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

viernes, 30 de junio de 2017

Mission

   It wasn’t very normal for Truman to be assigned to a special mission. Not that he didn’t deserved to be in one, rather than his superiors had always deemed preferable that he stayed with the troops, helping do what soldiers usually do instead of traveling the globe protecting something or someone. He had never been the bodyguard type and people saw that. Instead, they considered him a mastermind of strategy, a very skilled mind that could solve difficult situations were a lot was at risk.

 However, about a week or so ago, he had been summoned by his superiors and instantly praised and thanked for his service. When they did that, he knew that they wanted something out of him. The only question was what? What did they want him to do that they couldn’t find anyone else to do it? Was he their first choice or had they just decided to send someone that not many people would miss? So many questions amassed in his head in only a few seconds. His muscles were tense.

 After being done with the praising, they explained they needed him to form a team to protect a very special cargo travelling through a very difficult region of the world. A region at war that needed to be crossed by a train carrying very important things for the country. At first, Truman wasn’t very convinced by the aspect of the mission. He was normally given a lot to work with but this time they wanted him to get a team just to ride and protect a train. They wouldn’t say anything else.

 But he couldn’t refuse to help him. In the military, there was no such thing as the word “no”. You can have doubts and you can even express them to your superiors but you cannot, never, say “no” to any of their orders. Maybe one day when you become a superior as well and that may never happen for many reasons people knew very well but preferred not to talk about. The point was the he had no option but to accept the mission, as vague and unclear as his orders could be.

 Truman contacted every single soldier that he knew, the ones that were actually good at what they did. The team he needed to gather had to be very large in order to have a successful trip through deserts and farmlands, as well as devastated cities. Some of the men he contacted were spending some time with their families but they all accept in an instant. Again, there was never a negative word inside of the military; there were just orders and the right way to proceed about them. Besides, they all respected Truman a lot, as they knew him from the field.

 They were given amazing brand new weapons as well as a special suit that would protect them in case of an attack. As there was no time to train, Truman asked the men he had invited to the mission to exercise daily until the day they traveled to the city where the train was stationed. They all obliged, going back to their intense gym routine in the blink of an eye. Most of them loved the pain that exercising brought. They felt more powerful after it and their confidence was easily boosted.

When they got to the train, they were kind of surprised to discover that the train they had to protect was not a cargo train but rather an actual passenger train, with few but too many passengers for them to worry about. Truman expressed his concern to one of his bosses but he just said he had done lots of missions like this one that he didn’t have to worry. But he did, because he had prepared everything to protect a cargo train, not really a place were people had drinks and laughed too.

 Because the train was not exclusive to one person. To ensure that their enemies thought twice about attacking the transport, the government had decide to use passengers as a human shield to protect whatever it was that the government needed to have protected. It was very complicated and not very patriotic to use others in order to defend something that no one knew what it was, but once again, they had to trust the superior and just proceed with everything, no matter where they were.

 The train departed on time, early in the morning, with at least one hundred people seating inside. The team had no idea where what they protecting was in the train but, as they guarded doors and such, they discussed their ideas about what it was and why the government want to protect it like that. Some said it was only a bunch of papers incriminating someone somewhere and others were certain it was some kind of new weapon that they had developed in secret and needed to be moved.

 Any of the guesses could be correct, that was the thing that bothered Truman the most. As he walked outside, in order to guard the last wagon, he realized for the first time in his life that he had no idea why he was in that place. Something didn’t feel right to him and when that happened he did prefer to go with his gut instead than his head. Whenever something was off, he had stomach cramps. By the time he reached the last wagon, he wasn’t feeling especially great either. More like the opposite. He felt a little dizzy and then realized it wasn’t because of his gut.

 Before fainting Truman had realized what was going on: they had used some kind of poison or gas that made people fall asleep. As his eyes closed, he was certain that he had fallen into some kind of trap but he had no idea who the trap was supposed to catch. The other soldiers were not attacked, only him as he was alone and the leader of the bunch. He woke up much later, judging by the night sky outside. Truman knew that he was still inside the train but in some sort of closet.

 He was very cramped in that small space, his head still spinning. He wanted to talk to someone; he wanted his questions answered and his men beside him. But he didn’t get any of his wishes that night. Instead, he go to hear the most awful of noises: a woman’s scream pierced the sky. It was so intense, that Truman felt the voice inside him for a while. The sad thing was that the scream was followed by more screams and they were not only done by the same woman, but by other people too.

 Truman fought the cable they had used to tie him up. But it didn’t move from his wrists for a second. She tried to make every part of the small room to shake in order to cause someone to hear him or at least to be able to open the door but he couldn’t. They must have used some kind of lock for the door and the cable on his wrists seemed to pierce into his skin every time he tried to get rid of it. It was very painful, because he had tried very hard and now his wrists were covered in blood.

 The screaming continued and it was followed by the sound of weapons. Truman’s face was drained of all blood when he heard something he could recognize anywhere: his brand new weapons. He had practiced a bit before boarding the train and had discovered how that new assault weapon was just so much better than existing ones. Apparently they were made only to be used by a special task force that protected the most private secrets of the nation, whenever and wherever necessary.

 The sound of the weapons lasted for at least fifteen minutes. Then, it was silence. A very eerie silence because nothing but the train tracks could be heard. Truman thought that maybe they had been attacked by the enemy and now they had killed everyone on the train.


 But then the door opened and someone pulled him out of the tiny closet. The brightness of the lights were very hard to look at but it was way harder to look at one of his superiors with one of the new weapons on his hand. And on the floor, Truman’s team, all dead. It was the first time he needed someone to explain the situation.

martes, 15 de noviembre de 2016

State visit

   Everyone at the airport was ready. The staff had put on their best clothes and every single corner of the small terminal building had been cleaned to the last millimeter. From very early in the morning, people had arrived to help organize every single part of this impromptu visit. After all, it was the president of the most powerful country in the world. And theirs was one of the poorest and most isolated ones on the whole planet. However, the presidential plane had to refuel somewhere, so the small nation had received the honor of hosting the president for a few hours.

 From the moment they had been warned about the impending arrival of the plane, hundreds of people were put to work. Not only those in the airport, people who only really worked on weekdays and even then only in certain time frames, but also every single operator and technician available. They wanted not only the people to feel welcomed but also to make the best work possible with the plane. They got fuel from the city’s reserves, as the amount they had on the airport was not enough to refill a plane the size of the one they were going to see in a few hours.

 The process required almost every person in the capital, a city of about a thousand people, to wake up and also help by cleaning the streets of the city and the authorities enabling the movement of fuel reserves from where they stored it to the airport, which was fairly close to the city. People took to the streets with brooms and mops and every single cleaning help they could get, but the truth was no one really knew if the president was going to land and stay on the plane or walk around a little bit. Many people were curious like that.

 The president of the tiny nation was the one that was moving all over his house, calling the right people and asking everything from food to more cleaning products. He wanted to send a message through TV but the people of the studios were helping around so he decided to send it through the radio. It was much simpler and more effective; as it was the medium of communication that people listened to while they were preparing the city for the big arrival. Every single person in the country heard it and everyone understood the importance of the visit.

 To the eyes of the world, it was practically a miracle that their country actually existed. To be honest, it had been a thing of luck and one of those strange coincidences that happen out of nowhere. They were too isolated and unimportant. Practically everything they had came from their neighbor to the east. So they had known starvation and real poverty because when that neighbor didn’t have enough for themselves, they suffered too. But the world in general never really knew anything because they weren’t watching, until now.

 The country had no army but its people did behave like one once the president’s message had reached every single person. They knew they had around six hours to have everything ready. With luck, the weather up in the clouds would delay the plane a bit more to give them more time but they constantly checked with the aircraft and that didn’t seem to be the case. Everyone had to do their best in the time given. Only an hour after the president’s announcement, everything was coming up nicely and all citizens were helping, even elders and children.

 A huge amount of people arrived at the terminal in order to use the old kitchens that some rundown businesses had not used in several years. The idea was to cook a good amount of their national food for the people arriving, as well as other dishes that they might like. It wasn’t crazy to think that they would be very hungry, even at that early hour of the day. After all, this was all going on in the darkness of the night. The president was scheduled to arrive around eight o’clock in the morning, so they had to wake up or not even sleep.

 The cooking team was led by the nation president’s chef, his own wife. It wasn’t like in other countries were the president has everything and the people below him have nothing. In that nation, everyone was basically the same. People hadn’t starved in some years but they weren’t rich or even close to that. So the president’s wife decided it was best if someone close to the government like her supervised the food. It was the best way to guarantee that it would be perfect for someone with such a high profile as the ruler of the richest country in the world.

 They acknowledge that all those people in that plane, around two hundred according to the information they had shared with them, had been and eaten in places much better than their small country. That was obvious and they didn’t feel bad about it. But they wanted them to leave knowing a little bit more of their culture and about what they loved to eat and drink in those lands. The menu had been defined by the president’s wife and she was very confident that it was going to be one of the best feasts in the recorded history of their nation.

 It consisted of a special recipe for meatballs using a kind of cheese that was made from goat milk, which also happened to be used in their national beverage, which was kind of like a milkshake but less thick and richer in flavor. They also cooked the goats in various ways and were very proud about their vegetables and mushrooms, of which they had a very large variety. Various dishes were cooked with all those ingredients and some spices too.

 The small country’s president arrived in the airport only two hours before the arrival of the plane, to check everything out. The terminal had been painted in record time by volunteers and the control tower was bursting with life when, in normal days, it would only have one person and not even all day. He thanked everyone there and then went to the terminal’s commercial area where his wife and helpers were giving the final touches to the food. The smell had flooded the building and it was very delicious, so much that many stomachs growled loudly.

 Then, he went outside and did a walk around the tarmac and the runway. There wasn’t a single spec of dust anywhere, which he thought was absolutely magnificent, especially for such a windy part of the country. It seemed as if the weather was also helping them achieve their goal. The red carpet in the tarmac was the same one that the president had stepped on when he was inaugurated for his term, more than three years ago. A president’s term was five years and he couldn’t be reelected, which he personally thought was a good idea.

 He decided to check the band that had been practicing for hour in the cold and congratulated them for the amount of love they were showing the country. He stayed a bit to hear them play and, to be fair, they were not as prepared as he would have like, but there was no way of getting better musicians with only an hour to go. They would have to do. What made them special, at the end of the day, was that they played their instruments with real passion and the idea of making their country proud. And that was more than enough.

 The president decided to wait for the plane in the control tower. There, he would be able to know every detail about the upcoming visit. When he stepped in, the plane had crossed into their airspace. It would be only thirty minutes until they touched down in the runway. The atmosphere was really special. Every single person in the tower, in the terminal, in the tarmac and even in the city was ecstatic. This was, by far, the most exciting thing to ever happen in their country. And they had all worked together to make it the best day possible.


 The plane came out of the clouds and landed, in a very soft and elegant manner. Everyone applauded and greeted the people inside through the radio. The president ran outside, getting ready with all others. Many people from the city had come out of curiosity and they had been allowed to stay a bit further away. The plane parked exactly where they had determined it should go. For some minutes, nothing happened. Then, the door opened and everyone stopped breathing for a second. Their moment had come.

miércoles, 3 de febrero de 2016

Secrets & Nightmares

   I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night. I had no idea what time of night it was but I remember the first thing I felt was his breath on my hair. It was warm and soft. He never snored. I knew that because I was very sensitive to sounds and I would have woken up if he was. When I felt his breathing I was relieved, because I wasn’t in the world of the nightmare anymore but on the real one, the one that recently had been very nice to me in many aspects.

 Some people say that if you are successful or happy is because you deserve it or because you have worked hard for it. I think it’s a combination of the two., mainly because I don’t believe in the concept of fighting for everything in life. People who believe that are the type of people that are very competitive and that don’t stop at nothing to get what they want, they believe everything in life is a competition and that’s simply not the way it is or at least not my life.

 Anyhow, I was glad right then that I didn’t woke him up, because I knew he had problems sleeping and didn’t wanted to be the one to disrupt his night. I decided to try and close my eyes again and slip away into a deep slumber, hopefully without dreams. But, again, I fell right into a nightmare, a horrible world filled with the worst creatures I have ever seen, with all my fears parading around, rubbing past mistakes or their simple existence in my face. I had to wake up once again, this time really drenched in sweat.

 Thankfully, he had moved a bit away from me so I just separated my body from his slowly and went to the bathroom, to wash my face with cold water and try to relax a bit. I tried sitting on the toilet, pissing, even going to the kitchen and grab a bite. I also did some simple exercises in the living room and saw possibly five minutes of a TV show I didn’t even like. When I was back into bed, he woke up and asked me, between asleep and angry, where I had been?

 I kissed him in the lips, which made us both very happy and laid there with him. He fell asleep very fast and I stayed up for a long while, in fact not sleeping again for the rest of the morning. At that moment I did check my cellphone and saw it was five in the morning. We had to wake up in three hours and I couldn’t do one more of sleeping. I just used that time to think about it all, checking in my mind if everything was ready and found myself shaking a bit and my stomach growling.

 I grabbed his hand, which he had put over my chest, and squeezed it softly. He tightened his grip on me and I liked that. I felt safe and I guess that’s what I needed to feel.  If the alarm hadn’t gone off in that moment, I think I would’ve slept a bit. But I didn’t.

 The first thing he did when he woke up was kissing me, and then we showered together, hugging a lot and almost dancing beneath the water, When we were finished, we dressed up in silence and went to the kitchen to have breakfast. We both had cereal and talked a bit over it. He noticed I hadn’t sleep and I had to convince him I was ok, only a bit anxious about our day and that he shouldn’t worry. It was clear he was already worried but he didn’t go on with the subject, he just said he had to be at his sister’s in an hour.

 When he left, I cleaned up the place, changing the sheets of the bed to new ones I had bought secretly. I also pulled out some scented candles from a shopping bag I’d hidden beneath the sink, as well as other products that we would use for other purposes. When it was all ready I grabbed my kiss, gave the place one last look and went out the door. I had no car so I decided to walk to my mother’s house, which was an hour away by walking but I had the time.

 He had left before me because he said his sister could handle everything and that we shouldn’t do anything else than just show up at the right time. He was going to her place because that was the closest relative he had alive. His parents had died several years ago and since then his sister had been everything. She was a very organized person and had proposed to help us because she knew that the event needed a woman’s touch to be just perfect.

  As I walked to my former home, I thought about it all. I was nervous, obviously, but I knew the nightmares had been produced by something else. It wasn’t fear that had put them in my mind; it was something else that I didn’t quite understand. I mean, as everyone in the world, I have secrets and thing I wouldn’t like every single person to know, but that had never given me nightmares so what was this all about?

 I used my walk home to think about everything that would happen that day and I realized I was entitled to feel worried and maybe being a little bit scared. Marriage was not someone that I did everyday and it had been a question of “When?” for a long time and that time had finally come. I was sure about my affirmative response to it because I loved him dearly, beyond anything I had ever dreamed of. He was my prince charming and my bad boy, all in one. How corny does that sound?

 Thinking about him made me smile and many people on the street smiled me back. I didn’t noticed for a while but when I did I just laughed and thought that being in love was not as people described it but that it was good if you were ready for the long haul.

 In my mom’s house, my parents were dressing up, as well as my sister and her husband who had just arrived from abroad with their baby. She would have loved to have him carry the rings but he was still too young for that. Instead, my future husband’s youngest cousin was up for the job. She was a very nice girl and a bit mad for a seven year old, so she was right up our alley.  I also changed in a matter of minutes and decided to just wait in the living room for everyone to be ready.

 I dozed off and entered, once again, the dark territory of my nightmares. I recognized the feeling and the images and I could even feel my body sweat. I was in darkness, only able to see a light very far in the distance and the only thing I could do was walk towards it. Trying to grab it. But every single step I took was filled with pain, as if spines or small knives entered my every limb. Besides, and this was the most awful part, I felt hands in the darkness touching me, grabbing me to a place below that seemed liquid in nature. I knew that if I were pulled down there, I would die. And then, as always, I woke up before my head was submerged.

 My dad noticed when I woke up, because apparently I had let out a scream. He said that the best way not to dream bad things was either not to sleep or trying to make sense of whatever the dreams were about. I know my father wasn’t into Freud or anything, he just thought that if something was bothering it would translate into annoying nightmares and it was. I knew that was the case. Bu t it wasn’t just easy, it wasn’t just about letting the air out. It was harder than that.

 When everyone was finally ready, we jumped into the family car and drove towards the venue, a small banquet hall not far from there. When we arrived, every single guest was already there and I could notice he had already arrived too. So I was the one who had to go second, as per the rules. They started right away with the music. Then his sister escorted him to the altar, then me by my mother. I when I see him, my body let out one single tear. I say that because I had no control over it.

 The notary started talking about the law and citing many aspects of marriage that he found funny but also very important, so that the audience and us took it into account. He told us it was a very important thing to sign a paper and say “I choose to live my life with this person”, and that he personally admired those who did. We signed, me crying more and more, and finally kissed to the cheering and joy of our families and friends. As we kissed, I realized it was time, so covered by the wall of sound I whispered in his ear, took him by the hand and walk the carpet back into the main hall were food was being served.


 We didn’t discuss it until after the party, that went on for quite a while. He liked the candles in our room and the new sheets but he went straight to my confession as we sat down in the bed. I started crying and he held me, in love with me. He told me that he would do whatever I wanted, whatever made me happy. I smiled at him and then told him, clumsily, that I really needed to know where my only son was and what he was like. He grabbed my hand and kissed me.

sábado, 7 de febrero de 2015

A small issue

   Amanda just laughed. She stopped fast but her answer to Melinda’s problem was not precisely the one she needed. Yes, she wanted to laugh too but she couldn’t as it concerned and it was a subject she considered deeply important. The waitress came with one big cup of ice cream and a glass of water, both for Melinda. She started eating right away, trying to avoid thinking in nothing else than in the different flavors of her sundae. Amanda just looked at her, worried but still with a smirk on her face.

-       Just tell me again, and let’s see what I can do for your. Really.

 Melinda just looked at her, still eating. After all, she had called Amanda to tell know her point of view of the matter and to see if she had some advice, although she didn’t know if advice had anything to do in this kind of situation. She raised her head and was about to talk but didn’t know where to begin. She had some water and then started, almost reciting was had happened days before.

 She had met the guy at a party made by one of her coworkers. It was a birthday. Melinda reminded Amanda that she had invited to go. Amanda nodded but did not say anything else, in order to let her friend tell all without interruptions. Melinda kept on, telling that she had some drinks at the party and eventually ended up meeting Dave, a friend of the guy they were having the party for.

 At first she didn’t really acknowledge his advances, because he was really been insisting, but after two more glasses of wine he began to be less annoying. They talked about work, about their favorite TV shows and the music they loved. When time come to leave the party, that had died out due to people being mostly drunk, Melinda left with Dave and then had a great night. They ate hotdogs, strolled through town remembering their past lovers and, finally, they arrived at her place. Without doubting, she asked Dave to come in with her.

 At this point, Melinda stopped talking and ate a big scoop of ice cream. Amanda just looked at her, now with what looked like pity, and waited for her friend to stop eating and keep talking. But Melinda has a second scoop of desert, as she found it difficult to keep talking. Finally, after a sip of water, she went on.

 She had been drinking too much and yes; they had sex on her bedroom. It was very strange because she did not have a huge hangover the day after but, somehow, she didn’t remember anything. She knew she had had sex with Dave but did not remember anything about it. When she woke up, thankfully, he was getting dressed up and told her he had to leave because he had something to do with his family. Half asleep, she said bye and went back to her pillow.

 This time Amanda decided to interrupt. She did this because she thought that first time was the only one Melinda had met Dave. She thought the story was about a one-night stand. But Melinda, after finishing her ice cream, told her friend that they had seen each other once more, about a week ago.

 It was him who called and asked her out on a date. Having nothing else to do that weekend, she had agreed to see him. Amanda asked why she had said yes but Melinda went on, remembering how she had dressed casually for their dinner. It was in a nice restaurant but she had no intention of dressing up for a guy she barely remembered. Nevertheless, she had to confess, they had a great time. The man was very charming and had many tales that were really interesting.

 They talked and talked for hours until it was late and, this time, it was him who asked her to go to his house to have something to drink and keep talking. She realized she hadn’t really gone out with anyone for a long time and Dave seemed like a very nice person. He was interesting and enjoyable and he wasn’t bad looking at all. So she agreed to go to his house. There, he had a very nice bottle of wine and she had one of the most funny and interesting conversations she had had in recent memory.

 Amanda then interrupted her friend, once more, to ask what Dave looked like. Melinda told her friend that he was about her size, so not very tall. He had blue eyes, which was largely uncommon in the guys she had liked, and he had nice short hair, not styled in stupid fashions like most men were using it today. That day he had wore very nice clothes, with a tie and everything. She had left a little guilty not to wear a nice dress.

 She asked for a glass of wine and went on with her story. They had been drinking and talking for several hours until he planted a kiss on her and she responded by pushing him and kissing him on the sofa, almost entirely on top of him. This was followed by both of them standing up, still kissing, and getting into his room. She landed first on the bed and then he leaned closer. It was very arousing, she confessed. But then it happened.

 She had never been one for touching or grabbing but that night she had felt especially bold. So she went for it and realized something was vey particular. She decided not to think about it and then proceeded to remove her blouse and he took off his shirt. It was very hot and they kept kissing until she unzipped his pants. It happened all so fast, she barely remembered everything accurately. The point was she was at home like thirty minutes later, not even waiting in the apartment for the taxi but choosing to wait for it in the building’s hall.

 Amanda was now smiling in a silly way again. Melinda hid her face behind her hands and said again what she had told her friend, almost upon arrival:

-       He had a small penis.

 It had the same effect on Amanda, who burst into laughter and even cried a bit because of her reaction. This time, however, even Melinda smiled a bit. She knew the situation was silly but she still felt betrayed, if that was the proper word. Days after, she remembered everything and she knew she hadn’t responded in the right way but, apparently, Melinda put too much attention to those details.

 Amanda then told her it wasn’t a bad thing, although her response had been just disastrous. She thought Dave was surely ashamed and affected by it all afterwards and men took really seriously the attempts against their manhood. She then proceed to ask how “bad” it was, and she said it just looked small, like… Amanda didn’t really know what she said, because she said it under her breath, but it wasn’t important.

-       Do you like him?
-       Well… Yeah, I guess.
-       No. Do you like him? Be sure!
-       Yeah, I do. His really nice.
-       And is his… - Amanda looked around – size, so important?

 Melinda didn’t answer right away. She didn’t wanted to sound shallow but it was true that most men she had dated had been well endowed and she know realized maybe that had been a conscious decision. But before she said anything, Amanda kept talking.

-       If it is, just call him and apologize. He doesn’t deserve what you did. And if it really isn’t, apologize too and try to give yourself a chance. Who know, he may be exactly who you need in your life.

 As it happens, Dave wasn’t the man of her dreams or nothing of the sort. She went up to his house and apologized in person. He was glad that she had come. They didn’t discussed anything of what happened but talked about other subject and realized hey could be very good friends.


 Maybe she was shallow after all or, maybe, sex was too important for her to be overlooked. Anyway, she promised herself never turn down anyone because of her personal preferences. It just wasn’t the decent thing to do.