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

viernes, 3 de marzo de 2017

Cold town

   It started very early one morning, as everyone in town was sleeping. It was very unusual but every single person was asleep and didn’t see the clouds forming in the darkness and the first tiny rocks of hail fall from the sky. What awoke most of them, hours later, was the sound of thousands of little balls of ice falling from the sky and hitting their windows and roofs with a certain insistence. Only some dared to go outside and check on their belongings like cars and such. It wasn’t safe.

 The white curtain created by the downpour looked almost solid at one moment. Everyone was fascinated by it, mainly because they had never really seen hail or anything similar to ice falling from the sky. The small town was located in a warm area, not that far from the sea. So the occurrence of a hailstorm was extremely rare and certainly very special for everyone there. Every social gathering was canceled and every family had to stay home, without studying or working.

 This resulted in very interesting conversations between members of families. People that didn’t really have a great relationship started speaking about something that they thought was interesting and harmless in a way too. They hall had theories as to why they had been hit by a hailstorm but the most people popular theory was that there was a cold front that came rushing in from the south and it collided with the very warm weather of their valley and then created the hail.

 The point was that everyone now was talking, every house in town had member that were now sharing thoughts and, after a few hours, those theories did not have a limit: some people found it easier then to explain to their children how babies came into the world and children would understand very fast. Other families discussed things they had left buried and unspoken and suddenly they were all solving problems that had been harassing them for years.

 It was difficult to explain. Some blamed the actual hail, others the temperature and others the fact that people had been made to stay in the same rooms and houses as their families, making them talk to each other. But they could have stayed as before, not speaking and having secrets from one another. There was something, some kind of special mood that made the families share what they had been ignoring on purpose for so long. Of course, not every scene in town was of love and beauty. Some were harsh as the truth is not always the prettiest of situations.

 But they talked and that was advancement. In a town were many fathers refused to hug and kiss their sons, it was a huge progress that they had started doing that, as the storm grew stronger towards the afternoon. Many years later, some elders said the water contained in the fallen hail had formerly been holy water from a special source. Others said a native shaman had enchanted the pieces of ice with a spell to make people truthful. They all had different and imaginative answers.

 It appeared to be that people were afraid to say they had feelings and that they had acknowledged that for a moment. Because after the storm, everything returned to normal and it made the situation in town much harder than usual. It was the reason for many of the younger people to leave that region and look for a better place for them. They had tasted a bit of something they had loved and now they wanted their lives to be exactly like that all the time, filled with love and not secrets.

 The elders and most of the parents returned to their old ways of not talking to their children and keeping all of who they were deep into themselves. Inside, they feared that they may have gone too overboard with their display of feelings but no one really thought it was like that. Everyone agreed that being open was the best option for all but they all thought this in secret. They did not dare to change what they had been doing for so long, even after the so-called magic in the hail.

 All the inhabitants that had been born over thirty years ago had develop something like a shell around them. They all had it and it was because during their times as children and teenagers, the exposure of feelings and displays of affection were deemed a weakness and something real men wouldn’t do. As for women, it was something one could expect from them but it should never be discussed or addressed in any way. In that part of the world, people had been raised to be like that.

 Young people had also been raised like that but it was the hailstorm that awoke something in them. It made them realize that things didn’t have to be as they had always been. Maybe there could be a little bit more honesty or love in the world. With the memories of everything said and done during the hailstorm, they decided to leave their homes as soon as they were able to and made a promise to always look for a truthful life, never falling back to the old ways of their families and ancestors. That’s why they all left, leaving that small town to die slowly.

 The ones that stayed there died in the following years, at a faster rate than normal. People from other regions came to investigate, as the mortality rate had accelerated in a fantastic manner. Some believed it had to do with a mysterious disease or something like that but no disease was ever found among the dead. Yet, for some reason, every inhabitant of that town was dying much younger than normal and out of nowhere, without any symptoms prior to their untimely death.

 Every day someone died and only one baby was born in the span of six months. Those rare babies would also day after a couple of days. Some people left town during those times but they weren’t many, just scared of death. Maybe that had made them decided they were maybe better off somewhere else. But that was a very rare decision to make, as most people stayed in town to die. Some days one, some other days up to five people would die. All in peace, not violently.

 They were no memorial services, not for any of the dead. They were just buried in the graveyard, and that was it. Life continued after that but in melancholic manner, as if it was slowly giving up on everything that had a beating heart. Investigators looking into the deaths reported in town, were driven away not long after by the sadness and depressing vibes that place had for people that did have warm blood running through their bodies, making them alive.

 The thing was that, all of the people there, the ones that had stayed, were not alive anymore, not like a normal human being. They had been dead inside for quite some time, way before the day the hailstorm hit them with its mysterious aura. It wasn’t anyone’s fault but theirs that they were cold and emotionless. They had decided to be like that, blaming their parents and their beliefs. They decided to accept the world as it was, instead of trying to leave their personal mark in it.

 A couple of years later, every single inhabitant of that town was dead. The graveyard came to be one of the largest in that country and only curious eyes would visit it. Family would not come and friends had never existed. Their houses slowly crumbled to pieces and in a couple of decades, no one even remembered such a place ever existed. And no one ever tried to rebuilt or anything like that. It was a done deal.

miércoles, 22 de febrero de 2017

Everything is nothing

   As the blood dripped down to the floor, getting the thick white carpet wet and stained, the man just looked through the window, contemplating the lights of the city that had been his home for so many years. He hadn’t been born there but he felt as if he had. He had always felt like someone from the city and not the son of a farmer. Either way, it had all lead him to that moment in his life and he realized by looking at the city that he was all alone, as he was on the farm all those years ago.

 His name was Alan and his blood was very dark. He barely felt it sliding down is hand, his fingers, falling almost silently to the floor. The dagger he had used, an old antique he had bought on a trip to Vietnam, laid in the sofa. It was clean because his blood had not rushed out from him but had rather been very slow to come out, as if his body was trying to hold on to life as long as it could. But he had decided his own faith and there was nothing that could save him from it. There was no turning back.

 His apartment was very large, with five bedrooms, each with a bathroom. The kitchen had a lot of space to do all kinds of recipes and the cabinets added an almost never-ending amount of storage space. The living room was the part of the apartment where he stood, barefoot, looking at the twinkling lights of the city below. He had other antiques all around the house, including on his dinner table and the small lobby where he had greeted so many of his so-called friends and family.

 There was no family anymore. Helen had left months ago. She argued it was because of him, because he failed to touch her as much as she wanted too and hadn’t really been a sweet and caring husband during their short marriage. He had a different point of view to the matter: Alan knew his wife had been sleeping with someone, almost from the first day they had been married. He had pictures and even a couple of witnesses. But he wasn’t the kind of man to play all his cards at once.

 By the way, what she had said was the truth: Alan had never really loved Helen. The real thing was that Alan had never cared for anyone in his life. He had been born into a poor family with two sisters and three brothers. That house did not have any love either, just responsibilities. He had learned from a young age that what mattered was to work like a horse every day of your life to make some money and to be someone. To make people tremble when they heard your name, if possible. And Alan had dedicated his life to achieve exactly that.

 His eyes were beginning to go foggy and he stumbled bit, almost banging his head against the window’s glass. But he didn’t fell down; he remained where he was, his blood dripping still. He felt thirsty but he didn’t even try to go to the kitchen for something to drink. He just stood there, remembering how Helen had thought she had the moral high ground when they argued for the last time. She was an overly dramatic woman and he asked himself often why he had chosen her and not another.

 Well, that had a rather simple answer: she had been there when she was necessary. Helen was the daughter of a wealthy man, very well known in the business circuit. As Alan was climbing levels, he realized he had to have someone by his side to be supported by others. For some reason, people still mistrust someone that has chosen not to have a family or even not getting married. And Alan was one of those but he had to fake he was just like them. So he met Helen and eventually married her.

 The relationship lasted for less than three years. During that time, she slept with another man at least three of the seven nights of the week. Other three nights she spent at her family home, where her father and mother would shield her against her “horrible husband”. Only one night a week she spend it in her actual home, where she bitched and moaned at everything because that was the way she was, always trying to end something she had agree on building too, whether she remembered or not.

 Alan was not the kind of man to fall in love or have lovers. He had never hired a prostitute or even visited a strip club. He didn’t feel any of those urges that are the norm among men. And no, he didn’t felt it either for men or other living creatures. He didn’t really have any perversions of the mind or of the soul, at least not related to his romantic interests. That was because he had none. Love was not one of his priorities in life. It had never been like that and it would never be.

 It was probably the reason why, after living his farm at a young age and thanks to his own efforts getting a scholarship, he just left his family and never saw them again. They tried to contact him several times and he even checked on them she had checked on his wife, but every time he got information on them he realized he wanted them far from everything he had. His family was greedy and could be summed up as a group of awful people, stepping on each other to climb little bit further. They were awful and Alan did not want to have anything to do with them,

 With no family and no need or urge to love or even to fuck someone, Alan had always been alone. Because, of course, friends hadn’t been a priority either. No friends had meant that he finished high school and college much faster than anyone else. It had meant for him that no money was thrown into useless things like alcohol or drugs, instead he did the best investments possible and got much more money than he had always needed. Friends would have only been a distraction.

 He had always been alone and he had always been fine with been alone. Those long and luxurious trips he had gone to in order to get half of the things he had on his house, had been done by himself. He had no guides and no nagging wife telling him anything. He had enjoyed the purity of those places and he had even felt he belonged to something greater than him, something he had never reflected on in his life. Knowing the world changed some of his preconceptions on people and the world.

 His family was not religious so he had never learned what it meant to have faith. His wife was supposedly catholic but he had never seen her got to mass or say something in that regard. When he traveled, he discovered that spiritual side that had never really been in him. He started having many ideas about it and would spend long nights trying to decipher his own sense of religion and faith. For Alan, it was something fascinating to discover but he never really became a fanatic. He knew when to stop.

 It was during that study of faith, when he realized the kind of life he had lived. In general, nothing too bad could be said about it. His business movements had always been clean, he had tried to provide for a wife who hated him and had attempted to save various artifacts that he thought could be lost if he didn’t buy them and put them on display in his apartment. In his mind, he had done many good things and nothing that could be classified as “bad”. But he was very wrong.

 He had lived a sad, pathetic life, alienating everyone from it. Religion showed him that living with others improved a person’s well being, it improved their lives in ways he had never even thought possible. His life had been lost to material things, to what does not remain.

 Realizing he had done nothing with his life, that he had decided not to give any of what he had to an heir, Alan decided fast and firmly, as he had always done. He grabbed his precious dagger and cut his wrists the best way he could. And then waited, because there was nothing left to do.

jueves, 18 de agosto de 2016

The monastery

   The poor creature did it al by itself. It had carried the body of a lost hiker after almost dying in an avalanche. The donkey was exhausted and collapsed after crossing the gate of the monastery. Monk Yato was crossing the yard in order to get to the kitchen and was the first one to see the poor animal and the person it had brought to them. By the touch of his fingers, Yato noticed the donkey had died. It was probably due to exhaustion. As far as the man was concerned, Yato and other monks carried him to one of the rooms.

 He was in some kind of coma for almost a week. Every so often, monks would check on him and realize that he was doing great except for the fact that he was fast asleep. But life in the mountains went on, no matter how interesting it was to have someone from the outside so close by. The younger monks were the most curious ones, whereas the older ones hadn’t cared yet and had decided not to visit the tourist at all

During that week, the monks held a small vigil for the soul of the donkey, which they had buried near the main temple of the monastery. They all appreciated a lot what animals could do for humanity and had a tremendous respect for any kind of life that was lost during accidents in the mountains. The men from beyond didn’t seem too convinced by this but the monks believed it with all their hearts.

 One week after, the hiker woke up in the middle of the night. His name was Greg Emerson and he had been climbing almost every single mountain nearby. It was very dangerous as some of the mountains had special regulations but it had been clear he didn’t care about it, at all. When he woke up in the small room they had put him in, he instantly thought he had been captured by some foreign force from beyond the mountain range. He had no idea of monks or their beliefs.

 The halls were being watched and his bedroom’s window overlooked a large chasm with no apparent bottom. The morning after, when one of the monks decided to check on him, Greg committed the mistake of being excessively aggressive. He thought he was too strong, so he released the man in order to stand up and run away. But the monk had not being that injured and jumped at him, tacking Greg to the ground with ease.

 He was locked up in the cell once again and no one came to tell him anything for a whole day. It was very late when he noticed the movement of a light behind his cell’s door and then some steps. He trusted he was going to be released real soon. When the door opened, it was the Grand Monk, a very small mall that seemed to move his legs really fast in order to move at a normal pace.

 When he entered the cell, he told Greg that he knew who he was, his full name, his job in the city and why he had come to the mountains. He even knew that that his reason for wanting to get to know the mountains and nature was false and that’s why he had been confined to that cell until he got better. Now that he was, they had to check if it was in their best interest to release him or if it was better to keep him for a longer time. He complained, saying it wasn’t legal and ethic to retain someone against their will but the Grand Monk clarified he could leave his room but not the monastery.

 The following day, he noticed the Grand Monk’s orders had been honest: no more monks came to check into him and the door of his cell was now wide open. He could walk all around the various levels of the monastery, including the dining room where all of the monks gather at night to have a very sensible and small dinner. Greg missed the real foods from the city, sometimes being hungry for a hotdog and other times for some pasta with meatballs. In the monastery there was only a lame kind of bread with nothing on it and some goat cheese.

 One day, a monk showed him the burying site of the donkey that had brought him to the monastery. Greg remembered that creature and thanked him on his grave for having saved him. As far as he could remember, he had been riding the donkey for a while through the mountains just when they had been caught by one of those awful storms that sometimes happens deep in the mountains. During that awful weather, he had been knocked out and the animal had done everything by itself. 

 Weeks after being “released” from his room, the Grand Monk ordered him to participate in the various activities that the monks did all around the monastery, as he was one more of them for at least a while. So they decided to try him in various areas. The first one was the garden, a small hydroponic plantation overlooking the chasm. He wasn’t very good with plants so he did not do a great job. Besides, his hand were not at all delicate and he was always distracted, looking over at the view or being apparently immersed in his thoughts about how he would return to civilization.

 The next place they tied him on was the goat pen. It was really simple: he only had to fee them twice a day and let the roam around the main yard for a while. The ideal walk for the goats would be to go beyond the gate but they couldn’t let him go with them there so the monk had to tolerate the goats being all over the place now and Greg being useless when feeding them. He only gave food to a couple of them and then he just got distracted when looking at the snowy mountains and imagining what his loved ones were thinking right then.

 His last opportunity was in the kitchen, where a big Monk called Hitso, taught him about how to make the simple bread they ate and how to do some other dished with the vegetables they grew in their small garden.  They didn’t have any modern appliances, only an oven that used wood but there was no wood nearby that they could use. Beside, Hitso explained to Greg that the monks preferred not to eat things that were cooked, instead eating everything raw.

 In the kitchen, Greg really felt he was a little bit happier. Maybe it was the fact that he was serving the monks and that gave him some kind of purpose or it may have been the fact that he had stopped thinking about how to escape and about his loved ones in the city. He just realized that the monastery was his reality at the moment and that it was best to use it in his advantage instead of always being distracted by other things.

 Greg began to enjoy the company of all the monks and even tried to meditate like they did but he wasn’t that calm yet. In his spare time, he would look at the chasm and wonder what marvels laid down there, beyond the light of the sun. Monk Yato explained to him that the monastery had been built right there because their religion believed an ancient evil slept beneath the darkness of the chasm and that it was necessary to have prepared religious people nearby in order to defend the world once whatever lived down there emerged.

 It was a very nice story and, of course, Greg didn’t believe any part of it but he respected the fact that the monks were dedicated to their beliefs. He began thinking that maybe that was something he was lacking. He didn’t believe in anything except fame and fortune and going on to the next thing. Greg was very impatient and had always been like that. He wasn’t the kind of person to wait patiently to see what happened. No, he was the one “creating” his future. Now he was doing the opposite angle.

 Months after arriving in the temple, the Grand Monk called Greg to his room and told him he was ready to go back to the outside world. The young man nodded but then he knelt and asked the old monk to let him stay with them and become a monk like them. He wanted to learn their ways and be calm and a better person.

 But the Grand Monk said that couldn’t be. He had to go back to the outside because he had unresolved business there. Greg had to attend to that and, if he still wanted, he could comeback afterwards and join them. Greg left that same afternoon. He would never come back to the monastery but would always remember what he had learned and try to pass it on.