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

jueves, 15 de diciembre de 2016

The president

   In the kitchen, everyone was working at full capacity. There was not a single person standing by, doing nothing. Every single worker was doing something, even if they were just apprentices or the chef himself. All hands were needed for the banquet to go exactly as planned and one of the most important parts of the whole experience was, of course, the food. It wasn’t possible to do a proper banquet without a great menu and the one for that event had been checked at least a hundred times and by a diverse group of people, all with different tastes.

 Of course, the most important person in the whole gala was the president, as he had been the one to organize the event. It wasn’t one of those planned things that took place every single year but an impromptu kind of thing that had arisen from the fact that the president wanted to do a benefit for a cause he thought had not been helped enough in recent years. Public opinion was really divided on the subject but most people admired what he had done and how he had done it. After all, it was very uncommon for a president to stop his work to do something else.

 Some papers were criticizing every single aspect of the event, from the price of the food and the flower arrangements, to the list of guests. Some said it was too big and others too small. Some said he had invited people from the wrong countries and organizations and others praised him exactly for that. It wasn’t new that the press was not in agreement completely; they had always been very divided on the presidency from day one, which had taken place a little more than a year ago, after a very uncommon period of transition.

 Awkward was the better word because the new president had asked the old one to give him an office in the presidential headquarters, as he wanted to check on everything as it happened. Such a thing had never been attempted and a certain distance was thought to be the wisest thing when dealing with such a moment. But from the first moment of him been the president elect of the country, it was very clear he wasn’t going to be like any other president, in the country’s past or in other countries. He was, for lack of a better word, uncommon.

 Very uncommon indeed as he had won in the most unexpected way, when many people had decided it was the best to make a change at the very last minute. Polls had never granted him the presidency and he thought, the morning of the election itself, that he was going to lose for sure but he wanted to go away gracefully so he did something unexpected: he shared the day with people around his city, visiting tourist spots and taking random pictures. Apparently people loved that because in the afternoon, polling stations were filled with voters.

 By the end of the night, he had been declared the winner with over five percent of the vote over the other candidate; a woman everyone had predicted would be the next president. She was the very opposite of him, someone who seemed to have fire in her eyes, always talking with an amount of passion that seemed to much for such a small woman. Millions adored her and, of course, by the big conglomerates that actually controlled the country. She loved to speak about economics and foreign affairs and all such things.

 However, the new president had never really been passionate for anything. To be perfectly honest, he had been chosen out of nowhere by the third most important party in the country. It was predicted that the two most voted parties in the last election would hold the same spots in the new election but that didn’t happen. People were tired of the game between those two parties that, at the end of the day, were exactly the same party if you were to compare their policies on several key elements of people’s lives. They just had slight differences.

 Studies on those elections would last for years, as never had predicted that surge of a third option. And now that third option was organizing an impromptu dinner in honor of a cause many thought wasn’t “attractive” enough. In this day and age, people still thought some subjects were best not spoken out loud, in the open, much less in a fancy dinner table with expensive Champaign and a band playing music from eighty years ago. The president was known by now for his odd choices and that was also reflected on his choice of food.

 The people in the kitchen had elaborated a menu that mixed very high cuisine with foods that everyone loved. The dishes were particularly successful among the special guests of the evening. In other words, the people that were directly affected by the charity they were raising money form. After all, they were all normal people that did not really have experience in fancy dinners and strange food, so the combination of high cuisine experiments with almost fast food, was a success among them and many presidential supporters.

 Of course, the richest people in the event weren’t very thrilled to be eating what were basically hamburgers, hot dogs and fried chicken, in a very old hall that had a long history of elegant banquets to celebrate the riches of the rich, instead of charitable efforts. However, the rich were never shy when it came to donating, as it was the perfect way to pay fewer taxes and to be seen as some kind of savior by the people that were benefitted by that money they didn’t need.

 It was incredible to see how the people, the same that had voted for the president, supported him again on that decision and thought the choices overall were just excellent. Some thought they were funny enough but everyone agreed that it was the necessary shake up that needed to happen in such a stiff political environment. Everyone took things too seriously sometimes and it was nice to see that the president had a sense of humor or at least the capacity to be different. People admired him for that, long before he was a president.

 It was never really clear if he did those things on purpose or if everything was kind of a “happy accident”. Whatever it was, it always seemed to work. It was the same thing when he worked for a large software conglomerate where most of the workers were younger than him and he wasn’t even that old. At first they mistrusted him because they didn’t thought it was possible he would even know about what they did in the company, but after a while he showed everyone how interested and invested he was on the company, surprising them in many ways.

 Of course, he was always nervous. He had even joked that he would love to have a first lady by his side to have someone to hold hands with in the most tense and difficult moments. He even joked he would settle for a first gentleman and some of the journalists laughed out loud that day. He was something very unexpected and was attacked because he wasn’t the same kind of politician everyone had seen once and again for the last hundred years. But that’s exactly why so many people supported him; he was very different from them all.

 Some of his supporters had even organized meetings to help him with some subjects and to get him to talk about things that people felt were important in that moment. And he was gracious enough to hear them, after the meetings he had to attend about the economy or foreign trade or who knows what. He always had time for everyone and he seemed to be happier when talking and sharing with actual people. That’s why some said he was the best president in the world and others said he was a disaster waiting to happen.

 After the gala, he sent the millions won for the charity to the proper people and many were able to find some kind of solace in the fact that he had remembered them as victims. Rumors of a second term were already in the air. But when asked about it, he always laughed loudly and said he would rather end the one he was in first to see if he was successful enough to deserve more time. Of course, three years later, he won by a landslide, another unexpected win.

martes, 13 de diciembre de 2016

Louis's party

It had not been love at first sight. That would have been impossible, as they had met in a place were no one could actually see the other person’s face. Of course, that party was a very secret one and only people that knew other people could have been invited. But the point is that both Rémy and Luc had been invited that night and they had both participated in one of the largest secret parties to take place in all of France and probably all of Europe too. No one knew for sure how big the whole thing was, as one of the most powerful people in the country had organized it.

 The party took place in an actual palace, where other such parties had taken place, maybe three hundred years ago or more. Of course, in those times people did things like crazy, like animals, and they had no rules to make everyone feel their best and leave without any concern. This modern party had many rules and one of the most important ones, the first one in fact, was that it was forbidden for anyone to remove the mask they had been provided by the organized via mail. All masks were identical and there laid one of the key features of the party.

 Technically, every single person was the same. And, according to the rules, they were all the same to the eyes of the organizer and also each other. Of course, they were women and men but, as large as the palace was, there were lots of smaller parties within the big one. Some of those were gender exclusive, some others completely forbid clothes and there was even one where clothes were actually mandatory. It could be said that there was something for everyone and the statement would be true because Louis had made that happen.

 Louis was not his real name but it was the name he liked to be called. He was obsessed by everything that had to do with the reign of Louis the XIVth, so he had chosen that name as his secret identity for everyone to know in order to organize those parties. Of course, no one in the country knew that those gatherings actually existed but there were many rumors and people all around thought it wasn’t that farfetched as rich people tend to have things that no one thinks anyone would need. And a lot of something is always in the mix.

 The location of the party changed every year and after it had happened everything was returned in the most perfect of conditions, in the case the place was rented which happened a lot. Louis was smart enough not to use his own estates, although he was always tempted to do so. He was obsessed with everything being perfect and interior designing was one of his many obsessions. He had houses and flats all over the place and he loved to make them look their best. So he did exactly that with the rentals for his parties, everything had to be perfect.

 Luc was not as rich as Louis but one could say they ran the same circuit. It wasn’t difficult to see him in all “must” parties in the cities, always showing his face in all kinds of events. Luc’s parents had died ten years ago and had left him with a very large fortune. Now his uncle managed the company that his father had built and he let his nephew do whatever he wanted to do. Having been rich from such an early age, Luc had gone crazy in all sorts of predictable ways. His uncle had done a lot to avoid the press trying to destroy him with pictures and other “evidence”.

 He had done a lot of drugs when he was around sixteen years old. He had dated publicly both men and women. He was one of those jetsetters that travel around the world just showing their money to anyone who was willing to watch him. But the interesting thing about him was that he was the most charming young man ever to be found. He never seemed to be showing off and he even had a very caring heart that made him make big donations to many charities and institutions that really help people around the globe.

 Luc was a very weird mix and that’s why some loved him and others loathed him. Of course that happened because of how rich he was and we all know people love to hate people that are out of their reach. But even so that was the case, he didn’t care at all about how people perceived him. He really knew how to live a life where the first thing was to be himself, his original self. That’s how he met Louis, at a party where Luc was being exactly the same guy he always was. And that was very interesting to Louis who loved authentic people.

 Right away, having met him only minutes before, Louis invited Luc to his party and Luc accepted. Of course, he had been to many other parties like that one before, but never one so exclusive and lavish. His normal parties were much raunchier and he didn’t even care if it wasn’t as private as it could be. Of course, that had been a headache for his uncle for many years but now it was him that knew how to handle the press and all other people that the only thing they wanted was a big piece of his wealth or a fragment of his fame.

 It was there, in the annual party thrown by Louis, where Luc met the first person in the world that made him feel something he had never felt before. He wasn’t ready for it, not at all. He had never thought that he would actually fall in love one day. But he did. Not at the party of course, or right away, but it happened in the following months and he suffered, as he had never felt something like it before. It was almost torture but bearable and worth the pain.

 Rémy was the son of a baker and a housewife. He had been raised in one of the more modest neighborhoods in all of Paris. From a very young age, he had realized he liked other men. The day he realized it was one of the few anecdotes he liked to tell his lovers right after having sex and he didn’t really know the reason for it. He just liked to tell them how he looked at all the other boys in his class when he was fourteen years old, in the classroom, in the yard and in the bathroom. He stared and was very attentive of everything they did.

 Some lovers lasted for a few days, even one night. Others lasted much more, even as long as two years. That one was the hardest thing for him because he became numb after that relationship ended. It had been both toxic and ideal, beautiful and a disaster. He never wanted to go through that again so that’s why, every single Friday and Saturday after work, he would go to his small flat, change clothes and then leave for many hours, to visit his favorite places in the city. Some were sex clubs, some were dancing clubs, and some were bars.

 The choice of the day depended on how his week had gone for him. He worked two jobs: one in a magazine were he was practically a delivery boy, even if his parents had sacrificed themselves to give him the best education ever, including an university degree, and another job working as a barista in of the many cafés in the city. He left the second job late at night and he had two hours to prepare for his night out. It was then, in the dark, when he could finally be himself. In time, he heard about Louis’s parties and he really wanted in.

 However, money was needed to enter one of those. Not that the actual entry had a fee but that only people with lots of money could enter one of those meetings. So he did something he had never done before and that was using his sexuality to convince another man to get him invited. Of course, the trick work because, as Remy said himself, there’s nothing easier than convincing a man of doing anything when you have him by the balls, sometimes literally. So he got to the annual party and was surprised to see how others lived a life like his own.

 There, he met Luc. At first it was all about sex, which was fun even with those white masks. But then Luc found him in the “real world” and they began to talk between more sexual encounters. After some time, they stopped with the sex but kept seeing each other, getting to know one another in a way none of the two had ever thought possible. Rémy was very scared of it all as he had never felt like he could be loved, he felt himself too ugly and awful for that. He didn’t know, but Luc felt exactly the same.

viernes, 23 de septiembre de 2016


   The first thing was to remove my clothes. I had no problem with that except that the area destined to that wasn’t at all empty. One of the men that served as janitor in the premises was taking a very long time emptying each one of the trashcans in the area and then two other clients stepped in. But as fast as I could, I used my towel wrapped around my waist first and then I removed the underwear. When I was ready, a woman was expecting me at the door. I thought she might not be very happy about me taking so long to get undressed but the truth was she didn’t seem to mind.

 I followed her through the maze like first floor of the building and then we stopped in front of an elevator. She told me, as if she was telling me something she had learned by heart, that there were no rooms available on the first floor so someone was waiting for me in the fifth floor. I just nodded, as if accepting that would change anything. I was already there, I had paid up front, so nothing I could do would make the slightest different whatsoever. Waiting there for a while was not the most comfortable thing though.

 I always thought they gave you some kind of robe to cover your whole body but that was not the case there. Everyone one I saw, including myself, was wearing just a towel around the waist and that was it. If someone wanted to cover more they had to use their arms or probably ask for a second towel although I had no idea how that would happen, as the workers in that place tended to disappear in the places you needed them the most, like in the dressing room that was filled with other people so it would have been the same if one of them was there.

 In front of the elevator, other clients started stopping by. I was surprised to see a woman but then realized she probably had an urge to do it too so it made sense if you thought about it. A man with his back covered in hair also parked himself in front of the elevator. He was very tall and all his furriness was very distracting. It was like looking at a very large bear or something of the sort. Each one of us was accompanied by someone form the place, which was kind of weird. In any other place, we would have been very easy to pick out from a crowd.

 The elevator finally opened and we all, the six of us, got in. I felt a sudden wave of heat when the doors closed and I realized I had my face only centimeters away from the hairy back of the tall guy. The woman was on a corner, not even faking she was not liking it so much. She wasn’t alone as I had the sudden thought of staying in that elevator once it got back down. There was no way in hell I would be staying in such a place. I had committed a mistake and needed to save myself from it as fast as I could. My mind was racing.

The door finally opened and we all got out at the same time. It was as if we had been liberated from jail or something. Each one of the assistants from the place took each one of us in a different direction and I think we all thanked them for it. I walk by a large quantity of door and then the woman that was leading the way told me to wait inside one of the rooms. She opened the door and revealed a really nice office with something I hadn’t seen in a while: a big window overlooking the city.

 As I stepped in the room, the woman slammed the door behind me leaving me completely alone in a space I had never been in before. I saw the table, the classic one, right there in the middle. There were also some chairs all around and a sofa, although I had no idea why that was there. Was someone staying overnight to sleep in that office? Or did they have an audience each time they were with a client? The seating capacity was unusually high for what I would have expected in such a place. The view though, was the best part of it all.

 I got close to the window and looked in front of me: the city appeared to be all at my feet. The tallest building was not that tall and all the people and cars looked like ants under my feet. As I was barefoot, the sensation was even more powerful and funny. I decided that if I ever won the lottery or if my job gave me the possibilities, I would try to live in that area in order to get that same view from my bedroom and even my bathroom. Imagining that made me smile like an idiot and ignore that the door had been opened moments ago.

 My towel almost fell to the floor the moment a person coughed, obviously trying to get my attention. I thought they would knock first or something but no, that wasn’t a thing in that place. When I turned around to see the person I would be involved with for the next hour, I realized there was something wrong. Well, not wrong but it wasn’t like I was expecting it. The person who had coughed was a man. Granted, he was a very handsome man who was probably very good at his job but I wasn’t expecting a male on my first time there.

 He noticed my hesitation to get near him and it was him who walked towards me and extended his hand for me to shake it. We did that and it was very amazing to feel that the man was very calm and had one of those smiles that make you very mellow in a second. He told me that the person assigned to me wasn’t going to make it so they had decided to send him instead. He apologized for that and hoped I didn’t mind him being assigned to me. I was so relaxed by only watching his face that I didn’t answer with words but only by shaking my head affirmatively, with a silly smile.

 Out of the blue, he grabbed one of my hands and I thought I was about to burst into happiness. Why did it felt so right, so perfect? I had no idea back then and I couldn’t find the reason why many days afterwards. His touch was a very special thing, that was for sure. He took me to the table in the center and told me to lay down there for him. Again, I nodded and smiled like an idiot, unable to actually talk like any human would normally do. There was something about him that made me act like that and I didn’t care what it was at the moment.

 I laid down on the table for him, still smiling. I looked at the ceiling as I smiled and I was so distracted by my strange behavior that I didn’t notice he had already started. His hands were a little bit warmer than before. They glided down my skin with grace. My body started feeling every single touch as if it was the first contact with anyone in my life. It was such a strange feeling to have but I certainly like it and I think I got him to know that a couple of times.

 He started on my arms and then on my neck area and then my chest. It was a really nice experience. People had told me that it sometimes hurt but I realized they had all been wrong or had visited awful places because that guy was making me feel as if he was taking layers and layers of unnecessary stuff from me. He was taking away all the things my body didn’t need anymore and I truly began to feel lighter, to feel as if I could float away and wander around the room if he wasn’t there to hold my body. It was a very nice feeling.

When he moved on the legs, I have to say the magic went away for a second. I have always been ashamed of my legs so having someone touch them was not a very easy thing for me. But he did his jobs in such a way; I just didn’t care about my problems anymore. As he did my legs, he asked me to turn around in order to do the rest. I complied almost without hesitation, turned around in an instant. In that moment, I didn’t want such an amazing experience to end. I felt so much better than when I had entered the building.

 He finished with my legs and then did my back and neck in order to finish. When I felt his hands off me, I felt a bit sad. So sad in fact, that I laid there way too long. When I turned around to ask for his name, he was gone. The woman that had brought me there was waiting at the door, again. We took the elevator down; I dressed in the locker room and left feeling much better than I had ever felt before. But I was also wondering about him, I could still feel his hands all over my body. Who thought a day in the spa would be so rewarding?

martes, 13 de septiembre de 2016

Anne Cheevers and the mystery at Caltot

   The sound of the train passing over the tracks had been enough for her to fall asleep. But now that she was waking up, the sound seemed to be louder, much less calming. Anne had decided to visit her aunt Sylvia once in the spring, as her mother had asked her so many years ago, way before she had died in that horrible accident with her father. It was a tragedy the family didn’t discuss openly but that had carved deep scars between all of them. The deepest one had to do with the Cheever girls, Anne and her sister Marissa, having to run the business her father had owned. Her aunt and uncles had wanted that for themselves but her father had been very clear now in his will.

As Anne watched the trees pass by her the window beside her, she felt suddenly annoyed. Even with the shiny sun outside and the beautiful scenery of the region, she couldn’t forget the reason she was there: her sister Marissa, who was older and supposedly wiser, had realized running a store such as her fathers was a very difficult task that needed the hand of a strong man. After all, the times they lived in weren’t precisely easy for young women like them and not one or the other had chosen a bachelor yet. The fact that they were orphans made the deal even harder to achieve, as most parents would be quite disturbed to have to arrange everything with the bride instead that with her parents. Traditions were not something people threw away often in that corner of the world.

 Aunt Sylvia had married Octavius Potter, a businessman who owned a very well known chain of new restaurants called Norma’s. Those places were supposed to bring the charm of country cuisine into the big cities and towns of the country and, by whatever rumors Marissa had been listening to, apparently Potter was hitting the jackpot with such an invention. People hadn’t heard about anything like that in this side of the ocean and, naturally, they were all eager to try out something new and exciting that everyone just wanted to experience. Even Anne had been to a Norma’s restaurant with Marissa but their experience had left a lot to be desired.

 As she contemplated a small town of beautiful small red houses, Anne remembered the dreadful deserts and sour tea she had tasted with her sister in that restaurant. And the comments from their friends who had visited were not much better. Maybe it was that branch in particular that wasn’t really working up to Mr. Potter’s expectations but Marissa soon forgot all about that when she heard about the money. It was what they needed. The small convenience store managed by the Cheevers was going through a very rough season and, if they couldn’t find a solution, they would have to close down the store that their father had inherited from their grandpa, who had established it himself at a very young age. It would be the disgrace of their name and the final nail in the marriage coffins.

 As the train started to hit the brakes, Anne felt she was sweating. Of course, she was very nervous about seeing her aunt again. They hadn’t talked since her parent’s funeral and after that not even a letter had been exchanged. She knew everything was going to be tense and Marissa had had the stupid idea to make her stay there for a whole week. As she stood up to grab her suitcase from the upper compartment, Anne realized that she was there and there was no turning back. She owed it to her parents to try to make the best sales pitch ever to her aunt and her husband in order for their lives not to be ruined for good.

 However, as she stepped on the platform of the station, she couldn’t see her aunt Sylvia or Octavius Potter anywhere in the vicinity. Many people descended along with her, so the platform got very crowded and she decided it was better to stand outside and wait for them to arrive there. But nothing happened either. Everyone who had come for a passenger, or had been a passenger themselves, had already left. There was no one else there except an old man who appeared to manage schedules and helped people in need although it wasn’t very clear who would need any help in such a small station. It had to be said that Mr. Potter, although managing a successful business, had decided to leave rather away from the spotlight, in a small town called Caltot. So Anne was not very surprised to not see a single soul near her for the following hour.

 Yes, Anne had to wait for up to an hour in the shade, trying to keep her hair from curling further and her skin from being exposed to the damaging sunlight. She was about to lose it when a young man, about her age, appeared on a bicycle. He stopped in front of her and talked as if they had been acquainted for quite some time. The truth was that Anne was so shocked at this behavior that she didn’t even acknowledge what the man was saying. Out of nowhere, she turned around, grabbed her suitcase from the floor and entered the station again. She had decided to go back home.

 The young man rapidly crossed her path and talked to her again, slowly and looking straight into her eyes to make sure she was listening this time. He didn’t grab her, yelled or did anything inappropriate. He just said he had been sent by Mr. Potter to pick her up at the station, as they knew she would be arriving momentarily. They apologized for not being able to pick her up themselves, but apparently everyone was too busy in their house and couldn’t be bothered to just go to the station and pick their relative. Anne calmed down and the man waited until she seemed less furious. Then he suggested she jumped onto the bike and rode with him but that made Anne even more furious so the boy realized he should stop talking and just decided to walk back to the house.

 As they walked over the narrow streets of the town, he told Anne he was Mr. Potter’s assistant. He was in charge of getting everything his boss needed in order to be comfortable in any given day. Normally, he would only do things related to work but often Mr. Potter had other demands that had nothing to do with work. Out of nowhere, Anne said that was appalling. As she lived in the city, she knew how horrible it could be to work without a proper pay. Granted, she was a woman and there was no real way she could know anything for a fact, but she assured the young man she wouldn’t rest until she got a fair pay.

 Then she stopped and went all red. Not only because she talked so candidly to that man but also because she hadn’t been a proper lady. She did not know her name. He said his name with a big smile on his face, as he was proud of something he hadn’t chosen for himself. Frederick March. He was called March by Mr. Potter but everyone else in town called him Fred. They shook hands, as Anne presented herself to him in a manner that made him smile even further. She stopped short when she realized she was being mocked. As headstrong as she was, Anne decided not to talk anymore with Fred, instead leading him into the town and towards the Potter’s house but that ended shortly because, of course, she had no idea where to go. Fred was kind enough not to laugh anymore although Anne felt he smiled behind her back.

 Once they arrived at the house, Anne realized all the rumors were true: the house was enormous and occupied a large portion of the side of the main square of town. The church was directly across it and the city hall was just on the side. It was beautifully decorated. So magnificent were the paintings on the wood on the outside, that Anne had to step away from the building to appreciate it better. Fred told her that the house had been restored completely by Mr. Potter, just a couple of months after him moving here with Anne’s aunt. Fred also said the lady of the house could be very strong in character but she made her voice be heard and her opinion be respected.

 Anne wanted to know more about Fred’s perception of her aunt as he said this, because the hard truth was that she didn’t know anything about her own relative. They had been apart for so long that the girl even doubted she actually knew what her aunt looked like. Two seconds afterwards, the front door of the house burst open: her aunt was there, breathing heavily, her hands and face covered in blood. She was hysterical, crying and yelling and saying something. Both Fred and Anne ran to help but the scene they saw through the threshold of the house was enough to freeze them solid: Octavius Potter had his intestines out and about, leaning against a piece of furniture.

 As Anne tried not to keep watching the horrible scene, she heard her aunt say: “I didn’t do it!” She sobbed so hard everyone in town was attracted to the square and, in no time, Anne saw herself submerged in a mystery she could have never seen coming, or the people of Caltot, which she would be able to get to know very well in the upcoming days.