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

miércoles, 24 de enero de 2018


   The explosion was strong enough to blow away every single glass of the magnificent apartment. It occupied the whole 35th floor of one of the tallest residential buildings in the city and it had been featured in several magazines as one of those grand and amazing apartment that people should be looking at if they wanted to have one ever in their life. Not that that goal was any realistic, as Wilbur Wright, owner of the apartment, had inherited the millions of dollars that had paid the apartment and everything on it.

 The destruction of the apartment was shrouded in mystery as, two days later when the fire had finally been put out by firemen, there was no real clue as to what or whom could have cause the explosion. It was clear that nothing ordinary had been the culprit: there were no gas leaks of any kind, not a faulty wire in the whole premises and not even a problem with any of the many gadgets and electronics that made the apartment an automated environment that worked on its own, with no help from any human.

 Wilbur Wright had been on a plane on his way home when the incident happened and he was taken in a rush to a gran hotel room in order to protect his life, as many thought he was still in danger. But he had no idea about what they were all talking about, as most people loved him. Yes, he had inherited all of his money and didn’t really work at all, but he was the charitable face of his family’s organization and had been a patron of the arts for quite a while. Who would attack such a person?

 From his hotel room, he was able to watch the flames consuming his apartment, as the buildings were not very far apart. He had bought so many collectible items for his private quarters, many objects and art pieces that were one of a kind. Many museums had tried to buy them from him but he had always refused stating that there was no better person than him to take care of a precious item and that there was no safer place in the world than his apartment for such things. Clearly, that had not been the case.

 The morning the fire was extinguished, he got permission to enter the premises and check for himself what remained of his beloved apartment. Every single piece of furniture had been consumed, even the expensive food he kept on the kitchen. Every piece of granite, marble and titanium was now tainted forever with a black stain, with yellowish tones that indicated the temperature of the flames. He went to what used to be his room. He opened the closet and typed a few numbers on a keyboard the firemen had missed. It was a large vault, embedded into the wall.

 The vault’s door opened and it revealed a small room that had resisted the fire and the smoke. However, Mr. Wright collapsed once he entered the small space and started yelling and pulling his hair. For a moment, the men and women around thought of giving him some space to process whatever he was dealing with. But then they realized he was pulling his hair a little bit too much, actually pulling some of it from his skull, getting it on his hands and then on the floor. He had to be taken away to a hospital.

 The news of his breakdown went viral in hours. It was assumed that one of the firemen, or maybe one of the police officers, had recorded everything on a cellphone, as everyone watched Mr. Wright pulling out his hairs. The video had been uploaded to the Internet and now thousands of pulling were looking at him going crazy. Some of them laughed and some others even shed a tear. The common part of the response was that everyone wondered what had cause him to have the breakdown then and not before.

 Wilbur was released after a whole week in the hospital. His family came to take him home, which was a very rare sight on the part of their family, as they had never seemed to be close at all. The parents had decided to live a life of leisure since they had given their children control of all the businesses, and no pictures of the kids’ younger days had ever been released to the public, something that seemed odd at the beginning but they told every news outlet it was because they respected they children.

 The truth was the family was as cold as some of people thought it was. Wilbur rarely ever spoke to his father or mother, not even when he had been for a brief moment in charge of the shipping company his father had created when he was younger. Wilbur had done such an awful job running it, that the family had decided to fire everyone and dissolve the company altogether. Of course, it had been awful for the workers but the family thought it had been a disaster because they realized that Wilbur didn’t really now anything.

 They took him to their summerhouse, far from the city, in order to ask him about his mental state. They wanted to know if they had to be worried about it since it would be something more to add to the shame they felt for having him as a child. That’s what they told him, word by word. They didn’t care if he felt bad because of their words; they just wanted answers and the faster the better. Wilbur only said they didn’t have to worry about anything as his problems were his alone. The way he said it stopped them in their tracks and they decided not to speak again of the matter.

 The truth was that Wilbur didn’t want anyone to know about what had happened with his house. He wanted to ask the fire department for another tour of the ruins, but it had been decided that the building should be evacuated completely in order to check for any issues that the fire could have caused to the structure of the tower. No one was allowed in, except for law enforcement and the investigators that the city had working to know if everything was ok after the destruction.

 Wilbur was so desperate about his secrets that he decided to use his money to bribe a policeman in order to let him into the tower one night, after everyone had gone home. He was able to do it quietly and without any cameras or people looking at him. He went straight for his vault again and when he opened the door, his fists tightened, as well as his jaw. He even repressed the need to punch a wall or destroy the few things that had been left inside that place. Not that there was a lot there.

 Only a few papers and a little safe with some cash. It was all just for security but his biggest secret, his biggest creation if you will, and the only proof he was much more than what his family thought he was, was not there anymore. Every part of his creation had been destroyed by the fire and the only way to bring it back had been clearly stolen, probably minutes before the explosion. That was the proof that someone had gotten in and knew exactly what to look for, someone had known something he had told no one.

 He wasn’t really scared about that person using his creation against him or even playing the people into thinking he or she had created such a thing. Nothing like that bothered him. It was the relationship he had created, the fact that now he felt as if his only child had been yanked away from his hands. He felt hollow, alone and very sad. That was the reason he had collapsed when opening the vault, the reason his brain had not been able to cope with what had happened.

 He had named it Pamela, after one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. He had created Pamela when younger, after reading a lot about computers and programming. He learned all that by himself and no one in his family or work had a clue about his hobby.

 Pamela was the product of his efforts. He worked a bit on her, every day, and he was proud to think that he had created a perfect example of artificial intelligence. She was nice, smart and very intuitive. She was a friend, a daughter and a companion. And now, he had no idea where she could be.

domingo, 10 de mayo de 2015

The bracelet

   It was a fisherman in the Svalbard archipelago that found it, after at least fifty years of being lost. He was coming back from one of his journeys into the ocean and crossed by one of the many rocks that formed the archipelago. This was close to the main island. As he sailed back to his home, he saw one of this rocks filled with seagulls that had made their nests on the highest parts of the rocks. The fisherman never really looked at the rocks, he was very used to them, but this time something caught his attention. It was something that sparkled with the last rays of the sun. It was almost night but you could easily see how bright the thing sparkled.

 He sailed right for it, curious to see what was it. Seagulls, and birds in general, were known to love shiny things and he thought that maybe it was a piece of glass or something equally ordinary but as he closed in he looked up and used a pair of binoculars that his son had gave him as a present to spot birds flying over large banks of fish. He pointed them at the nest and almost fell to the water when realizing that what sparkled wasn’t a piece of glass or tin can. It was a bracelet. It consisted of a thin central ring, made probably of silver, and many charms went through the ring. Some were made of gold; some others had jewels of many colors.

 Desperate to see it closer, the fisherman tried to reach the nest but it was too high. He couldn’t just take it with his hand and the rock was slippery do to the water and the waste made by the birds. He realized he needed to climb the wall or get the nest down somehow. He then tried to climb the wall, but slipped easily, almost falling in the wrong way. He did fell to the water and had to return to the boat all wet. He then realized a storm was forming so he had do make fast decisions. He decided to leave and return early the next day, weather permitting, as the birds wouldn’t let the piece be lost. Many of them were already at the rock and circling the boat, as keeping an eye on him. So he turned on the engine and decided to come back another time, thinking the treasure would be there the next day.

 Little did he know that the bracelet was not only a small piece of wealth, it was actually a piece of history that time itself had forgotten long ago. The piece, or at least the central ring and one of the charms, had being created by a tribe now nonexistent of South America.  They had made it especially for their lord, a local chieftain that many in the world would know through the legend of Eldorado. Yes, that man was the original owner of the piece, which was specially created for him thinking that he needed the bracelet to be kind of his gift to the gods one he had entered communion with them. The shape of the bracelet, which locked with the small head of a snake, was made to be an offer to the gods and sign of power.

 But that small piece of jewelry only survived some years before being taken away in one of the many trips done by the Spaniards, which had arrived recently to the region. They took many of their riches and simply put them in crates and other types of containers and took them to the coast. There, some guy just checked every object and determined if it was worth something and if they should give it to the royal family or if they should keep it for themselves.

 A man called Carlos Díaz saw the bracelet, which had already been put on the boat sailing to Spain. He had been just a petty thief in the past but now he worked with the army and for the queen. But once he saw the small piece of jewelry, he decided he had to have it. He took it without telling anyone and put it on his wrist to make sure he didn’t loose it. Carlos was so enthralled with it; he decided to add something so he put a hollow piece of gold in it. But that wasn’t good enough as, days after departing the coast, a fleet of English pirates assaulted the ship and stole the cargo before blowing the boat to the sky with their canons. The pirate that killed Carlos saw the bracelet in his wrist and decided to steal it.

 When trading it back in Britain, he found a buyer. It was a merchant, a man that loved trinkets and silly things to make himself a nice collection. The man was an Italian called Domenico Girondelli and he was about to take a couple of his cousins to a trip to the far east, to get spices and other things there. Domenico also added a charm to the bracelet: a small coin with a hole through it. They had to go through all of Europe and then cross the Bosphorus disguised as Turks. But the Turks saw through their ruse and attempted to kill them. Just one of the men survived, and this was because he was a better runner and because he was saved by a group of women. He disguised himself as one and grabbed the bracelet from Domenico’s belongings.

 Seeing he had nothing back in Italy or in the Ottoman Empire, he decided to leave the place and keep the charade of being a woman until he got to China. In the route, many men fell in love with him. To be fair, he had girly features and didn’t even grow a beard or a mustache. He was a skinny man and could pass for a woman very easily. Hard to reach and very shy, men loved that about him and also that only piece of jewelry that made her so special. Men in Samarkand and all over the desert gave him charms for his bracelets, adorned with many beautiful jewels and stones.

 When he finally arrived into China, he realized he wasn’t a man anymore. He felt so sorry for himself, realizing he felt like a woman know, that he drowned himself on a lake by the imperial palace of Beijing. The police of the realm picked up his body after several days and took the bracelet to the Emperor who gave it to his wife. She was so caught up by it that she added two more charms: a jade ring and a small gold chain that rattled when she walked with the bracelet on. The piece found a home in the palace for many years, being passed on by the Empress to other women through generations until the Japanese invaded China. By then, the imperials had already disappeared but the bracelet was still kept in one of the many palaces, part of a collection worth millions. The Japanese didn’t take many things but one man that accompanied them in their task had an eye for all things of some worth.

 His name was Carl Unger. He had been send to Japan by the new government in Germany and had wanted to be in China as they invaded the place. After all, his country knew how important Japan was for a future strategy in the region and he had accepted the post of consultant with the Japanese government. He would travel with the army, wherever they would go, and see what use he could make of cities, people and the objects he saw on his way. It was him who found the small chest where the bracelet was being kept and took it as a prize. No one said anything but everyone saw him taking the bounty to his chambers, a whole room he had taken for himself in one of the palaces.

 There, Carl would look at the piece for hours. He found it fascinating because he realized it wasn’t a local piece. The snake and the charms… Everything was so different and unique. But precisely that was the beautiful thing about the piece, that it was a sum of many parts and that it seemed to reflect a beauty he would never see again. Some days later, he was summoned back to Tokyo, so he took everything with him. There, he lived alone and spent his days between work and his treasure. He was becoming obsessed, almost to a clearly sick level with the pieces.

 That lasted for years until the people at the embassy revealed to him that war had started. Central command in Berlin was giving him the option of staying in Japan or going back to Germany to help with the war effort. He decided to go back, in order to visit his mother and to give her the bracelet. He realized it was the best thing to do. So he packed what he had and headed for Berlin. The city was glorious, as he had never seen it before, and the army was making progress all over. He visited his mother and gave the bracelet.

 He would never see the piece again. Carl died after being sent to fight in northern France. His mother, a good soul, had given the bracelet to his housekeeper in order for her to sell it and escape the country. The woman was a Jew and, as she escaped, she added a new charm: a ring. But she wasn’t successful in her attempt to leave Germany and was captured by Nazis. The woman was sent to a concentration camp where the bracelet was lost in the sewers for many years.

 It was found by an American soldier who took it as a token to give to his girlfriend, who was waiting for him to go back home. He travelled to France with the army and there he boarded a boat to the United States. He added a small rock he had found in the camp, piercing through it with a torch a fellow soldier had lent him. But the war was not over and a German submarine fired on the boat, killing everyone on board. The bodies floated on the water as well as their belonging and it was a seagull who found the bracelet floating softly just below the water. The bird grabbed it and fled the site with it. And that’s how the bracelet got to Svalbard.

 The storm poured many gallons of rain on the rock but the nest stood still and the next morning the fisherman came for the bracelet. He had a large rod that he used to grab the nest and the bracelet for his wife, who had always wanted a nice piece of jewelry. She added her wedding ring as a charm and held it close until her death. But as we all know, that wouldn’t be the end of story.

sábado, 2 de mayo de 2015

Life's a bitch? No, you are.

   Charlie was still breathing heavily. Mike went out of bed, almost running to the bathroom. From there, came the sound of running water. Charlie wasn’t really listening, still trying to catch his breath. He had this stupid smile on his face and he knew it but had no idea of how to get rid of it. Anyway, who cared? He was happy and wanted to feel that way for as long as he could. It wasn’t that often he felt fulfilled in life.

 His boss had recently promised him a promotion, then Mike had moved in with him and they were planning a trip around Europe to celebrate their first year together. It was all going great and he had no reason to stop smiling. When Mike came back to bed, he told Charlie he was very thirsty and had to drink water from the tap. Charlie kept smiling at him and kissed him without saying a word. Just as they were, they fell asleep until the day was new.

 They had breakfast and a nice conversation before separating to get to their jobs. Then, Charlie’s happiness ended. He had been notified that someone else had landed the promotion instead of him. All morning, he was too embarrassed by this new development to ask anything but, after lunch, he decided to talk to his boss about it. After all, he liked him and new that he would be honest and would properly explain what had happened.

 As it happens, the guy who had landed the promotion was not even a long time employee but a new staff member and the boss told Charlie he had been obligated to give him that post as he was the company’s owner son. Charlie tried to understand how a person that had been working there for four years, working hard to be precise, was not going to get the job and a kid who had no idea of the business just landed the gig because he was related to someone.

 Unknown to him, Charlie had asked this enraged, screaming a bit and visibly annoyed. The boss asked him to calm down but he didn’t. He had no idea what came over him but he just started grabbing things and throwing them all around the room. He was about to go for his boss when two security guards subdued him. He was in such a state; it was hard for them to pull him out of there. He was not a tall guy but he was apparently really strong and would go without further fighting. But the two guys were stronger and they threw him out the front door. They left but returned shortly, telling him he needed to ask someone to empty his desk. He called his only friend in the office and she put everything worth something in a box and gave it to him in the parking lot. They parted, saying nothing.

 He walked to a coffee shop with his box and tried calling Mike from his cellphone several times but he wasn’t picking up. The last time he tried, the call went straight to voice mail. Then something came over him. It wasn’t the rage he had felt before but rather a sense of worry, that something wasn’t completely fine. He decided to go back to his house and call Mike from there. Maybe his cellphone had just died or maybe something else was going on. It was certainly not the best day to be Charlie and, as he walked to the train station with his box, he hoped for everything to be ok and for this to be just a normal day or a dream.

 When he stepped off the train, he received a call from the bank, telling him why he had his bank account blocked. He hung up immediately. It made no sense that his account was blocked and he knew those calls were just pranks or ways to get his data in order to rob him. He wasn’t going to fall for that. He walked fast from the station to his building. He was helped by a lady to open the front door and took the stairs as the elevator took too long to arrive at the ground floor. When he finally made it to the sixth floor, he looked for the keys in the box and open the door.

 The place was empty and he had hoped to see Mike there. But he was obviously at work. He just wanted to know right away that he was ok but apparently that was a lot to ask for. He decided to take the phone and call him again but the cellphone number he was calling was dead. Voice mail time and again. Then he sat in his sofa and started thinking where he might be. He could go to Mike’s work, but he said they didn’t know he was gay so maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. Maybe…

 And then he heard it. It was a sound coming from somewhere, like the one of someone complaining but soft. It was just as if someone tried to be silent but couldn’t really mask their own voice. It was then when Charlie realized the sound was not coming from outside or from another apartment. It was coming from one of the rooms, from the bedroom to be precise. He forgot all about his search for Mike, about his dismissal and his little box filled with shitty things. He just walked down the hall and opened the door, without even thinking much about it.

 The bedroom door was never closed but it had been this time and he now knew why. Mike was there all right. But he wasn’t wearing any clothes and wasn’t hurt at all except a few nail marks in his back. Trying to cover himself up, Mike fell from the bed and Charlie saw the person who had been moaning. Different than he might think, the person was a woman. Charlie had never seen her before and that really didn’t matter.

-       Get out of my house…

 The woman looked at Mike and then at Charlie and then at Mike again, who was putting up his underwear and walking slowly to Charlie.

-       Get the fuck out of my house! And you…

 He said nothing. The woman picked up her things and ran past Charlie, still naked. She took his bed sheet but he didn’t care. He just wanted her out of his home. Once she was out, he stood in front of the door, still shocked. There was no way of crying, of going through another episode of crazy rage. He was too overwhelmed and too hurt to cry, scream or yell. Mike came out of the bedroom and was about to touch him but Charlie slapped his arm to one side and told him to go fuck himself. He told him he had been the best person in the world to him for a whole year. How could he be like this to him?

 He shouldn’t have asked. Mike told him, caressing his arm, that he had liked at first and that he was a nice fuck but that was it. He got boring both in bed and in the rest but he didn’t let him go because of how well positioned he was. But now, Mike said, he had enough of that and wanted to leave him. Charlie followed him back to the room and told him that he wasn’t just leaving. He was throwing him out. He wasn’t going to be the victim, he told Mike, not when he was clearly the one that was losing more.

 Mike didn’t listen to anything he said. He just put some clothes, grabbed a small bag and started packing. He packed all the clothes that Mike had given him. He had to take out another bag, a bigger one, and by then Charlie decided he had to breath and count to ten, so he went to the living room and tried to calm himself down. He finally started crying profusely and didn’t heard when Mike left with two big bags full of everything Charlie had bought him

 He had been alone for at least an hour when the phone rang and he had to answer because the sound annoyed him. It was the bank again. They were sorry to tell him Internet pirates had targeted his account and that he had lost of the savings in there. He laughed like a crazy person right then, and the lady talking to him thought he had gone insane or something. She was careful to say it may take a while but that the bank would reinstate all his savings, as he had paid the insurance they sold.

 Charlie just said thanks and hung up. He cleaned up his tears and, as painful as it was, he tried to think what he had done wrong. Although he saw nothing at the time and decided it was best to take a nap, Charlie had been not that great at his job and had been promised a promotion he didn’t deserve. The owner’s boss was not the stupid kid he thought he was. The man was actually an expert in advertising and would make the company double its earning in a single year.

 As for Mike, he had met him in a bar and, been drunk, had taken him to his apartment and had sex with him. The first three months, it was all about sex, not minding anything else. It was Charlie who asked Mike to be his boyfriend and the one that insisted on Mike leaving with him. All of this happened in a matter of months, including the expensive gifts and the planning of the trip that, unknown to him, Mike was still going to have. Charlie had left him in control of one of his credit cards and Mike had recently bought the tickets for both his female friend and him. Charlie would realize about this in the future, a bit too late.

 And the pirates. That looks random but it isn’t. Mike had paid for porn and clothes in many websites and that’s where the pirates always take their information from.

 In conclusion, Charlie had all the answers in front of him but he wasn’t acknowledging any of them, anything that he had done. He blinded himself into thinking certain things and rushed into liking somebody because he thought he would never find someone. His sunken self-esteem had been the one to blame and it would take him still a lot of life to learn the necessary to stop blaming others for his mistakes.