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

viernes, 14 de julio de 2017

Encounters

   The creature had disappeared into the forest, never to be seen again. Its awful grimace was imprinted in their brains, a horrible smile that awoke their biggest fears and darkest nightmares. The only thing that it had told them was that the planet they were in was called something he couldn’t repeat in their language but that they could easily relate that word with something like “Somber”. So that was the dreary name of the tree filled planet they had appeared in, only a few days ago.

 The taller guy touched his chest, uncomfortable. He had failed to notice a small pain, for the last hours. They had been running and walking for so long, he had prioritize survival and had not really paid attention to himself or the news he had received fairly recently. It was kind of strange to see a man that had received news so devastating, just walking through a forest, thinking of what animal to catch next. The fact that he had a heart problem was the least of his issues.

 The smaller guy, on the other side, had been thinking about it all the way since they had appeared in the planet. He didn’t wanted to talk about it if his partner didn’t want to, and he had made it clear he didn’t want to talk about such an important matter, but it bothered him. The fact that something might happen and he would lose the only other person nearby was very difficult to accept. Besides, he felt something different from the times they were in the resistance and thinking about it didn’t help.

 Finally, they stopped walking when the sun set behind a snow-capped mountain. They had been following a path through a valley and now they were on the slopes of a big mountain. The good thing was the trees were shorter, so they could see more of the place they were in. The tall guy was the hunter that night, catching some kind of big bird, very similar to a turkey but with the capacity of flying. They ate it in silence and when the time came to sleep, they did it separately.

 They couldn’t really sleep though. Both of them felt they needed to talk to the other. But when one of them decided to open his mouth, an explosion could be heard across the valley. They stood up right away, grabbed their stuff and run up to the top of the mountain. It was very cold there but it was pretty nearby and it was the only way to get away from the explosion and, at the same time, knowing what exactly had happened. When they reached the top, the flames across the valley were easily visible. The wind seemed to be making it worse: the flames were as tall as trees.

 The two men looked at each other, but they didn’t know what to do. They could run away from the fire but something told them they should be right there to watch. After all, an explosion had ignited the fire and there was very little chance that it had occurred naturally. They stayed put and waited. The fire jumped from one tree to the other. Watching it was mesmerizing, as if the fire was alive somehow. It really looked alive, engulfing a tree and then consuming it in seconds.

 Then, the wind blew harder and it brought cold with it. The short guy caressed his arms, trying to stay warm. When they had disappeared from Earth, they had no clothes proper for such an environment. Only the taller guy had his backpack with him and, luckily, it had many of the weapons they had recently used to put up traps for the enemy. It had come in handy for hunting and igniting fires to roast the food. Then they both realized something about the flames consuming the forest.

 The short guy looked in the backpack and took out a pair of binoculars to check out the place the flames were consuming. Instantly, he grabbed the hand of his partner and look at him directly into his eyes. Slowly, he told him they had been eating breakfast there that same morning, on the other side of the valley. He said he recognized a tree so tall that it was a bit bent at the tip. The taller guy verified that himself and realized that couldn’t be a coincidence. Something else was wrong.

 They agreed to walk along the top of the mountain. That side of the valley had no snow but a very fast and chilly wind, as well as rocks that kept rolling down to the lower part of the valley. It was very tricky to walk, so they had to grab each other by the hand and try not to kill themselves while doing it. Sometimes they looked at each other, but they preferred not to do so because it made them think too much of home and those feelings and memories hurt more than any rock or cold wind.

 Suddenly, another explosion made them lost their balance. One of them had to grab the other harder by the hand. It was difficult to pull someone else up after walking so much but it was harder to think that they would be alone. As the flames seemed to be getting closer, they both regained flat land and ran as much as they could. None of them had no idea of why they were doing that but it seemed like the best thing to do was to get away fast. Eventually, they reached a cliff and they had to stop running. They started sweating even more when they stopped.

 The flames were close to them but now it seemed to be a single huge flame. The heat emanating from it was almost burning their skin but, for some reason, it stopped moving towards them, as if it had noticed that its heat was hurting them. The moment seemed to last forever. In their eyes, they could only see the red and orange flames, as if they were absolutely enthralled by fire. But, if they were to be honest, they had no intention of running anymore. They felt they had to be there.

 Suddenly, the flames seemed to be reducing their size. But as that happened, a creature emerged from the inside of the fire. It seemed to be very tall, taller than any human being anyone had ever seen. It was very difficult to know if it had any gender or what kind of creature it could be: aggressive or pacifist? Its skin seemed to be made of a material similar to rocks, the kind you find near a volcano. It was dark and seemed to be covered with as. Its eyes were red as fire.

 The creature got closer and just looker at them. It had a human form but maybe it was doing that to imitate them or to be less intimidating. If that was the case, it was failing miserably because the two humans it had in front of it were very scared. So scared actually, that they hadn’t stopped grabbing each other’s hand since the moment they had started running. They only realized this when the creature created a hand out of its own body and, with one dark finger, it pointed at their hands holding.

 They could have screamed or said something to the creature but they didn’t. The creature kept pointing at them, opening its eyes wider. Then, it pulled back, turned back into a gigantic flame and launched itself into the sky. From their point of view, it looked like a comet crossing the night sky. Eventually, it disappeared but it left a line in the sky and a certain sweet smell all around the forest. The place that had burned grew over night, as if nothing had ever happened.

 They woke up the next day, thinking about the creature they had just seen. At first, it seemed as if nothing had changed after they had encountered it. However, they started holding hands more and more, and they didn’t think about it for a second.


 Furthermore, they started talking more to each other as they walked across Somber, laughing some times and sharing their personal stories as they ate or cleaned themselves in rivers or lakes. Eventually, they fell in love. But that’s another story that I won’t tell right now.

jueves, 7 de julio de 2016

By the lake

   On his request, I sat outside the trailer, sitting on my green folding chair. I could hear his rattling inside and wondered what he was doing. Of course, I knew he was cooking because, earlier in the day, I had seen him fishing for a long time. He had woken up at the crack of dawn to do it and when I got up he was still there, very quiet and with his headphones blasting some rock music into his ears.

 I scared him a bit when I kissed him on the cheek without notice. He almost fell from the stool where he sat when he fished. But after his initial scare, he took off his headphones, kissed me back and greeted me wit a huge smile. His bucket was fool and he was very proud to announce he was going to cook lunch for the both of us. I tried to tell him I didn’t really ate fish, had never really been into it, but he didn’t let me say a word. He was too excited.

 So I stayed outside as he cooked his very special recipe. He had caught enough trout to last us for the rest of the week. The lake was filled with them or so they said. As he did his thing, I sat down outside and enjoyed the sunny day. This was after we had showered and had some breakfast, something simple not to steal the leading spot to the fish we were going to eat later in the day. He was so excited about it that I just smiled and nodded at everything he said.

 The lake was a very peaceful place, even for a spot were so many small hotels were located. There was also a very big presence of people who practiced several types of watersports. Some even brought their sailing boats in order to practice for competitions. It was kind of relaxing watching them go from one side of the lake to the other, floating over water so easily it made your soul feel at ease.

 Paul came out of the trailer for a bit, only to tell me he had already gutted the fish and it was ready to cook. But it wasn’t even midday yet so he decided to step outside and seat next to me. His folding chair was yellow and mine was green, our favorite colors. He took my hand and relaxed, watching the birds fly by and feeling the beautiful breeze that made waves on the lake.

 It was a cold wind too, as the lake was located up in the mountains. But the day was unusually sunny and people were visibly trying to enjoying at its fullest. As the day went by, I could see more boats on the lake, even those ones in the shape of ducks and other creatures. We waved at them laughing, as it was a little bit ridiculous. But it was so much fun, especially with him by my side.

 After a while, he went in again saying it was time for cooking. I almost entered the trailer behind him to go to the bathroom but he prevented me from doing so. He said he didn’t want me to see any of it so I had to remain outside. I told him I really needed to go to the bathroom, as I had drunk a very big glass of orange juice. My throat was a bit sore and I thought the juice would help in making me feel a little better.

 Paul told me to go to one of the hotel or something. At first, I thought he was joking but then I realized he wasn’t. He was very serious and the whole place smelled strongly to fish. So I decided to tell him to let everything exactly as it was before and then I stepped out. He even closed the door on me, which I thought it was unnecessary but apparently he felt he was going to do something so incredible that it was better to keep it a complete secret, even from me.

 I smiled. My heart belonged to him and I knew he had always dreamt about being a real chef. He was always buying and reading cooking books at home and he often tried to do what he had learned in our kitchen. The difference was that he couldn’t really kick me out of our own place. I think he did that by the lake because he felt the place called for it and I couldn’t agree more.

 So instead of insisting, I decided to go for a walk and explore the vicinity as Paul did what he had to do. I started walking by the edge of the lake, watching people having fun in their boats. Some were riding one of those floating things that you ride and when it too bouncy you fall into the water. I really wanted to try that but then I realized it wouldn’t be too nice if I showed up wet to lunch.

 I kept on walking and remembered I needed to go to the bathroom. So I woke up a small hill and arrived to a small hotel that handled some cottages overlooking the lake. It was also the hotel that managed the area we had parked our trailer, so it made sense to ask for the bathroom there. The owner was a very nice lady who seemed to be as old as time. However, she moved very fast and seemed to have her senses in much better shape that most people.

 She gave me the keys to her private bathroom and it took my only a couple of minutes to be done. I cleaned my face watching myself on her mirror and realized I looked rather good. We all have those days when we think we look particularly great. We also have those other days when we think we look awful but, thank God, I hadn’t had one of those in a long time. In my day to day, I rarely used the mirror but the bathroom was so small it was not really easy to avoid looking yourself in it.

 When I was done, I thank the owner and decided to keep walking around the lake. I decided to make a full circle around it, as it wasn’t that big and I knew Paul needed time to cook. So I started walking, by another hotel and then a patch of tall grass filled with mosquitoes. I almost had to go into the water to avoid it. After that, there was a small forest of eucalyptus trees. It was nice to see the brown leaves on the ground and the sound they made as I walked on them. There were birds chirping and I could even feel there were squirrels somewhere above me.

 As I came out of the forest, I noticed someone had a problem in the lake. A lady in of those rowing boats was calling for help. Apparently her husband wasn’t feeling very well. She was yelling towards a place located further ahead on my path. It was the rental area where people that weren’t staying in any of the hotels could just grab a boat and have some fun for a couple of hours.

 I glanced at the woman and then at the rental area and noticed two men getting into a motorboat, going to the rescue of the poor woman. I kept on walking as they arrived by her and grabbed her husband who couldn’t apparently move. Probably a heart attack or something of the sort. She jumped from their boat to the other and then one of the guys that had come for them tied the rowboat to theirs with a rope. It looked nice how one little boat tagged along with the other. The journey to the shore was rather short.

 By then I realized I was halfway from my trailer. I tried to see if Paul was looking for me yet but I couldn’t see anyone waving or anything like that. Even if he had been outside, I doubt he would have seen me, as we were but very shortsighted. One of the many things in common we had. So I kept on walking through a very large area with only grass and some floors growing in peace, with no one grabbing them or taking them home.

 I sat down there for a while and breathed in a lot of that fresh mountain air. Then, I lay on the grass, enjoying how it felt, closing my eyes to try and seal that memory into my mind forever. It was very nice to be there, after so many things had happened to us in the last year. It hadn’t been easy at all but this small trip was kind of a prize for the both of us. I stood up and kept on walking, thinking we were much stronger than we thought.

 My last stop was close to our trailer, were lots of people were raising kites into the sky. There were lots of children but also adults that tried to teach them the proper technique to make everything perfect. I looked at their kites for several minutes, floating high in the air, doing the most peaceful think I could ever imagine. It was so nice to be there and not thinking about anything else.


 When I neared the trailer, I felt the smell of food. As I sat on my chair, he came out with a white wine bottle, which he poured into two glasses. We made a toast for ourselves and for that beautiful place and then we ate, talking about everything. It was delicious, every single part of lunch. But what was much better was to have gotten there with him. That’s why my hug after finishing eating was unusually stronger.

domingo, 6 de marzo de 2016

Ballad of the dead

   A couple of crows flew by, landing next to a large mausoleum, belonging to a general who had died long ago, in a battle no one remembered, in a country no one cared about anymore. The crows turned around on their dark feet and gazed at what appeared to be a shadow slowly walking up the hill. But the shadows was not such, she was a beautiful woman all dressed in black, walking slowly, trying not to make a strong effort climbing the hill that served as a cemetery in this region. The place was beautiful but grim and grey because of the many storm clouds travelling through the sky. Rain had already fallen and it would possibly fall again soon.

 The woman passed the general’s mausoleum and also a small patch of grass where several small crosses indicated the presence of bones belonging to several unidentified soldiers. But they were not marked as “unknown”, they were just marked with white crosses and some dead flowers. She only glanced at them, putting then her hands inside her pockets. A gust of wind had swept through the hill and she had received it full on her face. She was trembling and apparently had the urge to go back, because she stopped and turned around and looked at the town, which could be seen perfectly from there. She had been born in that place long ago and had left soon after. She didn’t know the place like her father and her grandfather before him. She was just there to see them.

 Finally, she took a left on a row of tombstones and knelt at the end of that path, were flowers and grass grew large and beautiful because of the soil that was so rich in nutrients. She caressed the tombstone, cleaned it with her hands covered in gloves and read the name of her father, slowly, as if she had no idea who he was. Almost instantly, a big lonely tear ran down one of her cheeks. And then, another one. Finally, she really cried, she allowed herself to do what she hadn’t done in all these years. She cried because she hadn’t been there when he had died and she cried because she had left home so young and had put them all at bay, fearing they might convince her to make the same mistakes they did.

 She wasn’t scared when a voice, a very cold and raspy voice, asked her not to cry anymore. She said, out loud, that she couldn’t bring herself to stop, because she felt guilty and needed to get it all out of her system.

   - So it’s all about you?

 The voice was right. She was crying just to cry, just to make herself feel better and free of any guilt from having been responsible for her father’s death. She knew she hadn’t been there, that she had been missed and they had asked her to return so many times. But, to her, that town was death itself and tried not to go back for many years.
 The woman had finally decided to do it, to confront her life and just do what she had to do.  But apparently it hadn’t been enough. Because now she saw him, her dad, standing in front of her, judging her choices and thoughts and actions. He was silent and wouldn’t say a single word about anything. He had always been like that, even when she was a kid, he would just look at her and she could know what he thought of her just by paying attention at his expressions.

 It was his fault too and that had to be proof. He had always been so far, so private and cold. How could have he asked for more from her when she never saw anything more at home. Her mother was not much different. She would always get busy doing something, just in order not to be depressed. She had some sever episodes when she couldn’t even see other people but she couldn’t be alone either. Besides, she suffered from migraines, so things where always charged with a level of tension no kid should ever have to bear.

 So the daughter stood up and followed the image of her father, that had stopped looking at her and was now just walking through the graves as if he had know the place like the palm of his hand. They didn’t have to walk much to find the grave of the mother, where the woman pour some more tear and realized how unfair she had been with all of them. She sat down on the damp grass and just touched the stone, the letters of her mother’s name and asked her why she had been so distant, why they had been so judgmental when they had raised her to be exactly who she had grown up to be.

 The woman had a nice boyfriend, a good job and a home, where she was happy most of the time. She had come to this town to be miserable, as miserable as she had ever been in all her life away from them. And now they looked at her as if she was the one who had been wrong, as if she had been the one that had caused the rupture between all of them, causing her to flee that life that was unbearable to any living person.

And then she remembered little Roby. His death had occurred six months after she had left to the city. Of course, she heard they had blame it all on her. They said he had been heartbroken that she had left because he had lost his big sister but that was just another lie, another attempt to make her feel worthless. The kid was too young to even notice he had a sister. And he had been born with so many problems. She cried for him to but they were tears of anger that she shed all over the graves of small boys and girls that had died long ago, Roby among them. She dedicated all those tears to damn, as they needed to know how wrong their parents were.

 Her parents, on the other hands, started talking and talking, and she was not interested in hearing anything they had to say. She stood up and ran up the hill, as fast as she could until she fell to the ground, having stepped on a large rock covered in moss. The fall had hurt but not as much as it hurt to hear them accusing her for so many things that she hadn’t even been there for and for other things that she didn’t even remembered. Her mother’s voice was especially annoying, very loud sometimes, the voice of someone who doesn’t speak too much.

 The woman slowly stood up and cursed her parents, told them to burn in hell or in heaven or wherever their real souls were. She yelled at them, saying that she was tired of having to carry the weight of a family that had been crumbling own for so long. Her father was a worthless maggot and her mother a crazy bitch.

    - There you have it! Now leave me alone!

 They did stop talking but they didn’t leave, their images still standing by, waiting for her to say something more. And she did. She told them it had been their fault that Roby died and it also had been their fault hat he existed, that he lived for such a short period of time suffering every single day. It was because of their sick minds and bodies that he had been born with so many problems and it was that that killed him, not her or anyone else for that matter.

 She walked the remainder of the hill and when she was at the top. She noticed the son was filtering through the clouds of rain. She felt its rays touching her skin, making her feel like she had finally done what she had to do, what she hadn’t been able to do when they were all alive. But then, they reappeared and several other figures like them. Their faces accused them of being of the same family, generations and generations of unstable people that had been raising awful families for children to turn into maniacs themselves. She had seen the light beforehand and she had been so grateful for it.

 They grew closer and closer and she just felt her body give in, kneeling there, being caressed by the cold wind of a region filled with people that were more dead than alive. She raised her hands to the sun and begged for peace and calm in her life. All the images of relatives looked at her and only one came closer and touched her head softly. She looked at the ghost and realized it was her grandmother, the only one that she had talked to during her exile in the city. She understood why she had fled and she didn’t judge. And now, even dead, she was on her side.


 That same night, the woman drove back to the city and she never heard or saw anyone again. Her prayers had been answered and she would never have to be a victim of her family anymore.

jueves, 11 de febrero de 2016

Not there

   A small crab ran across the beach, fighting the powerful gust of wind that was sweeping the area. It moved fast and then burrowed himself into the sand, disappearing in a matter of seconds. There was another creature in the beach. A young woman, dressed in plastic boots and a coat that resembled the capes that superheroes used in comic books and movies. It was red and the boots two. Not like the crab, she just stood in one place and looked at the ocean and how the waves were becoming bigger and bigger, how they appeared to be alive. The water and foam came closer and closer to her feet but she did not move. She seemed out of herself, in a way.

 Finally a wave crashed violently against the beach and reached her knees. She seemed to have woken up from a dream, only cleaning her legs with her hands and turning around, walking up the natural hill that had formed because of erosion and went back home, not far from the sound of the ocean. The sky was becoming darker, both because of the time of day but also because of the storm that was brewing in the ocean. The woman walked slowly towards her house, soon joined by a beautiful Labrador dog that was of her property. The dog’s name was Chance. Hers was Amelia.

 She entered the house through the back door that led to the kitchen. She took off her coat and boots and left them in a small cabinet she used for such purposes. Walking in socks, she grabbed a beer from the fridge and petted Chance who followed her everywhere. She crossed the house towards the living room, where she lay down in a sofa, drinking her beer and letting the dog sleep by her feet. But the women wasn’t calm, she was apparently trying the drink the content of the bottle in one gulp and even some of the beer slid down her chin and neck. She cleaned it with her sleeve.

 The main door, a room away, opened to reveal her husband coming in. They had been married for about a year and had come to this house, owned by Amelia’s father, to get away from everyone else. Their anniversary was the next day and they didn’t want to have to share that day with anyone else. Or at least that was the original reason they had for coming to that windy beach. He went straight to the kitchen, left some bags there and organized its contents, and only after finishing he sat down on an armchair across Amelia.

- Isn’t it a bit early?

  Her only answer was to burp with no shame or limit. She had finished her beer so she left the bottle by the sofa and looked at her husband, her eyes sad as they could be. He looked at her too and they wrestled with their eyesight for almost a whole minute, until Amelia asked her husband Matt to come to her in the sofa and he refused. She heard her footsteps going up, to the bedroom. She decided to follow, seeing night had already fallen.

 When she entered the room, he was taking off his shoes and putting some slippers. He always complained about some of the shoes he had brought recently, because they all made his feet hurt a lot. He had just being out in the supermarket for a couple of hours and he felt blood pumping through his feet. Amelia sat down by him on the bed and took his hand. She squeezed and he squeezed back but they didn’t look at each other. They just sat there in silence, only illuminated by the very week light of a nightstand lamp.

 The moment was broken by a thunder in the distance. They had not seen the lighting so maybe the storm was out in the ocean but they knew the night was going to be long. Matt looked at Amelia and proposed to her to go down to the kitchen and make some dinner. She tried to smiled but couldn’t; only nodding and releasing his hand from her grip. She walked down first, arriving at the kitchen where Chance was smelling his plate. She had forgotten to feed him and proceed to pour some of his food into it before Matt saw her. But Chance had to eat earlier.

- You always forget. Is like you don’t care about him
- I do.
- Really?

 Matt had that quality that some people have to make you feel, with simple words, like a bug squashed against a wall. Of course she loved the dog but she had been thinking all the day long, going away to the beach   and the dog didn’t like the beach, possibly because it was very humid or because of the crabs. Maybe if the dog had come with her to the beach, she wouldn’t have forgotten to feed him. But it was too late for that now and the dog was eating already.

 Her husband gave her some vegetables to cut into dices as he marinated some shrimps and cut some slices of eggplant. He had always loved to cook and invent new recipes. It drove him away from everything in the world; he became the only person alive with all the ingredients, focusing only on how good it had to look and how nice it had to taste to any palate. The recipe they were doing had been created by him, several years ago.

 Amelia cooked the vegetables with a bit of oil and butter. They had to be nice and crunchy. The shrimps were cooked in a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper and also some paprika. Amelia looked at him, almost smiling to the prawns, so much happier than ever before. She loves to see him smile but it wasn’t often that she saw that these days. Then again, she didn’t smile herself too often either. He proceeded to fry the eggplants after submerging them in water. The smell was all around the house.

 In each plate, Matt served two big slices of eggplant topped with shrimp and vegetables. He poured some olive oil to give it a nice look and asked Amelia to take it to the table. He took out a bottle of wine from a special fridge he had bought and joined his wife at the dining table. It was a small space, the table only for four. They sat one across he other and sat in silence. Matt poured wine into two cups that had been set up by her and they just started eating in silence. It was really good and Chance had followed them to see if they would give him at least a bite of what they had cooked.

 But each one of them was too distracted to notice him, panting included. Amelia wanted to tell her husband how nice it all was but something in her throat didn’t let her. It was as if she had a knot there that wouldn’t let her talk her mind. It wasn’t that she feared her husband or anything like that. She loved him deeply but she knew she was know miles away from him and had been like that since her mother had advised them to come out here and get away from all the eyes and the ears.

 He was distracted too, cutting his eggplant and then sipping some wine and then looking out the window to the storm. From that room, during the day, you could see the horizon and part of the ocean. If there had been light, he would have seen the darkness of the tempest and the violence of the waves in the sea. But now he could only guess all of that by the lights of the thunder and the resounding sound of storm, that seemed like a monster rising from the water and howling, trying to caution every other living creature from getting near him.

- It’s good.

 Amelia had finally said it and as she did, she knew she had committed a mistake. Her voice broke off and couldn’t speak anymore and he looked at her for a moment and just stood up, walking towards the living room. She followed him, thinking for a second he was leaving. She grabbed him by the arm and he pulled her apart, almost in disgust. Her eyes were filled with tears. It was then he said, he finally said what she had dreaded for some time: “You killed her”.


 The only thing Amelia could do, out of rage and despair, was to grab the bottle of beer she had left there earlier and throw it towards him. He dodged it just in time so the bottle crossed the room and smashed against the window, which broke into thousands of big and small pieces. She was breathing heavily and he seemed scared. She finally shed a single tear and said: “Never. I could have never”. The wind entering from outside froze them, leaving them like statues in the middle of the house, thinking of the unborn.