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

miércoles, 2 de agosto de 2017

The planetarium

   The planetarium was almost empty. The small crowds of the morning had been gone for a while and now only two couples and a sleeping guy were beneath the dome, not really witnessing the lightshow that had been made to teach people about stars, planets and all other astronomical bodies. However, there were two other people in the room. They were there only for a couple of minutes but enough for one of them to look at the massive Milky Way for quite a while.

 His name was non important. His service badge had the number 954. The number was always assigned randomly, with no real meaning. It was just a way for people to know something and, at the same time, not knowing a single truth about the person they were in front of. He would wear his badge everywhere when on duty and, on secret missions like these, he would have it somewhere on him to pull out fast or throw away in an instant, anything to live a bit longer in order to survive, step by step.

 He had arrived too early at the meeting but he had done so because it would have been too obvious if they had met on the street or even in front of the planetarium. And if they had entered at the same exact time, people would have noticed something else going on. So he just got there earlier, his hotel being pretty close to that place, and had witnessed most of the lightshow without a sound interrupting the narration, except maybe the snore of the sleeping guy on a back row.

 The agent sat down and waited. As he did that, he remembered his childhood, when he asked several times for stickers that lighted up in the dark in order to decorate his room. His mother tried to buy him some but she gave up after a couple of outings. Besides, his dad was against it the moment he knew of the kid’s request. The man declined to buy his son anything, especially not when he was doing so poorly at school. 954 had to repeat that grade the following year.

 Stars were just things that had fascinated him for a long time and they were also one of the things he had given up during childhood. When he looked back at those days, he felt that maybe he hadn’t really lived as a kid. His parents had always been so different and he was trapped often in his discussions. It was especially hurtful when they blamed him for things they hadn’t done in life, as he had been born very early in their relationship. He eventually learned that they had married only because of him. One of his grandparents told him, as if it was nothing.

 The exchange went fast. Agent XDE had come a long way for the information and she really didn’t feel like staying more than needed in that dreadful city. It was a very strange thing but she had been born in a city and hated every single urban landscape she had ever seen. This was because the only good memories she had had taken place far from those places, in nature, where animals lived and everything had a really nice feel of freedom and excitement about it. It felt true.

 She had landed her job just as she had come out of college. She was a very brilliant student, who had been fortunate enough to go to a very private and respected high school. She had done so many things to earn people’s respect that it wasn’t a surprise when the government started offering her jobs. Most of those jobs involved working on offices and she hated the idea of being in a closed environment. It was her that proposed them to work as an agent and they gladly complied.

 Her training was done faster than most recruits and she was sent to her first mission at the same age other girls are trying to fit in college and find what their passion in life is. She didn’t want their life and was successful in using everything she had in life in order to progress faster than others and always be ahead, no matter the costs. She had learned to be self-reliant and didn’t care at all about other people. Spies exist to prevent evil to destroy common people but she didn’t care at all.

 The adrenaline of her job was what kept her going; from the moment she stepped in her first mission. She never had an issue when asked if she could separate completely from her family. She even did it before they asked her.  XDE was assigned as her code and it was a series of letters she had chosen for herself and submitted them to her bosses. She didn’t care about receiving a “no” for an answer and that was because she knew people were afraid of her. She liked that.

 No one ever knew what her code name meant but that was of little importance in the long run. The most important thing she had to offer was her skills: she was fast, effective, silent and with an excellent eye to predict how a scenario would play out. She would play all the possible outcomes in her head and then try to move everything in order for her to get favored. She was a very good manipulator, which explained how she entered the museum without being seen and then out again, in a few minutes. She was one of the best spies the world had ever seen.

 The transaction was as follows: agent 954 was seating on the front row, very close to the projector. The couples were on the middle rows and the sleeping man on the back row. Agent XDE did not enter through the main door but through the one used by maintenance crew and all other people that worked in the planetarium and in the adjacent museum. She did it silently and had previous knowledge the door was always covered in darkness during one of those lightshows.

 When 954 noticed her, he immediately knew who she was. It wasn’t because she was obvious, but it was something about the way she walked or the way she looked at him from the dark, for only a second. He just knew that what he had to do was stand up and walk towards her side of the dome room. Darkness would help the deal get done faster and so it was. When he was very close to her, already covered by darkness, she grabbed his hand in a grip, almost as he wanted to crush it.

 Instead, she passed him a very small tube with whatever his bosses had told him to collect. The woman didn’t say a word. He just knew he had to pretend that he had decided to leave the show and she just disappeared through the same door she had used when entering. The woman almost flew away of the scene like a cat or some kind of incredibly silent creature. In a matter of minutes, she was already grabbing her only suitcase and hopping into a car for the airport.

 Meanwhile, he walked slowly through the planetarium’s exposition halls, watching the beautiful dioramas of how Humanity would colonize Mars and other celestial bodies in the Solar System. He just knew running away wasn’t the best way to do what he had to do. He had to play it cool. So he walked slowly towards the cafeteria and then bought some coffee there. He had in a table by a garden and then left walking as if nothing had happened, towards his hotel.

 The show ended inside the planetarium. The couples left after realizing the lights were on. They didn’t say a word, just walked to the exit in silence, as if they knew they had desecrated a place that was not meant for horny younger people.

 But the sleeping man remained there for a little more. After all, he hadn’t really been sleeping at all. He had just seen a very interesting exchange happened and he was well aware that many people would pay a lot of money for the information that was now in his power.

lunes, 24 de julio de 2017

The isle of Gods

   The island was the favorite place for gods and goddesses; as well as for fairies and all others creatures that had been created once and had then ascended the long ladder towards enlightenment. The only race that had failed to do so was the human one, rid of stupid creatures that had ideas that were not as grand and fantastical as the ones that the creatures in the island had. Its name was Warghia, the place where everyone could relax and be themselves, far from any responsibility.

 However, a human named Floyd once washed ashore. He had lost his life in a battle far into the ocean and his body had then floated slowly towards the hidden island. The magic surrounding the place, as well as the one done by thousands of creatures for so long, had been the one to blame for his resurrection, which no one was could ever understand, even millennia after Floyd’s actual death. His story would become myth but first, he had to live again.

  The first creature that saw him lying on the sand was a centaur, a male one that had been taking a walk by the shore. Assolan was his name and he had always loved water but his culture and traditions had never related to water, at all. He liked to see his reflection on the water and the moon’s one too. He always dreamed of sailing the ocean and he had been able to fulfill his dream there, on the isle of dreams. But, sadly, he had realized he wasn’t made for a life in the ocean.

 Of course, Assolan was devastated after such a sad realization. But it was true; he wasn’t made to be in the ocean. His legs couldn’t properly stand on a boat and his body was too large to be agile in the many works that sailing required. Besides, he just couldn’t handle the movement of the water. The need to vomit all over the place was impossible to handle and an embarrassment for such and enthusiast of the ocean. So he had decided to get off that boat and never try again.

 Finding Floyd was the best surprise in his many nights of solitary walks. He always did the same thing, kicking the sand and trying to imagine a solution for his motion sickness. He tried to think of herbs or other foods to provide a solution to his problem, but that just didn’t work. When he saw Floyd’s naked body on the sand, his clothes eaten by the ocean, Assolan realized his curiosity was not limited to the ocean. When he saw the human, he instantly felt something for the creature. He couldn’t quite put it into words but he knew he had to help.

 It was very difficult for the centaur to help Floyd. With his two arms, he pushed and poked the human but nothing happened. The creature was as good as dead. He tried talking to his ear and even blew air into his mouth but that didn’t work either. He touched the human’s face, his arms and his legs. He touched every single part of the man’s body but no response was shown anywhere. His face remained as the one of a sleeping creature, as all creature sleep in the same way.

 Assolan realized the only way to help Floyd was to put him on his back and then ride to one of the nearest temples where they were always doctors and shamans that could help even the gods. A human would be a simply thing for them. With difficulty, Assolan managed to put Floyd on his back and rode as fast as he could to the temple of Shiva, the nearest one to part of the beach where they had been just a few minutes ago. The temple was beautiful and grand, golden like the sun.

 Shiva was actually lying on her back, moving her many arms independently. With one arm, she used a fan to refresh her face. Two others cut an orange and two more caressed the goddess’s body with a cream that had the scent of a thousand roses. She didn’t notice Assolan right away, only when his hoofs stopped stomping the sand and started stomping the golden bricks of which the golden temple was made of. She looked to her side and just stared at Assolan, tired as ever.

 He dropped Floyd in front of Shiva and she then asked if it was a gift for her. Assolan, with almost no more energy, only managed to say the word: “Help”. Then he collapsed. Shiva stared at the two unconscious bodies in front of her. The arms stopped what they were doing. She really looked at the two creatures as she stood up and looked with not only her physical eyes, but also the eyes of thousands of souls. With her third eye and many more. She learned, soon enough, what had to be done.

 Days later, Assolan woke up in a beautiful room. It was made of gold and had tall windows to look to the sea. The surface of the temple shimmered softly. He then realized he had been missing from his home, not so far from there. Then he remembered that time didn’t seem to pass in the same way in that island so his worries transferred from his heard to the human he had found on the beach. As he turned around, giving his back to the window, he saw Shiva there, looking at him patiently. One of her hands asked him to follow and he did, in silence.

 They walked through fantastic halls. Shiva was clearly preparing a feast, a grand one for sure. Many servants of many species tended to dozens of tables, putting bowls of foods all over the place, as well as flowers and many other commodities for the many, many guests. They passed rooms and rooms of people preparing for the party but Shiva did not say a word about it. She kept looking forward, her hands moving in different ways from time to time, enigmatically.

 Finally, they reached a room similar to the one Assolan had woken up in. But instead of a centaur, a human was sleeping on a beautiful bed, adorned with lush vegetation. This time, Assolan was able to notice Floyd’s breathing. He didn’t wait for anyone to talk, he just launched himself at the human and hugged him, as if he was a doll he hadn’t seen in many years. But to the centaur, Floyd was something more to him. It wasn’t love exactly either. Just something else.

 Shiva waited and, when Assolan stopped his hug, she stepped closer to the human and touched his face. Then, she touched Floyd’s forehead and felt everything he was. His desires and secrets were all shown to hear in her head. With her wisdom and knowledge of every piece of time, she managed to understand why the human was alive. She knew about the mystical properties of the place they were in but had not yet understood how it worked. And she knew there were things it was best not knowing.

 She explained this to Assolan but he didn’t care about any magic or everything that was not known to the gods and goddesses. He knew he was only a centaur, a creature created a long time ago. They were now appreciated by others because they were strong and brave in battle. Both the females and males could use a bow and an arrow; they could wield shields and swords and could best most other creatures in war.  Assolan was just like that. But he knew there was more in him, somehow.

 Shiva knew this and she did something she rarely did: she was kind to someone else there, in the island. She was a goddess, yet she existed because the world needed her. And the world is sometimes just one creature, one simple need.

 She left the room. And as she did, she whispered some words in an ancient language. Suddenly, Floyd woke up. Assolan and him looked at each other in disbelief. It seemed to be for hours. Then they hugged and spent days together, sharing and learning. But this is only the beginning of their story.

lunes, 22 de mayo de 2017

A wedding

   Once he stepped into the room, the sound of laughter and talk suddenly died down. As he walked to an empty spot in one of the tables, people stared and some even held their breath, as if what they were seeing was something they would have never imagined. The walk he did from the entrance to the table only lasted a few seconds, but it seemed it had lasted for hours. Once he sat down people started talking and the noise in the room resumed after a while, as if nothing had happened.

The man’s name was Peter and he had come to the wedding alone. In the table he sat on, everyone was looking at him although it was obvious they were trying not to do so. They were failing miserably, as he felt their eyes probe him as if he was robbing something instead of just grabbing the napkin on the side of the plate. He was saved by the food, because the waiters started entering the room just in time. They served every single person a small salad and a small cup of soup.

 Peter liked the taste of both things and he specially liked that people were not looking at him anymore. It was a relief that they had stopped piercing his body with their eyes. Instead, they were busy making a critique of the taste of the food and the portions. In every table, at least one person was mentioning how in other weddings the food had been much superior. Also, they gave what they though was advice in order to improve the flavor of the dishes, even when most didn’t know how to boil water.

 Peter ate in silence. Once he had decided to go to the wedding, he had been conscious that he wouldn’t really be able to talk to anyone or share a single honest opinion. He was clearly the most polemical guest in the room but he wasn’t the most ungrateful at all. Maybe everyone knew his past and judged him for it, even some thought he didn’t deserved a seat in the event, yet there he was among all of the, having much more decency in one arm than most had in their entire bodies.

 With the salads and soups mostly finished, the waiters came back. It was as if a flock of penguins had suddenly entered the premises. They were agile and very fast, as they grabbed the plates and carried them out of the room. Only a few minutes after the last empty cup had left, they entered again, this time with the main dish. It was a combination of seafood and ground food, if you will. It was served in rather small portions but it came with another salad, this one smaller, as well as a plate with a baked potato filled with cream and ham. It looked very good.

 They waiters also filled everyone’s glasses with champagne. They would have to make a toast later on, before the cake was cut. Of course, please went at it again, criticizing the food. Some said the fish was raw and others thought it was certainly overcooked. Same with the other meats. Others complained they had received a smaller potato than everyone else and some people even declared theirs had nothing inside. Of course, many complained about the champagne, demanding for a waiter to come in order to ask them for the bottle.

 Peter enjoyed his food a lot. Even without talking, everything was really beautiful. Suddenly, it dawned on him that all of it could have been for him, if things had lasted longer and if love had been a little bit better built. Because every single person knew that Peter had been involved with one of the people getting married and that’s why every single time they looked at him, they followed it by a whisper and questions he knew were not the kindest or of any of their importance, to be honest.

 He tried not to listen to his own head and kept on eating, enjoying the fact that he had at least been invited, which was much more than he could have ever imagined happening, as there was no need to do so. But they had done it and he had complied because he wanted to show everyone that everything was ok, that he wasn’t dying or anything because he wasn’t the one in the altar. To be clear, he didn’t knew if an altar had been involve because he had missed the ceremony on purpose.

 There was no way he would make a scene inside a temple. He did thought about going but at the last minute he decided against it. Instead, he would make it to the party. However, he never intended to be late and make such and entrance but that’s how it happened and the only one he could blame was the taxi driver for being so slow. He even thought of talking to the couple and apologize for that, but he ultimately thought it was better not to fan the fire that people carried around.

 His baked potato was very hot so he decided to leave it alone for a while. The shellfish were excellent, or maybe that was because he hadn’t eaten any for a long time. The other two pieces of meat were a small pork cutlet, which tasted really good with a sauce they had made only for it, and a piece of veal that many people decided to leave on the plate. Peter ate it and realized that it hadn’t been properly cooked. This time, the murmurs around the tables were right. As he prepared to eat his potato, it was taken away by the waiter flock that came and went in a second.

 The next thing they brought were the small plates for the dessert. Peter could actually see that some carts were being pulled into the room. They had a large selection of small desserts on them, so you could choose any to join cake on the plate. Most people were looking at the selection but that was exactly on the opposite way they should have been looking. They were warned about this with the sound of a fork being lightly banged against a glass full of champagne, done by the groom.

 Everyone’s face denoted boredom. That part was often the most boring one in any marriage ceremony. But the sad faces all around weren’t enough to make the groom refrain from doing what coupled had done for generations in a wedding: telling everyone about their love in that small public forum, as if they had to justify what they felt. And many people, in this case, felt exactly that was what was happening, especially when they noticed the presence of Peter once again.

 The groom talked about how beautiful the bride was. He told everyone, with jokes and a charming but used sense of humor, how he had being the lucky guy to ask such a beautiful woman out. It was childish at times, but ultimately effective, as many people had started crying for no apparent reason. The speech wasn’t sentimental, maybe romantic. It was short and people erupted in cheers but no one really knew if it was because he hadn’t talked for hours or if they were really touched by his words.

 Then, the bride spoke for more than thirty minutes. Granted, she looked quite beautiful in her white dress and whoever had helped her with makeup had done a fabulous job. But her voice was monotonous, and people were almost sleeping by the time she finally ended her speech. People applauded but clearly because they wanted to be mice to the person getting married. She was proud of herself and didn’t seem to realize she had bombed so hard. Love had made her stupid.

 They cut the first piece of the cake and, after fake laughs, apiece was delivered to every single person in the room. The cake was not good or bad; it was just fine, like the couple on the main table.

 Before attracting more attention, Peter ate his cake with haste and then left the room. He grabbed some macaroons on his way out and ate them as he cried on the taxi back home.

miércoles, 3 de mayo de 2017

My sister's visit

   We did not expect her. There was no reason to do that, especially after we had buried her only a couple years back. When she rang, the doorbell did that strange repetition, the way it sounded back when she was alive. When our mother opened the door, she stood in front of her for a long time. Then, almost in slow motion, she fainted. I ran towards her and checked for bruises, trying to wake her up and the same time. I had neglected to look at the door and at the person standing right there.

 She came in as my mother recovered her senses and started crying for no apparent reason. I told her to relax and, as I could, I helped her to the couch, where she could be much more comfortable. Then, I realize the door was still open, so I walked towards it and closed it. When I turned around, it was as if I had a vision. I saw my father, by the window, holding my sister’s hand. He looked at her as if it was the very first time he was looking at her brown eyes and long hair.

 The vision was special, as they were both standing against what little light entered the apartment. It was raining a lot outside and we hadn’t turned on the lights inside the house. The vision was so special; that I absolutely forgot about my mother in the couch or that my sister couldn’t be there because she was dead. But it was my mother who dragged me to the real world when she asked, almost in a whisper, what my sister was doing there. Strange enough, my sister laughed.

 It was a very particular laugh. Not a loud one at all. To be honest, the sound seemed to be coming from a place much farther than the living room next to the window. I walked towards her and then I saw her body very next to mine. My response came in without intention, just from deep within my soul: I started crying profusely. Think tears ran down my face and landed on the floor making a very particular sound. I noticed my father was also crying and my mother had fallen silent.

 It was her, walking slowly from the couch to the window, who looked at my sister and asked her if she was doing fine. The question was exceedingly strange but my sister had no problem answering it. She told us she was perfect, had never been better, but that she had been granted a special permission to visit us. Apparently, after you die, you get to come back once, wherever and whenever you choose. She had decided that was the perfect time to come and visit us. We asked her why and she explained it had seem like the best moment to her.

 That answer confused me a lot but it didn’t seem to mind my parents. Their faces denoted happiness beyond anything they had felt in a long time. It was sad to realize, but I hadn’t been enough for them to be happy about. To be fair, I didn’t really bring a spark of joy into the house. My sister, on the contrary, had always been full of life and that was apparently still true, even if the statement was particularly strange at the moment. She had always been their baby girl.

 Of course, it did help that she was their first one. Her death had been very hard on everyone. She was a very young woman still and no one had ever predicted she would die so soon. It was all because of a car crash, a horrible event that lived in their memories as a scar that won’t go away. She had been the only victim of that accident, which made everything feel even more unfair and horrible that it already was. She had been pronounced dead right on the spot, before anyone could see her.

 We decided, or rather, my parents decided they wanted to have a small funeral for her. They did not want a huge amount of people to be there only to gossip and to cry like crazy when they had never really liked her or known her as they had known her. So we had a very private ceremony, a really silent one. I wanted to ask her about it but it felt wrong not to enjoy her presence instead of asking things that didn’t made a difference anymore. I decided to put the teapot on the stove.

 My parents sat down with her on the couch. They touched her hair and her hands and fondled her face.  They didn’t talk much and the only thing they said was that she was beautiful and smart and the best daughter they could ever have. Her face was very white and her expressions were a little bit… dead. It was as if her attitude reminded them that she was actually dead and she was only there for a while. But they didn’t care because it was an opportunity they never knew they had.

 They talked about the past while drinking tea. She had some and loved it, it was the only authentic expression of joy she showed. They spent a long while in silence and then my mother realized she could do something for her right there. She decided to cook my sister her favorite meal, so both of them stood up and almost ran to the kitchen. In minutes, they were pots on the fire and chopped vegetables, as well as meat cuts waiting to be put on very hot pans. It was a beautiful sight, one of warmth and happiness, never minding the storm outside.

 My father was very silent the whole time and he just looked at them while they cooked. Tears went down his face every so often, in complete silence. He was obviously beside himself to have his daughter for a while. But I knew he was asking himself the same questions I was asking: for how long was she going to stay? And, what will happen when she leaves? Remembering her visit would be a privilege but it honestly didn’t seem to be something mortals would be allowed to have.

 Some time later, I helped them serve and we had a very tasty lunch at the dining table, as we used to when we were younger. As back then, we laughed and told different stories. We also ate all of the food, which was delicious and made me realized I wasn’t dreaming or at least it didn’t seem like it. We didn’t turn on the lights for lunch and it was clear my sister didn’t care for light at all, as the sight of thunder outside made her appearance much less beautiful that minutes before.

 We continued talking, remembering the past, even after we finished the food. Mom served coffee and cookies, the ones my sister used to love. She drank it all and ate several cookies. My mother was absolutely happy and it was clear she didn’t want the day to end. It was clear none of us had veer wanted something like this to happen, but now that it had we didn’t want this beautiful dream to end. We wanted my sister, their daughter, back from where she was, forever.

 But that wasn’t possible. A few hours later, my sister asked to go to her room. My parents hadn’t changed anything there, going to the extent of closing the room since her death and never opening it again. Apparently, she wanted to have a nap, feeling exceedingly tired. We all looked at each other, knowing that it was probably the sign that indicated she had to leave very soon. We all helped her into bed and sat besides her, my mother even singing a lullaby from our childhood.

 My sister fell fast asleep in seconds. For some reason, we all started crying in silence, as we realized that her body had disappeared in the glimpse of an eye. She wasn’t there anymore, we couldn’t feel her anymore and it was horribly devastating.

 It was in that moment, when I felt that pain in my heart, when I woke up from that dream. The first thing I felt, beside my heart in pain, was a single tear running down my face and landing on my pillow. I almost couldn’t breath, as I had seen her one more time.