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

miércoles, 22 de marzo de 2017

Owned

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

jueves, 26 de noviembre de 2015

Thanks

   Blood was always difficult to clean off. She grabbed a sponge from the bathroom and put it under the water with some soap. She then grabbed the sponge and started cleaning her boots, as they were covered in red. The sponge, that used to be yellow, got heavily tainted and it was almost impossibly to clean it after having removed almost every trace of blood from her boots. As she walked the bathroom, she grabbed the sponge and walked with her footwear on the other hand.

 Her name was Linda, which means “beautiful” or “cute” in Spanish. But that had nothing to do with her. First, because her parents had no idea of another language and they would have never bothered to learn anything about a world outside theirs. Second, because although she had a nice body and all the curves men would like to stare at, she didn’t found herself all that cute.

 She put on the boots in the living room and then went to the kitchen to throw away the sponge. She grabbed a yogurt, cheese and an apple from the refrigerator and ate them all practically at the same time. She hadn’t had a decent meal in a while and she had to take that moment to eat something recharge batteries. As she gulped down the yogurt, she realized her hands had lots of little cuts and she had blood under her nails. When Linda finished eating, she tried to clean it off but failed.

 It was time to go. Linda took out a cellphone and checked her messages. She had told Marlon to only text her and never to call her. Apparently he had gotten the idea because she had not received any calls, only one text when he asked if she was ok. She answered by only writing “yes”.

 When she walked out the house through the back, a gust of very cold wind hit her directly in the face. Maybe rain or some kind of snow front was coming. But that wasn’t important right now. She just closed her jacket the best she could and walked towards the car that was parked just on one side of the garden. It was one of those houses where everything looks perfect. But what was inside was not perfect, unless you were a homicidal maniac with a thing for order.

 Linda dismissed the thought of it all and got in the car. She had found the keys in an ashtray inside, as if the person that drove the car was always very careful about them. Linda drove faster than the previous owner, getting to the highway in no time. She tried not to speed in order not to attract any attention but it was hard. Her only wish was to be very far away from there, and that had to be done fast or they would link everything that had happened the last few days to her. And she couldn’t face that.

 Night came fast and also a thin rain, which was more annoying than anything else. She kept driving, remembering the faces she had seen recently and putting tags on the ones that she would never see again. Many people had died violently because of her lately and it was something that, although not honestly shocking, she did want it to be left behind. She wanted to be free from those awful memories and sights; she wanted to be left alone.

 However, as the “gas” sign on the car’s dashboard started beeping, she knew that wasn’t going to be possible. Right now, many cops, many people in general, were thinking that it was all her fault, it was all because of her and it was her who had done it all. And they were right, at least partially. Because she did have blood under her nails, because her body did ache because of the struggle and because she had seen what no one else had seen that week.

 Seven hours after departing the house, Linda pulled over a gas station. It was self-service, so she used the cash she had found on the house to fill the tank and hope no one would catch up with her there. She entered the store to pay and realized a table had been set up inside and, before she could walk back, the family having dinner there noticed her and smiled. Somehow, they were happy to see her, even if she had no idea who they were or what they were doing. Suddenly, people got up and smiled and she saw food on the table and remembered.

 It was Thanksgiving Day. She had forgotten all about it as she had been too busy dodging life. She walked closer and asked to pay for her gas but the family invited her to a plate. She insisted on paying but the mother replied they had all decided to celebrate the day there because the station was family property and they couldn’t close it down so the best way to celebrate was to do it in the store and give any costumers a plate to share the joy of the holiday.

 Linda insisted many more times, looking out at the car, but every single one of them kept insisting. They then put a plate on her hands and she had to do something she had almost forgotten how to do: act. She forced a smile on her face and went around the table putting various types of salads and vegetables and turkey on her plastic plate. She then thanked them all and told them she would prefer to eat it in her car, as she didn’t want to interrupt.

 Then, Linda heard it again. She froze right where she stood as the voice, which was not feminine or masculine, invaded her head. She didn’t understood how it had found her again. It had to be close. She asked for it not to do anything to her or to the people there but, when she realized it, she had dropped her plate of food and was now holding the knife they were using to cut the turkey. Her arm moved and she was inside of her body, unable to control anything. But as she was about to slash one of the attendants, a bullet entered her leg and she lost balance, collapsing to the floor. She lost consciousness right there.

 The woman had some awful dream, were voices in different tones told her what to do. One wanted her to poke her eyes out, another one advised to grab a knife and cut her legs off. Another, deeper voice, ask her to just drop dead. And then they all stopped talking and she heard a beautiful female voice. It was someone she knew or at least she seemed to be very familiar to her. But that didn’t matter. The voice told her, in words that felt like a medicine, that she had to fight back, not letting them in.

 Linda woke up, panting and sweating in a hospital bed. She had wanted to move but two things stopped her: she was tied to the bed, as they did with mental patients, and her leg was hurting too much, so she could barely move properly. She tried to fight her restraints but it was useless and she tried to scream too but her throat was dry and she would only hurt herself. Linda couldn’t cry either, as much as she had wanted to do so many times before. Somehow, she couldn’t.

 Two men then entered the room, a policeman and a doctor. The agent started talking about how she was going to be incarcerated due to her having murdered over twenty people the past few days and her attempted murder of a family that had been seating about to have dinner. Linda just shook her head, unable to speak. The men ignored this. The doctor then spoke, telling her that she apparently suffered from a condition in which illusions and voices were very present so he had recommended the police not to put her in jail but in a psychiatric ward.

 Again, Linda tried to scream, but couldn’t.

 She was transferred to a psychiatric hospital two days after they had extracted the bullet. There, she wouldn’t be isolated but she would remain for life. They had deemed her “incurable”, so she was just left alone with her thoughts.

 As much as she tried, for several years after her demise, she never regained the ability to speak. However, people understood her all the same. She had no idea why and she had no need for an explanation. The voices, both the crazy ones and the beautiful one, disappeared from her life. So she was just a regular girl living in a place filled with the most criminally insane people in the world. And all because of what some voices had told her to do, controlling her mind and body.


 As she got older, the clinic used her as the patient that welcomed any new additions to the madhouse. It was then when she realized how it was possible that people understood her. And it was amazing no one had said anything, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Maybe she was manipulating them too but realized that was too far fetched. Linda could only be in their heads, that was it.

miércoles, 8 de octubre de 2014

The Need To...

Ali was born when the Soviet union still existed and a wall divided the lives of the citizens of one same city. He was born into a struggling family, a group of people seeking to breakaway from what society had set for them.

But, as he grew up, strange things started happening. When a young kid at school, people teased him for no reason, mocked him for being the new kid or for peeing his pants as he was always afraid of everyone.

His family travelled, from one city to the other and that was fine for him. He didn't liked people very much, only his family, and it was best not to get so involved. In time, he made friends but the relationships were short. It was then when it happened.

His mother felt it first. When he touched her one day, she felt suddenly ill, trembling, feeling her knees caving to the weight of the body. It was strange but no one even thought the possibility of Ali being the problem.

That changed when it happened again and again and finally, with a schoolmate, in class. He touched his hand when handing off a pencil and then the kid collapsed and everyone saw how it happened.

Ali was tested in every way possible. He was only twelve years old, so he was confused and scared. The doctors, at first, didn't found anything. But a foreign specialist took an interest and ran tests himself.

Apparently, Ali had developed some sort of self defense mechanism: his skin would attack anyone touching the boy by inducing sickness. The doctor didn't know if the sickness was inside Ali or was created by his body. He requested further tests.

But Ali's parents said no. They didn't wanted him to become a freak. So they left that city and went back to where he was born. They thought it was the best place for him but, as it turns out, it was one of the worst decisions they could have made.

He went back to the place he dreaded, where he felt under judgement every single day. He grew solitary and isolated by his own will. His grades weren't very good either. He had no will to keep going.

But the family helped as much as they could and he accepted that help. Soon, they became inmune to his powers. But it wasn't the same with others so he kept to himself. In his last year in school he made some friends but he knew it was too late. He had no intention of keeping any memories of that place.

When he left, he went to college and study arts, as he felt his mind needed to open more, to learn more in order to be able to control his powers.

But, in time, he discovered that wasn't possible. He didn't have any control over it and when people got too close, the powers stepped in and drove them away. He made a few friends, real ones, and they learned about his condition and promised to keep distances, remaining friends.

Sometimes his powers rested, as with his family, and then he could be a little closer to friends.

The other issue, which wasn't a problem but a fact, was that Ali liked boys. As he was a boy, this may have added some difficulty to his life but, strangely enough, it never was. No one rejected him for it, maybe because the people he knew were a bit more liberal than most.

The real problem came every time he grew close to someone. His powers would turn off at first, even letting him have sex or kind of a relationship for a few weeks but it always ended up badly and then the guy would end up sick and Ali would run away.

It was worst when the people were actually bad, with awful intentions and using lies to get to him. They thought they were smarter, just brighter and his body knew they weren't. They just lied. And once, he had felt he was taking a life, or at least his powers did.

So when he got out of college, he decided to go away, to another country, by himself. There he would keep studying and be away from any distractions. To be honest, Ali didn't not believe in love anymore. For him, the concept was ridiculous as he had only seen people using others for their own wellbeing and not to give anything back.

Away, he was in peace. Of course there was always someone in the street that caught his attention or a strong need to hold someone. But that wasn't possible as he knew something would eventually go wrong, as his powers could go crazy and kill anyone. It had almost happened once and the feeling had been impossible to forget.

Ali lived alone, always refusing someone that would come too close. He had learned to be tough, to be nasty if needed. He didn't wanted anyone interested in him and viceversa.

He made some money writing, working in supermarkets, moaning lawns, walking dogs and as a waiter. He had found a small flat, with one room and one bathroom.

And that was Ali's life. As people always hurt and never wanted him but something else, he lived and died alone and no one ever knew how much he had wanted, needed, to hold someone else's hand.