Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta to know. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta to know. Mostrar todas las entradas

sábado, 26 de noviembre de 2016

We all know Doris

   Doris had never been the most beautiful woman in the world. She was rather plain and didn’t have anything special going on for her. Besides, she was already over fifty years old and women her age simply didn’t have the same opportunities in life that younger ones. She couldn’t complain about her job, because she had been very lucky to keep it for so long but she would have loved to get married at least once in her lifetime. She had always dreamed of wearing a wedding dress and having one of those fun parties to celebrate her nuptials.

 She had her chance when she was around twenty-four years old. An older man had wanted her in marriage and her father had agreed to it. Of course, Doris didn’t want to marry him but, in those times, women did whatever their father told them to and it was very difficult to do something different than what parents told their children. Doris cried and stopped eating for a week but that didn’t change his father’s mind. However, the old man that wanted to marry Doris died only a couple of days before the actual ceremony so she was saved.

 When she looked back to that memory, she found herself thinking very differently from that young girl she used to be. For example, she regretted the fact that she was never interested in knowing more about the man she was going to marry. Of course, they practically didn’t know each other but she could have asked and maybe, just maybe, that would have changed everything, even the fact that he had died. Yes, fifty year old Doris thought it was a good idea to marry a man that was, at least, thirty years older than her.

 Be that as it may, she never got to wear that wedding dress. Besides, she had to see her two brothers and three sisters getting married. She had to go to their weddings and pretend to be happy for them but she never really was. She also had to go to other weddings, where she was even a bridesmaid. That was even crueler for her because she got too close to the real thing but it just wasn’t the same. It was all an illusion to keep her away from the one thing she wanted in life, the one thing you couldn’t really buy or force to happen.

 In her work, however, Doris was successful. She was the assistant of the principal in the same high school where she and her brothers and sisters had gone. At first it had been weird to work there but she adjusted just fine in no time. Now she loved to reminisce about all those good-looking boys that had walked the hallways back when she was a teenager. She found herself thinking about them a little bit too often and even took to the social networks to track some of them down to see if they had changed a lot or not so much. The results were predictable.

 Before turning fifty, Doris had gone over backwards to get a man. It sounds a little bit too desperate but it was what she wanted. She opened profiles in most of the matchmaking sites in the Internet and also downloaded several apps on her phone with the help of one of her nieces. She even started going to bars on Friday nights to see if she could attract any man. Doris didn’t even mind if it was only a crazy sex night but that didn’t happen either, which was frustrating and also hurtful for her. She felt even older than she really was.

 As her birthday grew closer, she decided to go to all these events that advertised that you would get a couple in no time. Some of them were events where you met several men in a limited amount of time and others were holidays for singles in which the goal was to meet all of the people that were there with you and then just see who you had the best chemistry with. The thing about all of those was that they were only a waste of money. She always came back home disappointed on everything and even sadder than before.

 After she turned fifty, it was as if something inside of her changed. She didn’t want to keep being desperate and accepted the fact that she was never going to find anyone. Of course, she remembered all of those family dinners for special holidays when she had to lie to her family or confess to them that she was still alone. As her family was concerned, Doris had been in a relationship with several men but it never really worked out for several reasons. Some didn’t have a job; some others were scoundrel and they were even a couple that ended up being gay.

 Now that her parents were dead, those family dinners were over. She rarely met her brothers and sisters, only in funerals and such events, which was great for her because that way she didn’t need to talk about her private life. Stopping the lies had been really good for her because for a fragment of her life, she knew too well all the things she need to say to make a believable lie. She was so good at it that it seemed that she was beginning to believe everything she said herself. It was a very sad thing to do and it was for the best that it was all over.

 So, after fifty, Doris was not interested in finding anyone new. She wasn’t interested in anything to be honest. She went from her home to her job and back home every evening. On the weekends, she spent several hours tending to her dog Fluffy and her small but well taken care of garden. It was her pride and joy, as she really loved to spend hours and hours getting everything to perfection. It was her passion and it helped her not thinking about thoughts that hurt her.

 One day, by the advice of her next-door neighbor, Doris sent pictures of her garden to a specialized magazine, just for fun. Her neighbor had said that sometimes they sent people over to take pictures for their magazines and that was always fun. She thought that Doris could be one of the proud owners of a famous garden. At first she wasn’t too sure but one night she decided to do it, just to add a little bit of fun to her life. Maybe it was the wine she had been drinking, but she was as happy as one could be while taking the pictures.

 Days later, she received an email from the magazine telling her that they were interested in a visit and asked her about her availability. Sure enough, they were there the following weekend. Her neighbor stood close by the whole time, showing Doris her two thumbs up every time the photographer took a picture or when the interviewer asked Doris about some of the flowers and she answered in the best way possible. They were only to people but she felt overwhelmed for a moment and had to take deep breaths when they weren’t watching.

 The interviewer, shortly before leaving, told her that her pictures would be in the mix for the next issue, which would portray suburban gardens from the country. She could be in or out, they didn’t know yet so she had to be very attentive of the issue. For Doris, it was a torture to wait that long because the magazine was released every two months. But thinking about it also made her very happy and proud and it was certainly better than wondering why she was not married or why no man appeared to have any interest in her.

 Sure enough, almost a month and a half later, the magazine’s new issue had her garden in the front page and in at least four other pictures inside. There even was an awkward picture the photographer had taken of her looking at her tulips. She was a bit embarrassed by it but many people thought it was a very nice picture. She kept the issue by her bed, to look it every time she felt down. Doris knew not many people knew about that magazine but that didn’t matter because it made her feel great and that’s what mattered.


 However, the following week every single person she met greeted her kindly, smiled and congratulated her. At first she was very confused but then she read a letter she had gotten from the magazine: she had been awarded a prize for the best suburban garden in the country. The prize came with a cash prize and an actual medal that would be given to her in a ceremony in the magazine’s headquarters. For the first time in her life, Doris was really happy, for real, and did not relate her mood to her relationship status. No man could make her feel better than that recognition.

jueves, 1 de septiembre de 2016

Chance, the dog


   Chance had been their first dog. He had been living in the house for a long time now, he had no idea how much, but he was very happy with everything he had: the food, the toys, his owners and everything else. At first, he remembered vaguely, Chance had been owned by one of the two people that lived in the house. His name was Philip and he worked a lot or so it seemed. Apparently, and Chance had no proof of this, Philip had been convinced to have a pet after he had a couple of crisis related to his work.

 Chance was only a puppy back then. He didn’t remember how his mother looked or how his brothers and sisters looked. His first memory was always Philips face, looking down at him with a strange expression in his face. He wasn’t happy or sad. He seemed more confused than anything else. To be fair, Chance was also very confused but that was because his memory did not work very well.

 The first bonding experiences he had with Philip had to do with the park. As young as he was, Chance would go to the park and meet other dogs and even other animals. As he met them, he remembered Philip was always sitting close by, watching or checking a strange rectangular black rock that he had with him every single time Chance wanted to play or have a moment with him. Once, he had attempted to grab the black rock but Philip had made it clear that it wasn’t something for him to play.

 So Chance learned not to bother his master whenever he was on it. But that didn’t prevent him from noticing that, often when he used the rock, he would become very sad. Chance didn’t like that so he always tried to distract him, trying to make him play by getting the ball or rolling on the ground or whatever that could work.

 Surprisingly, the ruse worked quite often. He made his master smile and even laugh several times and he understood that his job as a dog was to make Philip happy, no matter what. It was a rather simple job but a very important one. In a short space of time, Chance was able to make his master a little bit happier, more of an enjoyable person to be around. Chance noticed this when he saw other people around and they seemed to enjoy themselves more with Philip around.

 That was nice because it meant that those people would bring treats for Chance. Sometimes they brought food and other times they brought toys. Some of them even gave him other things but he wasn’t as excited about those as he was for the treats and so on. The best part was that Philip got out of his house more, although not always with Chance which made him think that maybe his plan had not worked to perfection.

 However, Philip always came back smiling from those nights outside the house. At first, Chance had been worried that maybe he was being sad outside of the house. That would have been a tragedy, so he tried again to be nice and cute to his master in order for him not to o fall into depression again. But when he saw his face, when he felt his mood, he realized Philip was not sad, not at all. Philip was not happy either. It was strange.

 The first couple of nights he left for a long time were just torture for Chance. He would spend his whole evening just pacing around the house, waiting for his master. It was a very annoying thing not to have light in the house when he was alone and he tried to have it a couple of times until he finally was able to turn on the living room light by himself. Chance was so proud of himself that he thought Philip would congratulate him. But nothing of the sort happened.

 Most of those times, when the man went out for many hours at night, he came back smelling very strongly to something Chance didn’t like. He didn’t know what it was but he was certain it wasn’t something good because his master would often vomit on the floor or on the bathroom. Neither smell would disappear for weeks. That was always tougher on Chance because of his ability to smell things better than any of the humans. Something was very wrong with his master but he kept behaving like a happy person the rest of the time so it was very confusing too.

 This happened for what humans call a year. Chance got used to it to happening at least once a week and those nights, he knew it was better to rest than to wait for his master because when he came home he was too busy vomiting and falling asleep to take care of his pet. So he started sleeping earlier and would wake up before Philip on what humans called Saturdays. It was the best because his owner was very nice during that time. They didn’t go to the park or anything, but they had good times.

 The other thing Chance had noticed during that time was that, after he decided to fall asleep instead of waiting for Philip, he would sometimes smell the scent of another human in the house. Sometimes he would see them and sometimes he wouldn’t but out of nowhere, other humans were sharing Philip’s bed. And he knew, because of his nose, that it wasn’t always the same person.

 That was a very confusing thing to happen but Chance had no way to ask Philip about it. And he was clearly not very good at understanding human behaviour as he thought he was. So he decided to be the best dog to his owner and that was it. After all, humans are rather smart and he trusted Philip to get better on his own.

 He had been right about it. For some time, Philip stopped his weekly escapades and he would stay at home with Chance watching what humans called movies, which was basically staring at other humans who were apparently funny or very depressing. Sometimes Philip would cry or laugh hysterically but that was better than him vomiting in front of the door or on the couch. Besides, he now loved to have Chance by him to hug him and stroke behind his ears so that was always great.

 Philip never again went out so late as before but he did go out some other times and Chance wouldn’t worry because he would always return very much tired and alone, so things were improving or at least that seemed to be the case. After all, Chance knew that understanding human behaviour was extremely difficult. They were all so different and liked so many things at the same time. Sometimes he thought to himself that humans were very complicated animals.

 Then, something changed again: a new human started coming often to the apartment. At first, Chance was very reluctant to let that person touch him. He would roar and bark if the hands came too close and he would stay in the kitchen if the situation became too stressful. But what turned him around was Philip actually asking him to like that person. Apparently, it was very important for him that Chance could give that new human a proper opportunity, so the dig decided to try.

 That human’s name is David. David is one of the best strokers Chance has ever met. He just knows were are the best spots in a dog’s fur and its thoroughly enjoyable when he uses his fingers to massage any part of his body. David started coming rather often and Chance got used to him pretty fast, specially because he brought in gifts and that was always better than not bringing anything.

 Chance liked to join David and Philip for what they called movie night, when they had round human food and seemed to be really nice to each other. Philip would often send Chance to his bed early those nights and he obeyed because he knew the very sad times were in the past. He could feel Philip was now a really happy human being and that had been Chance’s goal for a long time.

 Now he had another human to make happy, although David seemed to be happy already. He eventually moved in permanently with them and Chance had the best time of his life during that period. It’s always nice to remember, even when you’re a dog. People think you don’t understand but you do. You understand it all very well.

domingo, 13 de septiembre de 2015

Torn

   I just kept running, until I woke up and realized there was nothing to run away from. I was sweating a bit and breathing heavily, as if I had really been running on the street. I just sat down on my bed and tried to calm down. There was nothing more that I could do than calm down and try to sleep again. After all, I had woken up at five in the morning and it was a Saturday. I decided to go to the kitchen, have some orange juice and then go back to my bed and lay there until sleep appeared again. To be honest, I was a bit scared of dreaming all of that again but I knew that was very unlikely. When I got sleepy again, I just covered myself entirely with the sheets and the bedspread. I didn’t dream a thing and woke up some four hours after, not really rested but at least calmed.

 That day, I decided to visit my family’s grave in the cemetery. I don’t know why, but I needed to do that. Somehow, I thought those awful dreams had come again only because my family was resentful of me not tending to them properly, not even thinking about them or putting some flowers on their graves. SO that was exactly what I did. I bought the most beautiful little bouquets and put them on their graves. I didn’t pray, I never did, but instead tried to apologize to them because I had been such a bad son. I knew coming to a cemetery didn’t really change anything, but I knew that I had left my family to one side, as if they had never existed. I cried a bit while asking for forgiveness and it was then that she appeared.

 It sounds insane but she was the woman of my dreams. And by that I mean she’s the one that appears there every time. I didn’t remember if she had a name in my dreams but once I saw her straight into the eyes, I realized she knew exactly whom I was and was there to talk to me. However, we just looked at each other as if talking or moving was the stupidest thing we could ever do. But finally, it was me who asked her what she was doing there, why she had come. The woman seemed confused at first, but then realized something and a smile appeared on her lips. She just said “I’ll be waiting in the car” and turned around. Ten minutes later, after saying goodbye to my parents, I was walking towards a car I knew to be hers, even if I hadn’t see it before.

 I opened the passenger door and sat down. I closed the door and she started the engine. She told me my car would be at my home in no time, but I didn’t care because I was beginning to fell like in my dream. Not as scared but I knew something was coming and I had to be calm in order to get to the bottom of everything. The woman drove the car out of the city and after an hour we had traveled several kilometers. We finally arrived to a small, quiet town, where se parked the car in the main square and told me to follow her, once again. We walked two blocks and then we entered a house.

 The house was not abandoned or anything. There was a family watching TV there but they seemed to ignore us, or something stranger… We crossed the house to the other side, where we got to a different street. There, the woman waited for a moment and hen opened another door I hadn’t even seen. I followed her and realized it was the same place where I had been tortured in my dreams.  I turned around to escape but the door was locked. She had sat down on a very old chair and seemed to be in deep thinking about who knows what. It didn’t seem that the torture would continue but, still, I was very nervous and had no intention of staying there more than was necessary. I wondered who she was and why I was following her like a mad man but felt the answers would not come easily.

 She finally seemed to remember where she was and walked towards me. She got closer, as if she want to kiss me but in reality she just checked my neck. Then, I felt a very horrible pain in the neck, where she had touched, falling to the ground as if was much more pain than I could resist standing up. Somehow, it felt like I had blood all over my hands and neck but when the pain passed, I realized there was nothing there, I was clean. I could see that she was now by a table, checking something that was apparently small in size. I had a thought of killing her and ending all of this in a single moment but then I realized I had nothing to do it with. Not a knife or even a good piece of wood.

 The woman turned around and indicated me to come to her side. I complied, but I really didn’t trust her and I did it even less now that she had taken something from me. That something was the thing she had been checking on the table, a small object shaped like a cylinder. Actually, it was bigger than what I felt in my dreams and the moment she had taken it out. And why wasn’t there any blood if that thing had been inside of me? I realized then that I had been left alone, that the woman was nowhere to be seen. I ran to the door and realized it was still locked, putting a very string barrier between me and everything outside. I wanted to run away, to just stop reliving that stupid dream but I couldn’t, somehow it was all real.

 I checked the object on my hand and felt something strange, as if I knew what it was used for. My gut told me it was some kind of implant to follow me, to make sure I did whatever the person that had put that on me wanted me to do. But why would I be of anyone’s interest? I was a failed artist that survived working the most menial job in a bank where, every single day, I just wanted to kill myself or at least kill several other people. Why would anyone be interested in following me or doing anything to my life or my body? Weren’t there others that were at least much more interesting in any aspect?

 The woman came back but this time she didn’t lock the door. She told me she had been checking on the object with people she knew and realized it was an old implant that was no longer functioning on the moment of extraction. She also said that, while it had probably some effect on my behavior for the last few years, it had stopped whatever it was it was meant to do several years ago. But that was even stranger because why would someone put an implant on a young person that had nothing to gain or loose form life? Why where they monitoring me? And who were they?  But she didn’t have those answers, she said she only tracked to device and found me and just needed to know which ones were still active and which ones weren’t.

 Apparently, although she didn’t say it in full words, she was doing all of this out of guilt. She had worked with the creators of the devices and now felt it was her moral obligation to remove them all; before they had any serious consequences on the people they had been implanted in. It was pretty alarming, but during all that time she was talking, explaining her reasons and trying for me to understand who she was and what she had been doing, I just wanted to kill her. It was a feeling I had never felt before, like an urge but it was becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. I wanted to feel her neck broken in my hands and the taste of her blood. And then, I noticed she had seen it in me.

 Too late. I launched myself at her and tried to strangle her with my own two hands. I pressed hard, feeling her fighting against my superior strength and superior mind. Her life was running out and I smiled because that’s what I wanted. I not just her but everyone else too. I realized my goal was to kill every single person in the world and that, if I wanted to do it, I could do it. I smile even more and when she stopped breathing, I laughed and felt like I was in the happiest place in the world. I left her lifeless body on the floor and the smiled all around me, realizing my poor and might and thinking of how much more I could do for my needs and for me. The world was absolutely mine.


 I got out of the house and walked up the street, now in the dark as the night had fallen during my stay in that awful place. I kept smiling for some more until I got a bullet straight between my eyes and fell to the ground. I died instantly but the fun part was that I hadn’t died. Somewhere far away, I woke up again and realized something worse had been done to me. Not only that device had turned me into a murder, it wasn’t a piece of metal to know where I was but whom I was. The one that died was just a clone that had gone insane and the real me… Well, I still don’t know where I am. But I’m scared of what might come.

sábado, 5 de septiembre de 2015

World of twilight

   Somehow, the temperature had begun to drop so fast it was impossible to get used to. The days turned darker and it was some sort of twilight that ruled over the world instead of the light people had enjoyed for so long. No one knew exactly why this was happening but many people pollution and others climate change. But it didn’t matter what humanity thought of the matter, the planet had changed and it was beginning to die faster that ever before. Animals and plants started disappearing forever and people had to build new homes in order to survive. Whatever had happened it was too late to fix it and people had no other way but to endure what had come for them. Many died in the first few weeks.

 Not all people had been created to resist something like this. Most humans had been too comfortable in recent times to even bother to think: “What if everything changes? Am I going to be ready?”. No one asked that and that’s why people just died in the middle of the streets or even killed themselves. They had no idea how to survive, how to keep going, so they chose death over life. But others did endure because they loved life so much they couldn’t just let it go. Some people got organized and created small communities that moved around the globe looking for a better climate and others occupied places where they could live a sheltered life, surviving by eating bugs or whatever there was at hand. They did what they had to do and no one in those groups ever complained.

 In one of those groups, of the kind that migrated around the world, there was a woman named Ylia. Before the transformation, she had a family consisting of a husband and two children. She wasn’t rich but she wasn’t poor either. She had a good life, living in a small apartment and working for a small tourism office. She wasn’t exceedingly happy about her life but it was her family that made her happy and fulfilled. She had always dreamed to go with them to one of the destinations she showed her clients and had been saving for that everything changed. The transformation took her children and then her husband, mad with pain and grief, killed himself when she was out trying to find some food.

 Since then, Ylia decided to start moving. She broke in several abandoned stores and gathered winter clothes and tried to get some food but she could only get her hands in frozen fish. So every night she would make a small fire with some igniting stones and eat the frozen fish, that was always small and tasteless but it was better than to eat nothing. She moved on foot and off the roads, in order to avoid groups of people that had come to realize how much they loved to kill people. According to them, as humanity was already doomed, they only wanted to help by moving on with the process. So Ylia stayed far from roads and turned off her fires when she was done cooking her fish.

 One day, when she was doing that same thing, she noticed a presence near her. It was something scary, as if she was about to be attacked by monsters or something. So she stood up and yelled like mad towards the tall grass around her. Soon, a group of three children came out of the grass. They were all filthy and it was obvious they hadn’t had anything to eat for days. She could see the rib cage of one of them. They didn’t talk, just sat down near her and stayed there. She took some of her fish and cooked a piece for every one of them. To be honest, she did it kind of reluctantly because the fish was not eternal and soon she would have to start hunting or stealing something else. She had to feed herself and know; apparently these ids needed her in order to survive.

 When the light was even dimmer in the world, she knew it was night so she lay down in the ground and the children did the same. She didn’t have anything to give them to sleep better but the only thing she could for them is to ask them to sleep all together, all very close to one another in order to keep the heat. They seemed to understand, so they got close to her and fell asleep fast. It was difficult not to think about his own children, who had no chance against this kind of life, against the destruction of what humanity used to mean and of the world, that had become visibly fed up with every single person. It wasn’t a secret any more that our own world wanted us out fast.

 The next day, Ylia and the children started walking up, through the forest towards the tallest part of the hills that separated the city from the ocean. Her logic was that maybe the ocean creature had not died out yet, so maybe there was a way to catch something to eat before it died or got extinct soon. But having the children with her proved good and bad at the same time.  They were fast and agile but sometimes they got tired really fast and she needed to have a certain rhythm when going cross-country like this. In the mornings she would always tell them that they needed to be fast and never to stop for hunger or thirst. All of that could wait once they were safe somewhere else.

 But they were children and she knew she couldn’t ask that much of them. They were often afraid and even one of them seemed to be closer to death that the other two. She didn’t discuss it because she didn’t want to face something like that again, but it was obvious he wasn’t doing well.  The day arrived when they saw the end of the hills and knew the ocean could not be very far. But then, an arrow flew directly at the sick child, taking his life. The others reaction was slow and Ylia had to push the other two children in order to avoid the arrows that flew their way.

 Hidden behind a rock, Ylia confirmed what she had thought: it was a group of killers and they knew there were more humans to kill. A bit nervous but resolved, Ylia came out of hiding, surprising the children, and took out a gun she had hidden inside her big coat. It was a revolver that she started shooting with, wounding at least three of the members of the killer gang. She was not very good at shooting and new she wouldn’t manage to kill anyone but she was successful in scaring the hell out of them. They all ran, turning back to where they had come from. When they disappeared, Ylia and the children when back to where the kid had fallen and decided to bury him beneath the rocks that covered the hillside. She was about the leave the place when she saw the children doing something she hadn’t seen in a while: they were praying.

 They spent some time there, the children praying and Ylia thinking what their next move should be. She knew she needed a better weapon than the one she had but that revolver was the only thing she could find. In fact, it was that revolver that took away her husband’s life. But had not thought about him when she fired towards the killers. She had not thought of anything. Ylia realized she was becoming like all those people that were just shadows of what they used to be, just killers or machines that lived but not really liked to be alive. Ylia was on that edge but she knew she wouldn’t be there for long.

 With the remaining children she started walking towards the ocean. She knew it couldn’t be too far so she kept on walking, despite the complaining of the children that did not talk but did growl and complain on their own way.  She gave them some hours to rest but then they were attacked again. More arrows fell off the sky, like rain, and landed in one of the children, killing him and on Ylia’s shoulder. She took the hand of the remaining child and ran like mad towards where she thought the ocean was. They didn’t stop for a minute and then she knew the kid wouldn’t survive. She was carrying dead weight and it may be her fault that he was dead. He collapsed a few minutes later, dead too.


 She went on alone, running at times but tired and bleeding from her should. Ylia looked around and then ran and then stopped and ran again. She was erratic and insecure because she knew what had come. Then, she heard the sound of the waves and felt sand that was wet. Her happiness filled her so much that she just ran towards the water and got in the ocean, wanting to swim there and drink the water even if it was salty. But it wasn’t. The ocean was now acidic and she had just drunk a huge amount of poison, not unlike cyanide. Ylia died with a rather disturbing smile on her face and with the realization that she had done what she could but her death and everyone else’s, was already written.