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

sábado, 25 de junio de 2016


   The soap was provided to us at the entrance of the showers. No one could keep their soap bar in case they wanted to put something inside like a razor blade or something of the sort. There had been too many murders inside the prison and the administration had decided to make crime a thing of the past for the inmates. Yet, there were still all kings of drugs going around. They were used as money or money was used to pay for them. Anyhow, everything was about drugs, it was the only way most men had to live through their sentences.

 It was a minimum-security prison. No fancy cells or big electric doors that opened and closed behind and in front of you. That was too fancy for that place. It was a big prison but the kind where you can go out and enjoy the sun if you feel to, you can exercise in the yard under the watching eye of several guards or even take care of a garden the crazy ones almost owned. Everything was organized, in a way.

 Me? I had been there for a couple of months. My sentence was five years long, no parole. I could maybe scrap a year of the sentence if I decided to be a good boy but it was very hard to be one inside that place. Even a minimum-security prison can be hell and I never dared to think how much worse other similar places could be, with tighter security. I just focused on my life and things I had to do to stay alive and well. The rest was a thing of the outside, where I wasn’t.

 Shower time was always at the same time. One of the oldest inmates had told me that, years ago, guys were able to come and please from the bathrooms as they pleased. But so many got stabbed or raped there, the administration decided they would force everyone to be clean and ready by 8 o’clock. A general alarm was heard every day at that time in order to wake us up. Then, each dormitory would form a single line and all lines would go to the showers.

 The room was huge. On my first day, one of the other guys joked about it being like the place where Nazis had killed Jews in the World War II. I thought the joke was in very poor taste but I rapidly noticed he had many tattoos and most of them had something to do with Nazi symbolism. I had seen it before in History class. So I knew I had to stay away from those guys, being a foreigner and all.

 There were at least sixty showers. One group would go first and then another. Each group only had about five minutes to wash everything properly with the small soap bars we were handed at the entrance. When we were done, we had to leave the bars on the floor for the next group. If there was no next group, the same thing. A waste, I always thought.

 Of course, everyone in the showers was naked. They would make us remove our clothes in a room just before the showers one. Each guy would put his things in a small squared locker. On the way out, we just had to find our number and get dressed fast in order for the second group to go in, if we weren’t in the second group ourselves. It was the routine and, I have to confess, I got used to it fast. In there, you get used to everything. Life is not really yours anymore so you just do what you have to do.

 I’m always asked if it was a problem to be gay inside a prison. And yes, it was. Once someone shouted it in the mess all, many guys looked at me instantly. Who I was wasn’t really a secret or what I had done. Not that I was famous before that or anything but lets say I made myself famous because of all the shit I did. I couldn’t go to my bunk without at least four guys looking at me in a not too flattering way.

 Which way was the best one to avoid all of their attention? I have no idea. Because I didn’t really repel all of them, I couldn’t. I’m a small guy, not very strong. I had to do thing to survive and I am proud of it. Some people are ashamed of their actions in jail but not me. I’m proud to have gotten out of there alive and well and I think that’s a huge accomplishment. So yeah, I let some of them, the powerful ones, have their way with me. It was the only way the others could leave me alone. The idea was to be seen as someone else’s property.

 Besides that, I did something even bolder, which gained me the respect of most of the men inside the prison. Maybe I wasn’t strong or big but I’ve always had a good brain and I knew I had to use it in order to make things easier for me there. In the first few months, I heard horrible rumors about some guy in the Nazi group that wanted to rape me somewhere no one could hear me scream. I heard it so many times I decided to go big and do my move first.

 His name was Duncan. He was a very tall guy and the few guys I hung out with told me he was a rather new guard. Apparently, he had been a soldier; veteran of all the recent fucked up wars that their country had started. So with only that in my hand, I decided to talk to him a little bit every single day. I heard him when he had something funny to say and he was kind to me, letting me in always first in the mess hall line and the shower line.

 Just some time after that, I was already letting him fuck me in broom closet no one really frequented as I was the one in charge of cleaning the floors in that area. It may see like a crazy thing I did and it was but it saved my life. He did that and I’m forever thankful.

 Being a guard, people knew they didn’t want to mess with him. So, by definition, they kept their hands away from me. I was protected and I really enjoyed it. It was then when I really made some friends in jail and started exercising more and, as crazy as it sounds, I was having a great time. I even slept nicely at night, with all the snoring and the body odors around me. I didn’t care anymore because I knew I was protected by someone everyone feared and it felt great. Sadly, it didn’t last very long as Duncan had decided he was a good person and he didn’t wanted prison to turn him bad.

 Somehow, I was broken hearted. Not only because I was afraid for my safety, but also because I was beginning to care for him. We didn’t just had sex, we also talked and had these small moments together I really appreciated because they… he made me fell like I was worth something in a place where you’re supposed to be repenting and feeling like a piece of garbage.

 The day he left, I cried while mopping the floors. On our last session together he didn’t say a word and neither did I. There wasn’t something I could say that would magically make things great between us, or that would change what was happening. We had to move on and we had to do it fast because we weren’t able to do anything about it. So he left, I cried for a while and that was the end of it.

 However, I forgot my Nazi problem. They knew very well Duncan had left and every single one of them decided to threaten me everyday. They wanted me scared out of my mind until the day their boss, the one with the tattoos, would order them to drag me somewhere dark and probably fuck me with something awful. I thought of it a hundred times and it did make me shiver and had no idea what to do.

 The truth is I had forgotten to know myself. They day one of them came to me, I fought. I broke his nose and crushed his foot. Another one threatened me with a razor he had gotten in and I was able to disarm him and tell a guard he had a forbidden item. He was send to solitary in a second. I had learned how to defend myself. So it was me who went to the tattoo guy and told him to go fuck himself.

 That action made me even more respected among some of the other inmates. The minorities if you will. I didn’t really identify with them but they soon became my friends and, some of them, my lovers. Even condoms can be found in a prison, if that’s what you want and I did. The following years were very hard on me but I got stronger and smarter and much more intelligent, being able to fool everyone, even me.

 The day I stepped out of prison, I realized the real world had moved along without me and it scared me. But only for that day. Because the following morning, I used what I had learned and got myself a job in no time. I have a life now, a real one. And, strangely enough, I have to thank prison and its population for that.

domingo, 15 de noviembre de 2015

Sweet dream

   Anna was deeply devoted to her confectionery business. She did the most beautiful food that also happened to be delicious- Her store was small but people came from all over the city and nearby towns to eat some of her signature products such as the strawberry shortcake with extra flavor and the home-made candy bars that could have any flavor that people wanted. They could be personalized at the request of the client. The strangest flavor she had ever been asked was a mix between curry and lemon, which actually tasted pretty goof. Business was great and she handled everything by herself, having no need of a partner or someone else to take advantage of an idea she had while in high school. Back then, she already knew she wanted to cook the best desserts possible and she even tried new recipes with her family every Thursday night.

 Life was good to Anna. She was happy with her business and had recently moved to a small but nice apartment in order to be more independent from her family. She was also considering an offer that would make her candy bat available at a major supermarket chain, which would make her products even more well known and the amount of money she would make was going to be huge. But she wasn’t really sure if to accept the proposal or not. She was afraid of, with time, losing control of her business and finally selling to a large company that didn’t have any love for the art or respect for her creations. It was something she thought every single night before going to bed and it made her a bit crazy. She wanted an answer fast, to know what to do.

 She asked the advice of every member of her family and some of her friends and most of them agreed that of her small store could handle the amount of work, they should definitely sign the contract with the supermarket chain. After all, it wouldn’t be an industrial sized agreement and her products would only be sold there. It wasn’t like she was going to lose entire control of everything. So in her next meeting with the guy from the supermarket chain, she accepted and signed the contract. According to it, her store had to provide a thousand hand-made candy bars of several flavors. As they were normally personalized, they just asked her to make her top five flavors, whichever they were. She accepted and started hiring extra hands.

 They had to work on weekends and the amount of ingredients that had to be bought was simply huge. Only her employees, the three that had been with her since the beginning, would be in charge of the store as such, cooking what people had learned to expect from it. Once a month there was a new product, proposed either by Anna or by some member of her staff. In the other hand, six people worked on weekends to produce candy bars for the supermarket. She had only two weeks before having to surrender her products so everything had to be very calculated and controlled.

 The flavors chosen were orange yogurt, spicy lemon, raspberries in dark chocolate, pineapple and mango and, finally, their classic passion fruit flavor. Those were the ones people had learned to love in her store since its opening only two years earlier and she was proud her clients proved to be such innovative people. They were always really open about the new sweets and were always very kind when submitting their opinions. Anna had created, with help from a friend, a web page where clients could see all of her products and also comment about every single one of them. She would normally use one night per week to read the new comment and use whatever she may find useful from them. Normally, she just laughed or felt proud but sometimes people had interesting ideas and she credited them for the ones that became successful products.

 However, things began to decline after the second months of her contract with the supermarket chain. It all started when her weekend workers started to demand a higher salary. They thought they were exploited by Anna at their current salary, working like mad from dusk till dawn every Saturday and Sunday and even some Mondays. They argued that her store made enough money to pay everyone fairly. Apparently, they resented the fact that her store staff made more money than them, which she had explained once as been simply because of seniority. The thing was they didn’t want to hear none of that. They just wanted more money or they would stop coming and that would be the perfect way to destroy Anna’s creation, and pride, for good.

 On the other hand, the supermarket chain had begun complaining about the quality of the candy bars that were sent to them the third week of contract. Apparently, they lacked the flavor and they accused Anna of sing less ingredients to make more bars which was ridiculous because her order was always the same. She didn’t even fake to be offended and stormed out of the office of one of the executives of the supermarket chain. Anna knew very well it hadn’t been her brightest moment but she couldn’t stand to be accused of doing something she would never do. Seeking a lawyer, she finally found a good one thanks to a friend. She had a meeting with him and asked about the possibilities of ending the contract with the supermarket chain.

 The lawyer, a very serious and older man, browsed through the contract and finally advised her not to end it as the repercussions to her would be simply too difficult to bare. She would have to pay a lot of money and her company would be bankrupt even before paying all of what she had to pay, if she decided to walk away from the contract. Again, Anna had trouble sleeping at night with so much to think about. She finally decided to raise the salary of her workers but not as much as they had hoped. It was clear to them by her words that no more raises would be granted before the end of the contract. Some workers left but she hired new ones and the quality of the chocolate began to improve.

 Anna also had a conversation with the supermarket chain, in which she announced her intentions of not renewing her contract with them but meeting their quotas and demands for the current contract. They really did not have anything to say because they couldn’t really pressure her into signing for one more year or even more time. The work relationship was tense there and they even threatened to sue if the quality of the candy bars was ever too low for their standards. But as she begun to closely watch the production of the candy for that damn contract, they had no base from which to keep annoying her. The candy bars where as tasty as always and her employees were finally happy or at least not aggressive. That was already an improvement.

 However, she never expected one of her trusted workers in the store to go away. Her name was Linda and she had been by Anna for many years, as they knew each other from high school. Linda announced her intentions to leave but not for any salary reasons or because she had grown to dislike the whole thing. It was more like the opposite: she had learned to love making sweets so much that she had decided to became a professional. She wanted to study a full four-year career in order to learn everything there was to know and become the best candy maker ever. Linda had always been pretty ambitious but Anna had failed to see that because of her own ambitions. When Linda announced her departure, she asked her for forgiveness and hugged her tight. Anna also told her she had a place in the store any time she wanted to come back, even if she became world renowned.

 Anna celebrated with everyone on her staff, both from the weekends and from the store, the end of the contract with the supermarket chain. There were rumors they had copied the recipes and now they were going to produce the candy themselves or that maybe rival stores would provide them with the candy that Anna had refused to give them ever more. One or the other, Anna was glad all of that ordeal had ended because she had realized that her dream was a place where she could do her own thing and experiment and be close to her clients. That contract had crushed the soul of her idea and now she needed it back in order to make it beautiful and bright again.

 The following month, she released a whole new set of products, all with exotic fruits and ingredients that would surprise everyone. She had been doing research for weeks and cooking at home to finally come up with some sort of prize to her devoted store clients who hadn’t left her in the year she had been busy doing candy bar for a corporation. The flavors and the candy were loved by everyone and she even had to ask three of her weekend workers to stay and help in the store. Her family grew that way and she realized that her life was better than ever because now she knew what she really wanted to do and what really made her happy. Her heart was always sweet and, now, more than ever.

lunes, 12 de enero de 2015


   Lillian didn’t care and if she had cared before, she didn’t remember. She had lived so much, so many times and for so long that now she had been hardened, like the toughest diamond. Now, Lily was ruthless and perfect in her job, but not so much in her private life, which was largely nonexistent.

She did have a mother and a father but didn’t visit them as often as they would have wanted. She did so for one simple reason: she wanted them to be safe, not in the way of someone that would love to hurt her or make her do something against her current clients.

Clients sounds funny though. No, Lily is not a prostitute nor an escort of any kind. Lily works in the security area so people who need her to do a job for them to be safer, look her up. She works more like a spy or secret agent but she has no relation with those organizations, as she knows they would be more than interested to question her about all the jobs she has taken care of.

That’s why, besides not being close to her family, she had decided not to have a family of her own or any romantic relationship with anyone. She knew her duties, the enemies and friends she had acquired with time, were all dangerous for her, let alone for people to close. She had committed that mistake once and was sure she wouldn’t let herself go, not again.

It had happened with a man. His name was Aaron and worked in his family company. At first, Lily was attracted to him because of his family’s power, which could bring her more clients and more interesting jobs, which always fascinated her. She actually met him during one of her duties and liked him right away.

Like her, Aaron enjoyed power and the luxuries of his privileged life but when they were alone, he was simply the kindest and cuddliest man she had ever known. Of course, she had sex many times but never a real boyfriend or partner but when she met him she thought that might some day change. What if she fell in love?

And she did. And he did too. There was no way in denying that when the two met, they felt like they were the only people in the world. It was as if the world stopped and everything was just ideal and perfect.

That was until she started receiving threats. Letters in which they advised her she had stepped out of a line she had traced herself. The person that sent them told her to be careful and to return to her duties and her single life, or she would be sorry. Love didn’t let her listen or take it seriously. She ignored it all and kept on seeing him. And then, more problems erupted, closer to home.

Aaron’s father had told him to stop seeing Lily. Amazingly it was not because she had a shady life or because she was driving Aaron away of the family company. No, the older southern gentlemen had decided long ago that no son of his, let alone the one that was meant to run the company in the future, would ever marry a black woman. Lily laughed at first but then, when looking at Aaron, she realized it was not a joke, a distasteful joke.

But they kept on seeing each other. Big mistake. Aaron was practically expelled from his family, left penniless and with no prospects of a new life. His father had been sure to let everyone in the region know that Aaron no longer represented him or the family. This devastated the young man but his love for Lily was stronger, and he felt he could fight anything in order to be with her, forever.

That didn’t last for long. A hit man, out of nowhere, shot Aaron twice in the head while going to meet Lily for dinner. She waited for him for hours and finally got a call from Aaron’s father. Telling her he had been killed and telling her never to get near his family again. He blamed her for his son’s death and Lily knew he was right.

She spent months trying to get to the killer, to know if he had been the one sending the letter or if someone had hired him. She didn’t get too far in the investigation. The person that had killed the love of her life had vanished. She only knew it had been one of her many enemies who had given the order and she tortured herself thinking it had been her fault he had died. Loving him had been a curse.

So now Lily tries never to be seen, to be the center of attention for anyone. She changed the way she looked, her haircut and the way she did her makeup. Everything to look less interesting, less attractive if you will. She was a beautiful, stunning young woman but that had proven to be more of a problem that something going on for her.

Although, she kept using her body to help her in certain moments, she tried to do everything disguised as what she was: a common woman trying to make a living in a world that had denied her everything. It is true she had gotten into it herself but now there was no way out and she knew it. Only dead she would stop being afraid, scared of her on shadow.

It deserves to be clarified that Lillian had never killed anyone. She sometimes thought to herself that maybe it was better if she had that ability, the cold blood needed to killed someone but she preferred the subtle moves: something in a drink that would make them sleep or knocking them out with one of her special moves. She knew a couple martial arts and considered she had developed a style of her own and no one could say she hadn’t.

Lily tried to work as often as she could. It didn’t matter if it required flying half around the world, sailing in a cruise or hopping on a train or a bus. She loved travelling and it was one of the few things she actually enjoyed of her work. Besides, the people that contacted her were always loaded with money, so she would always buy first class.

For other things she was less flamboyant, more secretive. But she just couldn’t get inside a plane and not seat in a beautiful wide chair in the first class area, with all those delicious meals and small details that made her so much more special than she was. Travelling that way made her feel as if the world gave her a small chance to feel like a real person, or at least the person she felt she had been born to be.

But when landing or getting of the bus, train or boat, she came back to reality, and saw there was no way it could be like that daily. If she had lived a life of excess and luxury, her enemies would have paid a thousand hit men to kill her and the bounty would have been enough to make them salivate like hungry dogs.

When meeting her clients, she knew that she was both hated and needed and that also made her feel great, much more special than any of them was. They might have been the ones to have the life she wanted but, in the moments they looked for her, it was Lillian who really made the difference. It was her who made things right for them, who made their lives livable.

She stole secrets and money, changed data and exchanged information. She infiltrated companies and made them stumble to the ground from inside. It required a lot of lies and deceit, a lot of disguises and fake smiles but she pulled it of easily, because she had always known that fake world of the riches was her own. She owned every single moment and always knew what to say.

When they finally realized something had happened or who she really was, Lily was already enjoying a glass of champagne in a transatlantic flight. And they wouldn’t trace her because that would mean admitting she had won, that a single woman had destroyed their lives or that they had been dishonest enough to hire someone to topple down the obstacles in their way.

Her enemies where born of those who felt they had been attacked for no reason, those people who would never admit defeat, not in business nor in a real war. So they where patient, as only people in the finance world can be. They waited for her to commit a mistake and she had already done that with Aaron.

Nowadays, they are still waiting for Lillian to do the wrong turn, to slap the wrong person, to take the wrong road. Some people only have revenge in their soul and when you have taken everything away from them, is it not understandable? They were desperate and that was the point that gave her the advantage.

She was not only beautiful and, in many ways, lethal. Lily was also bright and she was now waiting them to go over the line. She had nothing to lose, nothing to fear. But she had a special need to be victorious. And she often was.