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

martes, 28 de abril de 2015

Rotten Nation

   It was raining. The small plane taxied for several minutes through the airport until it parked in front of a large hangar, owned by the police. This was very uncommon, as the president had a special building were he always arrived at after national or international tours. It was well know but the media and the public, that he had personally being overlooking the destruction of several drug labs in remote areas. So maybe that was the reason why, stepping out of the plane, he only looked forward, towards the small group waiting for him.

 They walked in silence inside the hangar and then went through a door that led into the building behind it. The president’s assistant was in front, going up some stairs, several corridors and finally arriving at a conference room. The president sat down in the chair in one end of the table as the others sat in the remaining seats. Only one seat was empty. Some mumbled trying to find out why its occupant was missing, others said nothing. The president drank some water and waited until his assistant told him something to the ear and then sat down in a chair in the corner, right after closing the door.

 The president stood up and looked at the eyes of every single one of those men: the chief of police and other men of that entity, generals of all of the military branches and also the head of the secret police. On every single one of them rested the defense of the country, the physical power that it had in order to maintain things as they were. The president inhaled and then looked to the empty seat and sat down again.

-       Do you guys know who occupies that seat?

 One of the generals, visibly eager to participate in order to seem important or smart, shoot his hand up. The president looked at him.

-       That’s where General Arroyo normally seats, the head of the aviation.

 The president nodded, without saying a word. He looked at the seat a little more then announced that General Arroyo had been arrested during the raid against the drug cartels. Every single one of the people present, except for the president’s assistant (the only woman in the room), were baffled at the news. They started asking and demanding and saying it was an outrage and how surprised they were and also hurt. The president asked them, with a gesture of the hand, to end the noise.

 Once the room was calm again, he stared directly at the director of the police. The man was a tall, white and pink skinned man. He looked scared as the president looked at him, with his piercing eyes and soft breathing. None of the military men, all experience in combat and enemies, had ever seen that look on a president or any other person. He looked vicious and hateful.

-       General García.
-       Yes, sir? – Answered the director of the police.
-       How many years have you been head of the police?

The man thought that was a weird question to ask but also felt more fear than before. The president had stopped looking at him and that made him feel even uneasier.

-       I have been in the post for almost ten years.
-       Ten years. – Said the president, in a surprisingly grave voice.
-       Yes…
-       Too many?
-       Sorry?

 Everyone present was surprised at this question. Some of the men tried to reply something but weren’t able to find the words.  No one would ever say that unless they wanted to sack someone. But, then again, what reason did the president have? And, would he only be interested in sacking one man?

 This meeting had been ordered by the president on his flight back and most men had narrowly missed his arrival, as it was imminent. Since he had been elected, almost a year ago, he had proven to be quite and unpredictable man. He had won narrowly in a country that normally hated the likes of men like him but somehow, it had happened. Of course, there had been recounts and lawsuits but nothing had moved him from remaining in power. He had powerful enemies, namely the men that had been in power before, as he was not the typical president.

 Not only he was on the left side of the spectrum, a “soft” left in his words, but also he was interested in preserving culture and encourage the inner growth of the people. Some even said that was precisely why he won: the ones always outside had chosen him in the bigger cities and that had been enough. The military and all public forces had been scared of him but he had went on with the recurrent struggle against the cartels just as the others did so they had all relaxed, to this day.

-       I said, have they been too many?
-       I… I don’t know sir.
-       I think it’s time to clean up, wouldn’t you say misters?

 He said that looking at everyone in the table, and with an annoying smirk on his face. He then turned to his assistant who instantly produced a folder with several sheets of papers. They went through them and took out only six papers. The woman put away the folder and went back to her chair. The president held the sheets on his hand, looking at the men again.

-       Any idea of what that is?

 The same man that had raised his hand before, raised it again:

-       Our resignation letters?

 The president then laughed. It was an obviously fake laugh but it went for so long than people didn’t know how to respond. Some of them smiled and others just trembled in their spots.

-       Not exactly. In here, I have several names, including General Arroyo’s one. All the people listed here have been tracked down by the secret police and we have enough proof to put them in jail. There are some as high profile as the general and others not so much. I need you… Well, I demand of you to clean up your mess.

 He put the papers in front of him, in a way that anyone could have taken them but no one did. They were visibly bothered by what was happening but did not dare to say a word.

-       Any comments, gentlemen?

 The oldest one of the bunch, a general of the navy, looked straight at the president and pointed at him, his hand shaking like mad.

-       You have no right to do that.
-       Excuse me?
-       You cannot tell us what to do, not like this! We’re not children!

 The old men had stood up and raised his voice. The assistant instantly looked to the door, worried people might hear on the other side.

-       We are older than you, more experienced and you should take our advice instead of telling us how to run our entities.

 The president then stood up and smiled weirdly again. It was very unpleasant.

-       First, I have to ask not to raise your voice. Second, what do you mean with “your entities”?
-       I mean we have maintained…
-       Exactly – Said the president, interrupting him. – You have kept them going but those entities belong to the State, to the people. You all took an oath to protect them and you work for me and I for them. Do you understand that?

 The old man sat back down. Everyone was looking at the president as if he had gone insane but he kept his smirk on his face and didn’t sit back down.

-       Gentlemen, I repeat, I demand of you to clean up your entities. They are rotten and you should be grateful you’re not the ones to be sacked first. Your entities are supposed to be the ones protecting us and making the example and that is not the case right now. You know what we found out? Do you?

 Again, no one said anything, only scared faces looked at him.

-       Several policemen involved in bribes and corruption, navy officers helping the cartels, aviation officers bringing whores to the compounds. Even my own personal guard has been known to film pornographic films in State property. Do you understand how bad this is?

 Some nodded, some didn’t. They looked to the ground now, exactly like children after having been grounded.

-       The president’s before me let it all happen, let this country rot from the inside out. I’m not going to tolerate that anymore. If you don’t put this entire people under trial, I will. I have proofs. And if you fail to do it fast, I have many candidates for every single one of your posts.
-       But…
-       But what general Márquez? But what?

 But general Márquez, of the air force, had no idea what to say next. He was as intimidated as the other ones. As men of force, they were already thinking of a way to keep their posts and form an opposition but then the president drew attention back to him by coughing.

-       I have a dinner to attend to with the ambassadors residing in the country. But before that I want to warn you: I’m decreasing the amount of money invested in the military and the police and allocating it to education and health. Tell it to your men, the announcement will be done tonight.

 And then the assistant opened the door and the president left, leaving the country changed and the forces of the past in a state of induced coma. 

sábado, 7 de marzo de 2015


   I stepped in the boat and sat inside. It was not a big space and it all smell like fish but, given the circumstances, I didn’t thought I should say or do anything about those two things. Little things, might I add, compared to the situation at hand. Onboard came the man that had been pointing at me with his gun all along but then the other one, the one that seemed less likely to shoot at any given opportunity, told him to step out of there and let him do it. There was no one else that could help me and it was too dark too distinguish anything more than the water, the boat and the armed man that had stepped out and disappeared.

 The man I was with had turned the engine and we were traveling fast. The sea was calm and there seemed to be no fishing boats or ferries that could see us. It was almost as if it was meant to be that way and, of course for me, that wasn’t so good.

 After what seemed liked an hour of journey into the open sea, the man stopped the engine and looked straight at my eyes. It was unsettling, as he was one of those people with very bright eyes that make you feel uncomfortable when you look directly at them. I had always wondered if they knew they made people feel that uneasy.

-       Did you really do it?

 There it was. It had been obvious; from the moment they had kidnapped me in my home that he wanted to ask that question so bad. Right then, he seemed eager to know the truth behind all of this, probably the truth about why he was with me right in the middle of the ocean, where no one will ever hear us talk or say the most amazing of truths. I could almost tell he was sweating, the stains beneath his armpits growing, his upper lip trembling at my sight.

-       What is that I apparently did?

 The man snored a bit, smile and kind of laughing. He was nervous. It was so obvious: his hand trembled when he wiped off his sweat and his smile wasn’t the one of a man that feels safe or sure about anything anymore. Maybe, after all, the wrong man had stepped in the boat with me.

-       We were hired.
-       I assumed as much
-       You killed a family.
-       Yes.

 The man seemed to tremble once more, due to my “confession”. To be honest, I’ve never really hidden anything about what I’ve done. I’ve made my peace with it all, specially then, when I seemed so close to death. Why lie to him when he was obviously so eager to know the truth, so eager to think he knew or that he understood what his task was all about.

-       And you say it like that? So… So cool and casual? Are you crazy?
-     I’m not mentally unstable, although the fact that I’ve killed makes me very likely to have one of those fancy disorders every murderer seems to have these days.
-       How many more?

 I couldn’t contain a smirk when he asked this. Not only because I knew it would make him tremble again, but also because people were always like that, wanting the morbid little details of how I had done something or the other. It was so typical of every single person in the world to apparently feel disgusted and scared but deep down, been utterly interested in what I had to say about all the corpses I’ve created. They sometimes seem even more interested that I was when I did what I did.

-       I don’t know. I’d rather not count.
-       The people that hired told me you raped their…
-       No. That’s not true.

 The man appeared to want to leap over me but he contained himself. Apparently he thought that I was denying the truth and that made him even more frustrated and confused but the truth was, and still is, that I never raped anyone. I’ve heard the stories, on the news and so on. They said I was ruthless but then they began to say I raped people and that’s just incorrect. If I had any more feelings I would be hurt.

-       They said…
-       You trust too much on your clients. Never thought for a second they could be lying?
-       I talked with them and…
-     Oh yes, because people are incapable of lying when they hire a hitman. Is that what you are because you seem pretty bad at this?

 There. Shaking like a leaf. I know he’s scared of me, thinking I’m some kind of animal, a beast that has to be put down. But the fun thing is that he knows or feels he cannot contain me for long and, most curiously, he seems to think I’m not guilty of this all. Because, why else would he be asking all these questions? Then again, it might be only that he’s fucking scared and he’s just stalling, avoiding the killing.

-       Are you going to kill me anytime soon?
-       Shut up.
-       It was you who began the interrogation.

 The man seemed to be thinking. I bet he was trying to decide what to do next. Maybe he thought that I might be more valuable dead than alive. The police were looking for me, that’s for sure, and I had a reward sign on my head. Apparently he wasn’t as stupid as he looked, thinking of the best way to profit properly from this assignment. He could even surrender me to the police and collect the money all by himself, leaving the other idiot to mend for himself, thinking I was dead.

-       You killed many people.
-       I know.
-       And you don’t regret it?
-       No. Why should I?
-       You’re not sorry? Not even for one of those murders?

 I looked at him carefully, trying to decide what to say. There was something more in all of this, something that had eluded me from the start. The moment they had taken me from my home it had been all about the other guy, the tall one. He had threatened me, put a bag on my head, and pointed the gun straight to my heart. This guy I was with had only driven us to the dock and then had decided to kill me, at the very last minute. And then, it became clear.

-       Don’t tell me that I killed your wife or brother?

 The man went crazy when I said those words. He threw himself at me and started punching me all over: on the face, the chest, the stomach and the head. My hands were still tight behind my back so there wasn’t much I could do except moving violently, in order not only to drive him away but also to make the boat turn sideways to escape swimming. He couldn’t chase me through the ocean.

 But nothing of the sort happened. He just stopped beating the fuck outta me and decided to breath heavily, as far as he could from me. It hurt; I’m not going to say it didn’t. But there was no damage that he could do that would really hurt me. I was beyond all of that at that point. He could have stabbed me and I wouldn’t have cared at all. My lips were cracked, bleeding and all my body was numb from his punches but I wasn’t bad enough to look at him from my corners and smile.

-       Predictable.
-       Shut up…
-    You know, even if you do kill me, nothing is going to bring anyone back? It won’t happen.
-       Shut up!
-       The dead are done. Believe me, I know.

 Then, the guy pulled out the gun and pointed at me. He no longer trembled but he was still sweaty and his eyes were wide open, as if he wanted to be sure of what he was doing. I cleaned my face a bit from my blood without breaking the link between our eyes. Maybe he was going to kill me, maybe this was it for me but it didn’t matter. He was one more of my victims and that was enough for me. So I laughed.

 The bullet pierced right through my brain, coming out the other end and falling in the water. The man pushed my body to the water and left. He knew my body was going to be found and that everyone would know a murderer was now dead. And no one would be interested in knowing who killed me because I deserved it. But, in the end, I knew that just before the end he had been mine and that was all worth it.