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

jueves, 8 de septiembre de 2016

The desert and its creatures

   Alexa had always been very fascinated by the desert. She had studied all types of animals from it and had done her final thesis back in the university about all of them. So it was very natural, when she finished studying, that she joined a team of proper biologists in order to go to a remote desert region to discover new species. She was fascinated by the fact that a whole bunch of life forms could be discovered just like that, even in these times. She was, without a doubt, the most enthusiastic person to ever work in such a difficult environment.

 Not only was it hard for everyone because of the food and the general living conditions, but because looking for anything meant having to submit oneself to the very hot temperatures of the desert and the dangerous creatures than lived within. In her first week, Alexa was almost stung five times by different scorpions that appeared out of nowhere, every time exactly where her hand was.

 She had become quite aware of those little creatures and was now very capable to know where the animals would appear and also how much time she could stand under the sun before she started feeling really bad. Alexa was a strong woman, willing to resist whatever was necessary in order to achieve her goal of discovering something new in the name of science. She wanted to make history and there was no doubt she could seriously achieve her goal.

 The food was also a big problem in the camp, always tasting a lot like the sand of the desert but she knew never to complain. If she didn’t like something, she just didn’t eat it and tried to exchange with others for things that she had like energy bars. And every guy in her group liked her because she had been careful enough to bring so many energy bars it seemed she would never run out.

 They stayed in the same part of the desert for a long time, without having any success in the discovery front. They had classified many differences between scorpions of the same type but not much more than that. They had also taken numerous pictures and had studied the possible ways that snakes and other creatures could survive the hot temperatures. It was a big revelation to see an actual snake move around the hot desert sand.

 The trip was really fun but the first week went by too soon and they had permission to stay in the desert for three weeks. After all, it was a national park that was protected by a series of rules and regulations in order for people not to alter its stability in any way. The permission they had been granted was very hard to get and they really needed to take advantage of it.

 However the first week proved to be a deprived of any real discoveries. They were all really worried that maybe they wouldn’t be able to fin anything knew. They changed their camp’s location drastically, in order to be closer to an oasis, where some animals may thrive because of the “easier” conditions. However, they found nothing there either except more snakes and scorpions.

 The water, however, was crystal clear. They grabbed some into bottles in order to test it once they went back into their labs and regular work lives. It would be interested to see how many bacteria would be able to live in such a hostile environment and to know if the water was as pure as it seemed to be. Alexa even drank some directly from the pond because she was very thirsty and thought that even catching a disease from the water would be more fun that what she was doing daily, which was nothing.

She was very disappointed in her first trip. She thought that maybe it had not been the best idea to go to the desert in this first time. Maybe it could have been better to get to the forest or even in a boat to some corner of the ocean. She was trying to come up with different alternatives but the desert was the ecosystem that had always fascinated her, maybe because her parents had been born so close to an actual desert.

 Although not nomad or anything of the sort, her parents had the tradition to get fresh dates from the desert when it was the right season for those. They would roam the desert in order to pick them from the trees and Alexa would love it because she really loved the taste of the dates but also the feeling of adventure she had when she was around her parents.

 They weren’t’ scientist or anything like that. As matter of fact, she was the non-artistic person in her family. She had some skill while drawing but that was it. Alexa was a terrible singer, even in the shower, and couldn’t properly paint, write or anything like that. For some strange reason, she had been born without that very characteristic gene that most of her family had. However, she was very good with numbers, so she never felt too bad in school.

Another week ended the day they changed locations in the desert, once again. They were trying desperately to pick up anything. Their walks every day were getting longer and longer and people were getting desperate, even to the extent that everything they saw was a reason to cheer and get excited and then realize they had just seen a rock or a dead scorpion or something like that. By the beginning of the third week, no one was very happy about the results they had come up with.

 However, good things come to people that wait. In one of their long walks, a good friend of Alexa’s was the one who discovered some markings on rocks who had never been registered. By the way they were painted, it seemed the artist had lived a very long time ago, probably when the rock was really above the desert and not buried in it. Although they were mostly biologists, they were all very excited about such a discovery because it was something that could change the understanding of the place they were in.

 The most interesting part of the drawings was that it depicted humans and also other creatures hat seemed to represent the ecosystem of the desert. There was a drawing of a scorpion, another of some kind of bird and also snakes. All of those were pretty common. But then, there were drawing of several insect like creatures that had never been registered in that desert. So from that day, the biologists decide to help and clear the rock formation from sand in order to see if they could find something interesting to their field.

 And that’s exactly what happened. Four days before living, one of Alexa’s partners found the rotting body of a huge beetle the size of an adult’s hand. Several pictures were taken and the specimen was treated with a special solution in order to put it in a box and take it to the laboratory. The most interesting feature of that insect was the color: it was golden, just like the sun and the sand. Nature was very bright.

 Some other insects were discovered in the area and those were actually alive. There was a big thick worm it red antennae and some kind of really big green ant. They were all preserved carefully in boxes and jars for further study. In a few days, the would be back in their usually work attire, not shorts and shirtless like in the desert, typing in to computers and using several machines to understand what they were seeing.

 Alexa’s discovery came on the very last day and it happened to be a very dangerous one because it was a total accident. The creature was basically a scorpion but the difference was it was as big as a human baby. Its eyes were bright red and its body was very white, probably because it lived beneath the sand. Sadly, the creature had to be killed in order to take it back to the lab. But not only because of that but because it had almost stung Alexa with its tail.

 She took a picture of the creature and would later print it and put it in her workstation in the lab. She was very proud of her discovery but she couldn’t help wondering if what she had discovered was a natural creation or if it was some kind of mutation. She was really looking forward to solve that problem too.

martes, 30 de septiembre de 2014

Breath In, Breath Out

Brenda had been going to the doctor for a year now. She had discovered she suffered anxiety and depression and they told her that she should be medicated and doing special exercises to be calm.

She went to yoga class, two hours every day. There, she tried hard to do the exercises correctly but the truth was that Brenda had never really exercised in her life, at least if you don't count walking the city looking for a job as a sport.

She had been jobless for a year and her health problems, or should we say mental issues, were to blame. Brenda had a crisis one day, punching herself, yelling, screaming and attempting to jump from a balcony. So she was fired.

Her parents, already disappointed that their daughter had not found a suitable husband, found her problems to be the last drop in their glasses. So they just sent her money and try to help her that way.

Besides yoga class, she had to attend a psychiatrist. This, she hated. The woman would only sit there and let her talk for a whole hour, an expensive hour. Brenda would have dropped out if her doctor wasn't like a falcon, watching her every move.

Sometimes, she would only tell the psychiatrist what she had dreamt. She found out that an hour could pass fairly faster if the woman had to decipher dreams, all of which had apparently the same theme: her suicidal thoughts.

Brenda had only thought of that option at that time. She had been cheated on, she was miserable at her job and meeting her friends proved to be a difficult task.

She had only three females friends from school. They would reunite at least once a month to chat about the new and exciting things they were going through. That was precisely what Brenda hated: as she was not banging anyone and her job as assistant archivist was not precisely movie material, she would always spend those meetings in silence or fake smiling and laughing at the precise moments.

It was not that Brenda had not had her share of fun. She had indeed: sleeping with men and going on interesting vacations. But they were anecdotes that one could only repeat once or twice, before they became annoying to others and hurtful to herself.

The psychiatrist once asked about sex. "What about it?", Brenda replied. She hadn't done it in a year and a half and the last time the man she had done it with had cheated. She had enjoyed, during college, the crazy sex nights. It didn't happen often but she had her fun. But when she liked someone for real, Brenda was always honest. But honesty was not a quality most men found appealing, or so it appeared.

Love was this mystical being for her, like a unicorn. Very few people actually see it and there's the strong possibility one would never see it in this lifetime.

Religion? Another fun question. Of course she wasn't religious. She just couldn't. Temples, of all denominations,  made her nervous. It was this overwhelming aura that felt too much to carry on your own and the words were simply not helpful.

After her breakdown, Brenda hid herself in books. Adventure and science fiction, as they were her favorites. They told stories of worlds that didn't existed, that could not exist. And she liked that very much.

Brenda lived alone, only with a dog named Luna who was her only real friend and companion. Luna had licked her wounds of self hatred and would always sleep beside Brenda as she read a book. The dog, ironically, was a gift of a college flirt that she had never had anything with, besides smiling and having small silly talks.

What she liked best was that moment after you put your book down, pull the covers up and wonder about the world in the darkness of your room. She would imagine a life that would make her happy: writing her own stories and becoming famous, sharing her thoughts with people, having a beautiful house with Luna and a special male friend.
He would take her hand often, kiss her in the most unexpected moments and comfort her when she would fall into the pit of her mind.

Brenda would often go to sleep just like that. And then, the next day, she would realize the world is not made of fulfilled wishes but of an almost endless effort to be a bit more happy.