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

viernes, 9 de octubre de 2015

He was just here

   Raymond felt he sand between his toes and just kept on walking, not even realizing he was walking towards the ocean. To him, it didn’t matter anymore. His life was stuck on a loop and he had lived what he needed to live. He felt there was nothing more he could do or that he could get out of life on Earth. He had decided to think things by taking a walk and, unknowingly, his subconscious had already decided that it was time to end it all. The water reached his pants fast, and then his underwear. Then his belt, his shirt and finally his glasses. The current and the sheer strength of the ocean did the rest, taking his body from that cold, windy beach to the bottom of the ocean, from where no one would be able to take it for some time.

 He wasn’t someone people would miss and, although the ocean released the body, the police didn’t identify him for several months, as no one would ask for him. When they finally did identify the body as Raymond Bloom, it happened just because of a casual matter and not because someone was looking for him. The truth was he had no wife, no children, no parents and no friends. According to the information an officer was able to gather, he had lived alone for at least twenty years in a small attic on a very old building. The place smelled awful, as no one even knew the owner was dead. The officer found there some leads on who the man was and, maybe, on why he had done what he had done.

 Officer Jenny Marshall was one of those people who believe the best of every single person. It was strange for a cop to have such an attitude towards life but there she was, trying to cheer people up and making the best of her day every single day. She had been transferred recently and it was only the second post she had held ever so she wasn’t really assigned to the streets or to some interesting investigations. Jenny normally did the paperwork for every case and was in charge of keeping the archives in order, something she took very seriously. Deep down, she knew that her male counterparts loved to see her tie down to a job that didn’t lead anywhere but she ignored that fact and just did her work.

 Investigating the death of Raymond was assigned to her because she requested it. She told her boss she wanted to change her work a little and such a case would be perfect for her. After all, it seemed pretty straightforward and she could even do all the paperwork herself. So she convinced her boss and there she was on Raymond’s apartment, pinching her nose to avoid the foul smell of rotten food and trying to uncover the reason why he had committed suicide. To Penny, personally, it was not clear how a person could do such a thing. For her, life was sacred and no one had the right to take their own, even if they felt helpless and desperate. She knew there were always better options.

 She went through Raymond’s things and discovered that he had been published. The books did not look very nice on the outside but then she decided to sit down on the bed and just read one of the many stories the man had written in them. One was particularly moving; dealing with a ghost that saw how his childhood home was tore down to build an apartment building. She found very interesting but very sad too. She kept on looking for clues on Raymond’s house but she realize the only thing worth looking in there was his books so she put them all in boxes and took them to the station. She would try to find something in them and get to the bottom of the case, that way making everyone realize she could be a great agent and even a decent detective.

 Jenny started ready every single one of Raymond’s stories at work. No one really said anything to her because she wasn’t annoying anyone and she was doing her main job, which was taking care of the all the data. As she did that and on her free time, she would only read and read everything. Months passed until she had read every single piece of writing in Raymond’s apartment.  It was winter now and the last words she read from him where strangely appropriate for the climate: “I feel the cool breeze coming and telling me it’s time to go”. That was a short story about a man radically different from Raymond, with family and love all around him.

 The officer decided to let the case go for a while, so she went home and spent the holidays with her parents and her boyfriend and every other family member that had decided to come to the city for Christmas. She had a wonderful time eating and talking and dancing. She laughed a lot and wished for life only to be like that, full of joy and people whom you loved and who loved you. She realized Raymond’s writing had begun to depress her a bit but her family and all the love and special mood of the season brought back to her the best feelings and that nice warmth that only love can take to someone’s heart. And then, right in the Christmas dinner, she understood what had happened to Raymond.

 He had killed himself, not because he was weak or suffering in a too awful way. He died because he was alone; he had no one to take care of him or to even listen to what he had to say. And that was obvious just by reading what he wrote, as he said everything about anything he had ever thought about in life. It was amazing to read about so many things, but funny and serious, happy and sad, short and extremely long. His writing had been the way for him to externalize every single thing he had bottled up inside, as he ad never had anyone to properly talk and share his thoughts with. He had been trapped by his own life or, at least that’s what Jenny thought. Even if he was to blame, he had no choice.

 When the holidays ended, she wrote her report on the death of Raymond Bloom and decided to properly request her transference to the detective’s unit. She knew she could do more there and when her demand wasn’t accepted, she resigned the police. Jenny had learned from investigating Raymond that she needed to do with her life as she wanted, she couldn’t afford not living and not doing what her heart demanded of her. She didn’t want to end up like Raymond, all alone and talking to the books because there’s no one there. Unappreciated by the world and ignored to the point when, at her death, no one would ever think of grieving her. She wanted more from life and, eventually, she got it.

 Raymond’s books were donated to a public library and it was almost two years later when Jenny saw Ray’s name on the news. She was working with the FBI and now had a partner and was properly working the field. But during the investigation of a case, she saw the headline and bought the newspaper to find out what it was all about. Apparently, a book expert had been investigating the libraries of the cities looking for antiquities and particular books and so on. He had discovered Raymond, who had been an unknown author all his life, and declared he was one of the best storywriter he had ever found. He didn’t know that Ray was dead but he did know something else that Jenny didn’t: Ray hadn’t been as alone as she had thought.

 According to the article, the man had found several letters in the apartment Raymond had lived in, now turned into a posh flat. During the reforms on the place, they had found several letters and the expert had read them, discovering he had owned a dog for a long time and that he had died just about the time the author had stopped writing. Besides the dog, he had been in love with someone he described thoroughly in his letters, every physical aspect and some traits of characters. The letters, with such richness and passion, ended up being edited into a book that sold millions of copies, making the expert a rich man.

 Jenny was sad that Raymond had not been there to enjoy his fame and fortune. They eventually discovered he had committed suicide and that made his letters and all his books even more popular. Eventually, there was no one that didn’t know the name of the author and his tragic story. Jenny had thought, for a moment, that she had known the author but she realized she never did. She realized that no one had ever known him properly. He had been in love, that man who felt so alone and so sad. He had experienced life and life had not experienced him and Jenny felt that he finally understood why he had done what he had done. It was clear as water and she wouldn’t argue with it.

 Raymond became famous, as well as his views on life and his pain, which was painted all over his letters. But no one would ever know him as he was already gone and everyone had lost the chance to tell him “I’m here”.

miércoles, 23 de septiembre de 2015

Sages & Temples

   Tea was poured into four small glasses and the men drank it fast but in silence. After they had finished, they separated, each taking a different direction on the crossroads that passed just by the small hotel they had met. No one would ever know that those four men had been talking about very ancient things, about legends and about men that no longer existed. They were all sages, taking care of temples in different regions of the world. Each one of those temples was dedicated to a different element existing in the world. They used to be more temples but they had been destroyed in the past and only the four most important ones remained. People had forgotten all about that, but not the sages. They had taken care of their buildings in such a way that any person that passed by was impressed and had to come in.

 Even if they didn’t now the whole meaning of everything, they always knew that those places were very special. No one ever tried to move them or demolish the temples to build something else. Actually, no one even thought of building anything close to any of the temples. That aura that the woods and every other natural element gave to the place was part of the reason why people adored spending time there, even if they were not especially fond of praying. Families just spent the day there checking out the hidden features of the building, which had secret drawings and things all over the place. This pleased the sages because the legend said that the temples should always be filled with people or the gods would descend to make things right in the world.

 The four of them had met because they had all received a mysterious letter. There wasn’t a name on it, not a thing telling them who had written the mysterious words that revealed there was a lot more to their order that they even knew. There was some secrecy that had always surrounded their group but nothing like those letters, which spoke of a very old enemy preparing to come out into the world to bring chaos, which they had to confront whether they were ready or not. The letters seemed menacing at parts but they weren’t threats or warnings. They seemed to have been written by a especially mysterious friend, something they didn’t really appreciate as people in the dark tend to like it there.

 They read the letters various times, trying to look for differences between the four that they had received but that was not possible as they were exact copies, word by word. The paper seemed to have been made by the person that had written the letters, as it was very hard and rugged in several areas. The writing did weird curves and funny loops but it was obvious it didn’t have anything to do with the writing skills of the letter’s sender. The ink was pretty regular, so that did not say anything either. But the signature, however, had something they hadn’t seen in quite a while.

 The thing was, the letters didn’t have a traditional signature. Instead, there was a red seal at the bottom of each letter. According to those markings, the seals had been put on different times. Some were very well defined and others seemed to have been put in a rush. The seal was a symbol that monks had used over one thousand years in the past, when dark forces reigned all over the country and the lands of nature. The presence of that seal, made the sages think the person that had written the letters knew the past very well. No one really had access to those seals, unless they had kept them for generations. Some were in museums but none of them had been stolen. There was the possibility of all of this been a hoax but, somehow, it didn't seem like it at all.

 The group of four men stayed in that small hotel for an entire week. Not surprisingly, they were the only guests of the place. The owner, a big-breasted older woman, didn’t even talked to them, as she already knew what they needed and when they needed. Breakfast, lunch, diner and teas times were always exactly at the same hour and were always served at exactly the same time. She prepared their bed exactly at nine o’clock at night and left the windows opened because they all liked to hear nature as they slept. These details had all been given to her by letter sent from an assistant of one of the sages in order for her not to interrupt any of their meetings. She liked having them around anyway.

 Every meeting, they met in a small room by the veranda where the sun entered gently as well as the autumn breeze. It was often a very quiet room, even when they were all there. During long moments, the sages liked to keep silent and not say a word unless they thought it served to enhance their conversation and their deliberation about the letters. That’s, in part, why they stayed there for a whole weak. They had to go through every detail and each one of them had to give his opinion about every single matter that they proposed, every solution to the mystery. In spite of the modern world, these men had decided to live a life that wasn’t rushed and fast. They thought every single step they took in the world.

 All of them had gotten to be sages exactly because of that. They were patient men that loved to be close to the gods and nature. They knew how to communicate with themselves and the people surrounding them and had always this aura of peace around them that made people like them instantly. No one could be aggressive to any of them as they calmed fast and just heard their words and opinions about any old subject that the times put on the table. They were also very smart although they were no geniuses. They actually refused to be thought of as more than men or more special that most men. They always insisted they weren’t and that they were just men on a very special mission.

 Before they separated, they agreed that the letters were a pressing matter. The sages had always thought they were the only ones with any knowledge about the ancient world and now someone was presenting itself to them and telling them that he it was there. Every single one of them returned to their regions with the promise to keep investigating in order to clarify the matter as soon as possible. They even worked during their trip back, which was by road or train, and as they did some of them discovered interesting things. Two on the letters had traces of some type of dust, which happened to be rice dust, which was normally used in cosmetics. Another one of the letter had a stain of water in the back and, when properly checked, they discovered it was salt water.

They kept discovering things like that, small indications in a very big map, and they decided to reunite again some six months after their initial meeting. This time, however, they chose a small town by the sea. They stayed in another hotel with another owner that knew how to treat them, and there they reunited every single piece of the puzzle. They worked on it for days and days until one night they agreed they had found the person. They decided there was no time to waste so they would travel that same night. The trip was not very long as their destination was a bigger town by the sea, very well known for the fisheries.

 There, they did a little big of investigation until they decided to act. They arrived at a grand house in the middle of the night. They didn’t knock or anything like that, instead using their special abilities to walk over the rooftops and enter the mansion that way. The place seemed deserted but suddenly the lights were turned on and a woman, young and beautiful, stepped into the garden to greet them. The men stay there, very still, as if waiting to see their host’s next move. It was a wise things to do because a battle ensued, where she used knifes and a love sword to battle against them. The neighbors didn’t hear nay of the racket because of the trees and the structure of the building but the fight was though.

 Then, the woman simple stopped and revealed herself to be one of the other sages, of the temples that had been destroyed long ago. She had been hiding because her grandfather had been the former sage and he had no one else to leave the temple than to his granddaughter. She promised to do well and rebuilt the ruins he had left her and she had done so. She asked the sages to follow her and soon they found themselves to be in one of the biggest and most awe-inspiring temples they have ever stepped in. The dedication she had show, in fight and restoring the temple, won the respect of the sages who accepted her as the only sage in generations to be a woman and to live by the ocean.

lunes, 21 de septiembre de 2015

Queen of tragedy

   The devastation brought by the wave could be seen easily from the castle, which had been built in a peninsula that shoot straight into the ocean with a very high elevation. The waves that attacked the city did not really affect the castle or the people inside it, although they did feel the arrive of the killing water and saw how it engulfed the whole fishing town that was located very close to the castle. Every little boat and those small and weak houses were rapidly destroyed by the wave. The people didn’t even have time to pray or to scream. The wave was just too fast and too destructive, it didn’t leave a thing standing. The people in the castle, including Princes Ariana, were all horrified. She sent some soldiers after it happened but, as they were about to go out, another wave, even taller than the last one, hit the beach.

 No one could have survived that. And the thing now was that, because of the second wave, the access to the castle had been flooded. Until the waters receded, they were all trapped there, without any communication with the rest of the world. Ariana’s father, the King, had left the day before to attend a very traditional ceremony in an inland town and her mother the Queen had also left to visit her brother who was a duke in some region south of the castle. Ariana was alone and needed desperately to talk to someone, as she was very perturbed by the images of water hitting the fishing town with such vile and strength. She remained in the chapel for a whole day, praying and asking God for the souls that had been lost. She asked “why”.

 But, of course, she never got an answer. After that time, the princess tried to help the people that were inside the castle and organize everything for every single person to have a ration of food. She had no idea how much time that could last but she would at least try to help them as only she could do it. At the end of the day, the castle was hers, her domain, and everyone inside it had to hear her until the King or the Queen came back. The day after the waves hot the coast, the castle started to receive various letters sent by aerial means (pigeons, mostly). Many were soldiers informing of the situation on their towns and others were people, asking for help as the situation was very dire. It was a surprise to see letters from far inland and the Ariana’s heart stopped for a moment.

 She asked her helpers to look for letter from a specific location. There was only one letter and it was from a farmer. He said the wave had flooded his field and now his crops had been destroyed, so he had no means to sustain his family or to trade with others. He also mentioned, although briefly, that the nearby town had been flooded too and festivities had been cancelled. Ariana breathed out. Her father was probably okay but she needed to be sure. She asked her servants to answer the letter she had just read and do what they could to locate his father and help that poor man with his crops. She owed him, or at least she felt so.

 Ariana did the same thing to know if her mother was okay but there were no letters from that region in the big pile that had arrived during the day. More pigeons entered the castle during the day, but almost all came from very nearby, were apparently the stench of death was already hard to ignore. People said that there were no victims, as the people who sent the pigeons were merchants that traveled from town to town and saw what happened all around them. Apparently the fishing town couldn’t be saved and the most awful part of it all was that everyone could easily see the ruins of the town from the castle. It was so close but at the same time it had such a different faith than the people hidden in the castle.

 They received a letter from the King the day after that. He informed the people that he had been injured by the flooding, that had taking everyone by surprise. He was in bed with a very swollen ankle, product of a fall as he escaped the water towards higher ground. The doctor said that it was easy to cure but that he had to stay there for some day, at least a week, to make his leg better. Ariana read the letter in front of everyone and even shared with the people the nice adjectives he had for her. He said that the castle was in hands of the princess and that everyone had to respond to her orders and listen to her lead, as she was the only person with authority to be there with them.

 These words from her father made Ariana feel very happy and also very important. She had never done much in the castle or even in her life, only being a nice girl that sits correctly whenever an important visitor comes and that leaves for her room to do nothing at all there, except if you consider combing your hair or looking at your dresses some sort of job. The truth was that Ariana was thrilled to finally have some responsibility and taste, however short it may last, the sweetness and pleasure to share her kindness with her people and with everyone that wrote the letters that kept coming into the castle. On the fifth day, the waters finally receded and soldiers were sent to every single nearby that to assess the situation.

 The small fishing port had not been the only one to be destroyed completely. A very large portion of the coast had been devastated by that same wave, ten meter tall or more, so many towns had suffered the same faith. Even some soldiers that decided to check on the state of the castle came with urgency to see the princess and asked her to put some men to work. Apparently, the bases of the castle had been shaken very seriously and repairs had to be made in order for it not to fall into the ocean. A small army of men was hired to do those works and the proper army was tasked with burning every corpse they saw and help survivors, if any. There were not to many.

 The first week was difficult for Ariana, specially when a merchant that sold fur came into town and old everyone how the wave had destroyed the region south of the castle. He swore the smell was too overwhelming and bodies piled up on both sides of the roads. Ariana felt awful and sent some soldiers right then but it was useless. The man was right; there was nothing but destruction, especially because in the south there were no hills or mountain. It was a big plain and now it was something like a swamp, with flies flying all over it and over the bodies of hundred of people. One of those was the Queen, who had died with her brother as they were outside the duke’s house when tragedy came. Being inside, wouldn’t have changed a thing, though.

 The princess tried not to cry when she received a pigeon telling her of her mother’s death. She only asked for the soldiers to bring her body and that of the duke, if they found him. Some days later the dead body of the Queen arrived into town and a rapidly organized funeral was arranged. Ariana would have loved to have her father there to comfort her but was now having a very dangerous fever and his doctor recommended for him to stay were he was, as any trip might be too dangerous for him. So she had to bury her mother alone, in the family mausoleum. Many people attended the funeral and she wasn’t surprised, as her mother had always being loved by her people.

 Ariana, in the inside, was devastated. Now she didn’t want any responsibility or to grow up, she didn’t want to be the woman who ruled over the kingdom. And even if she was the last royal, she would have to marry to be able to exercise her role as Queen. It hurt her to be thinking of such things, as if her father was dead too but he wasn’t, he was just injured and she wanted to be with him but then no one would stay behind to help the people that needed the family. Some of her father’s helpers wanted her to leave to have a free reign over everything but she refused to go and even jailed some of those who pretended for her to leave the city and stay away from the corruption.

 Only two weeks after the waves hit the coast, the King came back to town. But Ariana suffered once more because he wasn’t doing as well as the doctor had said. Unsurprisingly, the doctor had left the party that accompanied her father. She ordered soldiers to execute him if they ever saw him. But the most important thing for her was to see her father, which whom she talked privately and summoned a religious authority and a lawmaker. After some days, the King was too weak to keep talking and he eventually died from his wounds and mistreatment. His funeral was attended by all and he was buried in the crypt next to his wife.

 Everyone was more surprised, however, with the fact that a new law had been enacted the day before the king’s death. It liberated his daughter of marriage and gave her the power to rule the kingdom as Queen. People didn’t know whether to celebrate or not. But eventually, they would know the answer to that question.