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

miércoles, 8 de febrero de 2017

Strange place

   The woods outside the small town of Iris, were a very lonely place almost all year round. Not a soul dared to cross through it to get anymore, no matter if it came from outside or inside the small town. People would rather cross the lake by boat to reach the village or simply take the main road that made a big detour around the woods. After so much time of this prohibition having settled in in the minds of the people, they simply didn’t think about it anymore and saw it as one of those things of nature.

 But it wasn’t exactly nature, which barred everything living from the woods. It was possibly the opposite, something dark and sneaky that didn’t wanted for people to penetrate the place were it lived. No birds crossed over those woods or even built nests on those trees. All animals, from bears to butterflies, avoided that patch of the world as if it was something automatic and not something they could do something about. Nature had nothing to do with that chilling place, not at all.

 On Iris, people loved life. It was such a strange thing for first visitors because one would think that living with a certain fear for so long would be quite a marking experience but it wasn’t at all. Children there loved to play all day long and the adults were kind people that loved to greet new souls to their community. They welcomed strangers as if they were a gift sent by the heavens and would also celebrate for an entire day if a new citizen was born inside the boundaries of Iris.

The festivities there were always something to behold: they put small flags of many colors over every doorway in town and they would sing beautiful old songs all day long, celebrating life. They also cooked the best food, especially fish, when a newborn entered their community. They also cooked some sweets that were specially made according to the tastes of the person being celebrated, meaning it was also done in birthdays, which were always a very grand occasion in town.

 The best part though, was the fact that people seemed to be having the time of their lives every single day. It didn’t matter if they were selling products in the markets, fishing on the lake, running around town or cooking lunch for their family, people in Iris always had a helping hand for everyone and big smile to top that with. All traders loved to visit, as they felt doing business there was more like being on a vacation were everyone is very kind to you. The name was famous in the region and the fact that the woods were so close, was baffling to so many curious people.

 They couldn’t understand how those people in Iris could be so happy. After all, those tall dark trees and that frozen wind had a presence that was not easy to ignore when one would travel through the main road towards Iris. People from the small town had moved the trail further away from the forest, many times during their history, but the woods seemed to catch up every time they did that. So every time a particular part of the road felt colder and simply strange, they rebuilt the road further away from that place.

 That work was normally done in a few days and it was something that needed to be done every year. But even so, the people from Iris that worked on the road weren’t even a bit worried about that. Every year, their town kept being pushed away from the rest of the civilized world. When the road was first created, the journey to the nearest town could be achieved in about 10 hours. With all the changes on the road, Iris was now located 12 hours away from civilization and it kept moving away.

 The route through the lake, by boat, was used my traders mostly. And that road was also altered every few years do to the fact that the dark woods seemed to be conquering the opposite side of the lake, little by little, and people now have to change courses a little bit which also made the trip a little bit longer than before. But people just did what had to be done and they tried not to think too much about it because there was nothing they could do, or at least that was the general opinion.

 A couple of experts in biology and other fields had studied the woods from the outside. Of course, most of these people came from other towns and they would go to Iris at least once to study the forest from there. The problem was that they were the only people not to be welcome in town, asked very politely to leave after spending one night in town. People usually agreed to do it in order for them no to cause any sort of unpleasant mood among the normally chilled population of Iris.

 Not many findings had been done by the very few experts that found the dark woods to be a fascinating anomaly in nature. The fact that no life could be detected there was strange enough, no matter if it was on the trees, the soil, the air or even the water that existed in the form of puddles. But even stranger was the fact that every single person that got too close to the forest, and lived to tell the story, would always tell others about a presence that was strong among those trees. There was something there but no one could really say what it was, if it was something at all.

 Of course, the people of Iris were not very big on any of those stories. The few people from town that had grown any interest in the woods, no matter how fleeting, would be asked to live the village and never come back. That seemed a little bit too hard but the fact remained that Iris was not a town where being curious was rewarded in any way. They lived a quiet peaceful life between a lake, some mountains and the main road; they didn’t really need to ask the world for anything else.

 That of course included the answers that so few had asked for but that no one was apparently willing to give. The only possible way to get a proper answer was to enter the woods themselves but even among people from other parts of the world, that was a crazy idea. All studies qualifies that place as dangerous and unstable, because of the road thing, so why would anyone try to enter to find answers to questions that no one really is begging for? One thing is wondering, the other is demanding an answer.

 Only a handful of people had done that, demand an answer from the forest. And the fact was that none of them remained to tell others why they asked themselves that dreadful question. That is because all of them, a group of ten or less, had walked into the forest and had never returned. When that happened, no one really asked for an explanation or for their bodies to be buried or anything like that. Not even their families wanted to know anything more that what was a fact.

 Those people were part of the mystery of the woods and every time of them had entered the forest, it seemed that year was one of especially big growth for that space as such. Trees seemed to get thicker trunks and the cold air seemed to become even colder. It was a very scary thing to think about and that was probably why people just kept ignoring those facts and the conversation over all. They didn’t want to confront the reality of the situation they faced every day, so they compensate it with joy and optimism, as they didn’t have anything else to go for them.

 In about twenty years, a young woman will realize a very dreadful fact that people in Iris will again accept as one of those things that happen and no one can do anything about it. She will reveal to her people that the road will be cut off because they won’t be able to push it further away from the woods. The trees will grow on the trail and the town of Iris will be cut off from civilization, same from the lakeside. They will be prisoners of the forest. And one day, they will all disappear because of it. And even then, they won’t say a word because that’s they way they are.

sábado, 7 de enero de 2017

Accidents happen

   The pain in my legs was, for lack of a better word, horrible. Any movement caused me awful pain, so I had to learn to be still or to move only from the waist up, twirling that part of my body like a gummy candy. The bed they had assigned for me was, thankfully, larger than myself and very comfortable. It even had a sweet scent that I couldn't point to but that I found really interesting and soothing. I think it may have been vanilla or something very similar because it reminded me of my past. For some reason, that smell help me calm down whenever my legs would start to make me feel as if I was in front of the devil in the depths of hell. It was that bad and, looking back, I can easily say it was one of the worst moments in my life.

 The accident had caused me to stay in that bed for months, in that hospital located in the middle of nowhere. The number of patients changed dramatically during my time there. At one point, I could swear we were not more than twenty people. Later on, it felt like a filled up prison holding more than a thousand inmates. And I talk about prison because that's how it felt like sometimes and the building really did help to that effect. It was one of those relics from some war long ago and they had tried, without much success, to convert it completely to a hospital. Apparently it had also been a mental house, a school, an orphanage and even a place where alcohol would be hidden from the local authorities.

 The history of the place, without a doubt, was very interesting. But during my stay I could only think about when I was going to be released. The doctors told me, through a translator they had called only for my case, that my recovery was going to be so difficult that it was best if I stayed there for several months. All in all, I stayed there for around five months until I was finally released. The doctors and the nurses were not the most loving or soft people in the world but they were very good at what they did. Maybe I didn't see them smile very often but I know that they did the best they could with my case and thanks to them I was able to recover. Of course, my legs still have some moments of "weird behavior", but I have learned to live with that.

 After all, only centimeters and seconds had separated me from being dead. Everytime I think about the accident, I understand everything a little bit less, if that's even possible. Because I have no idea how I got to be fighting for my life, my legs covered in blood and my body just aching with pain. I have no idea how I endured after all of that but here I am, I guess. It happens often after I shower that I sit down on a chair in my bedroom and I look down to them and I see some of the scars, still visible below a not so thick layer of hair. I am thankful to be alive and walking around because I have no idea how the hell they did it, how they made my legs work as if nothing had ever happen to them. It's just amazing.

 I am not a religious person and doubt I will ever be but, during my stay in the hospital and even recently, I have found myself praying somewhere in my house. I had never done that before but I guess that when death has been so close, you just want to cover your bases. And besides that, I really think it was a miracle that I could walk again. I don't think it was the Lord or anything like that that helped me recover, but I cannot find a proper way to understand how it all came up to this. to me writing about this, here and now, as if had been nothing. It just amazes me every day and I think many people that know me and that know about what happened to me, are just as amazed by all of it as I am.

 Even the stay in that dreadful place is something I will keep forever in my heart. Because in that place I learned to love myself for who I am and not for anything else. I learned to settle down, to calm down even and let things fall into place before I rush into anything. I had many sleepless nights, many moments of reflection during days in which I didn't do much. I even met some great people and, towards the end, I also had a temporary lover who helped me in more ways than one to pull it off, to survive what I was going through. It wasn't easy and I won't, ever, forget that it happened because it is one of those pivotal moments in someone's life. It had to be that bad to get a slightly better with time.

sábado, 19 de noviembre de 2016

Several adventures

   From the entrance of the cave, the storm looked somewhat beautiful. Rain covered every single plant in the forest, as well as every rock, leaf and animal, if they hadn’t found a proper place to wait out the storm. Tony and Gabe had found the cave just in time and had been there for at least three hours. In that time, the rain hadn’t stop falling and it didn’t really seem like it would stop anytime soon. It was as if it was the perpetual state of that corner of the world. Both men decided to take out their sleeping bags and rest, instead of waiting for something that might not come.

 The next morning, sure enough, the storm was still going strong. According to what they had read before going into the forest, it wasn’t that uncommon to have storms that lasted for several hours. According to one book, the record was five straight nights of rainfall. It was simply insane but that’s how nature worked in that place. So both guys decided it was best for them to wait. They didn’t fear the rain or anything like that. The problem was that they could get lost and that was a real problem that they wouldn’t be able to solve easily.

 They had brought food, and sleeping bags and several other things but they had forgotten a simple compass. Besides, their satellite map on their phones didn’t work there, as the forest had no Wi-Fi. So, in a way, they were trapped by rain. The physical map they had borrowed from the park ranger’s office was the only thing they could use to navigate the forest but there was no real way of doing that because the map was not precisely up to date. According to the bottom left corner of it, the design was copied from another map dating from the 1980’s.

 It was best to sit down on their sleeping bags and have a couple of energy bars, which would help them stay alert. Tony and Gabe rarely talked to one another. They were not really friends but they weren’t enemies or anything like that. The reason they were together was that they had originally plan to come with several other friends. The original group had around fifteen people but then the park made them cut off some of them because the limit was eight people. Then some of the ones remaining dropped out and only Tony and Gabe remained.

 They had decided to go together because they didn’t want to miss the opportunity of entering the forest. The government had announced recently that it was going to be closed indefinitely as the passage of people through the park was apparently damaging it. Tony and Gabe were practically the last two people to ever set foot there in, probably, many years. But they were so mad at their friends for not going that they hadn’t really thought about that amazing fact. It was practically a historical event in which they had been caught up.

 The second night in the cave, they decided to play a card game. It was one of the simple ones, nothing too fancy. It was Tony that had proposed to play, as he was getting crazy by just waiting to see if the weather got a little bit better. Gabe was also very disappointed in that trip. He had come because he really wanted to get away from people and things after he had finished the process of divorcing the woman that was supposedly the love of her life. He had found her having sex with another woman in their brand new apartment.

 Tony’s reasons were kind of similar. He wanted to get away from his family. He was an adult that still lived with his parents and had serious money problems. The trip to the forest had been his idea and he had designed it to be a perfect getaway with his best friends. That hadn’t come to pass and it made him rethink his relationship with them because he didn’t really knew anymore if they were really his friends or if they were only close to him because he was good with other people’s problems but no one helped him with his problems.

 The card game went on for several hours, until they had to drop it because one of their flashlights turned itself off. Apparently, the battery had run out. After all, it had been on for several hours a day, being in a cave and everything. They decided to sleep instead but they just couldn’t so they started talking. They first did so about the rain and the forest and how cool the first few days had been, taking pictures of animals and beautiful plants and discovering a whole world they had never even imagined that it existed so close to their homes.

 However, the conversation migrated soon to their problems. First, Gabe got to tell Tony every single detail about his divorce. He even told him exactly what he found his wife and now girlfriend doing in his own bed. Gabe’s voice sounded bitter, so Tony tried to make him fell better by reminding him that it was for the best that he had found out the truth. Gabe didn’t know if that was correct because he had spent a large amount of money in that marriage, from the ring to a holiday he had planned for their first anniversary.

 Tony insisted: at least he hadn’t lived decades a decades in a lie. He had found out in the first year and that meant he had saved himself years of suffering and lies. That was something most people would want to have in a relationship. Most never get to know any of the truths that lie beneath their relationships until it is too late. Gabe began to realize Tony was right and really assimilated the fact that he hadn’t done anything wrong and that he was still young, if he ever wanted to marry again.

 Then, they moved on to Tony. Gabe asked him, rather bluntly, why did he still live with his parents? It was a difficult question to answer but it all came from the fact that Tony didn’t really have any real skills. He had gone to school, he had gotten diplomas and so on, but no company seemed to be interested in hiring him. As he explained to Gabe, companies were not looking for people that had a vast amount of knowledge. They were looking for people to exploit and someone that knew his worth wasn’t going to accept anything like that.

 Besides that, he found jobs that paid him a little money at a time but never enough to actually save anything. In his parents house, he had to pay the electricity bill and had to help with the groceries too, so there was no way he could ever get his own place that why. He lived with his parents not because it was the right thing to do but because it was the safest thing to do. He thought going out into the world blindly was not a solution to anything. Going out from home and then failing fantastically, only to come back, wasn’t really something he looked forward to.

 Gabe told him that, at some point, he was going to have to risk it, in one way or the other. Maybe he did need to take a risk like leaving home for working away from his parents. Or maybe he needed to let a company exploit him, letting them know that what he wanted was experience and that they could pay him whatever they paid others in order to be able to work. Tony was not very convinced by Gabe’s advice but then he said that Tony could also do his own thing; create his own business with all his knowledge at the center of it.

 That seemed to get to Tony because he was silent for a moment and then confessed to Gabe that he had always imagined having some sort of library, where he could help all sorts of people with all sorts of books. It could be in an old house, with a small cafeteria and a certain ambiance that would make it attractive to every single person around. He would offer all kinds of titles, from novels to poetry, from cooking books to big ones filled with artistic pictures and paintings. He knew it was hard and that his dream required a lot of money.

 Gabe told him he liked his idea. Furthermore, out of nowhere, he told Tony he would love to help to get that dream become a reality. After all, he had gotten some money out of the divorce and he had a stable job that gave him more than enough to live comfortably. He could afford investing those earning from his failed marriage. Tony was overwhelmed. They both sat on their sleeping bags and, in silence and with only the rain as witness, they hugged and agreed to become partners in a new adventure.

sábado, 12 de noviembre de 2016

Takua Hotel

   The premise of the island was that any person in the world could get anything they wanted there. There was no limit for what the people that managed the place could provide. It could be someone to spend the holidays with or a really great adventure, the best sex of your life or maybe something that most people wouldn’t even think about. Everything was on the table or, at least, that was what the brochure said. David was very nervous on the plane, trying to figure out if he had done the right thing by spending so much money on that vacation.

 When the plane landed, his worries were soon a thing of the past. As people descended to the tarmac, it was impossible not to see the beautiful waters that surrounded the main island in the atoll and the lush and exotic vegetation all over the place. All the people that were in the plane were also watching and even taking pictures. David was going to imitate them but then a woman that worked for the hotel arrived in front of them and greeted them. She asked everyone to follow her and so they did, to what would be the terminal of the landing strip.

 The flight that had just ended was a private one, only for the people that had paid to live the experience of the Takua hotel. The journey had been very long from home, but David was very excited now and looking forward to everything the trip had to offer. When everyone was in the room, the woman told them that all electronic devices were barred from the island in order to have a better experience. So they needed people to put all of those objects in a small locker right there in the terminal. They would be able to open them with their electronic bracelets the day of their departure.

 Everyone complied and five minutes later they were in the docks just outside the terminal. The woman told them that, as everyone hadn’t come to have the same experience, they would not be staying in the same areas of the hotel. Some would go to the lagoon, others to the main island and the forest and others to an artificial island, which was on the other side of the atoll. Three boats were ready and she called people one by one, reading from a list. Once everyone was ready she reminded them to follow instructions and to have a nice stay. The boats departed as she waved to them.

 The boat ride was short for David. Apparently he would stay in the cabins that were located in the main island, surrounded by the lush forest. When they arrived there, another hotel person greeted them. Her name was Valery and she asked them to ask any questions they could have. Someone then asked when would their experience begin. She smiled at the question and told them that it would begin differently for everyone. She gave everyone yellow bracelets with a number and told them to go find their rooms, luggage would be already there.

 David got a nice cabin that was as close to the water as it was to the forest. The only thing that he didn’t like was the fact that bugs may enter his room but he was assured, the following day, that there were no bugs in the island. He thought that was weird, but he didn’t dwell on it. The first night was great: the bed was just perfect, as was the weather. He had regained the energy he had lost through travel and he was ready to meet his experience, whatever that was. The first thing he did was shower and then go to the breakfast buffet because he was starving.

 As he was choosing some fruit, he noticed there was only one remaining passion fruit and he loved that fruit. So he grabbed it but then someone else wanted the fruit too. Their hands touched and they both recoiled as if the had been burned. He looked at the guy and David was instantly attracted to him. It was a very strange feeling because he had never seen that person before but, somehow, he felt he really liked him. David asked him to take the fruit; he could have it some other time. The guy wanted him to take it. Finally, they both had passion fruit as more was served in a second.

 They decided to sit together, as they both had come by themselves. Actually, everyone in that place was alone or meeting people there, which maybe had something to do with their desires. But David was not thinking too much about that. He was asking the guy his name and where he had come from. His name was Michel and he was from Paris but his parents were immigrants from Africa. He started telling David his story and it was so interesting that David didn’t notice all the food from the buffet had been taken away because of the hour.

 They decided to keep talking, walking around the island, discovering the place together. David confessed that he didn’t really know what he had wanted to achieve by coming to the island because he wasn’t even sure of what he was looking for or what it was that he wanted from life. Michel told him he was more certain than that but that he was open to anything that could happen in life. He wanted a better job for himself but also to please his family by getting together with someone and having a family or something like that.

 Both men decided to meet again later for dinner and so they did. The mood was strangely romantic but nothing really happened besides a lot of flirting and maybe holding hands for a short time. David was very happy, as he had not been in a long time. He felt as if he had gone back in time, just as a boy in school who is excited about meeting people and having their first crush, That was exactly how it felt and it was very strange but he intended to enjoy it thoroughly.

 His stay was of one week. And he spent almost everyday with Michel. They explored the island together by foot, kissed in the middle of the jungle and swam together in the lagoon, playing around with seashells and other things they found. David loved to watch Michel swimming and then walking towards him, dripping water. Somehow, that was very sexy to him. By the fourth night, David let Michel into his bedroom and they made love. It was very particular but even sex felt better there, it felt much more natural, easier if it makes senses.

 They both noticed it and they talked about it the next day in bed. They kissed a lot and then had breakfast in the buffet. But then, something really weird happened. Valeria, the woman who had greeted them the day they had arrived, approached them on the restaurant and told Michel that he had a “penalty point” because he hadn’t registered into his room the night before. David didn’t believe what she was saying. But then again, other people from the hotel’s staff, were apparently having the same conversation with other guests.

 Michel responded to her saying that he had the best sex of his life that night, so not following those rules had been a good idea. The woman didn’t laugh or seemed even annoyed by the comment. She just repeated that he had that “penalty” and that if it happened again, he would be “invited to leave the island”. And then she left, leaving them with their mouths open and wondering if that had been just to play with them or an actual thing that hotel had. It was a very weird situation but they forgot about it later, during sex in Michel’s room.

 They decided to respect the rules but not fully: they would have sex in each other’s rooms but not during the night. They would go have something to eat or hike or swim after that. The truth was that both of them had the best week of their lives there. When time come to leave, people from the hotel told everyone that each person would be picked up individually in their rooms with their luggage and then taken to the landing strip by boat. They came for David just after lunch, which he had with Michel. He was not on the boat and then, not in the plane.

 Everyone was leaving at the same time, that’s how it worked. But why was the plane taking off without Michel. Maybe he had forgotten to take his phone from the locker or something. But as the plane flew over the island one last time, the guy besides him smiled and asked: “¿You thought it was real, right?”. And David realized that that was exactly what had happened. He had bought into the hotel’s experience and now he had the best memories with someone that wasn’t real. Or was he?