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

miércoles, 11 de enero de 2017

Strong woman

   By then, she had become a professional. She knew every single trick to travel, no matter if it had to do with packing her suitcase or buying the best hygiene products for herself. She knew which airlines offered what, the amount of room she had on any plane and the time she had in every single flight to work, sleep and relax. You could say she was a little bit to rigid with her life but Christine would have answered that she was just very well prepared. And that’s why her bosses loved her.

 Not only she was very practical in her travelling life, she was also like that with work. She travelled around the country and to other parts of the world, helping companies with their problems with technology and innovation. Christine went everywhere to hold meetings and conferences to anyone interested about how a company could survive in the new digital era. She knew about every single new development and was very well versed in the finance world too.

 Some people saw her as a danger to their way of doing things, specifically those people that were just corrupt and had arranged the system to work for them instead of working for everyone. During her fifteen-year experience, she had been responsible for unmasking a very high number of corruption scandals on many different companies. No matter if they produced video games or handled supermarkets, there was always someone trying to make more than the rest.

 That possibly was why so many people hated her too. In her world, in her order of things, there was no such thing as personal interests. She couldn’t understand how someone could put themselves in front and leave everyone else behind. Granted, she was not the best to speak about group efforts as she never did them herself, but she knew the value of having a good team to make a company go to directions no one else had ever gone. She tried not only to make them all win money and be successful, but Christine also wanted them to have a heart.

 That made her enemies very angry and that’s why many companies that had once asked for her help, suddenly rejected her and even campaigned against her actively in order for her bosses to be tempted to fire her or something but that never happened. Not only because she was really good at her job, but also because they feared her. They knew that if she was so good, she must have had something on the company she worked. It was only natural that she did, to protect her own interests.

 But that was where they didn’t understand her. She didn’t have anything on anyone in the company. She had even checked on that. And it was because she believed a relationship based on trust was much better than one based in fear. So from her side, everything was just fine. From their side not so much, but she had decided long ago that she couldn’t be worried about things she had no real control over. There was no way she could convince them that she wasn’t going to turn on them one day.

 Real problems came the day her enemies, people that had robbed millions, sued her in court with allegations of her work being unethical and, also, for receiving money in order to help improve conditions in some companies and not in other. They said that she refused to help their companies because she was under orders not to let them have any part in the business. They were very specific in their statements and even presented evidence of every single thing they were claiming.

 Christine would have wanted to laugh and she did when she got home but certainly not in the courthouse, where everyone’s eyes were fixed on her. She tried not to make any telling expressions and only limited her words to denying what those men in suits were saying. She was very calm and one could even say she didn’t care much for having to loose time there when she could be doing something much more interesting. Her rivals even pointed that out but the judge seemed not to mind much.

The actual trial was set to begin two months later. She would have to keep working until then because she had many prior commitments. But her company had asked her to please hold any engagements until after the trial was done because they didn’t want any of their clients to feel they could lose not only money but also their prestige in the business world. Of course, she understood perfectly what they were asking of her. So the day before she went to trial, was the same day she finally stopped at home and realized how her life would change now.

 The trial was very well publicized because many people in the media had been bought by the owners of the companies that were suing her. So it was obvious what their position was. They wanted her to be turn to shreds by people too, which was very hypocritical as those same companies were the ones that robbed everyone of their savings and their hard won money.  She had some big lawyers on her side too but the ones in the other side were particularly vicious. So much so that, on the second day, they even dared to attack her personal life, which was preposterous.

 Her lawyer told her not to say anything about that and she didn’t but it was the first time she seemed out of control. She wasn’t happy, at all, that her enemy was so visibly desperate that they wanted to find a weak spot wherever they could see it. Their questions and allegations hovered around the fact that she was an unmarried adult woman that lived her life travelling around. They called her irresponsible and immoral, which was perfect for the always religious people in juries. There’s always a couple.

 The trial went on for weeks. Whenever she thought they had been discredited by her very well built case, they came again with claims of bribery and corruption. It was then when she really got tired and decided not only to do her own defense but also using their own tricks. She would go personal and to the facts they were attacking on her. She was very tired and she had never felt that way. Christine was a very strong person but know, for some reason, she was beginning to feel the weight of years of work.

 The first day, in which she defended herself, she attacked them head on with proof of their own corruption. She had the papers and the data, which she always kept on her records to bring them down. One by one, one by day, she destroyed their credibility in front of the judge. Of course, they came against her hard with more personal questions and other attacks but Christine was ready, she had prepared herself thoroughly for that occasion, so she had brought the big guns.

 Did they want to talk about hidden children, lovers, weird fetishes and many other things? Fine, she went there with proof. During her years as a woman in business she had also made a lot of good friends, friends with enough talents to actually uncover things about people that they would have never thought no one would ever know about. But those good friends, many of those owed a lot to Christine, came to help in her hour of need. They really did the best they could to help her win that damn case.

 The day she actually won, the papers suddenly went silent and she went back to work. She decided to work now for smaller companies in order to help them be bigger and better. Christine wanted no more juggernauts in the game. Instead, she wanted to help where she was really needed. And she knew that they would let her do that because now she was a big name. Now they knew who she was and what she could do: bring empires up or down to the ground. There was clearly no one better in the game and Christine knew it very, very well.

jueves, 5 de mayo de 2016


   Yitris had always been a very special place to leave. The few people that lived there, never left but they lived in one of the best places in the world because it was located in a remote area where no one would go bother them, whether they wanted it or not. Its location in the middle of the desert, made it only possible for the best explorers to reach the city and know its citizens and also, their queen.

 Queen Alina was more than fifty years old and she had been working for her people for at least thirty years. She lived in the top house of the city but her home was not really different than other peoples home. It was only above all others house, all built on top of very high trees in the middle of the green valley, hidden in the desert. It was a very good place to hide but also a very good place to feel free from everything.

 There were less than a thousand people living in Yitris but hey all had access to good doctors, to the only school that was directly handled by the Queen and also to food, that never really lacked in any of the people’s tables. Everyone had to have, at least, some bread and fruit to eat. Only half of the population actually ate animal meat and they were very good at using every single part of the animal’s body in order not to kill something and then waste it all because they only wanted some of the meat.

 People were very trusting and, also, always seemed to be happy. No person of Yitris yelled, unless they were really angry and it was only for one second. The Queen, of course, set the example for the rest, always been gracious when she did her daily tour around her small kingdom. She went from her place, to the jungle floor. There, several people had settled, specially the ones that were hunters or farmers.

 There was a small piece of the terrain that had almost no trees and that had been specially done by the people with the permission of the Queen, because they didn’t have anywhere to grow things like corn and wheat and they also needed land to build mills and kitchens where they would make the bread and so on. So she authorized a rather small piece of land to be used for that purpose. It was so small; it was always the first place to be hit by sandstorms, when they occurred.

 The desert was mostly benevolent, protecting them from the outside. But it’s sand was sometimes the worst thing for them because it could almost destroy everything that they had build. But they endured because it was because of that sand, because of the endless desert, that they had always been protected from exterior influence. Only a handful of people had made it to Yitris and all of them had died there, whether from exhaustion or because they had chosen not to go back to their lands.

 That was until Jack Freeman, a English explorer, and two of his men wondered into the desert and stumbled upon Yitris after a particularly strong sandstorm. The locals were cleaning their homes when they saw the men approach. It was the first time for many to see a foreigner and that’s why so many did not seem to remember that they always had to notify this to the Queen. She only knew about these knew visitors when they decided to ask for a leader and the people, shy but interested, indicated her home.

 She didn’t like, at all, to have people enter her house without permission as they did. Alina knew nothing about manners in the exterior world, but she imagined England and all other lands must have been really awful places if all people did that to their neighbors. They communicated with hand gestures and body language because both of their languages were highly incompatible. Even so, the English sometimes yelled things in their language, as if the people of Yitris had to understand them.

 The Queen, trying to be as generous as she could, decided to invite them for dinner. She had all the best food prepared for them and every single person in the small country, which only consisted of a deep valley, was able to come and greet the strangers in person. Those men ate differently and seemed to have a second skin that made them smell funny. That’s what most of the people thought of them.

 The English, however, thought the people of Yitris were nice but also very strange. They thought it was very weird that a valley like that existed in the middle of the desert. They had been looking for another settlement, an oasis that they had to check thoroughly because it seemed to be located on top of an oil reserve. That’s the kind of explorers they were. Not adventurous men working in mankind’s behalf but just some guys working to get some money like many others.

 When, after the party, they decided to leave, the Queen denied this and insisted on them sleeping on a house that they would give them to be alone and to rest. No one would be there, just them. They took them by a series of stairs and bridges to a lower level where a big house, normally used for storage, had been cleaned and three beds made of thick leaves had been set as well as some more food and water on a table in the middle of the circular home.

 The locals left them alone and the foreigners decided to leave as soon as they could the next day. They agreed that the people of Yitris were very nice but they also thought that they had some work to do and that they couldn’t let down the company for which they worked. Oil was important.

 When they attempted to leave the next day, a group of locals decided to take them, instead, to the mills and fields in the border between the valley and the desert. The men looked at the sand with insistence but the people did not realize that they wanted to leave. Even at the end of the tour, when the English did all signals for them to know they had to go back to the desert, the people appeared not to understand or at least it seemed like they had no answer for that.

 The English had arrived with an exhausted horse and some bags of objects and they went straight to the Queen’s home and demanded their things to be brought to them immediately. Again, she was very bothered by them entering like if it was their home but she decided not to say anything. Instead, she told her aides to bring the objects and, as they did, she told the English with mimic that their horse did not existed anymore.

 She imitated a four-legged animal and then passed a finger over her throat. They understood that immediately and one of the men launch itself at her in rage but two locals grabbed him and stopped his attack. He was yelling and crying and having all sorts of emotions that the people there did not really exhibit on a daily basis. Even for the men holding him, it was interesting to see how foreigners used their feelings.

 They released him and the Queen then spoke in broken English. They were very surprised. She explained that the horse had been killed because in their land, animals were not used for work. Besides, the creature they had brought in was exhausted and wouldn’t have survived another trip. That’s why they had decided to kill it and use its meat and insides in different things in order not to waste anything.

 The man crying didn’t really hear any of this but his leader did. He demanded her to explain what that meant and when they would be able to leave, as they had important matters to attend.

 Queen Alina simply said that the horse was in all that they had eaten fast and happily the day before They had eaten all of his meat and the organs had been stored for further usage in soups for the people of the valley.  They expect it to be very nutritious. As for the bones, they could use them to make weapons or instruments for working on the fields.

 The second question was easier to answer: they couldn’t leave because no one left the valley. They couldn’t afford anyone leaving and telling the world of their existence. So, smiling, she insisted on them going back to their assigned home and settling in. They would soon learn their ways and will be integrated in no time, been able to enjoy all that life had to offer in Yitris.

 The English men complied but not because they agreed but because they knew when to stop fighting. In their minds, Queen Alina was now an enemy and Yitris had to come out to the world and be destroyed. Only because of a horse and the secret of its existence.

miércoles, 16 de marzo de 2016


   When Muriel was in the shower, she suddenly remembered how being in a combat zone felt. The water reminded her of the many times they had been under heavy fire and how they had narrowly escaped death. Well, how she had narrowly escaped death because there were others who had gave their lives for the cause that they were defending, a cause that Muriel had trouble understanding now that she was home.

 She had arrived just a couple of days ago, being received by her parents and her boyfriend, although she hadn’t seen much of him. Muriel couldn’t explain it but, she had missed John so much in the filed and now that she had seen him again, she couldn’t even make herself hug him or kiss him or say anything sweet to him. She felt as if her heart had dried out in the desert, consumed by everything she had seen, day after day. She hadn’t even hugged her parents and they had tried and she knew they had felt it too, that awkwardness, like a barrier that now existed between them.

 Trying to scare all the negative feelings and memories away, Muriel decided to shampoo her hair and enjoy the nice odors of her parents’ home. Where she came from, she didn’t really have the chance to wash her hair very often. Actually, she had showered a few times the last month and it was always a minute, two at the most beneath the coldest water a country that’s hot as hell can have. But, even so, she had to confess that made her feel alive.

 The smell of chamomile that the shampoo had reminded her of a time that seemed very far in her past now. She had been picking up flowers with her sister near a house her father had rented in some mountains, not very far from the city where she was now. That time seemed like a dream. Because it was almost false, unlike the burned bodies and mutilated corpses she had seen in the last year. Her mind immediately went to the destroyed cities she had seen; the destroyed cities she had helped become a battling ground. Because, the more she thought about it, the more she realized her presence there was also a problem.

 For many people, she was the enemy and even locals, just people that tried to survive, ran away from her when she tried to come near them. It didn’t help that she was the only woman in an assault team and that the rest of her teammates could be considered brutes. They were man built like a mountain, guys that she had managed to control during training. Some were nice enough, she could even talk to them about what she liked and didn’t like in life, about her boyfriend, her parents, her dream to someday become a veterinarian. But other were just beasts that had to be controlled at all times. And some other times, they were released.

 She rinsed all of the shampoo from her head and then just enjoyed the warm water falling on her black, gliding down her breasts and belly and legs. Muriel instinctively touched her breasts, as if she didn’t know that they were still there. She really touched them and got a bit aroused but her goal was not that but to really feel something, whatever it was. She had been numb for so long that she started touching more and more and then put one of her hands over her vagina and… And she stopped.

 Like a pinch to the stomach, memories came running into her brain, once again. One of those beasts, one of those animals she had been to war with, had tried to rape her on the first week. Luckily, Muriel was a good cadet, a good soldier in general and was able to turn his brute force against him. She threatened him with telling everyone and he laughed at her, touching his penis over his pants. She ran away before he could say or do anything else. That image stuck in her head, even though she had been trying hard to eliminate of her mind.

 She grabbed the soap and decided to clean herself properly, every single centimeter of her body. She even sat down in the shower floor in order to feel she was under a waterfall or something like that. She had always done that, fro, the time she was a child, and her mother always told her that was a waste of water and that people in other countries would have loved to have that water to drink and cook and live. And then she would argue with her and loose.

 Now, Muriel had seen the world and the truth was that she didn’t really cared if a family or a boy or a girl had no water to drink because of her. She simply didn’t believe that it made any difference. For her, she had discovered, the world was full of shit. The world was evil and awful and people didn’t really ended up in the bright side of things. People had bad endings, every single day. People died or they were killed, and there were orphans and fear conquered all of their hearts and that was just how things were.

 What Muriel had done in that country, her killing and her helping, was not useful. She didn’t make any difference by doing those things and she was ready to tell any idiot than helping with such stupid things didn’t help anyone. Being kind one moment and awful the next didn’t make you even or something. It made you human and humans are made to make each other miserable, make each other suffer and, slowly but surely, make competition go away because that’s how the world goes.

 Then, she stood up from the floor and closed the shower. The lack of water noise made her tremble but she inhaled deeply and stepped out.

 She took a yellow towel her mother had left her and dried herself with it over the small mat on the floor that was shaped like a hamburger. She liked that mat, ever since she had seen it once, one of those few times she had been able to chat with her mother over Skype. For some reason, she had shown her the hamburger mat and told her it smelled nice and that she wanted the house more fun with it. It was such a silly thing but that stupid mat was a symbol of the home Muriel wanted to go back to. Her goal was to go back home and see that mat in person and now that wish had become true.

 Walking slowly, she got out of the bathroom and walked to the closet in the next room. She had somehow done that automatically, because of a force of habit that came from years of doing so, but her true attire of the day was on the bed. Her father had gone to a special store were they specialized in pressing and cleaning uniforms. And hers now looked brand new, with every single detail in the right place. She removed the plastic and just left it there, on the bed.

 That green, that shade of color on the uniform, had always symbolized so much to her. And now, she was trying to remember what it was that she had felt the first time she had seen it. And she did remembered but, again, she couldn’t feel it. She knew that the uniform had made her and her family happy and proud. She was one of the few people she knew that had decided to join the army. The reasons were many; include the benefits in education and even health but also because Muriel had been a patriot for a long time.

 When she was just a little girl, she was the one that made her father built a small metal thing to put over the front door of the house in order to put the flag there every time there was a holiday. With time, she just left the flag there because she liked to see it move with the wind. She liked the colors and the shape and how it made her feel. Muriel liked to learn more and more about her country and her community and was really admired by many parents and teachers, not so much by her fellow students.

 But now, all of that had left her. Her patriotism had been left for dead in a horrible battlefield filled with charred cars and corpses, were the only noise was the crying of a baby somewhere. Her flag was a rag with which she had cleaned all of the blood from her hands, as well as the blood dripping from her weapons.

 Muriel put on the uniform and didn’t even look at herself at the mirror after putting it on. She just went downstairs where her parents waited for her in the car, to take her to the ceremony where she would be qualified, by all her brothers ands sisters in arms, as a “hero”.

jueves, 10 de diciembre de 2015

The swamp

   It wouldn’t have been possible to do it in any other way. Theo’s arm had to be cut off and his brother Gary was the one that had to do it, as he was the only one medically capable to do such a thing. Of course, Gary was could not bring himself up to do it. His hands were shaking too much, he cried and sobbed and he just couldn’t do anything in his state. Instead, it was Jennifer that did what had to be done. She had no training and no real talent for such a thing but she did have the balls to do what no one else could do as she had been through too much and she had passed all tests possible.

 She refused to be a nurse to Theo and forced Amanda, who was Theo’s ex-wife after all, to do that job. Amanda was appalled that she had to be there to see that and to hear the person she had loved so much scream in agony and cry like he had never seen him cry before. He got close to him after Jennifer had put on the first bandage and cleaned the wound and put on bandages that were covered in the tree sap that they had found earlier. It was likely that the plants around them had some medicinal value and Theo should be the first one to take advantage of such valuable goods.

 That night, they decided to protect their little camp all at the same time. They couldn’t ask just one of them to make a watch because they knew that Theo’s screams had lured many dangerous creatures nearby. It would have been a better idea just to leave that place altogether but decided to give the poor man a night to rest before starting to move again. Besides they had no stretcher to carry him, so it was better if he rested and walked by himself the next day.

 However, he was still too weak to walk. He had vomited at least twice during the night and the tree sap had apparently not helped at all. Amanda decided to change the bandages, clean the wound, put on some new fabric over it and move along. She carried Theo with the help of Gary as Jennifer stood in front of the group with the rifle. She was very good with weapons and very skilled in hand-to-hand combat. They had seen her kill two men with her own hands, so they knew they had nothing to worry.

 Advancing through the thick jungle was difficult, as they had to move from lower to higher and the to lower ground again quite often. It was obvious that Theo was slowing them down too much. Jennifer looked at him with contempt every time she could and Amanda knew that she was right to feel threatened by his presence. If a creature sprung out of the water and killed them, it would probably be his fault. Because he had decided to be the hero some days earlier. Because he had decided that he was better than any of the others that had been there before, with them.

 Amanda knew what kind of man Theo was.

 At the end of that day, they really hadn’t done too much. Jennifer went up a tree and, after coming back, she told them she had been unable to see any lights or fire nearby. So no one was there with them, or at least no one with the ability to make fire. They were lucky to have Gary, who was an avid smoker and always had a lighter on him. The lighter was half full but they only used it to lit up a small fire and night, with the help of some dry branches.

  Of course, it wasn’t Gary who started their small campfire. It was Jennifer who did that as she had decided it was not the very best idea to let a person as unbalanced as Gary handle anything that could harm any other human being. He had been fucked in the head, or so said Jennifer every time she found Gary speaking alone and doing these annoying screeches. Amanda knew he had been hit in the head, at last that was what one of the guys that was with him and Theo told them. Besides, he had seen them all been eaten by one of the creatures of the swamp, so you couldn’t really blame him.

 The sounds all around them announced the presence of several life forms near them. It was imperative to keep the fire alive, as it was the only thing keeping all the creatures away. Again, the two women had no sleep at all and Gary didn’t close his eyes either, as he was incapable of since he had since his brother go through so much. Theo, on the other hand, had now come back from the dead and asked for water. He still had to be helped when walking but only by one person so maybe they would be advancing faster.

 As Amanda distributed a piece of power bar for each person, Jennifer ate her piece fast enough and went up a tree again. From there, she could see the eternal tapestry of the jungle: trees and trees and trees, forming a vast green carpet that covered a very good part of the entire planet. The other part was covered in water and there she knew colonists had at least one base, one place from which they could help them if they made it to the edge of the jungle, to the mangrove covered beach.

 But as she watched the trees and thought of her survival, she saw something interesting. It was kind of a glimmer, kind of sparkle somewhere to the south. She knew they had to keep walking east if they wanted to find the ocean but whatever was shining there, in the middle of all those trees, had to be something interesting. She thought about telling them and just splitting up but she realized they would never agree with her, they were too scared to even move and they knew that without her and Theo, Amanda and Gary could easily be labeled swamp food.

 When she came down, Jennifer redirected their stops towards the southeast, declaring she had seen smallest tress that way, so the path to the ocean could be easier through there. It was all a lie to cover her need to find out what was there with them, what did the swamp hide to them.

 Theo felt much better by the end of the following day and was very enthusiastic about coming out of the jungle pretty soon. Gary understood his attitude and he started to be less of a nuisance at night, even if he still refused to sleep, even a few minutes.

 Finally, one day they encountered what Jennifer had been wanting to find: it was a huge wall that penetrated into the water below them and rose several meters up. It curved and even if they were that close she knew it had to be some kind of dome. All of them touched the glass and it felt strange, not quite solid and its temperature seem to rise.

 Amanda was the first to scream. The wall augmented its temperature very fast when someone touched it. So when the woman left her hand there, she was severely burned. Theo helped her by pouring water on her hand and telling her she should scrub it all off before pustules started to emerge. The former lovers went down the vines and reached the water. It was very dangerous but they had to do it to clean the wound properly. Amanda was brave and did not scream at all.

 But that did not stop a gigantic monster to appear and try to eat her or, at least, her hand. It had lots of legs and eyes. Theo helped her going up the vines, as Jennifer prompted them to go faster and to follow them. They ran, as the creature broke several branches and slammed against the glass of the dome, which seemed not to raise its temperature when the creature touched it.

 Theo and Amanda reached their companions and stopped to take a breath but that had been a mistake. The creature managed to get close to them and expelled a disgusting tongue out of its orange mouth. The tongue trapped Gary and the others held his hands in order to fight the monster, Jennifer shooting to push it away. But the swamp won the round. Theo slipped and fell and Amanda wasn’t strong enough. Gary was pulled into the creature’s mouth and down into the water. Jennifer shot twice more but then she stopped.

 Theo pushed her and asked why she hadn’t fired faster and more times to which she answer they couldn’t waste bullets. Theo was on the verge of hitting her but then a loud sound interrupted them and their thoughts. The sound came from the dome. Suddenly, a part of the wall disappeared and they were allowed inside.

 They all walked in unsure of what that would mean for their lives. Bu they couldn’t stay in one place for too long. The swamp was a nightmare and that dome was the only thing reminiscing humanity that could be found around them.

 Maybe the dome was a trap and maybe they should have escaped faster. But, who knows, they may have survived to tell the most amazing story yet.