that had killed her. Maybe because of the money she had. Preston had seen her two bank accounts and it could be said that her mother was going to have a very nice old age with all that dough. It was amazing for Preston, who struggled every month, how much others made in a single month.
It was better for the detective to head back home and just check every piece of the puzzle at the same time. He had checked with the hotel and they hadn’t found anything curious in her room besides her clothes and the bottle of champagne she had never finished. Besides, they confirmed that no one had entered Anna’s room besides her and the maid that discovered the body and there were cameras everywhere in the building so the theory of the lover had to be ruled out. Nevertheless, Preston still thought that people always have at least one private thing, something that they hide to others because it’s embarrassing or simply because they don’t want anyone to know everything about them.
He went through Anna’s school records, as well as her college ones but nothing was found there either. She had been a great student, having failed no courses and always a teacher favorite. Someone might have not like that but it wasn’t enough to poison her. Anyway, Preston checked the hotel once more and everyone who had made any kind of contact with the bottle. But, as it turns out, the poison was in Anna’s stomach but not in the bottle of champagne. She had been poisoned earlier that day and died slowly at night in the bathtub. So Preston headed to Temco and talked to everyone who saw her and realized she had not accepted a single glass of water and they did offer Preston one at lest ten times. Anna was just a strange woman and it was becoming more and more difficult to understand her.
Finally, Preston designed a theory were someone from a competitor company, also selling sugar, killed Anna to get to the contract first. Maybe this was all about the possibility of making tons of money. But as he looked for the other companies, no other was large enough to cover the amount of sugar that they had signed for in the contract. Temco was very big and at the moment, only Anna’s company was big enough to supply them what they needed. So competition was scarce, close to null. So Preston decided to check everything once more and then he realized he had forgotten about a key aspect of the night of the death: the dinner at a prestigious restaurant. He had interviewed the waiter but nothing more.
He went there and asked for the tapes of the cameras that covered the area where Anna had dinner. He also asked them for the menu and everything they had to eat that night. He checked every ingredient in his computer, at home, until he realized about something: Anna’s salad had a very curious ingredient, a mushroom that grew wild in the vicinity and that people had started consuming only in the recent years. He looked it up and discovered that the mushroom was potentially dangerous if consumed with alcohol. And Anna had it with wine and then drank champagne in her hotel room. The forensic team agreed that, with her very poor diet, Anna’s stomach wasn’t able to process the mushrooms as most people could. They were only toxic if the gastric juiced were just weak enough, which was her case.
So Anna had, in a strange way, killer herself. Preston was relieved to solve the case but just sad for someone who had taken such steps to be healthier and had ended up killing herself.