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

jueves, 17 de diciembre de 2015

War there, peace here

   The park slowly fell into disuse. First, because it was all the way up the hill, something that had been a prime feature of the place but later was seen as just a silly way to make people pay more money for just some rides that they could easily find somewhere else. The rollercoaster, the ferris wheel, the bumpers cars and all those stands where you could get food and silly prizes were still there fifty years later but in a very different state.

 The city had wanted to dismantle the park but it would have been really expensive and it wasn’t a very rich area to pay for anything that big so they decided to send a team of experts to define if the park was safe as it was or if it had to be demolished, at least partially.

 It was a team of only three people that checked every single machine and structure for a period of five days. They used special devices to help them and took pictures. They were very noticeable in town because it wasn’t a very big city and people knew each other really well. It wasn’t a secret that most people believe the park should be left alone, as it had memories for many of the inhabitants of town but also because it was a very obvious and unique feature of town to have the park overlooking them from a hill. It was something like out of a movie.

 By the end of their studies, the team agreed the park was safe and that only some parts of the rollercoaster should be either demolished or repaired in order to avoid a future collapse. What surprised everyone was that the city council did nothing with the study and decided to file everything concerning the park. As they saw it, it was a place that was out of bounds, so if something collapsed no one would be hurt. After all, a perimeter fence had been built around the park many years ago and they could still manage to electrify it in order to keep out any intruders.

 The citizens were not very happy about this, as it would mean that a portion of the city’s electricity would go to a place no one cared about anymore. Some people presented their complaints but nothing happened. So the subject was left alone for a long time and people eventually forgot about the danger the study had shown, the electrified fence and so many other details that the council had omitted about the park.

 In the period of time that followed, the park was only seen as a feature of the city, like the rest of the hills and the forest to one side and the lake to the other. It was just something that was there and that no one really cared about a lot. It was ten years later, when young people, who didn’t know anything about the park and all that had happened with it, decided to are each other to cross the fence and get into the park. No one really knows why that came up but it did.

 They weren’t surprised when the first boy started climbing the fence and wasn’t electrocuted. Inadvertently, they had been the first people to realize that the perimeter fence of the park had not been electrified in many years. Actually, it had only been like that for a few months until the city dropped it. However, the townsfolk were never notified so they still thought safety was paramount among the rulers of the town.

 The kids loved to enter the park and eventually someone brought a pair of industrial cutters and made a whole on the fence in order for everyone to come in and just play around. Important to say they were just children and young adults, the oldest been twenty-five years old. The young ones liked to go around and destroy what could be destroyed, as well as use the former walkways as places to play baseball, pee and practice their shooting with toy guns. In the summer, they changed that to water guns.

 Meanwhile, the older new visitors went all the way up there to have beer and smoke cigarettes or marihuana. There was no place in town to do any of that without someone’s parents been aware of them so it was like a gold mine when they realized no one was looking at them in the park. Many got really drunk and passed out but friends would always help the guy or girl in trouble: they would help the person eat something, vomit as much as they needed to and then help them go home and say they had been food poisoned.

 Surprisingly, parents were very slow to understand what was happening and there’s no way to blame them as the country had entered another war in a far away land and many of the sons of the town had decided to go and defend the honor of their land. The truth behind this was that unemployment was rampant, which combined by the very traditional values of the region, made for a large part of the population supporting that war and being very proud that their children were participating in it.

 When they began to be killed, pride mutated into despair and worry and the fact that kids were smoking and drinking and playing in a dangerous place, was not really an important thing in the parent’s lives. They wanted to win that war but also see their boys, and in some cases girls, come back. The first coffins arrived only five months after the war had started.

 The perpetual state of mourning and overused patriotism was the perfect veil the younger kids needed to go to the park in the hill and just get away from their parents who spent every second of their day putting flags in every corner of the house or watching TV, usually the most fanatic TV station ever.

 They’d rather be shooting their toy guns to the roller coaster’s pillars or from the lower seats in the ferris wheel. It was amazing how the ambiance changed from the town square to the hill park. In the hill everyone laughed and ran and you could always pick up some gossip from the girl that sat in the benches to talk about their schoolmates. Even pets were allowed now as kids brought their dogs and other animals for their classmates and friends to meet.

 The truth is the place had become a kind of haven for children that were ignored at home. If the parents weren’t there for them, their friends would be. Many became friends after meeting in the park and many fell in love there too, initiating many relationships that would last for years and years, although kids had no idea of this.

 Even things as forbidden as two boys kissing was normal in their little world up in the hill, no one said anything to the boys that did it because there was an unspoken agreement that no one would judge anyone for anything they did, unless it was pretty violent or just wrong. For example, a group of kids saved a girl from being raped by some guy in one of the bumper cars and they decided to form some sort of security group, telling others to be aware of their surroundings at all time.

 Life was good for those kids and teenagers. And it was just like that for some years until an accident happened, the one that eventually was set to happen: the rollercoaster collapsed and killed two children and destroyed part of the fence and toppled trees that were located down the hill. As everyone in town was able to see the tragedy, no one was able to ignore reality anymore.

 Parents grieved now for the kids they had at home and realized what the city had done to them. Lawsuits ensued and media frenzy was created, as people loved all the drama and the tragedy behind this story.

Meanwhile, kids mourned their dead too and mourned the loss of the only place they had to be themselves, to enjoy being young in a world were adults were crazy enough to praise children going to war. The ones in the park talked about the subject often and thought all their parents were insane, even if none of them had said that to them ever.


After the tragedy, the town went back to worrying about those who had left willingly to die. But kids wouldn’t take it anymore. It all started with a twelve year old grabbing all the national flags in the house, piling ALL of them and burning them at the backyard. War had come home.

domingo, 2 de agosto de 2015

Wake me up

   Martha Grayson woke up. The first thing she felt was the morning wind and its chill. In a second, she realized she wasn’t at home, as she was meant to be. Her eyes opened slowly due to the glare of the sun, which was just above the tree line. She could smell the humidity of the grass and could also hear the quaking of some nearby ducks. She realized, as soon as she opened her eyes, that she couldn’t move. She felt weak and overpowered by her own weight and by something in her head that acted as a restraint. Attempting to move her legs or arms hurt her but as she did, she realized another fact about her condition: she was fully dressed and covered with a big overcoat.

 She inhaled slowly and exhaled in the same way. Martha did this for a while until her legs and arms became responsive and she was able, very slowly and with pain, to seat on the grass. As she sat down, she felt tremendously dizzy and very thirsty. Her mouth felt very dry and needed to drink water badly. She realized that the humidity she had detected came from the grass, which was covered in sprinkles of water. Rain had fallen the night before. And, not very far away, there was a small pond were the ducks she had heard were swimming. But then something else kicked in: she realized she didn’t know the place she was in. It seemed like a park, with tall trees all around and no people. She felt the urge to vomit but held it in order to better understand what was going on.

 With the little strength she had inside, Martha was able to stand up and walk towards the trees. She stumbled against one of them but leaned on it and inhaled deeply, as if she was about to swim. Her mind was becoming clearer but only to think, not to remember. She tried but when she did so there was nothing there. She couldn’t say how it was that the last thing she remembered was lying down in bed in her Boston apartment and now she was in some park that she had never seen. Breathing slowly, she started walking and crossed a lot of lined trees until she reached a larger pong but this one had a particular shape and she realized she did know this place but from movies and pictures. She had never been there before.

 Martha was standing by a pong that had the shape of a cross. She was on the point of the cross and, on the other side; she could see people walking by. It was a bit misty but she could distinguish a palace beyond the people and some stairs. Anxious, she almost ran, passing some people who looked at her worried. She reached a big fountain where many people were taking pictures and looked up the stairs. Her head felt about to explode but once again, she decided to breathe slowly and move on. Martha went up the stairs and was faced to a magnificent building. Yes, she did know what building it was. It was a palace and she was in Versailles, in France.

 Again, she had the urge to vomit but contained it. An elderly woman and her husband came near her and spoke French. She had no idea what they said but the woman offered her a bottle of water, which she drank hastily and almost completely. She apologized in English and asked them where the exit was. They seemed to understand because they pointed towards the palace. She thanked them and left rather fast. She ran past some tourists and through a gift shop and a few moments after she was running down a square but she stopped suddenly, realizing she had no idea where to go. She checked her pockets and realized that she had no money, bank notes or coins. Nothing.

 She decided to approach some tourists and asked them in English to help her with some coins as she had lost her husband and wanted to call him to his cellphone. Of course, the story was a fake but many people, seeing the state she was in, decided to help her and in no time she had at least five euros in her pockets. She thanked her last helper and headed for a store but then she saw a sign pointing to the nearest train station and realized it was best if she got to the city, to the embassy if necessary. She didn’t want to overthink her situation, but it had to be something the authorities of both countries would be kind enough to discuss. So she headed for the station and bought a ticket for downtown Paris.

Martha didn’t have to wait much for the train. It was almost empty, as it was too early for anyone to go into the city. Tourists were just arriving and she was the only foreigner leaving the small town. She sat down far from anyone else and, as she saw the French village and some buildings, she tried to remember. Her name was Martha Grayson. She was thirty-four years old; she had a fiancée called Michael Gregson and a dog named Larry. Her parents had died several years ago in a car crash and she worked in a back as an accountant. The last day she remembered in full had been a great one: Michael had invited her to a very nice restaurant and had asked for her hand in marriage. She had cried and they had celebrated with champagne.

 But then, when she tried to remember what had happened after she had arrived home, she realized that nothing was there. Martha knew she had come home, called her best friend Ellie and then went to bed early in order to wake up early in order to go shop with Michael for their rings. But if that had happened at all, she had no idea. The next thing she remembered was waking up in that park, with different clothes that the last day she remembered. The train went into a tunnel and the lights flickered, which made her come back to reality and think about what it was she was going to do next. The smartest thing was to go to the local police and tell them she had been abducted… or something like that.

 The train stopped at Invalides station, which seemed to be an interchange. Martha supposed the police would have a post there or something. But maybe it was too early or she had made a wrong turn because the next thing she knew was that she was on the street. She started walking towards an avenue and tried to talk to people but they seemed much less receptive than the tourists in Versailles. If she was correct, it was a weekday and Parisians were getting to their jobs. So there was no wonder about way they were being so aggressive and not helpful. She tried to find a cop but there were no security agents nearby. She decided to cross the Seine and look for the embassy by herself. She supposed it had to be near all the central places and she thought she was just there.

 But as she crossed the Alexander II Bridge she saw someone that made her head hurt more than anything else before. It was a very blonde and tall woman and she looked lost too, even more than her. She felt she could remember her from somewhere but the memory had apparently being lost. Trying to focus on the moment, she walked towards the woman but before she did the blonde collapsed and was surrounded by scared people and then the police finally arrived. The only thing Martha was able to see was the fact that the women had some sort of foam coming out of her mouth and was convulsing before she finally stopped all movements. It was the most horrible thing Martha had ever seen.

 Shocked but scared, she walked to a cop and tried to make him understand. He didn’t know English but his partner did and she asked him, or better yet, begged him to take her to the embassy. She was so worried that her head began to turn wildly and blood started coming out of her nose. The next thing she remembered was waking up in a hospital bed, as weak as before. She looked at the window and realized it was night. She was scared again, thinking she might have been kidnapped again or that maybe it was all some sort of dream or a sick joke. Then the door flung open and a young woman entered, smiling at Martha.

 She sat down slowly and didn’t stop smiling. When Martha tried to talk, she was the one to speak first. Her name was Linda Hamilton and she worked with the American consulate in Paris. They had been called by the local authorities, which told them a woman who claimed to be an American national had fainted after witnessing the death of another woman. Then, Martha started telling her story and Linda didn’t stop her. She just listened and registered every word Martha said, as if she was a computer. She didn’t say a word until Martha was done and a nurse came in to check her pulse. Her heart was pounding and the nurse injected something in her IV. Martha calmed down immediately and Linda smiled again.


 The woman then told Martha that they had checked her identity. She had been reported missing three days ago in Boston. The woman she had seen on the bridge, and was now dead, was a Latvian national who had died from a compound also found in Martha’s blood but in a much smaller dose. Linda told her that police were suspecting of a serial killer that worked in an international level or maybe some sort of women trafficking ring. But she assured Martha that she had no signs of sexual assault. Linda left and Martha was left alone to rest. But she couldn’t. She had been dumped by someone in a park on the other side of the world and, now that she had woken up, she remembered something more that frightened her: she neglected to tell Linda that there was a face and a voice in her head and she knew who they belong to.

sábado, 18 de abril de 2015

Strange Antarctica

   Someone had killed Doctor Pong. And however it was, had not cared about cleaning afterwards. The blood coming from the good doctor’s body had already frozen, formed a pretty disturbing picture for anyone who went into the storage room. He was lying there, eyes open, against the wall opposite to the door. It was windowless room and the killer had known that. It was obvious he had known where to look for the doctor, who was probably hiding, as the storage room was fool of brooms and buckets, not really what he used in his experiments.

 The strangest part of it all was the method the killer had used: an arrow. He had pointed it right between the eyebrows and had nailed just that spot. Of course, the distance was quite short so the shot may have not been that difficult to do but it looked scary all the same. The arrow was long and had pierced the skull all the way to the back, touching the wall behind the head with the metal tip. The body still had the expression of fear the doctor had experienced in his last moments and the weather helped it to get preserved for a long time, which made the job of checking the scene, much more ominous than usual.

 The crime had occurred in what it’s known as Queen Maud Land. Although Antarctica is in the practice a free land, Norway claims this portion of the continent. The mountains look like razor blades and the snow appears to be whiter than in any other part of this land. And there, in Troll station, Mr. Georg Pong had died from an arrow to the head. The media, of course, had a feast with the whole “murder on Antartica” story. And to be frank, it did seem ridiculous than someone had been so skilled to kill someone and then escape without a lot of means to do it. And they hadn’t been able to catch him or her.

 Norway’s government took almost a week to send two detectives: Nora Fröm and Erik Stavanger. They were both specialized in strange crime scenes but this one was by far the strangest one. On the boat from South Africa, both agents discussed how they were going to approach the investigation. They had seen several pictures taken by the scientist that had found Dr. Pong and they all pointed out to a chase inside and outside the complex. They were only a few buildings in the small compound so it wasn’t going to take very long.

 At arrival, they had to join a group of scientists that greeted them on to some snowmobiles. The journey to the facility was long and cold, during which the scientists discussed the real utility of being there. The man was already dead and the attackers had to be really far by now, if not dead. The government had wanted to show action but what the two detectives could actually do about the case wasn’t much. They had agreed that their prime concern would be to know everything about how it happened more than trying to actually catch someone. That was very difficult and, anyway, if they tracked the killer’s first steps, maybe they could investigate where he or she came from.

 The station was a small group of red containers overlooking the continental ice sheet. It was very small and not many people lived there during the year. The normal number was around nine but Dr. Pong had been alone the day he died. Ellie Warren, a friend and fellow scientist, was waiting there for them. She gave them a tour of the facility and led them to the storage room where the doctor’s body was still laying. She told them that no one had spent a night since the day of the events, in order to avoid contaminating the scene. Only the group that found him had touched some things but they had been kind enough to point everything out in a report.

 When entering the storage room, both Nora and Erik trembled. The man’s was looking at them, there on the frame of the door. It was strange how an empty body could seem so alive. They then started taking pictures with a special camera and asked Ellie to tell everyone they were going to comb the scene so they needed the station to be closed to any visitors. She nodded and disappeared, talking to a walkie-talkie. The duo took pictures of every single centimeter of the body. They didn’t dare to move it, afraid that the action would break the stream of frozen blood coming out of his forehead.

 It was an eerie sight, to see such brutality but at the same time, realizing how careful the killer actually was. They found no hairs around the body, nor the killer’s weapon. Only the arrow was still inside the doctor’s skull and they decided it was best to remove it only when they had finished doing everything else. The corpse was wearing the jacket normally used for the outside, so that indicated the doctor was outside when he was attacked or that he went out during a persecution. That wasn’t clear but he must have been outside at some point that day.

 When they checked the records of the day, doctor Pong had noted several things on his log. He had apparently been working on some ice sheet tubes they had extracted earlier that month from a field not very far from the station. The detectives, of course, had no idea what it all meant, but they realized he had worked on that during the day. The last thing he noted though was far more interesting than everything else: he had written, “The heating system seems to be malfunctioning. It’s freezing inside. I have to go out and check the heater”.

 The detectives put on their jackets and asked Ellie about the heather and she joined them to it. It was located in a shed outside, about ten meters from the main entrance. There, they found that the door to the shed was open but nothing else pointed to the murder. Ellie checked the heater and told them everything was ok, which they already knew because the temperature inside the station was very pleasant. When back inside, Ellie told them she had to leave because she was needed in another station but that she would be back in a few hours. She reminded the detectives that it was summer in Antarctica, so eternal daylight was the norm. She showed them a couple of bed they could sleep if they needed to. She said goodbye and left in her snowmobile.

 The duo continued the investigations but, as expected, they weren’t going anywhere with all of it. They had found hairs in the lab and other rooms but that was probably Ellie’s or some other scientist that had been there before. She explained the doctor was alone when he was killed because all the other scientists had been called to another base as a great discovery had been made and the transmission from a Russian base could only be received in the other station. He decided to stay behind for a day and just wait for them to return and tell them the news.

 After checking every single part of the base, which was the size a of a single person’s apartment, they decided to eat something. The food looked like the ones they gave to astronauts and it taste just as they expected it to taste, so they continued their work rather fast. As Nora checked the doctor’s computer, Erik checked the storage room and the body once more.

 Some hours had pass when Nora called Erik, saying she had found something. Many of the other cases they had solved were all about love and envy and how to combine that with the thirst for revenge and so on. She builds up on that and decided to look for secret folders or hidden archives in the doctor’s computer and Norma had found just that. It was an invisible folder and had only five pictures. When the couple saw them, they couldn’t help feeling surprised at them.

 Each and every one of those pictures showed a younger Ellie Warren, with longer hair and a certain glow to her, fully naked on five different poses. It was obvious she was aware of the photographer but the pictures were certainly not new as the women in the pictures looked in her twenties, or even younger, and doctor Warren was at least fifty years old. Why would Pong have those pictures in his laptop? Had he known her before she became a scientist? Was he the photographer? Both Nora and Erik were baffled at the pictures but couldn’t make sense of them. Where them even meaningful to they investigation?

 Then, an explosion was heard outside the station. Nora and Erik ran out to see the heater shed had burst into flames and some of the pieces were burning on the snow, others already freezing. Why had that happened? And then Nora grabbed Erik’s arm. She knew exactly what had happened. It was Ellie. She had been the only one of them to actually enter the shed. It had been working fine with them but it had failed when Pong had been killed. And now it had exploded.

 Their conclusion was that Ellie had done the same thing that day. They decided to check with the nearest station, where the scientists had gone to check on the news. The radio wasn’t working very well but it was confirmed Ellie had not been there with them. According to the person in charge, she had stayed behind with Pong. So there.... It had to be her. She was the killer. But why? And where was she now. The man said she wasn’t there today either.

 Nora was looking at the screen and then noticed Erik wasn’t talking. And he actually wasn’t breathing anymore. He fell to the floor, with an arrow on his head. Nora had no time to be scared as she saw Ellie holding a crossbow.


- Couldn’t leave you here with the evidence. Sorry.