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

sábado, 5 de noviembre de 2016

Active dreaming

   When I realized, I was at the beach. But it wasn’t like all other times. This time I was the only person there. My bare feet sunk into the sand as the ocean brought water and foam to the shore. The rhythm of the water was pretty soothing and I couldn’t help but notice the most particular colors in the horizon. The sun was going down and it was a show that deserved to be seen. I felt as if I was the only person allowed to see the beauty of the world and I was thrilled to have been chosen. I sat down on the sand and watched the lights.

 It was beautiful. So much more than anything that I would have seen in other circumstances. I liked to feel the sand on my legs and feet, on my hands as I watched an iridescence in the horizon. It was just like a rainbow forming but not in the sky but there, far in the horizon, over the ocean. It was so weird to be able to see it and to be there in my yellow trunks, the ones I loved to wear every time I actually went to the beach. They were my favorite and, of course, I was wearing them as I saw the most spectacular natural show.

 I knew nothing that I saw was actually real. Not the beautiful colors and tones, not the sand in my hands or even my yellow trunks. My brain had made copies of many experiences and was using them as I slept, replicating memories with some amazing twists. I didn’t mind to be in such a wonderful dream, I wanted to stay there more in order to be able to enjoy once more everything that I had loved before and even actually enjoy it this time. It often happens in real life that you don’t notice the world because of stupid little things.

 That dream was bases on one of the many times I had been to the beach but it also used one memory that I almost never remembered, which was walking by the shore during the winter. It was the only time I saw the beach empty so I guess my brain combined a little bit of each experience to create what I was watching. The show in the horizon, which ended soon enough, was something out of my head. I have no idea how it created all of that beauty but I was glad to have seen it and to have been able to enjoy such a beautiful spectacle.

 I stood up and walked a little bit. The sand was nicer than normal. I realized that my memory of the actual sand of that beach had not been used to create that space. Some memory of another beach had been used for the sand, as it was not as rough or coarse as the actual one that I had felt all over my body when I had visited that urban beach. The sand on which I was walking on came from a memory of some volcanic beach that I had visited many years ago with some friends and with… With someone else I had completely forgotten about until then.

 Of course, he was suddenly there. His face was partly in shadows, as I sadly didn’t remember what he looked like. I did recall he was tall and rather skinny. He wore those exact trunks to the beach, those blue ones that seemed to be too large for him. I remember he was drunk most of the time we were there. I guess that’s why nothing happened: after I rejected him because he was been too annoying, I saw him sneaking into a bedroom with a girl we had met earlier on the beach. That didn’t hurt me but it made me feel I was right about him all along.

 He disappeared from the beach and I decided to keep walking. As I did, building and trees began to appear on the side, just crossing a road. Again, that mix of things was the results of many memories trying to create something I didn’t quite remember. One of the buildings was the one I stayed in during a trip to Barcelona and the other was my hotel in Rio and the park was the one I played in my childhood. Seeing all that together gave me a slight headache so I decided to keep walking, closing my eyes for a short time.

 When I opened them, I was somewhere else. I was still barefoot and actually completely naked. No yellow trunks or any other piece of clothing. And it was happening in the worst place possible: it was my high school’s theater. I ran to the side, behind the curtain, and apparently no one saw me. I looked into the crowd and didn’t recognize anyone. Then again, none of their faces were actually clear and perfect. They were all in shadows. It was obvious that memory was kind of repressed or I just didn’t remember any of them at all.

 Suddenly, a bunch of people appeared on stage and they started doing a dance. Then it clicked: I was in my senior year performance for my physical education class. As I was a really lazy person for sports, and also sucked at them hard, I had entered the girl group where they danced and did rather easy things. It was a very sexist thing to have but I was obviously not against it. It gave me a way to escape the sports and the laughter of all the other guys in high school. So I didn’t mind I had to dance to any type of music.

 Then, we all appeared on the beach and I saw myself perform there, on the sand by the ocean. It was beautiful and it really improved the actual memory, which I never really recalled because I never thought about high school. It had been such a trying moment for me that I just attempted to erase every single memory that had to do anything with that time. Of course, the brain never forgets every single thing and that dance routines, as bad as it was, was one of the memories preserved.

 When the act was finished, they all disappeared and I stayed in the beach alone, walking as the wind moved my hair. I was aware that it was only me who controlled everything that was happening in the dream. I was the one deciding to go to my high school or to stay at the beach or to mix up both things to improve one of the memories. I could have woken up a long time ago but I wasn’t doing that and I had no idea why. What was it? What was I doing there that seemed so important? The past didn’t have any clues or magic for me.

 I decided to go for a swim and ran to the water. I jumped into it and water splashed all over the place. I moved my arms fast, trying to propel myself further into the ocean, farther from the beach than in any other time. I knew I couldn’t get hurt so I forced my body and my mind. When I emerged from the water, I didn’t saw the beach anymore. Instead, I was in a swimming pool I had when I was little. I had fallen into it once, fully clothed but that was not the memory I was in there for. Actually, I didn’t even know if it was a memory.

 No one else beside me was there. I climbed the stairs out of the water and then walked towards the door and opened it. Yes, I entered the house through the kitchen and then the living room. It was amazing that I could remember everything about that house. I loved the bedrooms there and also the small room upstairs as it was just like the secret hideout I had always wanted to have. I was again in my yellow trunk but no water was dripping from them and I was glad that was the case because that place was too precious to mess it up.

 I decided to exit through the front door. On the other side, there was only darkness. I couldn’t see or hear anything but after a while, I did feel something. It was someone else there, with me. We hugged and gently touched each other’s bodies. We then kissed very softly and then more and more until we lay on the invisible ground and made love right there. Everything felt so real; I could almost smell his skin and feel his breathing on my neck. It was perfect but it ended soon enough. A very dim light went on and I could just see a glimpse of his back.

 It was cruel from me to do that to myself. But maybe it had not been me in control all the time. Who knows, maybe something else gets into our dreams with us and plays around with our thoughts and memories. Or maybe it was me and I was just attempting to make a point. Anyway, when I woke up I was really warm and had to drink two glasses of orange juice to compensate for all that walking. And as I did that, I realized I remembered every single thing about the dream. That made me smile.

jueves, 8 de septiembre de 2016

The desert and its creatures

   Alexa had always been very fascinated by the desert. She had studied all types of animals from it and had done her final thesis back in the university about all of them. So it was very natural, when she finished studying, that she joined a team of proper biologists in order to go to a remote desert region to discover new species. She was fascinated by the fact that a whole bunch of life forms could be discovered just like that, even in these times. She was, without a doubt, the most enthusiastic person to ever work in such a difficult environment.

 Not only was it hard for everyone because of the food and the general living conditions, but because looking for anything meant having to submit oneself to the very hot temperatures of the desert and the dangerous creatures than lived within. In her first week, Alexa was almost stung five times by different scorpions that appeared out of nowhere, every time exactly where her hand was.

 She had become quite aware of those little creatures and was now very capable to know where the animals would appear and also how much time she could stand under the sun before she started feeling really bad. Alexa was a strong woman, willing to resist whatever was necessary in order to achieve her goal of discovering something new in the name of science. She wanted to make history and there was no doubt she could seriously achieve her goal.

 The food was also a big problem in the camp, always tasting a lot like the sand of the desert but she knew never to complain. If she didn’t like something, she just didn’t eat it and tried to exchange with others for things that she had like energy bars. And every guy in her group liked her because she had been careful enough to bring so many energy bars it seemed she would never run out.

 They stayed in the same part of the desert for a long time, without having any success in the discovery front. They had classified many differences between scorpions of the same type but not much more than that. They had also taken numerous pictures and had studied the possible ways that snakes and other creatures could survive the hot temperatures. It was a big revelation to see an actual snake move around the hot desert sand.

 The trip was really fun but the first week went by too soon and they had permission to stay in the desert for three weeks. After all, it was a national park that was protected by a series of rules and regulations in order for people not to alter its stability in any way. The permission they had been granted was very hard to get and they really needed to take advantage of it.

 However the first week proved to be a deprived of any real discoveries. They were all really worried that maybe they wouldn’t be able to fin anything knew. They changed their camp’s location drastically, in order to be closer to an oasis, where some animals may thrive because of the “easier” conditions. However, they found nothing there either except more snakes and scorpions.

 The water, however, was crystal clear. They grabbed some into bottles in order to test it once they went back into their labs and regular work lives. It would be interested to see how many bacteria would be able to live in such a hostile environment and to know if the water was as pure as it seemed to be. Alexa even drank some directly from the pond because she was very thirsty and thought that even catching a disease from the water would be more fun that what she was doing daily, which was nothing.

She was very disappointed in her first trip. She thought that maybe it had not been the best idea to go to the desert in this first time. Maybe it could have been better to get to the forest or even in a boat to some corner of the ocean. She was trying to come up with different alternatives but the desert was the ecosystem that had always fascinated her, maybe because her parents had been born so close to an actual desert.

 Although not nomad or anything of the sort, her parents had the tradition to get fresh dates from the desert when it was the right season for those. They would roam the desert in order to pick them from the trees and Alexa would love it because she really loved the taste of the dates but also the feeling of adventure she had when she was around her parents.

 They weren’t’ scientist or anything like that. As matter of fact, she was the non-artistic person in her family. She had some skill while drawing but that was it. Alexa was a terrible singer, even in the shower, and couldn’t properly paint, write or anything like that. For some strange reason, she had been born without that very characteristic gene that most of her family had. However, she was very good with numbers, so she never felt too bad in school.

Another week ended the day they changed locations in the desert, once again. They were trying desperately to pick up anything. Their walks every day were getting longer and longer and people were getting desperate, even to the extent that everything they saw was a reason to cheer and get excited and then realize they had just seen a rock or a dead scorpion or something like that. By the beginning of the third week, no one was very happy about the results they had come up with.

 However, good things come to people that wait. In one of their long walks, a good friend of Alexa’s was the one who discovered some markings on rocks who had never been registered. By the way they were painted, it seemed the artist had lived a very long time ago, probably when the rock was really above the desert and not buried in it. Although they were mostly biologists, they were all very excited about such a discovery because it was something that could change the understanding of the place they were in.

 The most interesting part of the drawings was that it depicted humans and also other creatures hat seemed to represent the ecosystem of the desert. There was a drawing of a scorpion, another of some kind of bird and also snakes. All of those were pretty common. But then, there were drawing of several insect like creatures that had never been registered in that desert. So from that day, the biologists decide to help and clear the rock formation from sand in order to see if they could find something interesting to their field.

 And that’s exactly what happened. Four days before living, one of Alexa’s partners found the rotting body of a huge beetle the size of an adult’s hand. Several pictures were taken and the specimen was treated with a special solution in order to put it in a box and take it to the laboratory. The most interesting feature of that insect was the color: it was golden, just like the sun and the sand. Nature was very bright.

 Some other insects were discovered in the area and those were actually alive. There was a big thick worm it red antennae and some kind of really big green ant. They were all preserved carefully in boxes and jars for further study. In a few days, the would be back in their usually work attire, not shorts and shirtless like in the desert, typing in to computers and using several machines to understand what they were seeing.

 Alexa’s discovery came on the very last day and it happened to be a very dangerous one because it was a total accident. The creature was basically a scorpion but the difference was it was as big as a human baby. Its eyes were bright red and its body was very white, probably because it lived beneath the sand. Sadly, the creature had to be killed in order to take it back to the lab. But not only because of that but because it had almost stung Alexa with its tail.

 She took a picture of the creature and would later print it and put it in her workstation in the lab. She was very proud of her discovery but she couldn’t help wondering if what she had discovered was a natural creation or if it was some kind of mutation. She was really looking forward to solve that problem too.

sábado, 27 de agosto de 2016

Ravaged coastline

   As he climbed the staircase towards the top, the storm outside raged even stronger than before. The lighthouse’s walls seemed to shake at the sound of thunder. When he reached the top, he realized the machine that operated the lighthouse was still working despite of their best effort. Fast as he could, he grabbed something from his backpack and stuck it against the control panel that was lit with a variety of colors.

 Outside, the storm seemed to be getting worse every second. The waves were hitting the coast hard, as if nature was intentionally trying to bring the lighthouse down. But working with erosion would take too long so that’s why Miller volunteered to go to the top of the lighthouse and plant a bomb to destroy it from inside it. On the ocean, there was a sound louder than the one of the thunder: two ships seemed to be attacking positions in the ground and they did it all thanks to the help of the lighthouse.

 Once the bomb was planted, Miller ran out of the building, into the storm. From a certain distance, he saw how the lighthouse collapsed into itself. The sound of the explosion wasn’t really that strong because of all the scandal the storm was causing but what mattered was that the mission had been accomplished. Miller ran down the hill towards the beach, were the forces of his country were supposed to be. He didn’t find them there and he was afraid something bad had happened.

 Fortunately, he found their camp still set up where it had been that morning. Only a few tents remain though, because of the storm. The soldiers there said the attack from the ocean had been way too strong and that, even with the lighthouse out of their way, the enemy had known where to attack and how. So most of the army had moved south and, apparently, so did the battle.

 Miller had an obligation with his people, to defend his land until his death but he was very tired from running from one place to the other so he decided to have some rest with those wounded soldiers and wait for good news from all the battalions fighting the enemy. There was no food there, which was a shame, but one of the soldiers had a small flask with a very strong alcohol. Although forbidden, it helped Miller be aware until he fell asleep just before sunrise.

 He only slept a few hours. The storm had finally stopped or almost stopped as it was still raining after all.  He decided to grab one of the transports that hadn’t been destroyed and follow the army down the path. The vehicle had four wheels but seemed like one of those cars you use at the beach or somewhere where war is not an issue. It had no doors, no real protection but it had to be enough.

 As he travelled south, Miller was not very happy about what he saw. Because he saw nothing. There weren’t any bodies on the beach, or coming form the sea. He tried to get to high ground but there was nothing to see on the ocean. No big ship destroyed or trying to attack anyone or anything. The ocean was deprived of any life forms, at least on the surface. And the beaches were the same. Even tracks of other vehicles were difficult to find. Miller would only find the occasional boot print every so often.

 The first day following his army was a waste. Miller only stopped driving at night, when he stumbled upon a former fisherman’s village that had been abandoned by its inhabitants. The most likely scenario was that they had left the town because of the impending attacks of the enemy on the coast. Those people that had lived of the ocean for so long, now had to move to the far away from it, leaving everything they had known and loved behind. It must have been very hard for them.

 Miller left his vehicle next to a house that had clearly been attacked but was still standing after it all. He walked around as clouds in the night sky moved and revealed the full moon. The white light from it helped Miller look for anything he could use such as a small tank of gasoline and some bullets for his handgun. There were also nets and fishing rods but he left them there, as he wouldn’t have time to do anything with them.

 He slept inside the abandoned house that night. Nature or man had removed part of the roof, so the light of the moon illuminated his room. It was filled with sand and smelled a lot like fish. However, he slept in an actual bed that he tried to clean up the best he could. It was very strange to feel such a soft matters and the sheets really smelled like fabric softener, after such a long time of having been abandoned there.

The next day, he charged the gasoline tank of his vehicle and moved on with his search. It was until the afternoon, several kilometers from the fisherman’s village, where finally found the bodies of some soldiers. Unfortunately, they were not only dead but they seemed to have been scorched alive. Their bones were practically pieces of coal, forming strange angles by the ocean.

 It looks as if they were two soldiers or maybe they weren’t even soldiers. It was difficult to tell as the clothes had burned too. Something bad had happened there anyway and even if it didn’t have anything to do with the fighting, it was worth taking note. Maybe the people were going crazier than anyone had anticipated.

 A huge explosion was then heard just beyond some sand dunes. Miller left the vehicle behind and run up the dunes in order to see what had happened. A column of smoke could be seen easily as his feet sunk into the sand, trying to run as fast as he could in a place were running was not very practical. When he got to the tip of the dunes, he saw something horrible. It was the army, his army. They were all dead. Their bodies covered the stretch of sand between the beach and the tree line. There didn’t seem to be a single spot without a dead body.

 The smoke was coming out of some sort of gun near the center of the agglomeration of bodies. It was artillery and was pointed towards the ocean. Miller tried to look for anything there to indicate what had killed all of those men and women but there was nothing. The weapon had maybe overloaded and that’s why it had exploded. It meant that Miller had missed his peers for a very short time, maybe even only hours.

 It was awful to see all of those familiar faces rotting under the soft rain and the pale sunlight that filtered through the very thick clouds. He didn’t know what to do with them. Leaving them there would not be according to their code but burning each corpse would take him forever. And then, there was the gun. He decided to walk among the bodies, towards the weapon, in order to check if any information could be saved from its intelligent software.

 He tried not to step on any hands or legs but it was very difficult. He tried to look forward instead of downwards. For a moment, tears began pouring out of his eyes. It was just too much for him. After all, he was just a young guy that no many months ago had ben trying to turn his life around after been a thief for all of his life. He had tried to learn a trade and be good at it and then the war happened and now he was stepping on bodies.

 When he reached the artillery post, he sat on the chair of the gun and clicked some letters. The machine was still working. The shooting capabilities were out of order but he could check what they were firing at moments ago. An image appeared on the small screen and he had to get closer to see it fully. When his eyes focused, he thought he was looking at the worn image or maybe he had done something wrong.

 But the image was not the wrong one. Understanding the danger he was in, he ran stepping on every body towards the dunes and reaching his vehicle fast. He had to leave for the inland, where the inhabited cities were, in order to tell them what he had seen. They wouldn’t believe him but he had to tell them that a monster was out there. Maybe it was the enemies, or maybe not, but it seemed to have come straight from hell. As he drove, he checked his mirrors every few seconds, afraid of the ocean.

sábado, 11 de junio de 2016


   As the weather report had indicated, there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky that day. There was just an infinite blue space, with birds and planes crossing it every so often. The beaches were packed. There wasn’t even a small place by the showers they could use. Maybe everyone had thought of the same plan once they had seen the weather report or maybe it was tradition to escape to the beach every Sunday. After all, the city was partially dead on those days.

 The couple walked along the first beach, the one closest to the metro station. It was obviously the most agitated one. There weren’t only a lot of people but there were also a lot of vendors and bars and women offering massages and even DJ’s blasting music that cut off every single conversation anyone wanted to have in the area. Besides, you had to really watch were you walked, unless you wanted to step on somebodies hand and never hear the end of it.

 It was a bit frustrating not to fin a single space there. They didn’t really want to keep walking but there was no choice. One of them said that, at least, there were more options. If it had been only that beach, they wouldn’t have been able to stay at all. A walk could be a good thing if, after all, they could find what they had come to find. So they kept on walking, to an area covered with palm trees were people also occupied every single centimeter there. They used some stairs behind the palms and returned to the ocean walkway.

 There were many people skating and riding bikes too. One of them thought it should be illegal to ride bikes so close to may people lying on the ground. He thought it was the most stupid idea there was but he couldn’t blame the city’s institutions for having to put bicycle tracks all over the place. There was really a lot of cycling going on, so they walked a little bit faster, through a flea market and then by a large marina, filled with very luxurious yachts.

 Both could see themselves riding one of those someday, even without any knowledge of sailing. It seemed like something that was incredibly exclusive and an indicator of wealth and power. Somehow, and they agreed on this two, to watch someone on a yacht was very sexy, even if being in a boat for more than one night was not the most enticing concept ever.

 They stood there like lamps, watching men with white shorts and sunglasses bard their yachts. They would all dress exactly the same. They both wondered if there was like a rulebook that stated how people should dress in a yacht. Everyone was wearing white: socks, skirts, pants, shorts, shirts, shoes,… It was very repetitive.

 They moved on to the next beach, just on the other side of the marina. This one was much larger than the one that was packed a few blocks back. Besides, this one wasn’t as filled with tourists, which was a good thing. They were tourists too but they hated to go on those groups, doing lines with those stupid hats and the leader of the tour with a flag as if they were all dogs following their owner. A normal tourist always wore the same thing, would always go to the same places and behave in exactly the same way.

 They were two young people and didn’t want to have anything to do with that. So they dressed a little bit more casually and had decided to walk around a lot, discovering special places of the city by themselves and with the help of the map in their phones. That was much more fun and they could even get lost and discover incredible new places and people, so they really liked their way better.

 Sadly, the second beach was also packed. Not so many tourists but many locals. The first section of the beach was covered by three volleyball field where several groups of people were throwing balls at each other with an incredibly strength. The couple practically ran past they, as they had always been rather unfortunate with any kind of sport that involved a ball. Somehow, if they were nearby, the ball would always land on their heads.

 The next section was, oddly enough, occupied by lots of families with small children. Both of them stepped on, at least, a dozen of little shovels and buckets and rakes. And the kids that ran around trying to catch each other would often use them as shields against other kids. To be honest, it was a very annoying thing specially because they didn’t really like children. They did enjoy them from time to time, but couldn’t stand them for more than a few minutes.

 So they walked a little faster and then arrived to the last section of that beach. They were happy to see a spot: it was closer to the sidewalk than to the ocean, but at least there was a place for them to finally sit down. Their feet hurt as they were not very used to walking on warm sand for such long times. It was like a mirage that, effectively, disappeared almost immediately. Another couple arrived out of nowhere and sat down on the spot fast, as if they had always been there.

 Frustrated, they arrived at a place with no sand but with a concrete surface. There was some kind of gymnasium there, with lots of shirtless men showing off their physical attributes. It was a bit distracting, so they moved on the next beach. On the one side, the beach had the ocean. On the other side, it had a large sand bank, almost a hill, covered with trees.

 The couple wondered what that was about but kept on walking, passing an information sign and walking along the sand bank. This small section by the hill was not as packed as the other beaches. This one had some spots they could use, several to be honest. It took them some time to realize what made the beach so special. They found a spot, a big one, just in front of the ocean. They ran towards it, taking out their towels and putting them fast on the ground in order to claim the space.

 They sat down, a bit tired but also happy they had finally succeeded. Then, a woman passed in front of them, totally naked. It wasn’t uncommon to see one going topless. It was actually very common for that to happen. But full naked? Not so much. They didn’t think much of it as they checked their bags for food and sunblock. As one of them put some of it all over arms and face, another naked person passed in front of them. And then another one.

 So they both stood up and took a hard look at their surroundings. Most people, all adults, men and women, were naked. Totally naked, without a single piece of clothing on their bodes. Some were sitting on their towels, reading. Others were trying to tan their bodies with the potent sunlight of the day. And some walked along the beach, even jumping into the water as they were.

 The couple looked at each other as they sat down. They didn’t really stop putting on the sunblock or having a bite of some bread they had brought with them. They just did it more slowly, thinking about the fact that they were in a nudist beach or at least the nudist section of the beach. Then, it became obvious that, if they hadn’t found that area, they wouldn’t have been able to found a spot in which to sit down and enjoyed their day at the beach.

 The two of them had been together for about two years. They had been intimate several times and had shared their views on practically every subject they could think about. It wasn’t their first trip together either, they had done it before at least two other times. They knew each other well and respected each other in every single aspect. There was nothing they wouldn’t say or discuss or go into. They were young and open to the world that they travelled.

 So, of course, both of them removed their shirts and then their pants and then their underwear. They were naked as they applied sunblock all over their bodies. They helped each other with the back and shared a big bag of chips they had bought, chili flavored. They decided to tan for a while first. Later, they hopped into the water. Eventually, they would remember that day as their favorite of that trip, pictures included.