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

viernes, 17 de marzo de 2017

Joanna's zoo

   Joanna was the person in charge while the zoo was closed. She wasn’t the girl who fed fish to the dolphins while they were doing their show, or the one that joined the visitors in each stop in order to tell them everything about the animal they were watching. She was just the girl that fed the animal after hours, when everything was quiet and most creatures were sleeping or, on the contrary, just waking up from their slumber. She preferred like that as she had never been a person of the spotlight.

 What she loved more than anything was joining the scientists, the men and women that worked hard in laboratories trying to discover a cure for the many animal diseases that most humans knew nothing about. Just like them, she felt that by learning about those diseases and destroying them, they could all be able to make the human race more resistant and the whole world would see a surge in numbers for many species that had been threatened for years without a reason.

 However, Joanna had only been in school for two years. She hadn’t even completed the first half of her education. She couldn’t be allowed yet to a laboratory or anything like that. If she had a job there being so young, it was because she had almost begged for it. She needed that job to help out at home, where her mother was too fragile to work in anything and her sister Julie was still in school, so she couldn’t be able to help. It was her obligation to bring money to home.

 Of course, taking care of the animals didn’t pay as much as one would think, but it didn’t pay as badly as other jobs such as waitress ones and so on. The thing was she was in charge of feeding them and cleaning their habitats, which could be really disgusting sometimes. The animals didn’t mind doing their business anywhere they wanted, so her work was sometimes a little bit of a challenge because of many factors. And she also had to do some security work, for a couple of hours.

 Joanna actually liked her job. It wasn’t prestigious or different every day, but she did learn a lot of stuff about the animals by just watching them. Besides, the zoo was normally very quiet at night, so she could wander around just thinking about her stuff, her life. It wasn’t that she loved to do that, but everyone needs a place where they can stop for a while and just think about how life is going for them and if they want something more out of it. Of course, the conclusion was, every time, that she would like to have an easier life than the one she had.

 Her shift began when the doors of the zoo closed, at five in the afternoon. She had to stay there for five hours, until the security team hired by the zoo’s administration would come in to do their rounds. They stayed until opening time, at nine o’clock the following morning. So she didn’t have to stay that long but it was a lot of work packed in just a few hours. She had to clean everything and make it look as if it was new in that time, which was hard but she always made it.

 The only times she was afraid of anything was when she had to clean and then feed the creatures in the Komodo dragon habitat. There were five dragons, all adults with a very bad mood. She had to put the food in a special space for them to run towards it and then she could trap them in that place for a while, as she cleaned the habitat as fast as she could. This could only last for a while, as Komodo dragons eat extremely fast and they don’t care about small spaces at all.

 It was scary but entertaining to see all those majestic creatures during the night. Joanna felt she had a private glimpse into the lives of the animals that people rarely saw. She felt annoyed when she thought about all the people that visited the zoo and never learned anything about any of the animals. It was supposed to be a place for education but most people just used it as a park that you pay to go in. Some couldn’t care less about the animals, they just wanted a place to chill with their kids.

 She would often think about how the world could be changed by just ending the whole zoo system. Of course, she was one of its employees but the truth was that, as a student on the subject, she thought that zoos were not really the best way to get to know an animal’s ay of doing things, his way of life. That’s what science needed to know but by standing in front of a cage watching a bird, you don’t really learn a lot about it except that it needs a bigger space to fly and be comfortable.

 One of her ideas for the future was to create some sort of tour agency that would be specialized in getting people in and around ecosystems that have a lot to teach to humans. She would only take adults in those trips and only the ones that proof that they want to be there to learn and not only to take a nice little stroll around the jungle. They don’t have to be scientists or anything related, just interested in animals, like she was. She even had a three at home and her parents had never being against it because she actually did a great job taking care of them.

 Her cat was called Tigress, as she looked like a small tiger. Her dog’s name was Sherlock, as he was very good at finding stuff, although he had been much better when younger. He was now a little bit slow when looking for anything, yet he still was able to find things all around the house. The last member of her animal group was Ranger, a big hamster she had received as a gift from her ex-boyfriend. She had wanted to get rid of it after they had broken up, but the creature was so adorable she decided to keep it.

 When she wasn’t taking care of the animals in the zoo, she took care of the animals at home. And she also had to help her mother and sister, so her work was never really done, only on Sundays when she was given the chance of sleeping late and just enjoy herself by doing things that most girls her age enjoyed like going out to the mall or watching movies and television shows. She rarely did any of that though, as she preferred resting at home with all of her pets.

 Joanna’s story is not one that’s fun and interesting, as many others. She’s just an average person, struggling to come out alive of a situation in her life that seems to go on forever. But she knows, she trusts, that one change it will all change. She will finish college and her mother will get better. Her sister will grow older and will be able to help her around the house more and she may realize all of her dream, the ones she thinks about when she walks around the zoo at night.

 She’s not dreaming too much, she doesn’t think so. Joanna is just an average person, a normal person hoping for something to progress in her life. And she knows it happened because of the animal, because even them are not always the same every single day. They might not be people but they do have temperaments and attitudes. They do change their minds and customs. So, if they change, why not her? Besides, she had way to many plans not to make them a reality.


 Meanwhile, she cleans their shit and gives them meat or corn or whatever it is that she has to give them as food. And she has learned to enjoy it because she’s at peace with them, more than when she shares the room with another person,  fellow human.

martes, 16 de agosto de 2016

When in Rome...

   The first thing I heard was the automated voice indicating people if they had to stand on the doors on the left or the right. I heard the sound as if it was coming from a place very far from me but then it seemed to become clearer. That made me open my eyes and then I realized I was in one of the metro trains I had used years earlier to get to know the city of Rome. People were talking amongst themselves, some tourists were looking at a map above one of the doors and a small child looked at me straight in the eye.

  I decided to stand up and get out of the train as soon as possible. There was another audio automated service and then the train entered a station. I didn’t really see the name of the station I was in. I only wanted to run away from that underground location in order to check out something above ground and feel a little les intoxicated. When I finally got out to the street, I felt very dizzy, my legs had problems letting me stand up and every sound and image apparently adjust itself in a few seconds.

 There was a park bench near the exit of the station and I decided to use it because I wasn’t feeling good at all. I felt my head was spinning around. Besides, everyone around me spoke a language I didn’t know and I didn’t really felt safe speaking to them in English. I felt I had forgotten everything about myself. I tried to remember what I was doing before appearing on the subways but I couldn’t remember.

 A young nun then came up to me and said something in Italian. She spoke very slowly for me to understand what she was saying but it wasn’t good enough for me. Anything that involved thinking hurt too much. She decided to give her hand and I grabbed it without thinking it much. She made me walk around a beautiful but very lonely neighborhood until we arrived to a very typical Roman house with an inner patio. I didn’t know much about religious people but that must have been a convent.

 She fed me and gave me something to read as he washed my clothes on a very modern washing machine. I waited on my underwear in the kitchen and was very ashamed when a group of four nuns entered the kitchen and I was there naked, reading a magazine. The nun that had saved me, I think her name was Angela, appeared out of nowhere and explained the situation to the rest of the sisters.

 They decided to give me a room for the night, as the weather was not as sunny as before and the clothes may take a longer while to be ready. I couldn’t deny the offer, even if I had wanted too. But I didn’t because in that place I felt the peace I needed to organize who I was before appearing on that city and why that had happened.

 That night was very strange. I was assigned one of the cells in the upper floors, were formerly the new novices slept before they were fully accepted as nuns. Sister Angela explained to me that they hadn’t had a new girl in a long time, as she had been the last one. The woman looked in her late thirties and explained further, commenting that girls nowadays had no desire to get in contact with their religious roots and have a life of celibacy and dedicated to the Lord.

 Through the very small window in my room, I was able to see the moon. It looked so beautiful but at the same time a little bit false. I pinched my hand in order to know if I hadn’t been dreaming or something but it didn’t work. I was really in that small room and had to get used to the idea of not remembering anything about my past o at least not in a very obvious way. I was lost, technically, and had to wait and see what I could do to go back to wherever I was before.

 I slept strangely at peace. My eyes closed early and I woke up early too. Normally, I would require several hours to feel rested but in that moment I felt I could take on the whole world by myself. It was a very nice feeling that I had never really experimented before. Normally I woke up much more tired than I was before going to bed. I guessed it had something to do with the strict code the nuns had going on there but I also expected it to be something related to the fact that I was in blank, no memories inside.

 The next day, I put on my clean clothes and they all came to the door to bud farewell to me. They were all very kind people and I would have loved to see more of them, maybe take a picture. But somehow, I didn’t think of that then. It would have been the best proof to guarantee that what had happened had not been a dream or an illusion caused by my mind. I waved at them as I walk further away from the convent, until I didn’t see them anymore and realized how lonely I felt, again.

 After walking a little bit more, I arrived in a square: it was very beautiful and tourists were all over the place taking pictures and discussing the shapes and sizes of the figures in the fountains. I was trying to understand what a couple was saying near me when I heard a voice, a very strong male voice coming from somewhere. At first, I couldn’t tell what he was saying. Then, I understood he was saying my name.

 I looked around for the owner of the voice but there was no one that seemed to have that very deep register near where I was. Besides, no one seemed to be looking at me, ignoring the fact that I was there as if my existence bothered them so much that they had decided to ignore until I decided to disappear.

 That happened a few seconds later, when the voice called upon me again and I understood that it was calling me from very far. Walking rather slowly, I was able to follow the deep voice saying my name. I walked through deserted streets, packed avenues and beautiful gardens until I reached some long and white stairs. The bright sun above made them look as if they were from glass.

 The voice called upon me again, urging me to come to him fast. His message to me had changed so I knew I was very near. When I arrived at the top of the staircase, I realized there was a museum up there. There was a small square and on one side the entrance and on the other side, the exit of the museum. The voice appeared to be coming from the exit so I walked towards there.

 Beyond the machines that controlled the exit process of the museum, there was a fountain and I realized the voice was coming from there. But there was a security guard nearby and the only way I could’ve entered the museum was by jumping over the machines. I decided to pretend I was reading some pamphlets they had on a table by the door. The guard finally moved, in order to face towards the inner courtyard of the museum. I took my chance and jumped, landing silently on my feet.

 I wanted to scream in celebration because I had never done anything so cool in my life, but I realized it wasn’t really the place and the moment for that. So I turned around and walked towards a small garden they had by a room filled with sculptures. The faces of those objects seemed to be looking at me but I knew the voice was coming from a fountain in the garden. Sure enough, there was a huge figure of the God of the seas, Poseidon, on the fountain.

 The figure did not move but it did talk to me. He told me the Gods had decided to bring me to Rome in order to let me know everything was going to be all right. When I heard that, I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh or punch the statue or what. I got closer to the water and the figure told me that I was there by choice and that I could’ve left at any moment, if I had wanted to leave.


 As I heard that, I felt dizzy again and then the world became blurry for an instant. Then everything went dark, I felt my head hitting something and then my eyes opened once again. I had fallen from my bed, my insane dream having finished. I was covered in sweat and had to go to the bathroom to clean myself, ignoring the metro card that fell with me from the bed to the floor.

sábado, 6 de agosto de 2016

The ninja

   The city below was pretty much silent. It was very dark and lonely and the sun wasn’t going to rise for another four hours. People would be starting their day in some time but in those moments they were sleeping, barely imagining what was happening on their rooftops.

 A group of three people were chasing another one that had a very big lead in their chase. The character they were chasing was wearing a ninja outfit, all the uniform being black and his eyes being the only thing the people that were chasing him could distinguish from the darkness of the night.

 As they jumped from one roof to the other, one of the persecutors slipped on the edge of the building and fell backwards, being caught in the last second by one of his peers. The woman that had gotten hold of his ankle, could barely cope with the weight of her companion. The other man that came with them, the one closest to the ninja, stopped short from jumping to the next building and went back to his companions to help the woman lift their buddy to the rooftop.

 The ninja stopped running when he didn’t hear the sound of steps following him anymore. He turned around and looked on, as the man and the woman pulled their friend towards them, saving their life. The ninja blinked several times, very confused. He started to sweat right then, and not before when he was running.

 The man that had almost fallen realized the ninja was looking at them and attempted to stand up and chase him again but as he tried standing up, he felt terrible pain in his ankle, the one that his companion had grabbed him by. Apparently, in all that chaos, he had hurt himself so bad that he couldn’t walk by himself. His two friends helped him up again and, when he tried to locate the ninja again, he didn’t saw anyone anywhere.

 Hours later, the persecutors were in a hospital. The one in the bed, named Kevin, was asleep and the other two, Martha and Philip, were also asleep but in two armchairs in front of the bed. It was the middle of the day, a warm day outside. As they slept, the ninja appeared out of nowhere, standing in a corner, and just looking at the three of them. He walked, making no noise, towards Kevin in the bed.

 He looked at his leg, which was in a cast and elevated to avoid pain. The ninja looked at it, with the clear intention of doing something, but he didn’t. The movement of his hands, the sweat drops on his forehead, were telling of how nervous he was to be there. Outside, a door was slammed just as he had been looking at Kevin very closely. When the patient opened his eyes, the doctor was there. He had dreamt again about the ninja.

 Many days afterwards, Kevin was recuperating in his house. He had flowers all over the place and had visitors almost every day. He had never felt so popular in the agency and had to make an effort not to look to annoyed by the amount of people coming and going from his home. He knew they all did it out of concern for him but he also knew they came because they wanted to know more about the mysterious ninja figure he almost died because.

 Everyone wanted to know what he had seen about him. The truth was that Kevin had consciously tried to stop recalling those moments because when he fell asleep, he would always relive the moment he fell and it wasn’t something very fun to experience. It felt as if the floor was suddenly removed from beneath his feet and he didn’t thought that was something great to tell anyone.

 But people knew how adamant he had been before the mission to catch the ninja. After all, he had attacked them before, as they tried to infiltrate a chemical plant, several months ago. As security agents, they were tasked with a lot of different mission in order to preserve the order in the world and in the country. The man and women of that agency were just the best of the best, always being very good at handling themselves and their opinions in front of people and under pressure.

 However, with the ninja, Kevin easily lost his mind. After he had seen him kill some people in order to steal some classified documents, Kevin realized the ninja was a persona that had no moral compass and that seemed to work for anyone who paid the price he asked for. He was only a mercenary and those people were sickening to Kevin as they just sold themselves for whatever they asked in order to be able to kill for sport.

 When they met the first time, Kevin fought the ninja for a long time before they had to declare the fight a draw and just run out of the chemical plant before it blew to the sky. From that moment on, Kevin tried to investigate whatever he could about the ninja but he was very unsuccessful. In other encounters, and there were not many, he tried to get some DNA to use a sample for testing but the ninja did not spit and it was very hard to grab his head.

 He even scouted the places of their fights in order to pick up anything he might be able to do but there was nothing or, at least, nothing important enough to pinpoint any particularities about this person. The worst thing was that Kevin had realized some of the moves the ninja used were the ones they learned at the academy. 

 He talked with one of the trainers there who assured him that no one outside the agency knew about many of those moves as they were created specifically for some exact situations and in order to use maximum force if necessary. That was the first real clue Kevin got. But he failed to tell his companions before the rooftop mission and, when he told them in the hospital, they were very mad at him for not revealing something so important to them.

 They decided to launch a full investigation and they had to check every single agent that had deserted the agency. They even did some surveillance work on some of them, discovering how boring people’s lives were when they wanted to be far away from all the chaos of the agency. But none of those guys, none of that people had any similarities or set of skills that resembled the ones of the ninja.

 Frustrated, Kevin returned to proper work after being a full week in the hospital. He had to use a crutch to walk but the pain was much less intense than before. He was assigned some office work in the agency and tried to forget all about the ninja killer. After much thought, it was obvious that person didn’t wanted to be caught and, he had been an agent, he wasn’t going to be so stupid as to leave any single clue around. After all it was a game of intellects to the end, in order to see who survived and who did not.

 As he thought this in his office, Kevin almost fell from his chair because he had realized something: when checking past agents, he had omitted to check on the deceased ones. It was a long shot but he decided to try to find the ninja there. In order not to be reprimanded by his superiors, he took copies of the files and took them home with no one knowing. Each night, he would check some of them and then fall asleep as he read them all.

 Almost a month after the incident in the rooftop, the ninja appeared in his room as he slept. He came closely to the desk and grabbed his file: it had been there all along but Kevin had not wanted to look at it. The ninja read it and then looked at the agent. He left the file back in the desk. As his eyes became watery, he leaned down to kiss Kevin on the cheek. Caught of guard, Kevin grabbed him by the neck and slammed him to the floor. With a fast move of the hand, he removed the ninja’s mask.


 As in a horror movie, Kevin pulled away from the dizzy ninja with wide opened eyes. He was seeing a ghost, one he had not wanted to see. He had a scar on his face and he looked paler than ever. His eyes looked empty and his body seemed to be fitter than he remembered it. But it was him. It was really him, his husband, just back from the dead as if nothing had happened.

sábado, 23 de julio de 2016

The killer

   No matter how loud she got, it wasn’t loud enough for anyone to hear her, after all, it was very late at night in a small city in which people always went to bed exactly a the same hour. And even if they didn’t fall asleep, they were inside their homes, unable to help anyone in need. Some said, days later, that they had heard a scream coming from somewhere that night. Psychologists said the people that swore by that were just guilty, saying things that didn’t happen.

 She yelled and screamed more than once. She fought her attacker with everything she had: her purse, her heels, but nothing worked. And least of all against his knife, which turned the street into a butcher’s shop. The police had a real problem when discovering the body because she hadn’t been murdered in alley or by a river. Veronica Slate had been assassinated two blocks away from her house, the night she was graduating from a business class.

 The killer’s face was known to no one and it was very possible that none of the town’s inhabitants had ever seen him. Mainly, because he had never been there before and would never come back. He had no need to and he was dedicated to what he did so he knew exactly how to do things, how not to be predictable and silly over such obvious things as location. People invented his face in their minds, bases on images of killers they had seen in movies. Of course, they were not accurate.

 He moved on to another town and stayed there for a week in a small hotel by the main square. He had no urge there, no need to make a move. He just walked around and chilled until he decided it had been enough. He took another bus and there was a second victim by the end of a very traumatic week because of the celebrations of the national day and a scandal involving a senator and his daughter.

 The body of Rosa Pérez was found in the middle of the most used avenue in that town. It was a place filled with people every single day but, somehow, no one had seen anything. It was a bigger town than the one before so they were sure a camera would have picked up something. But it didn’t. There was nothing they could use, no witnesses again. And they didn’t consider the cases linked but an isolated and strange attack.

 Rosa worked near by, in laundry place that worked all night. She had a bag filled with dirty clothes the night she was killed. The killer had used a gun with a silencer and many people linked her death to gang violence or some sort of vengeance killing. Her children had to bury their mother without a single shadow of understanding above her case. No one knew anything, again.

 That month, another two women were killed by the same man. One was choked with her own necklace and the other one was run over by a car at least twice. The scenes were always disgusting and it was difficult for every policeman to process those cases, as they hated to get their hands to close to such horrifying situations. The coroners were in charge of everything and they were the ones telling the people what had happened and why. Yet, they were still such random acts of violence that no one dared to link one thing to the other.

 As for the killer, he stopped altogether for several months. He was an unstable person that was obvious. But he was and amazing actor too. Not that it was his job, but he could anyone believe whatever he wanted them to believe. Most people loved to think they lived in a perfect world, filled with magic and love ant only beautiful things. And he benefited from that, from ignorance and their willingness to simply ignore that evil was out there, walking the streets.

 He had killed people for a long time now and kept a list of how many he had killed. It was very uncommon, but he knew that one day he would be the one to go to the police and tell them he had done all of those murders, all of those noted in that small notebook. He had dates and sometimes even names. He knew that there would come a time when he wouldn’t be able to do it as he did it now so he had plans to surrender himself.

 In his mind, he would win in that case. He already had won in any case, because no one knew who he was or that he was the same attacker of all those women. He had a clear advantage over anyone that might investigate a little bit too much. He also thought that a very good detective would actually see clues all over the place. But this was reality and there were no Sherlock Holmes’ roaming the streets solving crimes.

 So he stopped for a few months but began again some time in the winter. To him, it was fun to do it in different places, different seasons and to different kind of people. He had even killed a couple of men but it didn’t feel exactly the same. He preferred women although the urge might come he would like to overcome someone as strong as him and that could prove to be interesting.

 His strength and with were his weapons, his most important ones. It didn’t matter what he used to actually killed somehow. Murder weapons could be anything in the world. But his head, his brain, was a machine that planned everything to perfection and that was the real weapon to be protected against. And no one knew it existed.

 He always read in the papers, the rare times his crimes made it there, that killers always had issues with their parents and had problems during sexual intercourse. The truth was he had always had the best relationship with his parents. He had always loved them and they had loved them back. He had the best education and a happy childhood filled with almost everything a child would love to have, including the unconditional love only two really good parents could give.

 As for the sex thing, he never had intercourse with his victims. That could prove too obvious to link all crimes, more over if he had an accident and left his DNA inside the women. No, he wasn’t that stupid so when he needed to have sexual interaction with someone, he would call a friend or hire a call girl. And he treated them right, always. He wasn’t too rough or violent; he was just like any other man. Except he was a murderer.

 Sometimes, he loved to imagine them discovering who he was. He was thrilled by that, the moment someone would notice something like a blood stained shirt or something similar, not that he would be that careless. But he always had fun picturing those ridiculous scenes, created out of movie scenes that always portrayed people’s ingenuity to perfection. But no one ever asked him anything; no woman ever said a word to him before or after sex. Nothing.

 That winter, he killed at least five women. One of them was killed in the middle of a road, so she was found several months later, when the snow began to disappear. Of course, every town and family was destroyed but he was never there to see or hear anything about it. He tried to avoid that because he was simply not interested in the result of what he did. Maybe that was the only thing that made him a little obvious, at least in his personal concept.

 He would love to get away as soon as possible and analyze his urges in order to know if he wanted to do it again or if he went back to his place, to his normal life with a job and a pet and friends. That man was a monster, no doubt. But he was also a neighbor, a coworker, the man you see walking down the street with a cup of coffee, rushing to the subway or smiling at something funny.


 Killers are people, people that have been deformed by what’s inside of them which can have several forms and shapes and interpretations. And this particular beast was one no one ever saw because they didn’t want to. They had refused to believe someone like them could be capable of what he was capable. And he like that.