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

viernes, 6 de abril de 2018

No end


   As everyone celebrated on the streets and in their homes, Veronica wandered through the rubble trying to feel as happy as most people around her were. But it wasn’t possible or at least it was very hard to do so. Even smiling felt like a chore, like something you would do only to please people but not because you really felt it inside. There was a feeling of incompletion around, as if all the sacrifices of the war had not been enough to end every single type of hostility that many people harbored against one another.

 As she walked the streets, some lit and others not so much, she realized that the world after the war would be in chaos. Yes, everyone was cheering and celebrating right now, probably drinking stolen articles and launching fireworks that had been banned for so long. But after all of that happiness, a moment of truth and reflection would have to come and the atrocities of war would have to be addressed. For example, not everyone was on the same side, the winning side. Some people were not celebrating.

 Well, some of them were but just because they had to survive and keep on living. It was widely assumed that trials, of sorts, would emerge from the victorious side, condemning the losing side to many years in jail, banishment from the country or even death. Even if the maximum penalty had ever been enforced legally in the country, many of the victors would want the vanquished to be treated just as them treated others during the war. There were lots of executions, on the streets even.

 Veronica was actually just passing a street she knew very well, not only because it used to be a prime shopping spot before the war, but because many people were forced to stand in front of the former storefronts in order to be killed with guns. It was horrible to think about those moments, the images that would never going to leave anyone’s mind. That could never be overlooked, the fact that a large amount of the people now alive had killed at least one person over the last seven years.

 Everyone’s hands were tainted with blood; there wasn’t a single innocent, not even the children. They were used so many times to lure the kindness out of people, that all of their innocence had vanished. Many children were now celebrating the end of the war, just like adults. And the ones that were too small were orphans or just dead. Every single person had done something horrible during the war and now they chose not to remember that because it was a clear image of how disgusting and vile a human could get. So many atrocities in such a relatively short period of time.

 Veronica reached the gates of the Compound just as the night was darkest. She had to use a pocket lantern she had found days earlier, in order to go inside and check out the place for herself. The prison or camp or however you may call it, had been liberated only a few months before the end of the war but it looked as if it had happened many years ago. The place was covered in ash and debris, and the gates, doors and windows had been torn apart or had simply disappeared from sight.

 She walked from the entrance to a large yard area were she knew people had been selected. You see, not everyone was imprisoned in the same place. They had categories and each category had their own building in the premises of the Compound. The differences between each building were in the treatment given by the jailers. For example, former members of state entities and such would receive a better treatment there than homosexuals or blacks. Just the same as it had happened so many years ago, elsewhere.

 The Compound had surprisingly not been built by the losing side, as one would think. It had been built by the so-called winners, by the so-called heroes of the war. In some parts of the country, people were already designing statues for them to be put in every single park, in every single town. They had been the ones fighting for justice and freedom but they clearly didn’t respect their enemies’ rights at all. They were just as vile and vengeful as all the other people. They were not different.

 Veronica walked through the large yard in order to get to the only building that had been kind of spared by the last bombs the “enemy” had dropped from the sky. That was how the prison got its freedom. It hadn’t been an act of kindness. It was just the result of the last desperate attack from the would-be losers of the war. They had sent the few planes they still had and just bombarded the jail were their family members and friends had been imprisoned. They believed it was better to be dead that a prisoner.

 So pride made them act on that last move. And they succeed in destroying the prison and liberating some of their people from it. But only days later they would realize their days were counted and that their fate had already been sealed, well before the attack on the Compound. Veronica saw on the floor of the building some bone fragments, as well as fabric that used to be made into uniforms for the prisoners. There were also several metal plates and bowls, and a large assortment of cutlery. Maybe the prisoners had staged a mutiny as the bombs lit everything on fire.

 After a short time, she decided to leave the Compound through “the back door”, which was actually a large gap in the tall wall of the complex. She didn’t want to stay there too long in case the “winners” were patrolling the premises looking for someone to practice shooting with. She adjusted her backpack and walked on, towards very dark park covered with grand beautiful trees. The place was covered in shadows but even that way it felt like somewhere one would feel at ease.

 The park was one of the largest in the city and it was used to process many of the prisoners of the Compound. But apparently cold heads prevailed and no one ever really destroyed it on purpose or tore the trees down. Some of them had received damage from the bombs that were dropped in the nearby prison, but the building between the two sites had prevented the fire to really destroy the last green place in the city. It had been a miracle that most people were ignoring in that precise moment.

 Veronica walked along the central path of the park, hearing her steps on the stone and the wind blowing through the tree leaves. Everything felt so peaceful, and she was very glad to be there but even then she felt all of that could not be forever. She knew things were going to be bad for a while and she was alone and no one could just come and be with her. Her family had died during the war and those were not times of real friendship, just of convenient relationships that no one knew how long they would last.

 The best thing to do, maybe, was to leave the country altogether. It was a difficult choice to make and also a hard thing to achieve, but Veronica had nothing else to loose. She was carrying everything she owned on the backpack: some pieces of clothing and a couple of objects she had rescued from her former house. She had also stolen some food from a ruined supermarket, but that was it. She could easily walk her way towards the border and attempt to cross it. Or maybe get into a boat and sail away.

 Whatever she did, she had to do it quietly and carefully, as she had no intent of driving attention onto herself. No one was looking for her specifically, but everything around there was going to become very unstable and she knew that’s when unlikely things tend to happen the most.

 She decided to leave the city that night, taking advantage of most people celebrating the end of the war. As they raised glasses, told jokes, remembered family and friends, Veronica would banish into the night and attempt to forever disappear from that other night, one that would never end.

martes, 30 de agosto de 2016

A single moment

   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.

viernes, 11 de septiembre de 2015

Sex sells

   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

Too much...

   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.