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

martes, 2 de agosto de 2016

Pet party

   As Mary got out of the bank, she realized there was only one more chance to get her dreams to come true. If she couldn’t work it out this time, she would be done for good, as she had nothing to fall back on. She had quite her job in a prestigious company and now she had withdrawed every single penny she had saved. Once she got him, she started making plans for every single cent, knowing how she would spend her money in order to make her dreams come true.

 Since she was a little girl, Mary had a tendency never to get what she wanted. It was always some other kid, more likely her sister, who got all the attention, all the love, all the gifts and presents and everything from everyone whereas she had to settle with whatever landed on her lap, basically. The times she complained, her parents argued that she was jealous of her sister and that she shouldn’t be such a nasty little girl. That kind of response was the main reason why she hadn’t spoken to any of them in such a long time.

 She wrote on a small yellow notebook every single plan she had in order to make it all a success: she had to invest some money buying stuff and then there would be a time of a few months in which she would have to reduce the amount of money she spent drastically in order to survive and have enough time to be successful. She had read several books and informed herself of what she had to do, so it wasn’t like she had rushed herself anywhere.

 As per usual, no one would help her achieve what she wanted. Mary had broken up with her boyfriend a few weeks ago and they didn’t spoke at all after that. It had been a very healthy break up, when she had accepted her mistakes and he had been very surprised she hadn’t attacked him or tried to make him stay. The truth was that Mary had changed quite a lot and simply had no time for such behavior now.

 After she quit her job and decided t be independent, she also realized there would be hours and hours of free time as her business began to from so she decided to exercise at home and also try some kind of diet. It would help a lot to spend less money and it would make her a little more agile and awake, what she needed urgently because of her new lease on life.

 Even if people hadn’t seen it, she had always been a very careful young woman, with her money and what she chose to say and not to say. Mary had never been distracted but rather very focused and driven. She knew most men didn’t like that and her family thought she was just jealous of everyone so her achievements had always been clouded by the shadow of someone she really wasn’t.

 The idea was pretty simple. Since she had been very young, her ambition had always been to have a pet. She had tried to make her parents buy her a dog but that didn’t happen until she was fifteen and her sister got one but she was twelve and wouldn’t really take care of the animal so Mary ended up having to feed him, and groom him and do everything for him in order to be healthy.

 She noticed back then that the food pets got could really use some work. They didn’t seem to be really delicious and she even tried one to check out the flavor. Her sister saw her doing that and immediately told her parents who told her she was disgusting and that they wouldn’t let the dog near her if she did it again. And yet, she kept looking at his toys, the ones that they sold at the stores and how the dogs interacted in the park and, even back then, she had the idea.

 Only now she was making it a reality. She had many designs and recipes kept on that yellow book, thousands of small idea she could bring to life if she only had the money and the energy to do it. She had not tried it before because she was certain the idea would fail but now it was different. Maybe it was that she had heard about her sister recently and was jealous of her, as they had always claimed. Or maybe it was because of that man that tried to have his way with her at work. Whatever reason it was, she was thankful for it.

 She bought ingredients, fabric, even clay to do small versions of the toys she would like to produce. She tried the food with the pets in her building or at the park wearing a vest and a hat she had sewed herself with the potential name of her company: Pet Party. Some people were interested and happily gave their dogs some of the treats and it was surprising to see how they all wanted more. Of course, there was no sugar or nothing like that in them, only vegetables and various proteins.

She submitted her toy ideas to several factories and many of them rejected her ideas because she thought she was joking or because they didn’t think her designs were good. But she finally found one specialized in pets and they were thrilled to work with her ideas.

 Everything was slowly falling in to place. She was making some dog’s clothes by herself, she had many ideas for smaller animals like rabbits and hedgehogs and also for larger ones like horses. She really had thought her idea through and was hoping to be able to achieve the dream of her life. She wanted to prove herself that what people had always told her was just a lie and that she was a good person and a smart one too.

 Right then though, her parents made an appearance. Of course, they criticized every single thing she was doing, they hated the fact that she was doing a diet and that she had gotten slimmer, saying she just wanted to be like her sister. They talked about her all the time, telling her how successful she was as an actress and the fact that she had paid for their trip, including the hotel and business class in flights and all those things they had never enjoyed because of having two kids.

 Mary did not say anything, trying not to let them get to her. However, her father found her yellow book and started reading it. He mocked her for her ideas and told her that she had to realize those perfect businesses where everything goes perfect doesn’t exist and that they are only achieved, if they exist, by people that have talent and that special thing that she clearly didn’t have.

 She didn’t love them but in that moment she understood how devastating it truly was to have always been a disappointment and a mistake for her parents. She let them know how much she had tried to be a good daughter and how awful and despicable they were. Mary told them about every single time in her life in which she only needed her parents to love her and she had to do everything by herself because no one got her back, no one was there to support her at all.

 They tried to argue but she just told them she was done with them for good and not to talk to her ever again. She pushed her out the door and asked her building’s security guy to come and fetch them and never let them in again. Same went to her sister, who she never heard about anyway, unless it was trough his parents. She just quit to having a family and it was surprisingly a very easy thing to do for her.

 Six months after quitting her job, her business had begun taking off. She received a lot of orders for her pet food and also for the dog clothes she had designed. The toys were a bit cheap in their build but people bough them anyway. She kept an online store for a while until she was able to pay the rent of a small store not far from her house. In a single year, she had won much more than in the rest of her life. She hired an assistant and Pet Party was an example of good planning and success.

 Mary loved the fact that she made people happy. She wanted to make everyone feel that their pets deserved better, as she had deserved better all her life and had needed a push to just do whatever it was that she needed to do. And she was grateful for it. She had never been happier, even if she had to give up her blood relatives in the process.

jueves, 3 de diciembre de 2015


   Devastation. That’s the only word she could think about. Tally Green had been taught, throughout her life, that science was inherently good in its intentions and only very devious men, often on the side of the scientific path, would used it for dark purposes. But now, seeing what she had helped create, Tally was not very sure of that any more.

 She saw herself as a good person. She always helped various organizations during Christmas time, she gave money to non-profit groups that helped women and children around the world and she had never been particularly nasty against anyone. She didn’t liked violence, to the degree of never having seen a real fight between two people. Tally thought herself innocent even, of some of the things that human life had to offer.

 But that was the past. Wearing her light gray uniform, checking every camera in the field to check if what she was looking at was real, Tally realized her so-called innocent days were over.

 Applause came from her side, from the politicians and high-ranking military people that had attended the demonstration. They were all please and she could see in their faces that they were not innocent. Actually, it was rather easy to see they loved everything that had to do with destruction, with war and the capacity that someone had to destroy every single thread of decency left in this universe.

 The machine was identified as XLIU897 but the team that had created it called it The Fireman. It was a term of endearment for a weapon able to destroy entire acres of vegetation. It had been created so it would destroy all organic life but leave all the rest intact. They said it would come in handy if an army needed to liberate a city or if some townspeople needed to begin again with their crops. The weapon would destroy it all and then new crops could be put in place, as life could grow again on site.

 That was actually the only thing those men in ties didn’t like about the Fireman. They said they didn’t see the use of a weapon that destroyed and then left the land untouched. It was clear that the military uses for the weapon were a priority and that no government would really let farmers use it in their lands. All they wanted to do was to create hell on Earth and they had already done so.

 Just minutes ago, when everything disappeared under a red light and a hot wind, those awful men were smiling and apparently felt exceedingly happy with themselves. They were awful people, Tally knew that, but she felt she was an even worst person because she had helped create what those men were enjoying and were going to use to destroy.

 When she went back home that night, she was not only exhausted but the weight on her back felt much heavier than usual. Tally thought of the various books she had read about science and instantly remembered of Oppenheimer and all the other men and women involved in the creation of the first atom bomb. She thought that they were even guiltier than she was because an atom bomb had no possibility of being used as any other thing than as a weapon. The Fireman, on the other hand, had real possibilities as a helper to regenerate the land on places were it was needed. Tally had always wanted to help people and thought she was going to do it with that creation.

 But now, opening a can of beer in the kitchen and taking a sip, she realized she couldn’t just let things be. She left the can alone on the counter and grabbed her phone. Without thinking much about it, she called a friend that worked for the ethics committed of the department of defense. Tally told him about her case (she knew he was aware of the weapon) and asked him if was possible to stop the use of such a weapon in the world. After all, it had been created in an independent laboratory.

 The answer was somewhat disappointed, as he told her that if the army decided to acquire the weapon, the government would just block everyone trying to talk or know more about the subject. He said that they could even make her loose her job, just to make her look desperate and use her in public as a case of anti-patriotism.

 When Tally hung up, she had another idea in her mind. She knew her friend was honest and that the army was practically taking over the project. As she walked out of the laboratory, she saw some more military men arriving. That wasn’t normal and it was very likely the department of defense was already enabling the purchase of the weapon, even if the army wanted it to be changed and target also the ground itself.

 In her bedroom, Tally put some clothes on a backpack and also some food. She carried that to her car and drove back to work. As she was one of the main people on the project, she had every key possible. She entered the building, smiling to the security man and hoping she wouldn’t find any military men inside. But there were none. So she entered her lab and almost ran to the main computers. The idea was simple: to erase everything and make it disappear or simply take some vital piece on a portable device and just vanish with it.

 But she was too late. There was nothing on the computers. It had already been taken and people hired by the government were already monitoring the project. She had acted too slowly against them and the world would pay.

 Tally found a job in a pharmaceutical company, not a big one like those in movies but a smaller company that produced cheaper versions of very expensive drugs used to treat HIV and many virus related diseases. The company was controversial because it gave a chance to people suffering the AIDS pandemic to survive and live a happy and healthy life. She loved it there and loved to see reporters and protesters every morning. That way she knew she was finally doing some good in the world.

 She was not really involved in the creation of the drugs but rather on something even more interesting: the development of an effective cure. And they felt they were closer and closer and she felt proud of herself everyday because of that.

 That was until it happened. Half of the whole woke up to the news, the other half saw it begin live. Something was happening in Eastern Europe, some kind of wave was burning every single piece of land, meter by meter. People could see how everything died, slowly. Some ran away from the wave, others stayed and were burned alive by the invisible wall that advanced toward the east. Entire countries were burned alive and survivors were very scattered and not many.

 Then, out of nowhere, a huge army appeared and started invading the devastated lands. It was the first time in History that Moscow fell into foreign hands, half of its population killed slowly by burning. The men that had taken the city proclaimed the end of the failed Russia and announced the annexation of the country to their own new empire.

 All work at her company was stopped that day. Outside, there were no protesters or really anyone. People were too scared to go out to the street. What if one of those invisible walls advanced towards them and turned them into ashes in a matter of seconds?

 It was announced the next day that it had been, as Tally knew, a move by the most powerful country in the world. She had left that place years ago and it haunted her that her work was killing millions somewhere else. What she had been working on now just didn’t cover the evil she had helped create, the enormous guilt she felt for what she had done with her so-called innocence.

 The next day, as more and more troops, more and more bombs, and another wall advanced to the west, Tally decided she just couldn’t keep on living. She hung herself in her living room and was only found weeks after, when the invading army entered the city and saw her charred bones.

sábado, 28 de noviembre de 2015

Sock Empire

   The place only sold socks. They were everywhere and in every single color you could imagine. It was very nice to see rows and rows of different tones and drawings on them. Special socks for Christmas, for Halloween, for Thanksgiving, for Valentine’s Day, for Easter and even for New Year’s Eve. Every employee knew where everything was and how socks were made and could help a costumer find anything they wanted in a matter of a few minutes. There was a reason why the store was called the Sock Empire.

 The Empire was also divided into types of socks, not only color, and between those made for men, for women and for children. Ruben Rostenkowski had been the creator of the Empire and many of his competitors admired him for his amazing take into the world of footwear. People had been focusing so much on the foot for so long, that it was refreshing that one store could focus its whole attention solely to socks and all the types that existed.

 No one knew how Ruben had come up with the idea but they were envious he had had it. Everyone in the city knew he made millions of dollars every year and only from the main store. He had stores in other states but they were not as extravagant and amazing as the one in his hometown of Cleveland. He had been born there over sixty years ago and, although he had lived and worked in other parts of the country when he was younger, he decided to go back to his home in order to make his dream come true.

 Back then, Ruben was just a young boy, not really a full adult. He was still shooting cans with his air rifle and drinking the content of those cans with his group of friends. He had gone to school to study medicine but the truth was that Ruben was the lousiest student ever. He attended only half of his classes and the rest of the time he just spend it with girls and drinking. For all that, he wasn’t apparently as childish. After all, he was twenty-five years old.

Many thought that a man that owned such a store dedicated only to the foot had to be some sort of fetishist. And they were right. Ruben found that out in college, as he met lots of beautiful and not so beautiful young women. The first thing he did every time, as a form of foreplay, was to massage the girl’s feet. He would do it in such a professional manner; the girls never really realized he was so into it. To be honest, he was obsessed with it as he detailed every foot he saw, the curves and the skin and the complexity of it all. He was very obsessed.

 In class, he would suffer sometimes when a fellow student decided to remove her shoes beneath the desk. He instantly wanted to touch the foot and have it for his own but then he remembered he was in class and he couldn’t risk shaming himself even more than he already did when getting drunk. So he learned to breath deeply and just think about something else, maybe even count backwards in order to relax his mind and get any ideas out of it.

 It worked, sometimes. Other times, he would just ask the girl out and massage her feet as soon as he was able. He decided, and that a very healthy choice from him, to visit a shrink. He was sure a person with enough experience in these things would be able to help him stop his obsession and live a healthy life.

 However, it was a surprise when the psychologist told him it was pretty normal to have a fetish. He told Ruben most people had one, whether they realized it or not. Maybe it was a hair fetish, or maybe a “tall” fetish or maybe even weirder stuff like liking sex in costumes or always in public spaces. The point was, and the doctor repeated it constantly, that it wasn’t a disease and it wasn’t something bad as long as he learned to control it and not the other way around. So he advised him to get a hobby with which he could control the thoughts he had.

 It was difficult to find the right hobby, though. Ruben had never been really good at sports. Actually he sex appeal didn’t come from his body at all but from the way he spoke to women and how they responded to his voice and careful and intriguing demeanor. Anyhow, he still tried to play softball, rugby and gold but he failed miserably at all of them and it was then when he noticed he had started looking at men’s feet and he hadn’t even realized.

 Now he was really worried because in his mind he thought that his obsession had made him gay. But after calming down and watching a pornographic movie, he realized he was not interested in men, at all. Only their feet. So it was in that moment when the idea of the Empire first came to his mind: he thought that if his obsession was to be put to good use the best thing to do was something with feet.

 He looked everywhere and finally found a small workshop where people could go and learn how to make shoes. Of course, it was more about seeing the process than doing it because the materials were not all that easy to find and the idea was to attract people into the footwear business. There were just a few sessions but he became obsessed about shoes now and started reading all there was to now about the history of shoes and also about the making of shoes.

 As far as Ruben’s parents were concerned, they were happy to see him doing his last year of med school. He entered that time when he actually had to help patients and do shifts in a hospital and so on. But he was as lousy in that as he was in class. Besides, he was reading all he could about shoes and started thinking a business dedicated to shoes might be just what his life could be all about. Making them was not that easy but maybe selling would be a lot more interesting. He would see feet every day but he would have under control because it would be his job. Perfect.

 But after months of research, he realized the market was just filled with shoe stores selling the same types of shoes to every single idiot in the United States. He had to be unique and bold.

It was around that time that Ruben met Carly, a student of reflexology. She wasn’t from college but she had attended a rare conference about the subject there and Ruben had instantly fallen in love with her. She took some time to liking him however, but after some weeks they were dating and enjoying each other’s company. They rapidly found out about their mutual interest and engaged in long and detailed talks about the history of the foot and its pressure points.

It was the day Carly took him home for Christmas, when he realized his biggest idea yet. Her grandmother was there, a lovely lady, and she was knitting the socks that were left for Santa to put on the presents. And it was then when he had the idea to dedicate his business, not to shoes, but to socks. He told Carly this over dinner and even her parents thought it was a very funny and smart idea. They had never seen a store that only sold socks.

 The following year was the one. It was hard at first because Ruben had to drop out of college only months before finishing. His parents were devastated and told him not to come back home. He was destroyed by that but moved on thanks to Carly, who traveled with him to Cleveland, finding a nice flat for the both of them. There, Ruben created the logo of his company, the idea, the details of the first store and so on.

 He asked for a loan and with that he set up shop and asked for socks from all around the world. Then, he decided to wait a year and see how it went. If it failed, he had lost a lot of money. If not, it was just the beginning.

 That was the birth of the Sock Empire. The name was made fun of sometimes but he loved it and people loved what he did with the place. He would come into the shop sometimes with Carly in order to visit his workers and shake hands and tell everyone how much he thanked them and how much he loved his sock world.

 Even now, years after his invention, he still massages Carly’s feet before bedtime. And he still looks at all the feet he can on the beach and on his store. After all, he couldn’t stop doing something that gave him his livelihood and so much happiness.

martes, 4 de agosto de 2015


   His body was, in one word, perfect. He had being swimming since he was ten years old and his body had been modeled by every stroke of his arms and legs in the water. Besides, his father had inherited him with the genes of a tall figure and his mother graced him with blonde hair and green eyes. His name was Adam but he was never mocked because of his name. No biblical puns or funny names were said in school, nothing ever said a word about him in secret except what he already knew: in the eyes of every single person, he was perfect. And since he knew it from a very young age, he had developed a personality around that fact. He wasn’t cocky but he knew who he was and always-made sure people were aware of that.

 Adam, of course, had many love interests in school. He started dating at age fourteen and since then he managed to be, not only physically perfect, but also romantic and a smooth talker, enchanting anyone who would cross his path. The truth was he loved that kind of attention and also the fact that he could anyone into his world, into his arm or even his bed, if that was what he wanted. People wanted him and also wanted to be him. He even had groupies by the time he finished school and had more than enough messages in his yearbook and invitations to the prom. But then, he surprised them all by stating he was unable to attend. For many, most to be exact, it was the last time they saw Adam and they would never forget his perfection.

  He had only a couple of friends and they had insisted on him becoming a model. He did do it a couple of times for the money but wasn’t really interested in that world. He just wanted to swim and keep swimming because in the pool he became even more than Adam. In the swimming pool, facing other swimmers, he was always the best, most gracious and most threatening contestant. That was because every single person’s attention was always on him. His body was the focus point of every eye, every mobile device in the place and when he swam, people were frantic when cheering him on. They just loved him and always wanted him, perfection, to be up there, getting the first place he deserved because he was who he was.

 Adam’s parents had always been proud of their son and never actually tried to have another one. Weirdly enough, it was him who encouraged them to adopt a child when he had left home. He thought they had been great parents and told them they should spread their goodness all over the world. And so they did: they adopted James, a boy taken from a home where he had been beaten and blamed for everything. Adam served as a model for him and James became one more of his groupies. He would yell the loudest and cheer like there was no tomorrow. And Adam knew and he felt good, even better than ever because he was perfect in more than one-way.

 Was Adam full of himself? Yes, he was. But who wouldn’t be, being as perfect as he was. Any guy or girl would feel the luckiest if Adam would even talk to them for a second and so it happened when he went out with friends. Even in the darkness of the clubs, the heat and the noise, people would still move over for him to pass and for him to be first, always. It was funny to see how people treated him like a king or something even more celestial. He was almost a god and he knew it and liked it. He didn’t really took advantage of it, not even when he won a gold medal, he was always a perfect gentleman and his competitors praised him often, saying he was the definition of a good sportsman.

 But then, something changed. Adam liked challenges because he had always been able to overcome them but, this time, that wasn’t going to be possible. It wasn’t a competitor but one of his companions who made him stumble for the first time in his life. They had met only once and he had not even acknowledged Adam’s presence. He ignored him every day of the competition until the last day, when Adam won the final gold medal and the man’s friend won the bronze one. The tall blonde guy greeted his competitors and it was then when they first set eyes on each other. If they had been machines, the place would have exploded. That’s how he felt. He was so taken aback that, for the first time in his life, his expression was clueless.

 Adam went to the shower in his hotel room, and stayed there for several minutes, under very cold water. Somehow, cold water had always made him think straight, something he hadn’t been able to do for the last hour. That guy and his eyes had taken him by surprise and had moved everything that had been happening inside since he was a little boy. He decided to forget all about it just go visit his parents. But there, he noticed something inside of him had changed. He didn’t care for compliments anymore or at least not when they came form people he didn’t know. Some congratulated him for his wins in the swimming pool and girls smiled at him, but he couldn’t care less.

 That man had done something to him, that ugly little man. Adam knew he was perfect but had never bothered to compare himself to anyone, less of all in a derogatory way. But then, in his old room at night, he realized he saw that man as a little chubby asshole that had dared to confront him in his own arena. He clenched his fists with such strength; he felt his hands numb after a while. That week back home was wasted on thinking about the man that had struck his head with lighting and now wouldn’t let go. But he had more things to think about, like a career after swimming and training for the Olympics.

 Adam had decided to leave swimming competitions after the Olympics. His dream had always been winning a gold medal and register his name forever in the registry of sport’s history. He wanted to be the best and for everyone to know, now and forever, he was the best. The training was harsh and it was then when some more people realized how far from perfection Adam was. It happened first with a girl he went out in a date with. She was enthralled with the idea of meeting him but left after he told her she would be lucky to have him in any way. His eyes, his looks, they didn’t stop her from leaving the restaurant and everyone to look at him, perfect but alone and ashamed.

 It was the first time and it would happen more and more often but he decided not to ay any attention to all of it. After all, he had to train everyday for hours in order to qualify for his country into the world championships and then the Olympics. He spent almost eight months training every single day, his body hurting his psyche everyday but determined to achieve his goal. He beat every other competitor with ease and qualified for the world championships with ease. His performance then was almost perfect; blowing the minds of every single person that had ever seen such an event take place. The only failure was that in his last competition, he lost focus for a single second which put him in second place. He won the competition but he knew there was room for improvement.

 As he planned to take on modeling after leaving he swimming world, he decided to do various shoots before the Olympics. This way, he would be known both as model and as a world-class swimmer. Time passed and he became more and more focused, more and more serious about it all. He got to Olympics early and enjoyed the opening ceremony where his world began crumbling down again: in the group that had travelled with him, he could see the guy that so many years ago had won the bronze medal. What if his friend was near? What if he saw those eyes again, those eyes that seemed to look through souls and concrete alike?

 Again, he showered with cold water and began participation in the Olympic games. He won three gold medals on the same day and even shared the podium with the guy’s friend. He never saw him and his fears vanished. There was a huge party on a boat to celebrate all the medals won by the country and it was there he saw him again. His mind had clearly played with him, as he was nothing as he had imagined him for so much time. He was short and clearly not an athlete but his eyes were not only lethal but beautiful. Adam had liked men and women alike since he was a boy, he had never seen gender as a factor in a relationship but when he saw the guy, his heart skipped a beat.

 He was nervous all night. He got very drunk and kissed two different girls, promising them the world. But then disappeared, leaving the docked boat and walking to a bunch of crates, were he vomited profusely. For the first time in years, he had lost control over everything. His body was not perfect anymore and he felt horrible and weak and common. And then, he heard some footsteps. He turned his head and it was exactly the person he had thought about: the guy with thunder eyes. He felt weak again and fainted.

 The next day, he woke up in a hospital were his stomach had been cleaned and he had been treated for intoxication. The guy was not there but he felt those eyes on his head and started to scream. That day, Adam lost his mind. He wasn’t going to be a model anymore, or the sportsman of the year. His mind was gone and the only thing that was left was the memory of his fear to fail, that finally eaten away that shell called perfection.