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

viernes, 9 de marzo de 2018

Julia in the desert

   The stars seemed to be very close. Somehow, the sky in such a remote area of the world was different than what you would see in other parts. Julia was lying down on a think towel she had purchased before the trip and she started counting the stars but she got lost and tired quickly. She hadn’t even removed her boots before lying down and now she was falling asleep, in the middle of the desert. She hadn’t prepared her tent or any food. She was much too tired after her first day.

 Early next morning, she was woken up by a tickling on her stomach. Julia didn’t really open her eyes immediately. But as the tickling persisted, she decided to sit down and properly wake up. She stood up in fear once she realized the tickling came from the tough little legs of a scorpion that was parading itself all along her body. She checked herself for any stings but there was nothing. It was clear that, if the creature had stung her, she would be in severe pain.

 Julia decided to spend her second day looking for a better camping spot. She walked half that day all along the desert and the small patches of life she could find, until she found a small group of thin trees. They gave some shadow from the sun, which was perfect because it had started coming out behind big clouds and it was insufferable to walk like that. She was able to put up her tent in a few minutes and get inside before the full power of the sun was displayed. Thankfully, she had bought the right tent.

 She smiled at the thought of her looking around several stores until she found the right one. It was clear that many of the employees at all the stores didn’t really believe her when she stated she was going camping in the middle of the desert. She even explained to them she was studying biology and that was the perfect way to get more comfortable with future trips she might have to endure. But apparently she looked too “girly” and too “nice” to be the type of woman that goes camping.

 Julia even imagined that they pictured her doing her nails inside of her tent or maybe bringing a man with her in order to repel bugs and others animals. But she couldn’t care about all of that, about what she thought they were thinking or about what they were actually thinking. She could only care about her priorities and her first one was to become the best biologist ever. She really loved the profession but had always had a certain fear and disgust towards going camping or working in the middle of a jungle or any wild place. So Julia forced herself to camp and live through it alone.

 She sat down on the tent and removed her boots after almost a day of use. Of course, her feet smelled awful but it was the price to pay for such an adventure. Besides, she was certain that a source of water would be around and she would take advantage of that the moment she found it. Meanwhile, she had to conform with removing her boots and socks and giving her aching feet some air to relax. She opened her backpack, grabbed a couple of power bars and ate them in a few minutes.

 Food was one of the big problems she had to face doing what she was doing. It  wasn’t like she was prepared from day one to hunt and eat anything she found. Besides, she was in a desert and the amount of animals there was severely reduced. It wasn’t as if she was in the middle of a beautiful European forest where she could hunt down boars and roast them slowly over a nice fire. She couldn’t do that, so she had prepared herself with lots of cereal bars and small foods that she could move around easily.

 It wasn’t the best meal ever, but at least she had fresh water, which was enough to make her feel alive once again. She lay down for a bit and realized she hadn’t really done much related to biology. The closes thing had been her encounter with the scorpion and she had run so fast after that, that she was ashamed to call herself a scientist. So after relaxing for a bit, she put on her socks and boots again and a baseball cap her dad had given her before departure.

Then, she went outside to check for animal life outside the tent. Julia found some interesting bugs near the thin trees and was able to take pictures with her cellphone. She had a better camera inside her backpack but she really didn’t want to be fixing its configuration when trying to take the picture of a small creature. She promised herself to check the camera features before going to bed. She saw some more scorpions, as well as tiny spiders that seemed to like underneath the hot desert sand.

 When going back inside her tent, a powerful noise attracted her attention upwards and she realized a very rare visitor was flying over her. Before leaving her house, Julia had checked all the information she could about that part of the country, so she was well aware of the existence of such a majestic creature. It had a very large wingspan but its body was rather small. Its feathers were light yellow, in order to reflect the sun light and being able to blind its prey with them. It was such a beautiful design nature had achieved, so of course Julia took lots of pictures.

 Later that day, and after eating a whole tuna can with beans, Julia uploaded the cellphone pictures onto her laptop. She had brought several spare batteries for it, but even so she decided to limit her computer time to only an hour a day. She erased the pictures that she didn’t like and was about to turn off the computer when she decided to look at some of the other pictures she had on her laptop. Family pictures, others with friends and some at college too. She was smiling in most, not in all of them.

 She even laughed out loud when she realized she had a couple of pictures of her old boyfriends. She hadn’t seen any of them in a long time, as they had been only high school crushes and nothing more. Yeah, she had gone with one of them to prom and with the other one on a long summer vacation. But that was it, they were both now in the past and she had to move on. Actually, it had been partly because of them she had decided to follow her dream of becoming a biologist. They didn’t think it was a realistic dream.

 After turning off the computer and putting it away, she decided to grab the camera to fix the settings before using it the next day. She had bought that second hand camera online and had never touched more than a couple of times to know it could be turned on and off. That was it. Now she had to put everything in the right setting in order to capture the perfect pictures in the scorching desert. But as she wasn’t very good with things like that, Julia soon fell asleep with the camera on her chest.

 The next day, she woke up to see the camera had rolled to the side. She grabbed it to put away but then the bird with yellow feathers screamed loudly. Because this time, it did seem like a scream and not like the beautiful chant of a majestic bird. Julia stepped outside barefoot, only to see the sky was very dark and that the bird was on top of the nearby thin trees. The bird let out another “scream” and suddenly flew over Julia and away from the tree area. It seemed to be escaping something.

 Only moments afterwards, the ground began shaking violently. Julia fell to her knees and saw how her tent moved around as if tossed by some invisible force. She tried t o crawl her way back inside the tent but the earthquake stopped right before she was able to get it.

 Inside, all of her stuff had spilled out of the backpack. Food, the camera, phone and laptop, everything was upside down. The bird had warned her right in time. She was thankful and realized she had made the right choice by spending two weeks in that desert. She was going to make the best of it.

jueves, 28 de julio de 2016

The blue box

   Everyone had an idea about who had send it and why but something compelled them no to check their facts, to respect what the card with the box had written on it: “Please don’t open this until July 28th”. The box didn’t have the name of the person who had sent it, it only had the address of Kevin’s house and that was it. It didn’t even have Kevin’s name or anything. It was wrapped in blue paper and had a blue bow on top. The most mysterious thing of it all was that the present had being sent seven days earlier.

 During that week, every person who came into Kevin’s apartment had a theory about who had sent the gift and why. Some thought it was a former girlfriend; others thought it was an absent-minded relative. They also thought the gift was anything from shoelaces to a severed head. His craziest friends said it smelled funny and that if you moved it, it seemed to have a pulse. But, of course, they were joking. When they left, he would shake the box and hear nothing or find himself smelling it like a dog at the airport.

 He respected the mystery of the small card that came with the box because he realized that no one in this day and age was that interesting with their presents. Everyone was very straightforward, or didn’t even give presents. It was, in a way, a dying art. So the fact that someone had decided to do something interesting with their gift to him was interesting. Every day, when he got home, he got close to the box and just stared at it, as if expecting it to open by itself.

 He assumed it had been sent to him because of his birthday but that could’ve been just a coincidence. What if the present was really something else, something that had nothing to do with him turning thirty years old? Every person that heard him suggest that looked at him as if he was crazy. It was going a little bit too far with the mystery. Granted, the package had arrived very early but that really didn’t mean anything.

 Kevin was not used to presents either, in general. To be honest, he was not used to celebrating his birthday. He found it to be annoying and a little sad. It wasn’t something he looked forward too and, in the past, he had actually forgotten to celebrate a couple of his birthdays. He didn’t care at all about checking his calendar to see how old he had gotten. He just wanted to live.

 That present, that stupid blue box was changing everything in his mind about birthdays and everything related. By the fourth day after it had arrived, he had to grab it and just put it away in a closet. He had decided not to play along with the game of who ever had sent the box. That person wanted him to behave like a fool and he was getting there. Well, not anymore

 The box spent the fifth and sixth days up there, in a corner of the closet. It was the place where he put all the cleaning equipment that he needed in his house. The mop, the green liquid to clean he dishes, the blue one for the floors and so on. The box looked good among ll those crazy colors. But he authentically forgot about it, even the day of his birthday. As his friends were rushing him to eat cake and dinner in order to go and have drinks afterwards, no one really remembered the box and it stayed there far longer that it was supposed to.

 Actually, it wasn’t opened the following week either. Kevin’s workload increased dramatically and he had to stay n the office for several hours, one day even sleeping over there on the floor. The day he came back to his apartment, he slept for two days straight and definitely forgot about his present. It wasn’t something that felt important to him so it slowly got transferred to the back of his head until he forgot completely about it.

 Life went on the apartment. Kevin attended funerals and weddings, he met babies and husbands and wives and he even visited places he had never thought he would ever visit. And during all that time, that blue box with the ribbon was sitting there, on top of that closet. It’s funny when we imagine all the inanimate objects that have always been with us or close to us. The way that, somehow, they have been a really big part of our lives and they’re not even alive.

 Kevin found out about the box once again, the moment he decided to move away from that old apartment. He had a girlfriend and the two of them were going to try and live to together and see if maybe they were as compatible as they seemed. If everything went fine, they would maybe think about getting married. It was a very important time in his life and the day he rediscovered the box, he realized the fact that he had changed in a good way in the last couple of years.

 When he saw the box, he decided he wouldn’t take it with him to the new apartment so he had to open it and see what was inside. Two years had passed since the box had arrived in his house and it seemed a bit silly to be opening it then, after so long. He removed the move the bow, as he thought he would never now who had sent it, unless there was another note inside or something like that.

 His girlfriend came running the moment she heard a scream in his room. She had been helping him pack every glass and plate in the kitchen and almost broke a couple when she heard him screaming. She had never heard him to that sound, not in the time they knew each other. And it worried her because it wasn’t a pleasant sound; it was made out of pure fear.

 When she got to his room, she screamed too. The box had fallen to the floor and its content was there, lying dead on the ground. It was a spider, almost as big as the box. Kevin was livid, unable to move from the bed. His girlfriend grabbed him by the hand and pulled him away from there, to the kitchen. They decided to call an exterminator and not enter his bedroom until that person had seen the whole thing.

 The man that came was apparently very well versed in those creatures. Kevin’s girlfriend had asked for someone with that kind of knowledge and apparently they had such person. He told her, as Kevin was still in shock in the living room, that those spiders were really difficult to find. They normally inhabited deep in the jungle. The weird part was, to him at least, that the creature was very poisonous and that it had died inside that box because of the lack of air and the fact that it had poisoned itself.

 He gave her a card that was inside the box and left with its content and the actual box, per request of the woman. The only thing that remained was that small card which she held on two fingers. It had the phrase: “Hope you enjoy it” written on it and she thought it was the most sickening thing she had ever read. She knew Kevin well and she knew he was horrified of those animals. Apparently the person that had sent the box did know about that too. And that person didn’t only want to scare him but also kill him, at least according to the exterminator.

 Kevin had to go to the hospital, as his shocked state was lasting for too long. He had to stay there for observation for a couple of days, enough time for his girlfriend to pack everything in his house and move. He came to his new house, talking again although a bit nervous. She didn’t want to talk about it but it was him who brought the subject up.

 He said he thought he knew who was involved with that horrible joke. And after he said that, he started crying and the vomited, trembling. He ashamed and very scared. His girlfriend had no idea what was going on.

martes, 12 de mayo de 2015


   Opening the door was like opening the fridge. It was too cold outside, too cold to be there and yet, people found reasons to go out in that weather. In her apartment, Laura was sitting next to the heating but somehow it wasn’t working as it usually did. She decided to go into bed early and wear many layers of clothing but that did not help much. She was freezing and needed to keep warm in order not to go insane.

 The next day, she had to go to the office to work. It was awful as many roads were covered in snow and so were the sidewalks. She did not care for slipping on frozen ground and then falling on her ass. It was not only shameful but it hurt a lot and it made her feel more of the weather they were having. It was very uncommon, but the cold wind had arrived very early this year, almost in October. And weather people were saying it was not going to leave the region until March. So they had to stand it for many more days.

 Luckily, Laura’s office decided that it was too cruel to make people go all the way downtown to work so they decided to let some people stay at home and work over the internet. They had to be available and working at the same rhythm but in their pajamas and warm blankets. Laura was happy that she was one of the people they set free although many were pissed off at them because their jobs could not be done remotely. Laura’s pity lasted for a few hours, until she got home and realized the heating system was working, as it should.

 Maybe it was because she had gotten there late and it only worked properly at nights but anyway she was happy about it. She put her dinner in the microwave and as it was heated, she decided to check her phone. Some friends had been freed too from their jobs but were still looking forward to the weekend when they could sleep for hours and hours without been disturbed.

 Laura ate her dinner in bed, not minding if the bolognaise sauce of the pasta tainted her blankets. She was warm and cozy and was already thinking how much warmer she was going to feel inside her bed. And then, someone knocked on her door. She almost threw her plate of pasta because the sound had taken her for surprise. No one ever came to her home and if they did they had been invited. Been a weekday, she was sure that no one had been invited. Laura decided to leave the plate on her nightstand and walked towards the main door, where someone was knocking again.

 It scared her again, for some reason. She did not have a way to see who was at the other side but tried leaning over the door and hearing what was going on the other side. The person there was breathing heavily, as if he or she had been running like mad for the last hour. Laura stayed there, trying to hear something else but the only thing that came was another knock, which almost made her scream. She covered her mouth and heard the person on the other side walk a few steps and then another person talking. She recognized that voice: t was the old lady that lived in the apartment in front of her. She was telling the person there to be quiet, as many people had taken an early night. This one funny because how could she know that but she didn’t say more and slammed her door.

 The person on the other side was about to knock but Laura decided to open before the old lady had to be dragged out again. At first she did not see who it was: the lights of the corridor were not working. But as the person walked into the light of her apartment, she realized it was her best friend Jeanne. When she saw her, Laura punched her on an arm and the other one started rubbing it, obviously hurt.

-       What the hell?! What are you doing here?
-       What? You’re busy?
-       No! It’s just… Why didn’t you call first? You scared me!

Laura let her friend in and they walked fast to her room. As Jeanne seated on the edge of the bed, Laura went back to her plate of pasta. She had just realized how hungry she was. Jeanne was still rubbing her arm when she told her friend she had come so hastily because she had learned something had happened and she was very close.

 Apparently, according to Jeanne, a former friend of theirs from high school had died just a few hours ago. Laura was about to tell her friend she didn’t care but then Jeanne said the name: “Brock”. It was as if she had been sprinkled with glue. She couldn’t speak and, for a moment, she didn’t care about the cold. Brock had been one of their best friends in high school. They were always the three of them parading around, talking and having many laughs. They would seat together in every class and would share tips on the subjects each one had a problem with.

 The reason they had stopped talking was college. He had left after obtaining a scholarship for a university in France and they dais they would talk and chat and text but that went only for a few months until he stopped writing. They knew nothing bad had happened because he kept uploading pictures and they noticed there were many people in them. He had apparently made new friends in college and had decided it was best to cut off all ties to high school. As their friends, Laura and Jeanne understood. They knew how hard it had been for him but anyway they felt a bit betrayed and hurt that he wouldn’t have said a word about it.

 Now, according to Jeanne, he was dead. Her friend told her that she had taken the bus to get home from work and decided to check on the news on her phone, as the journey was a long one. She browsed through several articles about very different things until she stumbled upon one with “breaking news” written in red and yellow. Apparently, a plane that was about to land on the city’s airport had crash by the end of the runway. They had no idea how many dead there were so they updated the article every few minutes with details. Finally, after a long time, they revealed a list of the bodies that had been already found. Brock’s name was there and as the bus was not very far from Laura’s home, she decided to go down and walk to her door. She had been so shocked by the news, she couldn’t think of calling her friend, only of getting there.

 Laura had a few tears on her face. She wiped them clumsily and asked her friend if she was sure the dead person was Brock. She told her that many people had the same name but Jeanne interrupted her saying that both of his last names were written in the article and being Brock Holowitz Sepulveda, she was sure he was the one who had died.

 Just then, Laura stood up and decided to go to the kitchen. Jeanne joined her and they made hot chocolate to compensate for the cold. Obviously, Jeanne could stay the night and they could share the bed to be warmer. She let Jeanne put on one of her pajamas as she poured the hot chocolate on two large mugs and took them to the bedroom.

 As she took a first sip, Jeanne remembered one time in her home when they were in school. They had reunited there to make a science project and they had ended up eating and sharing silly gossip about people in school. They had also read magazines and watched TV and their science project ended up being finished at 2 AM, much to Jeanne’s mother grief, who had tried for them to work all day long.

 Laura remembered the time they had spent a whole summer together, none of them having any place to go to. They had paraded around town confusing tourists; gone to the top of Brock’s building to tan on his used beach chairs and they would also eat a lot of pizza from a place close to the school. They each had a favorite flavor but they all loved the garlic dressing, for which they always fought.

 When they were done with the hot chocolate, the two women got under the covers and fell asleep very quickly. Their sleep was dreamless so one could not say if it had been good or bad. In the morning, Jeanne called her office and told them she was going to be there after lunch due to a personal problem. Meanwhile, Laura called a number featured on one of the accident’s articles and decided to check if Brock was indeed a victim. It hurt her to verify his death but asked the lady who had told her if she could go and see him or if she knew if his parents had already been notified. The woman said she had no idea but that she could come over and be in a room with other relatives to get the latest news.

 Laura and Jeanne decided to go, even with the snowfall forecasted for later that evening. They took a bus to the airport and met Brock’s parents there. They were surprising but relieved that the girls were there and they all relieved some memories as they waited for someone to tell them the next step in this whole painful process.