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

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.

viernes, 5 de junio de 2015

Enchanted forest

   The woods were covered in moss throughout the year. It was a very damp territory; every day rain fell, flooding the small brooks and the two larger rivers that drained all the water from the forest. The water then arrived, in a more gentle way, to many towns down the river. The people were grateful about it, as the only source of drinkable water was the river. There was no underground wells they could use and the closest mountain range, which wasn’t very close, was dry as a bone, not enough snow to fill a spoon.

 For centuries, people venerated the river as a god and concluded that if the water stopped flowing as it always used to, it meant that the god was angry. But there was another god that might be angry and that was the forest. They believe that it housed so much life that it had a life of it’s own. The few real explorers of the towns had come back from the woodlands with stories about a creature, always a different one, with an iridescent skin and bright white eyes. Sometimes it was a deer, a reindeer, an owl, an eagle and even a rabbit. People thought those were representations of the forest, guarding it from destruction and the hands of men in general. This explained why every man that attempted to fully explore the forest always ended up, mysteriously, at the edge of it, never really penetrating the land.

 As the towns grew and time passed, people began discussing the possibility of constructing a couple of barrages midway between the forest and the towns. But as soon as they began the construction, people died because of severe floods that happened unexpectedly. Once there was nothing else to be destroyed, the floods stop and everything went back to normal. The elders reminded the young about the spirits in the forests and told them to leave the river alone. No construction made by man would ever be able to harness anything coming out from the forest and that was where the water sprung out of the planet, so it was better to leave it alone.

 Time passed and people stopped trying to make them rich with the water. But then they started thinking about logging in the forest. After all, they had chopped off every other tree in the region, leaving large areas of land without a single tree standing up. The elders condemned this but no one really listened to them unless there was proof to be so scared and this time there wasn’t. They didn’t touch the woods, only the grasslands, until they had nothing else to burn in their factories and fireplaces. A group of young men travelled to the forest with axes and chainsaws, ready to bring the forest down, one tree at a time.

 When they arrived, they were excited and begun their work right then but when trying to chop off the trees, their machines didn’t work. They didn’t affect at all how the bark or even the leaves. It was as if the whole forest was made of metal or something much stronger. They tried every tree they could see but after a whole day they were exhausted. They decided to camp there that night and keep trying the next day. But there was no next day. The people that found them, botanists taking notes about the plant life of the region, said that they suspected the trees to have showered them in their sleep with a certain kind of spores that was deadly to human beings. They died in their sleep without even knowing it. Their families mourned them and, once more, people forbid themselves to go to that forest.

 Due to the lack of wood and the difficulties having a way to harness energy from nature, most towns in the course of both rivers began decaying rapidly. Many factories closed, almost putting an end to industry. Many local businesses closed too due to the lack of resources to fill their shelves and make their products. And finally, people had begun migrating somewhere else, where there might be enough jobs and hope for a better future for all the kids who had grown in the good times of the region.

 But some thought they had left too soon, that they had given up too easily. And they said that because one day, without people ever noticing it before, trees started to grow where men had chopped them all off. Some creatures, animals and plants, had come back to the plains. Besides that, people started feeling the wind blowing a bit stronger, coming from the forest. That made no sense but it was what it was.

Slowly, some towns began flourishing again, this time calculating every move they made to survive. The new trees where taken care of for some years, until they where good to chop down. And they only chopped down one section of the trees corresponding to each town. They created a schedule on how and when to chop each area of trees and that seemed to work because in no time life had been brought back to the plains, and no plants or animals were being harmed.

 The scientist among them realized the wind’s strength was ideal to be harnessed. Somehow, they had never thought of it, thinking only water could be strong enough to give them the power they needed. So they started building windmills and other structures to harness the power of the wind and it worked. The wind generated power not only for the mills, where they could make flour to make bread, but also to illuminate the dark streets of the towns and the homes where people spent most of their time. The lighting of several squares and public buildings was always an event but with time, the people saw this as normal. Some of the windmills were eventually replaced with higher and more powerful turbines, which gave energy to the whole region. People now lived much better than before and the belief that it was all because of the forest was stronger than ever. Small shrines where built near the turbines, to thank the god and spirits.

 Nevertheless, some people had grown even more curious than before about the secrets of the forest. Some many times, groups went into the forest trying to discover its secrets but, yet again, they always ended up coming out of the woodland instead of really penetrating the area. That was until a men and his wife, both scientists trying to uncover the mysterious properties of the forest, arrived and attempted to get to the core of the place. Their first couple of attempts ended up in failure as everyone else’s. For the third time, they had come with their child, who had learned to walk recently. As they had no one to leave him with, they had decided to bring him along and show him the animal and the smells of the forest.

 But one day, the day the father attempted to enter the forest, the child went after him, without her mother noticing. When she did it was too late and when her husband came back, they started to worry. The man said it wouldn’t’ be long until he came out of the forest but nothing happened. It was already afternoon and the kid was nowhere to be found. So they entered the forest together looking for their son and, this time, their attempt was successful. The trees grew larger and closer together deeper in the forest. The couple held hands as they walked and yelled the name of their son. But he didn’t hear them or he couldn’t answer then. They knew what had happened to the loggers who had come and ended up dead. They were very afraid for their son and how he might be.

 After hours of walking, they finally reached a clearing, where moss was very green and very damp. They were close to the source of the rivers but they weren’t thinking about that at all. They screamed their child’s name and started yelling and crying. They didn’t care anymore about the water or the wind or anything about that place. They only wanted their son to come back to them.

 Suddenly, they saw a light beyond the trees and they decided to follow it. They walked with difficulty through trees and branches and roots but finally got to a smaller clearing. The lights they had seen where the eyes of a wolf that appeared to be almost invisible. They couldn’t be sure the creature was looking at them but it was strange how it stood there, still. He finally moved and revealed their son, sleeping on the mossy floor. The parents got closer and took him in their arms and woke him up by kissing him and touching him, checking he was fine. The creature looked at them all that time, until they stood up. Then, the wolf jumped towards the trees and they saw the lights disappear.

 As it had happened many times in the past, they just had to walk aimlessly to get out of the forest. It was fast and they didn’t care about anything that had happened inside there. They had their son back and that was all that mattered. When they went back home, they wrote a book about the forest, claiming the spirit story was true and that there was no real way to explore the forest if all you wanted was to unveil its secrets. The forest only opened itself to people looking for help because nature was caring, like a mother. Men, however, were not as caring most of the time so it was shut out from that place and it would remain shut out for many generations to come.

 The forest’s secrets were many but not for the eyes of men.