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

martes, 5 de julio de 2016


   The only tree in many kilometers was an island of hope for those crossing the planes. The grass grew very green but nothing else. No one else knew the reason, but other signs of life near the tree were scarce. The people that crossed the plains, looking for a better life in the east, were almost the only signs of life in the area. Sometimes bugs will swarm around the tree, sometimes a lost mammal or some small lizard. But that was it. All the rest had gone away in a blink many years ago.

 The catastrophe had occurred in one strike, one big punch against the planet. In a matter of days, most species began to die and most tress got a very serious disease that made their trunks and leaves much weaker than ever. They would fall, piece by piece, and then rot into the ground without anyone really caring. People did not realize how important that event was until, a weak later, some people started dying.

 It was especially people that lived up in the mountains. They had no oxygen to process anymore as all the trees in those areas had died and the other vegetation was also getting sick but dying much slower. Walking around forests was forbidden, as it was a very dangerous thing to do. Besides, everyone could feel the cloud of disease in the air. It had a very particular smell and it was likely it tasted strange. At first, people used masks and special suits when encountering an affected tree.

 However, in time, people realized they had no reason to worry about the disease. It only killed plant life. But that was equally bad any way, because without the correct amount of plants in the world, no one would have any oxygen to breathe. Most scientists tried to come up with a solution for the problem, some kind of antidote that would help everywhere. But that was never found. The only thing they could do was to plant grass, which seemed to be unaffected and that’s why the plains, years later, were covered in a thick layer of grass.

 The caravans crossing the region were confused, as the color in the ground was very festive, welcoming them in a way. But the truth was that everything was dead. Besides the grass, there was nothing in the plains, not even hills or mountains or anything like that. There was only a huge space covered in green and groups of people trying to overcome te strong wind in order to get to the other side.

 Hope relied on the east as the lack of oxygen had begun in the west. Some thought it was because of a weapon someone created, and they wouldn’t be any wrong. It was all a laboratory creation that had gone really wrong. But no one really cared anymore. Seeing the lonely tree in the plain, make them realized there was no reason to complain now.

 One of the groups had been walking for around a month. Their clothes, particularly their shoes, were destroyed by the effort of walking so much. They had children and elderly people with them. However, every time someone got really sick or wouldn’t move, they just kept on walking, leaving that person behind. They couldn’t be compassionate or anything like that. The more time they spent crossing the plains, the more time they gave to that weird phenomenon to make them a big part of it.

 Many feared, with reason, that the disease of the plants could somehow be transferred to a human being. It was true that most food had died because of it, there were no crops or anything like that. But those who had eaten food around the first days of the catastrophe, were really afraid they had the disease inside of them and that they would began disintegrating just like the trees.

 But that never happened. People died out of hunger or because they couldn’t breath properly. Now most people used a special mask that tried to consume the minimal amount of oxygen. At first, it was quite a challenge to live like that, every day. But after a while, it was not really noticeable. Humankind had gotten used to other things and they would adapt to less oxygen in the atmosphere. Of course, there would be a certain level of extinction, but that’s nature.

 Each group that crossed the plains knew very well they shouldn’t stop much. They only did so when everyone, every single person, was in the need of water or food. They never stopped for only one person. If there was only one individual asking for help, they normally let him or her find a solution for their problem by their own. Most times, that person would die in just a few hours.

 The plains, so green and beautiful in a way, were like a desert. The climate was harsh because there were no trees to stop the sun getting to the ground. However, beside a few yellow patches in the grass, the ground wasn’t affected at all by the heat. There were still some rivers and lagoons, were they could recharge their bottles and other containers to have water. But the taste of it was different and it wasn’t as helpful to the body as before.

 Yet, people were persistent and walked every day and every night if that was necessary. Some groups did rest at night, but it was very unsafe or so thought others. Without any other animals, it made no sense to be scared of sleeping at night in the middle of the grass, but people still had many of the characteristics of the former humans, the people that they used to be not so long ago.

 Some groups reached the east and realized there was an ocean there they had to cross. But the first real thing they noticed was that the ocean level had dropped sharply. By the coast, they were strange formations they could identify as being from the former bottom of the sea. They could still see some fish and people grabbed them and ate them, because they were hungry and they had to put their hands on anything they could.

 In order to cross the sea, people would have to work hard and that was something to think about. After all, they had no way to breathing properly and they could die constructing any vessels. So first, they looked around and finally got to what used to be a Marina. The ocean was about ten kilometers away now. There were big yachts and smaller ships but there was the huge problem of moving it towards the water.

 They had to use a truck and some rope and try to do it slowly as the ship’s hull could break and that would mean more effort that would consume even more oxygen. But, thanks to the soft ground left by the moving sea, the ship got the coast unharmed. People got it into the ocean and sailed away. That was done by the first group to successfully cross the plains. They had lost about fifty lives in there and five more moving the boat. They were only twenty-four now. But at least they were alive in order to look for a better life abroad.

 Some had hope, still, that the disease of the plants had not reached other continents but the few people that were scientists or teachers knew that to be impossible. The world had been connected by so many ways in the past, that it was not possible for a disease to just stay in one place. It would have to be a conscious disease or something like that and, thankfully, they hadn’t found out about anything like that.

The first days of sailing were fine, but by the end of the first weekend, many got sick and some more died. They began thinking the ship would never reach the other coasts, wherever than was. Maybe they could at least meet others in order to survive together or maybe there was like a safe haven for the disease or something like that. People had to dream and have hope, because they didn’t have anything else.

 When the ship hit the other coast, only nine people were still onboard that first ship. They explored the coast and realized the strangely green grass also grew there. And there were no trees or flowers or any other types of plants. No bugs, no dogs, no nothing. They were done. They decided to keep on walking just to be able to think about something, to come up with a plan. But it would never happen. It was the end.

viernes, 19 de febrero de 2016


   The Bont islands expand from one continent to the other, forming a natural bridge that connected the biggest landmasses of the planet. On one side, there was the port of Ventura, one of the largest and most populated cities in the world and the destination of Captain Kimura, better known to her friends as Feisty Flo. She had been one of the main colonists of the Dharma expedition but things had gone horribly wrong: creatures from deep within the jungle had destroyed the colony and killed every single person in it. She had been the sole survivor of the attack and was now attempting to cross the Bont islands to get to Ventura and tell the authorities what had happened.

 There were five hundred islands or so from one side to the other. Some of them were only a few meters long but others were large enough to have their own forests and volcanoes. As the continent she was leaving, he islands remained mostly unexplored except for he one closest to Ventura. She had to wait to cross during the day, as the moon prevented crossings during the night. For security, she would only sleep on the beeches and would keep a small inflatable boat she had known in the destroyed colony close to her. She had collected some items and put them there, including footage of what had happened.

 She would cross the thin sand bridges between island and have the small boat, the size of a lifesaver, attached to her waist by a rope so it trailed behind her at her own pace. The first few days and islands were nice enough. The weather was very warm and without wind. Finally, on the fifth day or so, so was caught in a small storm but didn’t sought shelter, instead gathering water from the sky in various flasks and thermos she had found back in the continent. The boat was beginning to feel a bit heavier but it was for him own good.

 She would food from fish she caught between the islands and when there were none she would eat coconuts or whatever plants seemed good to eat. What Flo didn’t eat were small berries or strange leaves. She didn’t wanted to have to endure a stomachache or food poisoning in such a journey. In one of the islands she found enough wood to make herself a spear (with a pointy rock from the beach) and a bow and arrow with part of the rope she had around the waist. It didn’t really work much but at least she was able to get the occasional sea bird for dinner.

 At night she wouldn’t eat anything, fearing the jungles of some islands to be infested with the same monsters that had killed her friends. Flo was afraid of them and the possibility of luring him into the inhabited continent. She would hate to be the one to bring them there. The idea was to warn them, not to condemn them.

 When she reached the island called Jall, the biggest one on the chain, she knew she was midway to her destination. The island was very large and would require several days of walking and certainly a more intelligent way to cross it as the beaches were blocked and it could only be traversed through the jungle. She slept the night she arrived on the beach of the neighbor island and crossed and first light. She wanted to take advantage of every single second of light during the day and was even prepared to go hungry for whatever time was necessary in order to cross the island as fast as she could.

 The jungle was thick and the environment was very humid and thick, as if it was possible to actually touch the air and even take a bite out of it. The scents were generally sweet but after two hours of walking, the air turned heavier even and it started to smell awful. Flo had to pinch her nose for a straight hour, only breather through her dried out mouth. She wanted to wait to have some water but couldn’t as she fell she needed it badly, not being able to wait longer.

 She stopped pinching her nose and the scent of sulfur invaded her nostrils. She grabbed the closest flask on the inflatable boat and drank fast but when she finished she didn’t kept walking. Flo realized that the smell came from small holes and gaps in the ground and that it was the ground itself that smelled like that.  She looked up and between the trees a volcano as majestic as any other feature of this planet could be seen and a plume of heavy smoke, pouring ashes onto the other side of the island, was coming out of it.

 Flo had to keep walking but then she heard a noise she had heard before, the sound of pincers opening and closing and before she realized one of the large animals that had attacked her village launched itself towards her. Her legs were apparently faster that her head because she had already begun running when the creature attacked. She escaped by a thread and ran towards the other side of the island, hopefully reaching the opposite beach soon. But she could only see jungle and more jungle and huge trees rising from the ground. They looked like palm trees but much larger and with lots of branches.

 She only stopped running when the ground around her began to shake. The volcano was causing an earthquake and it was better to stay still. Far, beyond some plants, she saw the creature that had gone after her being devoured by a hole in the ground. It squealed horribly and disappeared as the tremor subsided and the island calmed down. Flo was sweating a lot and could only think about her boat and seeing if she had everything. After that, she kept on walking.

 The other side of the island could not be very far but the more she walked the more it appeared the island was expanding or maybe she was walking in circles. She decided to climb one of the tall trees, leaving her boat at the base, in order to check out where she was and if she could see the ocean and the direction she needed to go to be on the good route home. She climbed with ability, having done it many times as she had built the village. She had done so with so many great friends and people that wanted a second chance at life, trying to begin again in a new place. But that had just been a dream and she was the residue of that nightmare.

 When she got to the top she realized that she was very close to her objective, having only change course a bit. She had to start walking to her left because if she kept doing what she was doing maybe the volcano would consume her too. Talking about the volcano, she saw that the ash cloud had grown bigger and was spilling ash all over the passage she had to cross. But that wasn’t the most awful thing she saw from there. She noticed something like rocks on the side of the volcano, big black rocks. But then Flo realized they were moving and were coming down the mountain. She had little time.

 Fast, she always broke a leg getting down and tying up the rope to her waist. She ran to the left as she had planned and didn’t stop until she reached a rocky beach and saw a blackened ocean. The light of the afternoon, red as blood, didn’t help to the image of the place. It looked like hell, as simple as that. And the demons were coming behind her so she just swam. The natural bridge had disappeared so she propelled herself hard with arms and legs and was soon tired but because the water felt thicker and she couldn’t even breathe properly.

 Behind her, she heard dozens of pincers opening and closing and that made her try even harder to reach the other side and when she did she realized her body was covered in ashes and was black as the night that was beginning to fall. Tired and breathless, she saw how the beasts attempted to cross the water but something prevented them. The ashes were apparently more toxic to them than to her. One of the creatures, the bravest no doubt, launched itself to the ocean and tried to sweet but it got turned into a big white lump that floated away into the open sea.

 The others were mad but not for long. Flo had felt the ground shake again and then saw fire pouring out of the volcano. Lava, just like water, bathed every single side of the island and she could feel the heat on her face. The creatures tried to escape but they had nowhere to run. She saw them die and she felt bad for them and didn’t know why. The lava slowed down and she decided to cross the island she was in and sleep later.

 Florence actually crossed three small islands during the night, her fears having been also consumed by the lava. When she looked back, two days after the disaster, she saw only that the volcano had stopped and nothing more. She then had the silly idea that maybe, just maybe, that island was the natural toll booth of this world and maybe that other continent had never been one to settle a foot on.

 She then turned around and headed on to Ventura, pulling her small boat with her and hoping for the best for the future of the human race.

viernes, 3 de julio de 2015

The last march

  After the Great War, the lone commanders of the Union that were still loyal to the ideals of their lost cause, decided to force thousands to march to the deserts. One would think people would rebel against this in a heartbeat but the truth was that they didn’t. They were all exhausted after having been prisoners and slaves for almost five years. They didn’t have any energy in them and the commanders were the only ones that, though deranged, still kept some integrity and ideals, even if they were twisted. The war had destroyed every major city and no government had remained after the last nuclear warhead had been either used or destroyed in the ocean. The world was no longer in chaos because humanity was broken and it would take a very long time for it to be fixed.

 The march went on for a year, by which the commanders had begun to show mercy to their prisoners as they were all in the same condition. As the climate always changed, everyone wore the same robes that were cool during the day, when the sun was specially harsh on the planet and were a bit warm during the very cold nights in the deserts. The people only marched and marched. Sometimes they rested, ate what they could find, mostly insects, small animals and plants, if they could find them, and they had all agreed to harness the largest amount possible of water and to share among the whole community of marchers. The commanders wanted a larger share for themselves but, in time, they stopped asking for special conditions.

After the first year was done, almost five hundred people had died from exhaustion or disease. Among those, many commanders, some of the hardest and cruelest among them, which explained why no one was being as evil as they used to be anymore. The commanders had always believed that their race was superior and that their values and morals were the ones that would make the world better. But now, the ones remaining secretly believed that to be just propaganda statements. In the desert, going almost completely mad, they understood they were not superior to anyone and that they are equally fucked by war and the decisions of men that weren’t there to be punished.

 Of the group that marched, there were not many children. People began to notice, after a while, that sexual desire had decreased after the war and that even when people had sex, children were almost never produced. The general belief was that many women had been rendered infertile by the radioactivity in the air. One of those cases was Yolanda, a woman in her thirties that used to have three children but now only had one and had been rendered sterile. The only child she had was now too skinny and his skin was a weird green hue. She knew he was going to die soon because of radiation and, when it happened, she barely even bury him. She had been prepared.

 Among the commanders, Rick Wolf was maybe the oldest one remaining. He almost forty years old and had joined the Union because he had believed it would lead to a better life for him and his family but that was proven to be false. He actually thought about it often during the long walks, and he had reached the conclusion that the most disastrous point of his life had been the one when he had worked for some of the mad men that had rendered the world into a barren dust ball. Even then in the desert, he had never felt guiltier and shocked that during the war, were officials were demanding to exterminate certain groups o for them to be examined. They had inspired themselves from the past because, he thought, humanity had always been rotten.

 Commander Johansson was much younger, not even reaching his thirtieth birthday and he was beginning to think he would never reach it.  The truth was that he was never too hungry and when they happened to capture a large animal in some large wasteland, he just wasn’t hungry enough to eat more than a bite. He knew it was the radiation that was eating him slowly. He probably had cancer but he did not want to know anything about it. He was kind of glad medicine was over because he wouldn’t be able to cope knowing what was going to kill him. He felt better like this, just walking without thinking and waiting for his death.

 Not all of them just walked. A man called Jeremiah had been named one of the leaders of the prisoners, which were no longer really prisoners, and he was the one that lead them and decided were to go next. In the morning, he was the first one to be awake and he would often go around the camp singing waking everyone up. The songs he sang were sad and very ancient but they made the trick: people were ready in no time and it was him who decided which way to go. He thought that they should go to Australia, a country that was rumored to be still full of life and only marginally affected by the war. Radiation may be present there but not in such large quantities like here so he tried to take them there but no ocean had been seen yet.

 No water bodies had been seen at all to be correct. All the lakes and large rivers appeared to have been vaporized in the war and the small amount of water they often found was the kind that poured from the mountains over rocks and that could barely be kept in any bottle or can. They just drank from it or licked the rocks and went on with their march. Most people had forgotten fast about the taste of the food that they had eaten before it all went to shit. They forgot about juices, about cooked warm meals and about water that you didn’t have to lick to be satisfied. Their memories were slowly dying and nothing could really be done to stop it.

 They all knew that, eventually, they were going to die. They also knew that it would happen much faster than usual and that the weak would go first. And so it happen during that first year when mostly children elderly people and the ones that had a proper disease just died stumbling down to the ground. Some people, the ones that still had any real feeling left, tried to bury them with sand or under rocks but they soon realized that was too much work and that they didn’t have the amount of energy to be doing that every time. So from then on they decided to just let the dead lay down on the ground and for the living to continue their journey in peace, or at least without worries.

All that could be seen on their walks was dead or dying. The few creatures that they had managed to hunt were skinny animals that were simply not enough for such a large amount of people. At first, when capturing an animal, they would let one of the commanders skin it and then cook it in some hot water they had found. But like burying bodies, that too proved to be just a waste of time and energy. With time, they began eating raw meat, which gave them the energy needed to keep going and live one more day. Because in the end, that was their goal, to just live one more day in this world that had been destroyed and that would eventually be empty and with no recollection that we, the humanity, had ever been here at all. All of our things destroyed, our individual stories rendered useless and forgotten in the abyss of time.

 People didn’t know why they wanted to keep living. But they did. Most of them still had hope that they could fin more people, maybe living like proper human beings, or maybe getting to that Australia place and live in peace for at least a couple of years. Some of the walkers still remembered the old world and they would often tell storied to the others, to keep them entertained. The commanders allowed this and they would too be enthralled by the stories of the man, who claimed men had walked on the moon and that they had created viruses to be weapons and how an entire country was blown up in a day by the forces of the Union before the war even started. Although most people thought they were just stories, it happened to be all true.

 People had forgotten who they were. Humanity was no more and just people remained, empty, like a shell that some animal has left in the ocean to be covered by algae and sand. People had no interests in the world anymore or on each other. Some were still more human than others but it was all the same because they all knew that they were the last generation to walk the Earth. Strangely, that didn’t make them nervous or crazy. They had just accepted it because they knew it had all happened because of them and now the consequences were upon them and not accepting them was not an option.

 The march went on for as long as ten more years. The last group, of no more than twenty people, finally arrived to what used to be the ocean. Now, it was a region of canyons and death. It was then when humanity disappeared.

domingo, 29 de marzo de 2015

Out of the dark

   When I woke up, the train had entered a long tunnel. It felt strange, feeling my body awaken while we were all under the flickering lights. Thankfully, no one was watching my way. I didn’t want people to look at me directly in the eyes. I didn’t want them to discover what I was hiding, which was curious, as I had no idea myself. The only thing I knew was that I had been running for at least a year now. As always, I only remembered parts and pieces, some faces and gruesome images but not much else. I felt pain but the fear that had driven me crazy before was nowhere to be seen.

 This fact made me nervous. I was still waking up covered in sweat and in blood. I knew I had killed again but I didn’t feel bad about it as I did before. If anything, I felt strangely proud of myself. Not for killing of course but for having no more fear. Anyway, now I was brave enough to try to know more about the people I attacked and it was a great surprise to know none of them where exactly loved by their peers. Was I targeting a specific type of person? I had no idea, as it was that other me, the one that lived deep inside me, who decided that.

 But in that train, I realized I didn’t care anymore. All the feelings of angst and dear had gone. I was in pain, yes, but it was only physical. My head was not about to explode from the headaches that I used to have and I didn’t feel strangely hungry anymore. Somehow, I thought, it had to do with my two personalities finally making peace. It was going to happen some day; I just knew it, because at the end of the end they had to share my body and my brain. It wasn’t like if that wild creature inside me could just walk away. T was trapped inside of me and it had learned, for my sake, that it needed me to stay alive.

 After the tunnel had passed, I looked through the window to the mountains: it was beautiful scenery, with green valleys and snow-covered peaks. I could see farmers and cows and their crops. It was the first time I had noticed the world since I had gone insane. It’s strange but I had never noticed it to be that beautiful, that full of color and bright. I smiled, a first time in a long time too. I looked forward to the future and hoped it would calm down for me to have a normal life. My earlier job as a salesman was good but I had always wanted to draw for a living. People often told me they liked my drawings but I had never tried to show them to anyone that mattered.

 Maybe I could get myself a whole new life now, drawing and painting, doing the covers of books or music albums… Maybe I could get that small apartment I had always wanted, with a black and white cat and someone I could hug at nights. My life was going to change and for the first time in my life, not only after what had happened, I felt I was in full control of everything that could happen. I smiled and when I went to the restaurant wagon I smiled too and people smiled back to me. I decided to eat until I was full and then shower so to be ready when the train finally arrived at my destination.

 I had thought of stepping down in Germany but realized they might look for me there, as I had an aunt who had lived there long ago. So I decided to get down in Zurich and just get to know the city. I had emptied my bank account before leaving and was carrying that money with me. It wasn’t much but it wasn’t two bills either so I was especially cautious with it. I carried it all in a black backpack, with some underwear and my toothbrush. That’s all I could get from my home before I escaped. Remembering that brought tears to my eyes but I dried them and decided to shower. I paid a guy working in the train to let me enter an empty first class cabin and do it there. I had five minutes but it was more than enough. I didn’t change of course but I felt renewed.

 After an hour, the train finally arrived in Zurich. I stepped down fast and exited the station. It was raining in the city but I didn’t care. My first thought was to get into an Internet café where I could look for the cheapest areas to get an apartment. I would then get there by bus or whatever and finally rent a place before sunset. I saw several places but none like the one I imagined and certainly not the prize I could pay without running out of money before I got a job. Thankfully, this old lady told me there was a young man looking for a flat mate and that it would cost far less than if I decided to live alone. I followed her advice and met the guy: he was very nice and an artist so I accepted in heartbeat. Maybe he knew people to get me to start drawing.

 I moved in immediately, as I had nothing to really move in. We talked a lot that day with the guy I moved in and he asked me to show him some drawings but I had nothing on me. But then I remembered something and asked for his laptop. I had uploaded some of the drawings I had done to this kind of blog and people had actually liked them and shared them with other. I showed the blog to him and he told me I was good but that I needed a bit of training. He was a painter and a musician so he knew what he was talking about. After we chatted, I felt hungry again so I went out for a burger and decided to make a list of everything I needed to do and get.

 First of all, it was necessary to buy a laptop. I had the money but it had to be a cheap one because I couldn’t just blew it all of in one buy. I also needed clothes, at least the basics and getting a job. Sam, the guy I lived with, told me he could talk to some people in a university he knew so I could teach, or clean or whatever. It was the same to me. Now I needed a job to eat and keep living. My dreams could wait a bit longer. I also had to check if people were still looking for me and then decide if I lived there by my real name of by the new name with which I had bought the train ticket and had fled my country. It wasn’t as if I was running from the police or anything but people were looking for me and had hunted me down for a long time. Now it all seemed calm but you never know…

 I have to explain that they had never been able to tie me to any of the crimes I had actually committed. If my feelings served me right, I had committed murder at least ten times. I didn’t remember any of it but I did remember how scared and confused I felt afterwards, waking up in places I didn’t know and with dead bodies I had no idea who they were. As I said before, I looked up some of them when I escaped the asylum and learned they were all murderers themselves or thieves. Just bad apples from every corner of society. They certainly had families but that, I preferred, had to stay in secret for me forever. Guilt wasn’t going to get me the new life that I wanted.

 The next day, Sam and I visited the university and introduced me to his girlfriend, a teacher called Magda. She was a photographer and she taught the youngest students about it. She was in need of an assistant to help her in and out of class with everything that had to do with the chemicals and such of the labs in which she worked with her students. The day after that, she told me everything I needed to know and taught me how to process pictures myself in order to properly understand the process. She made me spend all morning outside the university taking pictures of random things. I decided to go artistic, or what I thought was artistic, in some and rather boring in others.

 When the pictures started showing up in the paper and Magda smiled at me, I smiled too and felt really happy, like back in the train. It was something silly but I felt everything was going to be great for me now. I was learning new things and I had met very nice people. I had a job and everything was finally going well. I mean, I still had some nightmares but I couldn’t remember the last time I had woken up covered in blood. My inner persona had apparently calmed down. Maybe my own brain had tamed him or maybe, just maybe, he had left me for good. This last thought made me hopeful but I soon realized that was probably not the case.

 The night of the pictures I slept nicely but they day after, when I got stressed out at work, I didn’t slept as good and woke up in the middle of the night. Suddenly, I realized he was still there, inside. He trying to get out, for me to accept him and I fought it silently, sweating as if we had run into a desert. I wasn’t going to lose to him, not now. But then, I felt I had taken the back seat and he was controlling everything. I begged for him to stop, to give me my body back but he wouldn’t back down. He used my body to get out to the street barefoot, in the middle of the night. I begged him not to kill again, not to make me go crazy again but I felt him asking for silence. It was the first time he made sense to me. And that scared me.

 I was right to be. Suddenly, out of nowhere, six men wearing black clothes appeared in the street. They were pointing guns at me, at us, and before I realized what was going on, he had launched us towards them. I heard the bullets but I wasn’t in control until the following morning. I was in bed, the one I had moved in. I was naked, my clothes nowhere to be found. And the sound of people made me look out of the window: six bodies laid there in the pavement, dismembered. A woman screamed.