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

jueves, 6 de octubre de 2016


   Jean grabbed her purse and the bag where she kept her laptop. She walked very fast but tried not to look angry, disappointed or anything else. She just wanted to leave that place as fast as she could. It was very uncomfortable to stay there after she had been so insulted. As she arrived to the elevator, the door closed as someone was going down just before her. She whispered a course word, frustrated that she had to wait like an idiot in order to leave a please she definitely didn’t wanted to stay in or return ever again. She felt too humiliated.

 Out of nowhere, one of the guys that had been there during her interview walked up to her. He told her that they had been looking for her. A tiny shimmer of light appeared in her heart only to be crushed moments later when she realized the man had come to find her because she had left her pen in the table. What was even more annoying, was that he started talking about the results of the interview and telling her, once again, about all the flaws she had as a writer and so on. She wanted the Earth to swallow her, as his voice was very loud and everyone around seemed to be listening.

 She had to close her eyes and just try to relax by breathing slowly, feeling the air through her body. Ignoring the man was not easy but she could at least think of something else as he talked and talked and talked. The lady that managed the reception on that floor looked at them with surprise and obvious disgust. When Jean opened her eyes, the lady looked at her straight in the eye and shook her head, then looking at the guy. Jean only smiled, thankful that at least one person realized in what an uncomfortable situation she was.

 Finally, the elevator opened up and she stepped in without even acknowledging the man. For a moment, it seemed as though he was going to follow her into the elevator but fortunately he didn’t. He was even able to say anything else to Jean as she pressed hard the button that made the elevator close faster. She then pressed the number for the ground floor and started breathing normally again. She felt seriously awful and couldn’t believe she had to go home now in a bus that would take at least forty-five minutes. She didn’t felt good at all.

 Luckily, the bus didn’t take long to pass and she was able to find a free seat next to the window. She really wasn’t feeling ok and even though she was going to fall asleep, her brain wouldn’t let her. Not only because it may not be the best idea to fall asleep on a bus, but also because she had their words in her head. She could hear them once and again, trashing every single part of the work that she had done for them. Saying that they destroyed her isn’t enough to describe what went on in that conference room. A few tears rolled down her face.

 She had to clean herself with her hand because she had no tissues or anything like that. But it was clear to her that she had no intention to be the crazy woman in the bus that cries “for no reason”. So she tried to clean her tears off and attempted to think about something else. For example, the fact that she had left her family cat by herself. It wasn’t something that she did for the first time but it was something to think about. The cat was obviously ok but she had to create a problem in her mind in order to be able to resist the urge to cry.

 The bus took less time to her stop than it usually did. She hadn’t realized but she had left that office so early that there wasn’t even the normal traffic jam of peak time out in the streets. When she came down of the bus, she checked she had everything with her, including the pen she had forgotten in her pocket. Walking home took only five minutes. Her house had a cute garden that was brimming with light and color as she entered. It was as if nature was trying to cheer her up.

 And it did make her smile at least. When she entered the house, she called for her parents. Fortunately, no one answered back. They were normally there but she didn’t care where and why they had left, she only wanted to go to her run and be able to fall asleep and nap for while, all afternoon was possible. She dropped her purse and laptop bag on the ground and took off her shoes before lying down in bed. She faced upwards, towards the ceiling and, again, she could her all the criticism and the things all those men had said.

 She began to cry again but, this time, Jean didn’t clean her face or attempted to appear tougher than she looked. She didn’t need to do that, as that was her bedroom, her place in the world. There, she could do whatever she wanted and in that moment she wanted feel miserable for her. The words those men had said had been like daggers and they had stabbed her with them once and again and again. It was almost as if they had enjoyed themselves by doing so. To her, it was a very sick thing to do but she only reflected on that many days later.

 It had been really unnecessary to tell her all those things. They didn’t have to sink every single fiber of her soul by saying a lot of things that, even if part of the truth, weren’t as important in real life as they might have portrayed them. They essentially told her she had no idea how to write, that she couldn’t put three words together and that she made no sense whatsoever in what she had written for them. It was an essay about internal practices in very big companies.

 Jean had no idea of that. She had not been to business school or anything like it. She was just a normal girl trying to make her way into the world. She had thought that her English level was good enough for them but apparently it wasn’t. And of course it wasn’t because they had told her that she didn’t need to correct her essay for them and she didn’t. They lied to her because she would always do corrections but they had assured her they weren’t necessary. Besides, she had no idea of any business practices. She had a degree in creative writing, for God’s sakes!

 They had also told her that her way of portraying the business world was not very professional. And when she attempted to explain that she had no experience in the actual business world, as she had told the woman she had applied for the job too, they wouldn’t let her speak. They would only raise her voice and just keep talking. The guy that gave back her pen had been particularly nasty when saying that she shouldn’t have told them that she was actually good in English. At that moment she felt so enraged, she stood up and decided to leave.

After all, three men in one small conference room were attacking her. And it was all because of one miserable test they had set up in order to chose the perfect person for the freelance job they were looking for. They weren’t even going to take her into the company; they only wanted to see if she was available to do some texts for them once in a while. And, later that week, Jean realized the pay for one piece of writing was extremely mediocre compared to what people with no big company attached to them could pay her.

 It wasn’t the fact that they hadn’t hired her but the fact that they had been deceitful in a way and that they had been so rude in explaining to her why she hadn’t been selected. After all, it made no sense that they had invited her to their offices only to insult her. It would have been better to receive an email with two phrases: one thanking her for applying and the other rejecting her application. It would be more direct and less surrounded with bullshit. She realized those guys only wanted to feel superior somehow and they had found their guinea pig in her.

 Jean fell asleep as she was thinking all of this. She woke up to the voice of her mom telling her it was dinnertime. When her parents asked how it had all went down, she told her everything that had happened and that she was planning to move along. It was hard for her to be her age, living with her parents and she did wanted to earn some money for herself but she wasn’t going to stop looking for a perfect fit to her talents. That company wasn’t the only one in the world and she was certain that, sooner or later, someone would be interested in what she could do.

jueves, 28 de abril de 2016

The cube

   Jessica walked carefully over the edge, barely having enough room for her feet to move around. The mountain that she was in dominated the jungle below and, in any other context, she would have been able to appreciate. But being just millimeters away from death, the least of her interests were the magnificent views. She grabbed herself to the dirt and the rock of the mountain and could finally pass the tricky section in a matter of minutes. She decided to rest a bit after that, and she only had a small space to do so as the mountain was not kind to any visitors.

 As she rested, she noticed a big bird-like creature raising from the jungle. It appeared to be fighting something off but the other creature, or whatever it was fighting, could not be seen. After a couple of minutes, the bird appeared to be toppled from the ground and disappeared from sight. Jessica knew right then that this planet was definitely not a good one for life in general but she had no choice in the matter of visiting it. After all, her mission was there.

 A couple of days earlier, a skinny man going by the name of Renzo Uto, contacted with her team in order to ask for an extraction. Normally, that meant rescuing someone from some horrible place, most often jails or some kind of internment camps. There were lots of both of those in the galaxy and they had a vast experience getting people out of both. But instead, Uto wanted them to rescue an object.

 They almost had to torture him in order to get a basic drawing of the object he wanted to retrieve. Well, torture is a bit extreme. But Jessica’s companion Jimmy, a very big and tall Glafarian (species with the appearance of a dog) was asked to make the client talk fast or to expel him immediately from the ship, by any means.

 Of course, Uto was so scared he did a drawing in less than thirty seconds but he clarified that the object could change form whenever someone attempted to grab it by force. The drawing he had made showed a very simple cube but he said it only looked like that when at rest. If someone when near it, the object would change into any type of thing that would lure the person into a false sense of security and then it would kill them.

 They really wanted to ask Uto why someone would want that type of object. But their motto was “We don’t ask questions” and they couldn’t just violate that. Bounty hunters had to keep a little bit of their dignity and, if that meant seeking for an object hey didn’t really know existed, they had to do it. But Yera, the ship’s pilot, reminded Uto that the team only worked for days. So depending on his pay, they would determine the number of days they would look for his weird cube.

 Uto, of course, had no tons of money. So he was able to pay them for only three days worth of work. The team then agreed on setting course for the jungle planet, which didn’t really have a name and now Jessica was on her second day looking for the damn object. According to Uto, she wasn’t that far away now. After the dangerous mountain pass, she had to go through a razor sharp field of rocks between that mountain and the next one and then descend a bit to find a cave. The cube was supposed to be there.

 The razor sharp field of rocks, a straight line that united two summits well above the jungle level, was easier than the pass but still a horrible experience, mainly because some sorts of animals paraded around the site and launched themselves at Jessica. She had to use her ray gun several times but the little creatures were very fast and attacked with some sort of liquid that smelled really bad. It didn’t hurt or anything, just smell really awful. She crossed the field just before nightfall.

 At the other end, she found a suitable place to sleep and decided to pull out her sleeping bad and protective shield from her special belt. The belt had been an old gift from her mother, a former bounty hunter herself. Now she lived at peace in a farming colony where she could just relax and not worry about someone blowing her head off. Her mom was a legend among the people Jessica knew and she was proud of her.

 The belt had been created by the most advanced civilization in the galaxy. They were able to construct things like that, were size and space and even time did not matter. She could fit an endless amount of things in there and only had to press a button and think really hard about whatever she wanted from her belt. So that night she was protected from the creatures by the shield and slept warmly in her sleeping bag.

 The next day she woke up screaming. Her face hurt, as well as her arms and some of her chest. The stinky liquid had transformed, somehow, into something that had apparently burned her skin and was now penetrating more and more into it. She felt a horrible burning sensation and tried to pour water over herself to feel better or look for something else in her belt, but it was useless. It hurt and she could barely move.

 It was the last day for Uto and could have been the last day for her if she hadn’t decided that the liquid might actually be the best weapon she could ever have. To put it simple, the cube supposedly transformed into something false, in order to kill the person that wanted it. So it would transform into a cure for the liquid if Jessica showed up. But then, it would be obvious to her that the cube was there and she would just fire away.

 Thinking the plan was far simpler than doing it. Her body really hurt, as if she had been very badly burnt by the sun. Her legs though, had been left untouched by the creatures, so they still had their agility intact. She started trembling halfway down the mountain but she focused on the prize, which was something she could have never imagined. Although Uto had almost no money to pay them for their days of work, he did offer something else if they actually gave him the cube he wanted.

 There was an information network called the Omen. It was a very big and important piece of information as it had records on every single living creature in the galaxy intelligent enough to do stupid things. It was like a criminal record center for the entire galaxy and, of course, Jessica and her group were in there. What Uto had told them was that he could be able to remove every single one of their names from he list permanently. Not even erase the crimes but their names altogether.

 At first, they didn’t believe what he was saying. Jimmy threatened to eat his hand and Yera told him it was impossible. But then he simply asked of them to look for his name in the Omen. Everybody could access the network so it was easy for them to see that Renzo Uto did not appear in any part of the Omen. They even scanned his head to look for him, but it just wouldn’t work. He wasn’t there and that was more than enough proof that what he said was real.

 The cave was only a few meters away when Jessica collapsed. She was trembling too much in her upper body and felt really sick. Not even her healthy legs could get her away from danger or from the pain. She stayed down for a good while and, once again, she gazed at the jungle and saw the trees moving and what looked like tentacles rising above the treetops. She only thought about how insane that planet was before she fainted.

 She woke up hours later in a nice room. A beautiful nurse came to her bed and asked her if she was ok. Her face and body didn’t hurt anymore. She touched her skin and every single centimeter was normal. Then, the nurse smiled and told her she was going to be all right. Se turned around but Jessica had recognized her. And the only thing she could do was pull out her gun and shoot right in the center of her body.

 The illusion fell to the ground like a house of cards and so did the cube, a rather normal transparent cube that fell to the ground and Jessica put inside her belt. Her face still hurt horribly and she was sure she was in a worse state than before. She turned to the jungle one last time, watching the tentacles and the moving trees, as she pressed another button for her ride to come pick her up.

lunes, 1 de diciembre de 2014

No dreams, as usual

This time, it had been too much for him. It wasn't the first time a client got rough, many of them liked it that way and he had no other way than accepting it, as it generally meant a better pay.

But this time, it had been too much. Even just after he left, he already felt sick to his stomach, not being able to eat or drink anything. Despite having another appointment, Micky went straight to his house and lay in his bed. He fell asleep fast and had a horrible nightmare, filled with shadowy creatures and an endless labyrinth.

When he woke up, he thought had wet the bed as he felt the covers very wet. He felt ashamed and sat down to see the damage and then almost screamed but he contained it: it wasn't pee but blood. He was bleeding profusely and the blankets were all covered.

He decided to put the blankets on a plastic bag. He would decide to throw them or to clean them later. After that he decided to shower and clean the blood off his body. He felt awful. Micky's job was difficult and had always had that hard part on one side. He try to stay clear off that, being a nice person, trying to please every costumer and make them do as he wanted and not as they wanted.

But that obviously did not work always. Many wanted to take control, to feel they had the upper hand of the situation. And Micky complied because he didn't want more trouble.

In the shower, the water was tainted by blood for a long while. He finally decided, against every fiber in his body, to go to the hospital. He had always sought to avoid any help or going to places where they would ask too many questions.

But this time it appeared to be different. The blood stopped for a while and then came back. He put on two pieces of underwear and an tore apart an old scarf to put in there, as a diaper. He grabbed his bus card and went out.

He was there in under an hour. He didn't live to close from things, having to save all the money he had. He calculated every single expense and gain, even keeping his accounting in a book. It had to be done, with this kind of life.

In the hospital, he told the nurse in a very low register, what was happening. She told him to go over Emergencies and wait there to be greeted by a doctor. Luckily, not many people were waiting there although most appeared to have wounds related to street fights or domestic violence. After all, it was only 4 AM.

A young female doctor said his name out loud and Micky followed her to one of the many stretchers in a big room. It looked more crowded in there, some patients still there, sleeping or waiting for their meds to work.

The lady doctor was young. Micky thought she may have been younger than him. She greeted him with a smile and asked for his problem. He told her of the hemorrhage he had and she asked him to strip down. He complied and lied down on his stomach, as she threw away the piece of old scarf and took a look at the injuries.

 - What happened? - she asked. She sounded a bit alarmed.

Micky decided not to lie. That would only make her ask more questions that he didn't want to answer right now. He told her about his job and how that happened.

 - Well, you have to get stitches and... - she stopped. Apparently not being able to go on.
 - What?

The woman doubted for a moment but finally asked:

 - Was it consensual?

Micky did not answer right away but he finally said "Yes". She then said that was ok, but that the hospital rules obligated her to test him and see if he had any infections, diseases and internal injuries, for it to be deemed rape or not.

 - No, it wasn't that.
 - I have to. Sorry, it's procedure.

He was too exhausted. She gave him a shoot in order to get him to sleep while she did the stitches but then he felt something weird and heard a scream but far, as if it had happened far away. His sight was blurry. He closed his eyes but didn't open them for hours.

When he woke up, he was in proper hospital bedroom. He shared it with two more patients but it was an improvement on that stretcher. He heard things close and far, his head was spinning and finally the pain kicked it, hard.

All his genital region, everything between waist and thighs felt as if it was on fire and burning fast. The pain was unbearable and he started to scream. One of the other patients woke up and a nurse came running in, injecting something into a bag that was connected to him. He suddenly calm down, the pain going away. And he fell asleep again.

He woke up again and it was already dark outside. He could hear his neighbor snoring and the other bed was already empty. His doctor, the young woman, came in and stood there by him.

 - How do you feel?
 - Like shit.

 She laughed. Micky smiled, it was the best he could do.

 - You started bleeding when I injected you the first time. It was way worse that I initially thought so  we had to get you to the operation room. It was an hour or so. You were damaged, a lot. The rape kit  wasn't necessary.

When Micky heard that, he instantly sat on the bed but that proved to be a stupid idea. The pain kicked in again and he went back to his lying position.

 - What do you mean?
 - We found internal injuries, big ones. We had to give you some morphine, that's why you are now  drowsy, I presume.

He nodded. He did feel strange, as if floating or something.

 - It wasn't consensual, was it?

He looked at her eyes but had no urge to answer the question.

 - When can I leave?
 - Not yet. We have some exams we need.
 - I have no money.
 - Let's cross that bridge when we have to. Just rest.

And he did. He fell asleep fast and his sleep was dreamless, which suited him fine.

He was in the hospital for three more days until they finally decided he was good to go. But before he could leave, he had to meet the lady doctor again, for a small check up.

It was weird to have a woman looking at his ass but he didn't care now, after al of this. She asked him to pull up his pants and sit down. She said the results of the exams were good: they had not found infections or diseases. No AIDS, no gonorrhea. Nothing.

She then started speaking about paying the bill. Of course, Micky had no money to do that but then she told him she had being able to put him on a program payed by the city, which sought to help sex workers when being attacked. The city would pay the bill but she needed an arm and a leg.

 - I need you to sign a paper saying it was a rape. And you have to denounce this person to the police.  Otherwise, I cannot help you with the bill.

Micky shed a tear, and then two and so on. He did not know what to do. He just grabbed his bill and ran out of the doctor's office. He had some money saved, to buy a small apartment. He had been working for years and he had been careful with his finances. But this hospital thing was going to take his dreams, the few he had, away from him.

He did pay, however. He had to. He never heard from the lady doctor again and, when he was in good health, he started working again.

When getting home from the first job after his stay at the hospital, Micky remembered the conversation he had with the doctor. He felt her eyes on him again. He could hear all the questions as if she was there but this time his answer was "No".

He hugged his pillow and cried in silence until he fell asleep. Again, no dreams, as was usual.