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

jueves, 21 de julio de 2016

Safari

   A photographic safari works the same way a normal safari would, except no animals are killed in the process. Instead, people take pictures of the creatures they want to see or they take as many as they can and make it kind of a contest. The one with the most types of animals in pictures could win something especial, whether it comes rom it fellow safari goers, the company that organizes the trip or himself/herself.

 Olive was one such person. She had dreamt for many years to go Africa and do a proper safari with the help of her best camera. She had been an amateur photographer for a long time and was looking forward to test herself with the weather and the creatures in a continent she regarded as wild and beautiful.

 In the plane towards her destination, she started take pictures and documenting her journey in a smaller camera, doing videos she could later edit into bigger ones and then upload them online. The idea was that people could follow her progress over a week and make it something that would not only change her life but also the life of people that may want to know more about where she was going and the reasons she had to do it. She was an animal passionate, a real defender of nature and wanted to take the best pictures to show her respect for the true magnificence of it.

 The first day was full of movement. She didn’t see any animals in Nairobi, as the city was not really a proper place to see wild animals. But she was picked up by a nice man called Arthur and taken to a hotel in the middle of a close by natural park. It was the afternoon and Olive hated herself for having no other option than to choose the flight that made her arrive so late but it was the one she could afford with her salary.

 As she crossed the gates of the small hotel, she took her first picture: it was a couple of giraffes feeding off a very tall tree. The sun was setting so the animas in the pictures could only be identified for their large necks against a beautiful orange sunset in the background. She took several pictures of the same subject; afraid she was not using her camera well.  She even changed the angle and wouldn’t go inside her room until she felt she had gotten it right.

 Arthur told her he had been living in the area for a long time and that some of the animals would not be as easy going as the giraffes. Some of them really did not like to be filmed and photographed. Furthermore, they would have to go out at night in order to take pictures of every single animal if that’s what she wanted. Of course, Olive got worried because she wasn’t experienced in nocturnal photography and she also felt she wasn’t fast enough, taking too much time to achieve a single shot.

 The next day, she posted her best picture of the giraffe series on her blog and had breakfast very early in order for Arthur to take her deeper into the natural park to take more pictures. But they weren’t going to go there alone. Other guests of the hotel also wanted to attend the safari. Most had very professional cameras ready and only a couple only had very basic machines because they did not come to take pictures but to experience the real Africa first hand.

 The first creatures they saw were zebras. Again, Olive took several pictures and realized she was nervous because of the amount of pictures she took of a single specimen. She was clearly worried that she wouldn’t be able to get the perfect shot and she had to let that go in order not only to achieve her goals but to actually have some fun doing the safari. She had to realize they were competing in this one so she could relax and just try to enjoy it for what it was.

 The next animal was a rhino. Arthur said it was very uncommon to encounter one so early in the safari but, apparently, the creature had needed to refresh his body first, before running away from the cameras. It was deep into the mud, barely moving, ignoring them completely or simply thinking that if he didn’t move no one would see him. Olive didn’t like those pictures at all because it was hard to recognize the rhino’s head. She tired to take some more but the jeep moved along.

 They saw a big flock of long legged birds and Arthur also stopped next to a rotting tree in order for his passengers to check it out for insects. There were many beautiful and large ones, having really bright colors and curious shapes. Some of the other women were scared, squeaking like a mouse every time a big insect moved. But Olive was very busy taking pictures to be scared. She managed to get some very interesting angles and was pleased with herself for the first time that day.

 They so more giraffes on the way back to the hotel, as they were going to have a break for lunch. Olive was not interested in eating too much but she did have to attend and stand the silly conversations that broke out between the various people of the tour.

She had always felt very different in large groups. That wasn’t a very large one only about eight people were there, but she knew what she had come for and she didn’t like to make small talk or to pretend she was there to make friends instead of taking pictures and getting better at it. She almost didn’t have a bite and decided to be the first in the jeep for the afternoon ride, getting away from the chatter and the silly laughter.

 Arthur was the first one to walk up to the jeep and he asked her if she was ok. At first, Olive didn’t understand the question. She only instinctively moved her head affirmatively because she didn’t wanted to talk, to busy checking her pictures in her camera. That night, she would recall that moment and feel stupid. It was obvious Arthur was actually concerned about her but she had dismissed him in a second, as she often did when people tried to be nice to her.

 The first creatures of the afternoon were elephants. A rather large group of them was resting under a very big tree, so big it was able to cast a big enough shadow for a group of ten elephants. They looked so peaceful and wise somehow that everyone in the jeep decided not to make a single noise. The engine of the machine was turned off and the tourists were able to stare at the creatures for a long time. They were resting and didn’t care about humans.

 As Olive took pictures, Arthur got close to her and told her in very low register that she could go closer if she wanted, but not too far away from the vehicle. She nodded and immediately jumped off the jeep, landing very hard on her ankles. Olive tried to ignore the pain and got the camera ready to shoot the best pictures yet. A couple of the other tourists stepped down from the jeep too but they didn’t walk too far way from it, just a couple of steps.

 She got as close as she felt was safe and then she started to take more and more pictures. Of the big elephant that was “sitting” on the floor, with a similar expression a king would have on his throne. Also of the three little elephants that were taken care of big the larger ones in the group, probably their mothers. Olive tired to move in silence but she was too excited to do it properly. She couldn’t realize what was happening because of that excitement but the creatures were getting anxious.

 As she was kneeling to take a better group shot, one of the elephants suddenly turned around and charged towards her, as fast as it could. It took her a couple of seconds to realize what was going on and her first thought was not to run towards the jeep. That proved to be a mistake because there was no other place in that savannah to hide from an elephant.

 A gunshot then scared the elephants away, including the one chasing Olive. It had been very close to tackle her with its tusks and crush her with its weight but fortunately Arthur had a rifle in the jeep and was able to shoot at the sky when necessary. Yet, Olive had not gone unpunished from the experience. In the run, she had dropped her camera and it now laid destroyed on the savannah floor, stepped on by an insulted elephant.


 Olive felt she was done. That accident meant she just wasn’t fit to be there, to pretend she was someone she wasn’t.

domingo, 21 de febrero de 2016

Messenger

   It was the children that love to look at him more than anyone else. Maybe it was because he was some kind of a novelty in their lives, having seen only their parents all their lives. The man in the bed just lay there, having been unconscious since the day he appeared in the front lawn of their cabin, far into the tundra. They had a decent life there, maybe not very exciting but they it was consistent and it was mostly safe to raise a family and to create values that in the rest of the world we in decline.

 The man they had found had his nose broken and several bruises all over his body, as if someone or something had kicked him repeatedly. He had some older scars and he had a black eye that healed pretty quickly. Yet, he wouldn’t wake up. Mama would try different salts and medicines they had, she tried the fat of the animals they hunted and several leafs and fruits from the forest but he appeared to be oblivious to an of them. Father was a bit more violent and would yell in different volumes to try and wake him up. He would say different kinds of things including asking him if he was a soldier or a spy but it never worked.

 After the first month, they got really worried. Even the children, who love to go into that room and play around the man, were now tired of him been asleep and wanted him to live, maybe even to tell them their story. The kids, boy and girls of around ten years old, jumped all around the poor man and screamed like crazy, hoping it would work but it didn’t. They pushed him hard and were even as violent or more than their father. They cried and screamed and the kicked him and screamed again but eventually they would just make their parents crazy so they stopped.

 Outside, winter was finally over and the sun was beginning to be a little stronger. In this region of the world, winter never really ended and it was cold all year except for some days were things appeared to change. Anyway, the fact was that there was no more snow and the temperature was tolerable so Father took both kids hunting one day and retook the lessons he had been giving them before the winter. He had been teaching them about the bow and arrow and how to use them and how not to scare your prey.

 As the kids and their father bonded, Mother stayed in and cooked some deer meat she had frozen a week before. Deer meat was the best kind of food one could find in the region as it was soft but also rich in nutrients and could pass for cow meat, which they never consumed. She chopped some of the vegetables they grew on the greenhouse and put them in the pot with the meat. She realized she had forgotten to chop the onion so proceeded to do it but them a muffled voice, more of a complaint, was heard all over the house. She turned and screamed her lungs out.

 The youngest heard her and ran as fast as he could to the house, followed by his sister and Father. When they got there, the man that had been in bed for so many months was laying face down on the kitchen floor, now drooling and making a very strange sound. The Mother was livid, shaking like crazy. She was still holding the big knife she used to chop things and only let it go when her husband pulled it away from her. He then checked the pulse of the man on the floor and realized he was still alive and that his pulse was faster than before. He asked everyone to help him carry back to the room and there they tied one hand to the bed, preventing another scare.

 At dinner, everyone ate their deer in silence. They didn’t talk, ever, during meals, but this time Mother started crying and told Father she couldn’t keep living like this, with that man being captive in and improvised room. It was like keeping a prisoner and that didn’t make senses. She proposed to take him to the authorities, even if it meant travelling a full day to reach the nearest settlement. The Father did not respond, not right then at least. He had never trusted the authorities, even if it had been the government itself the one that had gave them authorization to live there.

 He finally said he would think about it. He wanted to know that man wasn’t going to die in the middle of the journey. And he really wanted to know who he was and why he was wandering so far into the tundra. Mother did not insist, changing the subject to the children not eating because of the earlier scare. She was right: they had always thought of the man in the bed as some sort of good elf but after hearing their mother’s tale of how he yelled something she couldn’t understand and then collapsed and drooled making sounds, it scared them.

 The next day, the Father tried again to make the man talk. This time, he didn’t yell or pushed him. He just sat down by his side and started reading the man in the bed the contract the government had given him in order to be able to live there. He started reading from the very beginning, with a normal pace and changing pages with a gracious move of the hand. The document consisted of at least twelve pages, detailing every single aspect the family had to take into account while living there.

 Back when he had signed the contract, it was only Father and Mother. But the contract specified how many children they could have living in that house, the dimensions of he house itself, which animals they could hunt and which ones they couldn’t, from where they could grab the water to survive and which trees they could use for heating and so on. Every single detail about living in that remote region of the world was in those pages and Father read every single one of them. But he didn’t need to as he knew them by heart.

 When he finished, he raised his head and realized the man had his eyes open. Without changing his pace or volume of voice, he asked the man who he was and what he was doing in his land. The man open his mouth but the words appeared to be trying to get out of it all at the same time. He grunted and tried again but nothing came out. He seemed to wanting to say something and he wasn’t happy at all when he couldn’t. He was certainly not happy when he couldn’t move one of his hands in order to complain. He looked at Father with red eyes, grunting.

 Kids and wife looked at Father, how he asked silence from the Man and slowly move his mouth, making soft sounds and then reciting all the letters of the alphabet. The Man stopped grunting and looked at Father. There was something dark, something mysterious in his voice. As he tried to recite the alphabet two, he started sweating and his eyes went very fast from Father to Mother and then to each of the kids. It was unsettling and combining it with the letters of the alphabet didn’t make it any better. Father continued, slowly, by spelling his name. He did it several times, pointing at himself with a finger.

 Then, he pointed at the man and fell silent. The man looked more scared that ever before and tried, again, to talk. At first, the same type of grunts returned to his mouth but then he tried to clear his mouth and a letter came out in a very deep voice. Mother let out a squeal and the kids’ mouths were very open. The letter was “D”. Father asked Mother something to write on and a pencil and she looked for them after snapping out of it. He wrote a big D and showed it the man, who nodded.

 The following letters where “A” and “N”, so they decided that his name was Dan. He started coughing like mad after he had said that last letter; coughing so hard blood came out of his mouth. Mother brought him something to clean himself with but he prevented her from coming neared. He saw the spots of blood in the covers with terror, his eyes also filled with blood. He looked at them, hopeless and guilty. Trying to calm him, the family came closer but he just said to more letters, which Father wrote.


 Something happened then that no one would ever be able to explain mainly because no person alive can really say what happened. Some say the gran began to shake, others say it was the roof that suddenly came off. All agree, however, that sound appeared to disappear for a moment in the world. Many years later they would found that house destroyed and the notebook where Father had written the word “DANGER”. In smaller writing, below, he had also written “deaf”, and that was it. No one ever knew what happened but it was clear the Man had failed to deliver his message.

viernes, 13 de noviembre de 2015

Dark enemy

   When the doors finally closed, everyone who had gathered in front of them just looked to the ground. They slowly went back to their duties in the palace or to their new houses in the lower levels, where they had been accepted just some hours ago. Another door that had closed was the one of the throne room, as the emperor had demanded to be left alone as he had “a strategy” to think about. The truth was, and everyone knew this, that the enemy was coming fast and that it couldn’t be stopped. It had been announced that they would destroy everything and everyone on their path and that’s why many had found shelter in the palace. The idea was that, as strong as the enemy was, they behaved like a group of buffalos. They charged until they hit something and then they moved on.

 The funny thing there was that no one really knew anything about the enemy except what people coming from other towns said. They were called “survivors” as they always arrived on the verge of collapse and they all had the same story about how awful and terrible the enemy was. However, despite been able to describe how their own tows burned and how people had been killed, they couldn’t tell anyone about the general aspects of the enemy. It was strange, but it was as if they had seen a shadow destroy all of those towns. No physical traits of any kind had been revealed, only the way they operated and that had been scary enough for everyone to take shelter in a building that was normally reserved for the rich and noble. That said a lot about their fear.

 The palace was a structure built in ten concentric rings, the highest been the one where the emperor lived and the lower ones where his staff lived. There were also some sublevels, normally catacombs used as prisons and to get access to a subterranean river. All of that space was now been used by the families that lived in the town and that had been allowed to come in by order of the empress. She was the one that was doing the most. Her name was Serena and she even went down to the sublevels and helped people build a house in the many rooms and spaces that had been only populated by rats for several hundreds of years. Her husband, however, was too scared or apprehensive to do nothing.

 No one knew if he had seen the enemy first hand or if he just felt this was the end of his reign. He had been emperor for fifty years; since he was a very young boy and this was the first time someone defied his power. And the truth was, he was very scared about it. Specially because there wasn’t a single man in the entire kingdom that could tell him anything useful about the enemy. No any general characteristics, not a weakness, not even the way they killed. It was true he was planning and working on the problem but it was also the truth that there was nothing he could really do about it.

 In the lower levels, many families tried to create the feeling of a home but it was practically impossible. Many of them were staying in rooms that felt too much like a prison and they soon realized that if the enemy didn’t walk through town but instead came to the palace, they would be trapped in the catacombs. The only way out was through the underground river but no one really knew how to navigate it and not everyone would be able to use the only boat that remained there. It was said that many of the emperor’s servants had escaped on other boats, leaving only one in the docks. Many children of these refugees loved to go and play in the docks as it was the only place that felt different and worth exploring, even if it was as dark and moist as the rest of the sublevels.

 Life in the upper levels, however, rapidly went back to normal. All the people working for the emperor resumed their work: they cooked big feasts for the few members of royalty, they made fabulous robes and they even brought in objects from the outside by specially trained hawks. They brought jewelry from very far cities and also delicacies that the king always liked. But the empress wasn’t too impressed by this. She was actually revolted by the fact they were eating a five-course meal as the people in the catacombs had only some bread to feed their children. She tried to protest before her majesty but his aides wouldn’t let her, as she would disturb him greatly. They didn’t want to bother him as he drank his beer.

 Serena decided to go for a walk around all the levels and wrote on a piece of paper everything that she saw that was wrong: too much water been wasted on plants in the gardens, a whole level dedicated to keeping his majesty’s clothes cleaned and perfect, the vaults of money and jewels been filled everyday despite the industry and commerce coming to halt, the closure of the market that had always worked in front of the main entrance, the fact that the his majesty’s guard was very numerous but there were only a few men guarding the first wall that would prevent the enemy from coming in and many other things. She actually ran out of paper as she walked along the edge of the wall, looking towards the town where only ghosts lived now.

 But she realized she was mistaken. There was smoke coming out from one of the houses chimney. She asked one of the few guards for how long that smoke had been there and they said that since the time the people of the town entered the palace. She concluded then that someone, maybe an entire family, had decided to stay behind and leave their lives as always. They didn’t care about the enemy, about wars or even about their emperor. They just wanted to keep living and Serena admired that. She asked her husband to let her go to the town, but his answer was obviously negative.

 But Serena wasn’t really one to wait around for others to approve. She had always been rebellious and she had always been curious about her marriage to the emperor. Despite having even younger sisters that were a lot less trouble, he had chosen her to be his wife. He said that it was because of her hair, which reminded him of wheat. But it had to be something else, or so she hoped. One night, she slipped out of her room and disguised herself as one of the refugees. Her handmaiden had gotten the clothes. Serena descended through secrets stairs and hallways that only a few knew about and finally reached the market in front of the entrance. There, she had to run through the square and reach a dark wall on the other end. There was a secret passage there too but the soldiers could see her if she made too much noise.

 She stopped first to calculate how to cross the square and then breath heavily in order to get herself pumped up. She then ran for her life like a mad person and reached the dark wall in seconds. It was strange that no one had seen her, as the moon was particularly bright, but she moved on. The tunnel she was walking on was very humid and full of moss. She fell a couple of times before reaching the end of the path. The tunnel ended in a small room, right in the middle of town. It was amazing no one knew about it. Serene walked out of it slowly and looked at the sky, looking for the smoke.

 The house she was looking for was just a couple of streets away. She walked slowly but not really trying not to make noise, as supposedly, there was no one in town. When she arrived at the house, she knocked. Maybe it had been a bold move but she really didn’t have time to play around. No one answered so she knocked again. Then, she let out a scream as someone pulled a curtain and looked out. Then the door opened and scared faces looked straight at her. There wasn’t one family living there, but two: three adults and five children. They recognized her and that was why they let her in. They were visibly nervous and she tried to reassure them but it was a lost cause. In the end, it was pretty reasonable to be scared and jumpy after been through so much.

 Serena was about to speak when the ground started to tremble. Everyone pulled back from the door and the walls and ran towards a hatch on the ground. Serena didn’t. She was too curious, too urged for the truth. She walked to the curtain and stood still, looking through the window, not even moving. The tremor grew stronger and then, what felt like hundreds of boars passed in front of the house. They were huge, with big horns and red eyes. They destroyed everything outside but they passed fast. She breathed again but it was too soon. Something else was coming down the street and she had to cover her mouth in order not to scream and reveal her position.


 In the palace, they finally realized something was wrong. But it was too late as the moon revealed what was happening there, in the town. And it also revealed that the palace wasn’t safe because, whatever was causing the ground to shake was coming their way. It was only a matter of minutes before the boars overran the market square. And even then, watching it all from his room, the emperor did nothing. Not even thinking about his wife.

domingo, 11 de octubre de 2015

The earring

   The wedding was over and now Christina had to supervise the removal of every single table and fork from the premises. The castle was a very special place to do such celebrations but they always asked for the place to be cleaned thoroughly after each party. It was very late and everyone was not very eager to clean anything but it had to be done. Christina supervised the men and women and checked every room where people may have wandered off to in order to see if it needed cleaning or if thee was something left behind. She found a scarf in a bathroom and even a high heel stuck in the grass in the garden. Another employee found a tie on a tree and a baby bottle beneath one of the tables. But the most beautiful thing Christina found was on a fountain in the garden.

 The water seemed tainted with something but she ignored that and just grabbed the earring that lay there, beyond the surface. The design was very simple but beautiful: an orchid made of metal with a center formed by a large purple precious stone. Christina saw every detail on the earring and realized she had never seen such a beautiful thing worn by anyone in the past. She decided to keep it and look for the owner herself. Maybe that way she could be able to ask where the earring was made so she could herself a pair. When everyone was done cleaning and leaving the place as if nothing had happened there, they were allowed to leave. It was almost four in the morning and everyone just wanted to get home and sleep for as long as they were able to.

 Christina wanted that too. She entered her car, sat down and pulled out the earring from her pocket to put it in her purse. But when she did that, she pricked her finger with the tip of the earring, which fell beneath her seat. Somehow, that had made her feel a little dizzy and her head felt big, like if it was a balloon or something. Christina inhaled deeply many times until she thought she was able to drive. She opened and closed her eyes, turned on the engine and drove in the night. But the truth was she couldn’t see much. She knew she was tired but not as much as she know felt. The car slid off the road a few times but she was able to control it but she knew that couldn’t be done for long.

 On a long curve, she finally succumbed to what she was feeling and let go of the car which when out off the road and into a tree. The airbag was the thing that killed her. The police discovered the car hours later and several members of the staff of the party said that they had seen her drive off after the cleaning was over but really no one knew about the earring. A detective assigned to the case, just in a routine way, discovered the piece of jewelry beneath the scene and he too fell in love with its shape and beauty, so he grabbed it for himself, even if it was evidence from the case. He took it home at night and left it in the kitchen counter.

 In the morning, it was already too late. Her youngest daughter had touched it out of curiosity and pricked herself too. Like Christina, she started to feel groggy. They were able to take her to a hospital but she was slipping away until she died. The doctor couldn’t give a proper explanation, as the child appeared to be falling asleep to very deep slumber but then died. The parents were crushed and stayed home to do the paperwork but they had forgotten about Marta, their housekeeper. She had keys to come in to do her work, so she did. As she mopped the floors, she found the earring and found it to be just marvelous. She had the idea to get it praised and maybe get some money out if it. She had never seen any of the women of the house wearing it, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

   However, Marta lost the earring on the bus. Fortunately, it fell off her pocket and just rolled under a seat, where it wouldn’t be found for some days until a driver checking his transport found it. He took it home, as they had all done. He told his wife it would be a nice pin to wear, in order to give his attire a little bit of class. His wife found a piece to put in his husband’s jacket and she was successful enough, she didn’t even prick a finger. And the jewel looked simply beautiful against the blue suit he had to use for work. He used his jacket like that for many years, been praised by many people when going in the bus.

 Those kind words made his life very happy. But one day, as it was destined to happen, the safety piece his wife had put behind the earring fell silently when he was driving. It was the same day a car crossed his path incorrectly, so he when he stepped on the brakes, he leaned forward violently and pricked his chest with the earring. The crash was blamed for his death. His body was transferred to a morgue, where they would fix him to look perfect. But a young mortician named Lidia fell in love with his pin and took it for herself. When he was buried, his wife thought he was wearing the pin, looking handsome as always but he wasn’t. The pin had a new owner, one that did something the other didn’t.

 Lidia had gotten several piercings and tattoos and she knew what was right. She got home and there she cleaned the earring carefully, avoiding pricking her fingers or damaging in any way the integrity of the piece. Weirdly enough, once she started cleaning the piece the pointy end started to turn purple, just like the jewel it had there. Lidia found this to be very strange so she decided to grab a small plastic bag, put the earring there and go to a friend that worked in a lab. Maybe he would be able to explain what was wrong with it because it was obvious she couldn’t put it on her ears. Maybe it had an infection or some other kind of disease and it wouldn’t be surprising if it had been on a dead man’s suit.

 Larry, Lidia’s “scientific” friend, worked as an assistant in a pharmaceutical company where he worked with various compounds and many advanced machines. When he was able to take the earring to the lab where he worked, he noticed something strange. He asked Lidia if he could damage the piece a bit, specially the tip and she agreed. She wasn’t going to wear it, so no one cared. Larry broke the tip of the earring and a soft purple dust tainted a small plate he had beneath. He had the dust checked and the machines couldn’t tell him exactly what it was but he was able to know what was, chemically, in there. So he did some of reverse science and discovered the dust was some kind of poison.

 But it wasn’t just poison. The earring, apparently, had been dipped into it and then left alone until the metal, and even the jewel, had absorbed the poison. But who would want to do something like that? It was a very complicated way to poison someone but Larry then realized that, looking at the compounds of the poison, it would be unlikely for medical scientists to even know they were dealing with something like that, mainly because the poison seemed to disappear from anywhere in a few hours. Larry told Lidia that maybe a lot of people had been killed by it and no one would ever know as the poison was untraceable and only they knew about its existence and about the earring.

 But then envy made its appearance in the form of a rival to Larry, who just happened to be very good at his job and had found many ways to make the pharmaceutical company win even more money. So this person, this enemy if you will, discovered the ring and thought that if Larry was working with it, it was because it meant something important. So he grabbed it and took him for himself. He took it home and checked it there with a microscope he had but he found nothing and he wouldn’t because the poison was not made to be found. In time, he pricked himself with it, enraged because he couldn’t find something to steal from his rival. His father found his body the next day.


 After that episode, no one really knew what had happened to the earring. Larry always thought he had just lost it but Lidia knew him very well and she knew he wouldn’t just loose something. More deaths happened but, as the people before Lidia, no one was curious or careful enough to handle it. They all thought that the beauty of the piece meant it was made to be worn, to be shown to the world and to be an icon of status and recognition. But it wasn’t. It was just a way to lure the people, the large crowds that believed that beauty was as simple as they were. They didn’t understand that beauty can also be lethal and should always be handled with the uttermost respect and curiosity.