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

miércoles, 5 de abril de 2017


   Suddenly, it was as if all the oxygen in the room had been extracted. David started coughing and then his knees made his body collapsed to the floor, unable to hold him any longer. He felt as if his weight was three times as much. The room around him, well lit only seconds before, suddenly became a dark place, more like a cave than a normal hotel bedroom. He tried to inhale through the nose but it didn’t work. He opened his mouth wide but that didn’t do anything either.

 If that was possible, his brain was hurting. It was as if someone was burning it inside of his skull. The coughing continued, with his hands against the floor, trying to breather once again. But nothing happened. That was what people in space must feel like when they have a bad space suit or when the ship is not working properly. His head started spinning and, in a matter of a few more seconds, David fell completely to one side, closing his eyes, stopping his attempts to breath.

 Hours later, he woke up. He wasn’t dead, which was good. He had a mask over his face, apparently supplying him all the oxygen he needed. His head was still spinning, but David tried to make sense of where he was. He looked to the right and saw nothing more than a table full of operating tools. The wall was made of metal and there didn’t seem to be any windows in the room. To the left, there was a door, also made of metal, in the middle of the wall. There was some sort of sound coming from the other side.

 In the right moment, David closed his eyes and tried to breath normally. The sounds he had heard were voices and they were apparently discussing him. As they entered the room, they commented on the health of the subject, that probably meaning him. For their tones, he could infer one of them was a woman and the other a man. They walked around him, probably staring at his body, sometimes saying something interesting and some other times just walking.

 One of them touched David in the head and it had required a lot from him in order not to scream. He didn’t really know why, but the touch of that person had triggered a horrible headache. It was as if he or she had fire on the tip of the chosen finger. They left after doing that, probably expecting to have an instant reaction and instead not getting anything. But as soon as they left, David opened his eyes, touched his head and realized it was still burning. Or at least that’s how it felt, as if he had been marked like cattle by however those people were.

 The point was, he didn’t want to know what else they had prepared for him. He stood up, got down the table he had been laid on and walked to the door. No sounds were coming from the other side so he opened it and ran out. There was a very long corridor but he just chose a direction in the moment and started running. Soon, he had to stop. All of a sudden, he felt very tired and the headache threatened to make a comeback, which wouldn’t help him at all right then.

 He was then more careful, walking along the hallway until he saw another door, which he opened. It was a closet. He was a about to close it when he realized there were several robes there, the kind doctors use. He hadn’t seen the people that had entered the room he was in, but they possibly had those robes on. So he entered the closet and put one over his body. He then realized that he wasn’t wearing his shirt, only his pants and shoes. It was very strange but he didn’t have an answer for that.

 David came out of the closet and started walking again, this time with a faster pace but without really running. He finally found a crossroads and it was there, from the distance, where he saw other people in robes, checking on some papers. The hallway they were standing on was much shorter, as on the other side there was a massive room, very white and bright. He would have wanted to know what that was all about but the real goal was to get out of there fast, before they noticed he had escaped.

 He checked at least five more doors along the way, finding only rooms just like the one he had been in and more closets. Finally, he ended up in a tiny open space, that had a very different door, this one made of glass, with one of those machines on the side were you put a card for the door to open. Obviously he had no card and he had no idea how to make the door open. His breathing started accelerating and, even as he tried to calm down, it didn’t work at all. It was as if something was inside of him.

 Suddenly, several men and women with robes surrounded David, as he collapsed on the floor completely. The headache was getting stronger. But instead of helping him to a bed or something, the people were just watching and using instruments to measure something over his body. They waved those things over him but then someone else appeared. Someone who’s voiced he recognized. But he couldn’t raise his head to look at the person, as the pain had grown too strong. David finally collapsed and the last thing he heard were the words “It was a success”.

miércoles, 22 de marzo de 2017


   Carmen had always been the most reserved of the four Duke sisters. Everyone in town knew that family, as they owned almost everything around those parts. Apparently, the great-grandfather had been the one to first set foot in the region, before mining teams settled too and the small town of Golden River was founded. What made them rich, of course, was gold. The Duke family became rich in a glimpse and now every person in town felt that family owned them.

 Deluded by his power, the leader of the family had always thought the people of Golden River adored him and his family. But Barnaby Duke was not loved but despised and I was all a really good acting scene, as the inhabitants of the small town preferred to avoid conflict that basically shooting themselves on the foot. It was the Duke family that gave them the jobs on which they based their survival, so any words against them wouldn’t be precisely wise. So lies settled in town.

 What was worse, Mr. Duke loved to give speeches every so often: on the first day of spring for example. It didn’t matter if it was raining like crazy, he made people reunite in the town’s square and talked for hours about how in Golden River people lived a better life than in other places. He had a point, as they had never starved or anything like that. Meanwhile, many other towns in the country were suffering and had been going through very tough times for at least ten years.

 As good as he portrayed himself to be, Barnaby Duke had instructed the mayor and the police, a group of less than five people, to stop any outsiders from settling in Golden River. They had to ask it formally first and the requests were mostly denied. That’s why no one really knew about what was going on in other places. They were shielded from everything that way. Gold was the only trade they had and it was done by the Duke family, so none of the workers had the need to travel beyond the forest.

 But even so, people hated the Dukes. They hated the pompous Barnaby and his stuffy wife Henrietta, who was rarely seen in town. And of course, his daughters were beyond despised because he exhibited them around, like prizes, wearing all the best but never letting them interact with anyone from town. The people despised the girls for perpetuating the wrong his father had done, paying them miserably. They knew their dresses and perfumes would have made Golden River a better town. But they decided hate was the way to go because they had nothing else.

 There’s where Carmen comes in. She was the youngest of her sisters, maybe the most beautiful of them all. Her elder sister Diana was getting ready to leave town, as she had been promised in marriage to a rich merchant with whom her father had business with. The man was much older than her and even so she was beaming with joy, as she was leaving town forever in order to have, what she thought, was a much better life, filled with excitement and many things to discover.

 Carmen was a bit jealous of her sister but only because she was leaving town, the first one of the sisters to do so. It was obvious that they would all leave sooner that later, as they were all getting close to the marrying age. Diana was sixteen and Colleen was fifteen. Then Marguerite was fourteen and, finally, Carmen was only thirteen. Few years under her belt but she was the most adventurous one, always curious about the world around her. She was the least loved one too, by her father.

 Her mother was largely absent. She had not raised them as such, the job having been assigned to a number of servants. They were the only family to have nannies and cooks in town, which made people hate them even more. Nevertheless, those servants loved the girls and had learned to teach them the things they needed to know in order to be good wives in the future. But that wasn’t enough for Carmen, who often left the house to walk around the woods, and even to the mine.

 She liked to watch the men coming in and out of there. They looked different in the morning and then in the afternoon, all covered in dust and dirt. She also visited the ones that worked in the river, looking for gold there. She would always walk at a safe distance, because she was a bit scared of all those men and women. They appeared to be suffering and she inferred that because of the facial expression they had. She was the first to learn how much people hated the Dukes.

 Not that anyone did anything to her; she just knew it one day. Her sisters left, with the passing of time. One day, waving goodbye to Marguerite, she realized how little time she had left there. Her parents had not chosen a suitor yet but the decision would be announced any day now. She didn’t wanted marriage or leave Golden River, even if people hated them. Carmen felt she could help them have a better life, maybe better conditions at work. She had spent so much time watching and hearing them, that she thought she knew what was best for them.

 Silly as she was, Carmen walked to her father one day and told him she would like to work with him, handling the family business. The only answer she got was a slap on the face, one so hard her father’s ring left a mark on her cheek. He didn’t say a word after hitting her, calling one of the servants and telling them to lock Carmen in her room. Her wound was not even taken care of. It was then she realized the hate that people had against them was justified and she hated herself for who she was.

 Alone and locked away, she felt herself sink into an abyss. The following day it was her mother who visited her. That never happened, as the woman was always busy trying new clothes and stuff she bought from the city. She entered the room, visibly having never been there. It seemed she was going to sit on the bed but, instead, she just said a suitor had been found and her marriage was settled to happen in just a couple of months. The man was elderly but extremely wealthy.

 That night, a storm broke over the small town. Rain and wind hit all the houses, making the windows crack and the doors tremble. Carmen had cried so much that she had fallen asleep as she was, on her bed. But the storm woke her up in the middle of the night and gave her an idea. The noise was so strong that no one heard when she broke the window. She removed almost all of her clothes, to be able to move faster, and just like that, she jumped outside and ran towards town.

 The idea behind what she had done was that someone there could help her escape her father, maybe giving her a horse to ride to her freedom. But when she got to the small town, she realized people were asleep and none was there to help her. Then, she did something very stupid: assuming no one would notice, she grabbed a horse from a stable and just tried to ride it. The horse didn’t let that happen and dropped her to the round. The racket attracted the owners to the scene.

 When they realized who the burglar was, their rage seemed to reach new levels. In their eyes, their owner was mocking them, sending his daughter to steal from them. So they did the only thing that made sense to them and that they wanted to do: they killed Carmen Duke.

 Soon, an angry mob was formed. They had grown tired and the intrusion of the Duke girl had been the last hey would take from the oppressor. So that stormy night, they marched straight to the Duke house and set it on fire. Everyone inside was killed in the sleep. There were Dukes no more.

sábado, 30 de julio de 2016

Paradise is not safe

   The sandstorm was slowly subsiding. For a couple of hours, every grain of sand in the desert had been lifted and sent several kilometers further from where it had been for months. Storms were not uncommon as the desert had them very often, especially in the summer month when the weather there got even worse.  It was a dangerous and unforgiving place, but it could also be beautiful and peaceful.

 There was a small oasis, containing a rather large pond, which had resisted to the wind and the forces of nature. To any traveller, it surely seemed like an illusion because it wasn’t very common to see all that water in the middle of the desert. A flock of orange birds arrived just as the sand settled, sitting on the palm trees and, from time to time, flying low over the pond to get their feathers wet in order to clean them.

 It was a small paradise. Some hours later, another creature came close to the oasis. It was a human and it was wearing a full mask over the face but, whoever it was, also had uncovered arms and tight pants that were smeared with mud and sand dust. The human was riding a camel, which was barely walking. As resistant as they were, it was clear this one had gone through a lot and really needed to get rest. Just a few meters away from reaching the pond, the came collapsed and the human hit the ground hard.

 For a long time, maybe a couple of hours, the person stayed there, with the face on the sand and the legs crossed in a very weird angle. The camel had stopped breathing the moment it collapsed. Whoever that person was, there was no ride that could take him or her back to civilization. Now, the desert had become even larger with the death of the camel. But nature and the orange birds ignored this. To them, it was all the same.

 When the human woke up, it ran to the water, fast, as if something was very wrong. It moved a lot in the water. Apparently, removing the mask was much harder that envisioned. After a few minutes of struggle, a shorthaired woman came out of the water and sat on the edge of the pond. She had to cut through the mask with her nails and she had hurt herself a bit by doing so as the material had become difficult to breath in because of the sand.

 She looked around, watching the orange birds and her dead ride, as well as some small twister far in the distance. The storm had not entirely died out. But that wasn’t really the problem. The real problem was being in the middle of nowhere with no way to survive. She looked at her reflection on the water and saw the small cuts she had given herself with her fingernails. She also realized how tired she looked and how her arms were burned by the very hot desert sun.

 Unwilling to stay put, she decided to dig with her own hands a grave for the camel. It was not only out of respect, but also because she didn’t want certain animals to come there looking for a meal. Burying her camel was hard, as it had been a gift from a person that had saved her some days ago and now that gift had left her stranded in the middle of nowhere. She actually had no idea who that person was because, as she was, the person also had a covered face. But the woman felt it had been another female prisoner back in that place.

 All kinds of memories were rushing back to her head and dug the grave: she had been a long time on a prison right there in the desert. It was run by legionnaires, men that were dedicated to the preservation of those colonies, places where they had no place to be in but there they were. Besides, she knew they hated woman because female prisoners always had worse punishments if they did something wrong. For stealing a loaf of bread for example, a woman would be flogged in the yard twenty times. A man would only get one punch in the stomach and that was it.

 But one night, something had happened. Apparently the prison had been attacked by desert dwellers and it the chaos, the woman that had given her the camel had appeared and liberated her from her chains. She helped her getting some clothes too and the mask in order to survive the harsh conditions of the desert.

 The shorthaired woman dragged the camel centimeter by centimeter, being a very heavy creature. She knew it was a waste to bury it and not eat it but she had no knife or a way to make fire. She couldn’t keep the creature’s milk and grease anywhere so there was no point in letting the camel there for the scavengers to eat. It took her several hours to get the animal in the hole she had done and some more time putting sand all over it. Finally, she rested on top of the mound she had created, shocked by the fact that she was hopeless.

 She really tried to remember her name, something that was so essential and obvious but she had no idea what it was. She had no idea either of how she had arrived to that prison. It was possible that the woman had been a thief or some sort of criminal but she really had no recollection of anything before the prison. The only image she had very clear on her mind was the one of the whole compound burning as the night became darker and she rode of on the camel. For a moment, she had wanted to go back and pick up the person that had saved her but, whoever it was, had disappeared in a matter of seconds. She wanted to thank that person, do it with her voice because she hadn’t spoken a word. But it was too late.

 Looking at the water again, she decided to take off her clothes and have another swim, this time to really clean herself up and feel like a human being again. Not that she remembered how to feel like one, but maybe she could have a revelation while in the middle of the pond. She left the tight and brown clothes near the camel mound to dry and then walked the few steps that separated her from the water. As her feet got wet again, she felt better than in any other moment in the past few months. When her whole body was in, she felt new.

 The woman sunk her head in the water and stayed there for a few seconds, realizing how great it felt to have the sun on her skin and her body all wet at the same time. She felt like a person, very different from what she had felt like in prison. She tried not to think about that, not to remember the atrocities she had lived through but it was impossible. It was the only life that she knew: the mistreatment, the dark cells, the lack of food and water, the laughs of the guards and the feeling that she was never going to see anything else than that awful place.

 A howl was heard on the wind. All thought of the prison vanished. She stood still in the water, waiting to confirm if what she had heard was real or if she had imagined it. No, there it was again. She got out of the water fast and realized it would take a while to get dry. Besides, she had no ride so she couldn’t go far. Another howl made her desperate, looking all over the place for an answer that didn’t seem to be coming fast enough. What should she do?

 The howling creature was a man, the leader of the guards in the prison. He rode a stallion, as well as the two other men that came with him. He arrived at the oasis at very high speed, which scared the orange birds from the palm trees. The three men descended from their horses and let them have a drink of water as they had a drink from the bottle they had on their waist. They also had a gun each on their belts and one of them used it to shoot a bird that had not flown. The little body dropped into the water, almost silently.

 The three men walked around the oasis and took random shots at the ground and the water. Then, their leader howled again, as they came full circle around the pond and reached their horses again. They left in a huff, the orange birds arriving shortly after.

 It was then when the woman stood up from the sand, having been breathing through a small whole which the men had ignored. They were obviously looking for escaped prisoners, which meant she wasn’t far enough from them. She unearthed her clothes from the ground, put them on and started walking. Maybe she had no chance but she couldn’t stare there forever. Paradise was not safe.

jueves, 28 de enero de 2016


   Cuando podía iba a la piscina de su club y nadaba un poco. No podía hacer tantas veces como quisiera, por el trabajo, pero trataba de hacer lo más seguido posible por dos razones: la primera era que no hacía ejercicio nunca y la segunda que la natación era algo increíblemente relajante. Cada vez que entraba al agua, se sentía más libre que en cualquier otro momento de su vida. En el agua no tenía que justificarse, ni que seguir reglas definidas. Podía nada y nada más, yendo de un lado al otro y probando ese vehículo que era su cuerpo.

 Su cuerpo no era, sin embargo, el mejor vehículo que hubiese podido obtener de la vida pues no estaba en las mejores condiciones. Había nacido con un problema físico que era notable a simple vista y eso, al comienzo, le había impedido disfrutar de la natación como lo hacía ahora. En esos días, incluso pensó que ponerse una camiseta para nadar, como hacían otros, no era tan mala idea. Pero luego se dio cuenta que esa costumbre estaba casi reservada para quienes tenían más que unos kilos de más o tenían también cosas que creían tener que esconder.

 Pero no lo hizo, no se puso nada más sino el traje de baño y las chancletas de rigor. Ese día se cubrió como pudo con la toalla pero pronto se dio cuenta que a los asistentes a la piscina no les importaba nada el resto de las personas a menos que hubiera un accidente o algo por el estilo. Había reservado uno de los carriles de la piscina más grande y simplemente empezó a nadar.

 A veces era frustrante porque a la mitad de la extensión de agua se sentía ya ahogado y tenía que detenerse. Entonces hacía dos vueltas pero divididas en cuatro partes de extensión casi igual. Sería después de muchos meses que sus pulmones se acostumbrarían mejor al agua y a respirar correctamente. Fue un hombre gordito que se hizo una vez en el carril aledaño que le explicó como tenía que hacerlo. Esa sugerencia le aclaró mucho y agradeció la ayuda del hombre.

 Solo con ese consejo la piscina se volvió su escape de lo que pasaba a su alrededor. Allí no tenía que pensar en su trabajo que odiaba, no tenía que pensar en la mirada reprobatoria de sus padres cada vez que hablaban de él y tampoco tenía que pensar en su fallida vida social y sentimental. En el agua nada de eso importaba, solo había que estar concentrado en respiración bien y hacer un buen movimiento de piernas y brazos para no tragar agua y tener que llamar un salvavidas, como pasaba tan a menudo. La excusa del ejercicio era solo eso pues a él le interesaba tener un sitio adonde ir algunas horas al día y dejar salir todo lo que tenía en la cabeza. De resto, todo venía por añadidura.

 Fue en la ducha en donde pasó algo que nunca pensó que pasaría: conoció a alguien. Las duchas eran parte del ciclo diario en la piscina y no era su parte favorita ni de cerca. Sus problemas de autoestima llegaban todos de una sola vez apenas salía del agua y sabía que debía entrar a un lugar con multitud de hombres, muchos sin ropa, y bañarse con ellos. Algunos podrían creer que tenía opción de secarse e irse pero eso lo había hecho al comienzo y se dio cuenta que el cloro había dañado una de las camisetas que más le gustaba ponerse. Además, era una regla del lugar y si no se cumplían las reglas se podía ser expulsado.

 El caso es que tuvo que acostumbrarse y lo que hacía era ducharse con el bañador puesto siempre en una de las duchas que quedaban en las esquinas. Así hubiese otras libres, esperaba por las de las esquinas pues así había menos interacción. Un día en especial le pasó algo que hubiera sido perfecto para un sketch de comedia: se estaba enjabonando pero el jabón voló ridículamente de sus manos, dio contra la pared pero no cayó al piso nada más sino que cayó en el pie de alguien que iba a tomar la ducha de al lado, la única que había.

 Agachándose para recuperar su jabón, él se disculpó sin mirar al otro, quién se había tomado el pie y lo mojaba bajo la ducha que acaba de abrir. Se quejaba un poco pero el otro ni lo determinaba, prefiriendo guardar el jabón en una cajita donde siempre lo traía y acabando de limpiarse para irse a cambiar. Fue entonces que el tipo le habló, diciéndole que había dolido un poco pero seguramente menos de lo que hubiera dolido el típico chiste del jabón en la ducha. El joven ni sonrió pero el otro sí rio de su propio chiste y estiró la mano diciendo que su nombre era Pedro.

 Tuvo que estrechar la mano para no crear un momento incomodo y ahí mismo cerró la llave y se fue a secarse cerca de su casillero. Lo hizo lo más rápido que pudo pero antes de salir se cruzó de nuevo con el tal Pedro, que hasta ahora veía que era más alto que él y un poco intimidante físicamente. No se había fijado bien antes, pero ahora que lo veía mejor creía estar seguro de que él sí había estado desnudo en la ducha. Esto hizo sonrojar al joven, que trató de decir que se tenía que ir pero Pedro solo lo seguía, preguntando su nombre.

 Le mintió, diciéndole que se llamaba Miguel y que tenía que irse porque lo necesitaban en su casa. Cuando llegó a su hogar, el joven se quitó de encima la molestia de ese extraño momento y puso su mente al servicio de otras cosas, como la lectura pero cuando llegó la hora de dormir recordó al tipo de las duchas y se preguntó porqué sería que le quería hablar con tanta insistencia.

 Algunos días después volvió a la piscina. El trabajo había estado muy pesado y simplemente no había podido pasarse ni un solo día. Reservó su carril antes de llegar y cuando estuvo allí se lanzó casi sin pensarlo. Nadó varias veces de ida y de vuelta, sintiendo la sangre correr por sus venas y algo de agua entrar en sus pulmones. La agresividad de su salto lo había causado pero no le importaba, solo seguía adelante, incluso ignorando el dolor que sentía en los músculos de las piernas y de los brazos. Seguía y seguía, seguramente pensando que el dolor alejaría a todos los fantasmas que lo acosaban.

 Cuando ya no pudo más, salió. Fingió no escuchar a un vigilante que le decía que no podía quitarse el gorro antes de salir del agua e ignoró las miradas de varias personas que solo se le quedan mirando porque a la gente le encanta ver como se castiga a otros. Caminó a las duchas y allí se quedó un buen rato bajo el agua. No se limpiaba el cloro, no se echó champú ni jabón, ni siquiera se toca el cuerpo para limpiarse con las manos. Tan solo se quedó ahí, escuchando el ruido del agua en el suelo y las llaves cerrándose y abriéndose.

 Ese momento fue quebrado por el sonar de pasos y la voz del mismo tipo del día anterior. Él no se movió, pues sería reconocer su presencia y simplemente no tenía ganas de interactuar con nadie. El tipo no intentó hablarle más, solo se duchó rápidamente y se fue. Al rato él cerró su llave, por fin, y caminó lentamente a su casillero y su toalla. Cuando terminó de secarse abrió el casillero y sacó su mochila pero entonces de encima de ella cayó al piso un sobre. Lo recogió y tenía un sello interesante y era para él.

 Dejó la mochila en el suelo y abrió el sobre sin mucho cuidado. Adentro había dos hojas. La primera era una carta del sitio, diciendo que tenía una amonestación por el incidente del gorro. Él sonrió burlonamente: era increíble que hubiesen redactado esa carta tan rápidamente, aunque luego notó que solo debieron de poner su nombre y la fecha del día, el resto ya estaría así en alguna base de datos. Decía que no podría usar las instalaciones por una semana lo que le hizo dar una patada a la puerta del casillero, haciendo que todos los voltearan a mirar. Menos mal la puerta no se cayó.

  Casi rompe la carta y el sobre pero recordó la segunda carta y esperó ver los términos de su expulsión o algo por el estilo. Pero resultaba que era algo muy distinto. La carta llevaba el mismo símbolo que el sobre y tenía un mensaje que simplemente no se había esperado: el equipo de natación del club lo invitaba a entrar con ellos pues, en resumen, lo habían visto nadar y les parecía que estaría más que bien tenerlo en el equipo. El capitán, cuyo nombre firmaba la carta, era Pedro Arriola.

 Rió de nuevo, pero esta vez por la sorpresa. El tipo raro de la ducha no era solo eso sino alguien que había querido hablarle a propósito y él no lo había dejado. Incluso hacerse al lado en la ducha debía haber sido a propósito. Ser parte de un equipo era algo que jamás se hubiese planteado. Se miró entonces en uno de los espejos de la pared opuesta y se quedó mirando su cuerpo y su rostro. Seguía dentro de él el demonio que le decía que no iba a poder con ello, que la presión sería demasiada. Pero alguna decisión habría de tomar.

 En su mano, apretó la carta con fuerza.