Writing Smarter

Writing better and having fun while ranting, raving and discussing ideas.

Category: Stories

A short story

This is another of my short stories, I like this one a lot actually as it shows some decent inner conflict. Hope you enjoy it!

On Friday I became a manager.

That was the first time I became somebody important, if you consider managers to be important. Personally, I think everybody is a manager. We have to manage our expenses, our time, our reactions, our expectations; we have to manage everything in our lives in order to cope with the ever flowing reality of life. Becoming a manager after over seventeen years on the job is not such a big deal, it just means it was probably time for me to move up for a little bit, in order not to be cut down. They did that on Friday, they promoted me, but now that I think about it, it only made sense as they needed some sort of justification to cut two guys from the line. Increasing expenses they called it, and I was the scapegoat, I had to be the manager. I ask myself, not them as I don’t want their wrath, why wasn’t I named a manager sooner if they saw so much potential in me? They probably don’t, and I don’t know if I’m ok with it to be honest. I’m not any better than any of those two guys, I’ve worked longer, sure, but that doesn’t mean anything in particular. Thinking about it for a bit longer I realized that those guys were younger than me. Did management do me a favor? Am I that pitiful in their eyes that they cannot bring themselves to fire me? Maybe I am, just don’t know it yet. I’ve worked for seventeen years in the line dammit! I know all about the system and how everything works; I know people from other departments and know what’s right and what’s wrong.

Those two guys didn’t deserve to get fired, not Billy whose wife had a young child, not Tom who was still paying for his small rundown place. Increasing expenses. Increasing expenses could be stopped if they stopped wasting so many resources and committed themselves to run a more efficient workplace. And what the hell happened with Fred? Was he not managing the line alright? The problem is not with the line, the problem is with the entire operation.

Now I have to go to work on Monday as a manager again, officially this time. Look at everybody in the eye and tell them what’s going on, how we’re going to make things better, how we have a plan to achieve more results and get bigger. Weren’t we working hard enough already? What we means is the guys from upper management, those suits who have no clue what we have to face every day in the line to make sure the quotas are filled. How on earth am I going to tell them that we have to work even harder? Nobody ever listens!

I like doing my job and getting good results. They didn’t have to promote me for me to keep doing my job. Why the hell did I have to be promoted to manager?

Have a nice day!

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Free Story – ?

Let me tell you something my friends, sleep deprivation is no joke. I feel just so tired I could fall to the side at any moment. I still have the energy to give you another free story. It’s not one of my best, but I’ll let you guys and girls be the judges.

The Ritual

Yash Batra grabbed the herbs that were on the nearby table and started to rub them all over his body. He got the book his father had given him a few months back and started to look into the passages. He barely knew how to read them, as the archaic symbols had not been converted to the common tongue and he began to utter the words in hesitant fashion. In the altar was his goddess and the look on the statuette did not appear pleased. It had been a long time since India was no longer India and traditions evolved, as did religion. In that summer afternoon the weather had made him even hotter than he was used to, the humidity also made everything stickier somehow.

In the midst of that apocalyptic madness what mattered the most was to make the transition and to stay true to his religion. In Maasai culture lion killing is acceptable, in fact it is seen by the outside world as a rite of passage to adulthood. It is true that many warriors slay lions, but it has a different purpose than the one that is assumed. It is to control the lion population and to stop their cattle from falling victim to the mighty predator. Of course the warriors use that to convey their strength and might and it does prove one is now a man, but those rituals are more of a way of life than anything else.

In another table the Indian leopard remained still, the effects of the drug had not dissipated yet and Yash allowed himself some time to make sure that the ritual had been done properly. After grabbing the knife he proceeded to stab the animal in the heart and again in the neck, slicing its throat from side to side. The bowl was on the floor and received the animal’s blood. Next thing he had to do was to separate each of the animal’s innards and make sure they were cleaned and dried before they could be thrown into the fire pit.

Yash did his job diligently, but carefully, not to miss any part of the ritual. After soaking some of the herbs in the blood, he ate them and used the blood to put out the fire. A few more words were all that was left to complete his mission. He searched the book again, read a couple of lines and closed it. The ritual was now complete.

After setting one foot outside of his makeshift tent, Yash was greeted by his relatives and congratulated on finally becoming a man and the true shaman of the sect. He smiled mournfully as he knew that he could not pass his duties to another until he died, that would take quite a long time as he was only fourteen years old.

It was the 3rd of September 2047. The last living specimen of the Indian leopard, a female that had been pregnant, had been killed. That, of course, meant nothing to the rest of the world.

That’s all for today folks, have a great day!

Flash Fiction – 4

First of all many apologies for not showing up these past couple of days, but we’re nearing Christmas and so the usual confusion is bound to happen. I will delay you no more and give you another of my flash fiction stories. Hope you enjoy this one. It’s not one of my best, but I liked the idea behind it, tried to go for the noir style, didn’t quite get it the way I wanted. It also feels a little rushed towards the end, and lacks certain details, but that’s what I have for you today.

 

The Bad City

Westerspring city is a bad place, everybody knows that, it has over fifty thousand souls in it and maybe only a handful of them are innocent. I’m not one of them.

The streets are filthy, there is violence and deceit at every corner and most of the cops are dirty. I don’t understand why anybody would want to come to Westerspring, the cold city, the city that will make you suffer until you can have no more punishment, only to let you live in the end and enjoy the agony of being alive; or the city that will cut your legs before you can even learn how to walk. Yeah, life is difficult in Westerspring; but I wasn’t complaining until a couple of days ago. You see, me and my friend owned a bar, one of the most successful ones in the city, called The Empty Barrel. I don’t mean to brag but that place was probably the best in the whole country, we invested a lot of money and hard work into it. What made it the best? It wasn’t the jazzy music that played every night, people often get tired of hearing the same things, and no matter how good Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald or Stan Getz can be, after hearing them for hours and hours, days and days, you stop paying attention to them. It wasn’t the rustic look we tried to give the place either, the tiles fell to the floor soon afterwards, the wood was half rotten and the lighting was just a complete mess. People wouldn’t come for the conversation, I’m not much of a talker and neither is my friend. Truth be told, staying quiet in Westerspring is probably better for your health, you might end up dead in a dark alley or floating in the nearby river. No, what made our place special were the drinks. That made us also prime targets and the object of lies, violence and death.

When I said drinks I actually meant just one drink: the Green Wave. That’s what Elliot called it and the name just fit. Soon after he came up with it, customers started pouring endlessly and our business was booming. We made a lot of money, Elliot and I. But maybe I should start from the beginning and tell you the whole story.

I was a bartender. I worked in the bar even before it was called The Empty Barrel, when the owner was a mean drunk who didn’t know what he was doing and tried to cheat every customer out of his money. The mob ran an underground casino and used the bar as a front. When I first saw Elliot I didn’t think much of him: he was a skinny, frail looking man. His unsheveled hair made him look like a bum and I wanted no trouble from him, but with his first line he drew me in and soon we had become the best of friends. We had a very common interest.

“I want you to serve me the perfect drink.”

I didn’t know what to make of it. You see, as a bartender I often size people up and judge their moods. People usually ask for the wrong drinks. Whisky. That’s what almost everybody asked for, but I knew a thousand different drinks for them, drinks that were probably better for them in those situations. Try as I might, none of my suggestions had made Elliot’s eyes sparkle with joy. He knew about every single one.

“I knew you couldn’t do it.”

That line had pissed me off, especially after the long time I had spent with him, but he smirked and told me he already knew where to find the perfect drink. Elliot was a Herbologist, he knew all sorts of things about plants, and of course that reverted to brewing and to liquor. Elliot knew what he was doing, and more importantly than that, he knew what he was talking about. I never thought of him as a bum ever again, especially after he told me things about certain drinks that not even I knew, and I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about my profession. We would spend entire nights discussing bitterness, sweetness, alcohol content, the addiction and the vices that certain chemical elements can produce, in the end we reached several interesting conclusions.

That’s when I knew that I had to own the place. I told you before about the previous owner and the casino and the dirty cops. It turns out not every single cop was dirty. One lone detective had orchestrated the best raid in history and managed to destroy the underground casino and several mobsters in just one go. That had severe repercussions on the previous owner and he suddenly came down with a case of death. Nobody missed him anyway, and the lowering price of the establishment meant that it was affordable. I hardly ever saw Elliot during those days, but spoke with him once and told him to keep working, the place would be ours sooner rather than later.

It cost me a penny to buy it and a fortune to rebuild it, but it was worth the effort. Meanwhile Elliot was hard at work, testing and brewing and making sure the right ingredients were being produced. He never really told me much about what the ingredients were or what they did specifically and sometimes I wish I hadn’t known, like when he was discussing the properties of the African Dream Root and the effects of lucid dreams. It appears that one tea spoon of that root, when brewed as tea, can have hallucinogenic effects and one needs to be extremely careful when taking it. Vivid dreams can be dangerous. He always knew much more than me, and I wasn’t worried about that, we were together fighting for a common goal: the perfect drink.

It was during one summer night that he came to me with an ecstatic look on his face, wanting to confirm every single detail to make sure the drink was set and done, on paper at least. The bar wasn’t bringing me a lot of money and I barely survived during those months. Owning a bar costs a lot of money and very soon the mob came to the place again, they wanted to make some money and recover some of their losses. I couldn’t afford to refuse; I didn’t want to end up like the previous owner, not without at least enjoying the fruits of my labor. So I let them set up the casino again, some genius thought they wouldn’t go for the same place twice, that the detective wouldn’t dare to make more waves. He had been named a hero in the newspapers, no greater glory can a man ask for. But I digress; let me go on with my story.

Elliot and I reviewed the points about the perfect drink, it had to be both sweet and bitter, it had to reflect whatever the drinker desired to feel and make them not only leave satisfied at purchasing that drink but have them drink more, so the drink couldn’t have much alcohol in it. We didn’t want our customers to fall to the floor after just one drink, and we certainly didn’t want them to have massive hangovers. A man has to work to make money to spend it. The perfect drink would have been useless if we couldn’t make enough money from it.

Elliot concluded that the perfect drink had to be both subjective and objective. What that means I don’t know for sure, but he told me that it had to make the drinker feel something different in different occasions and it obviously needed to be the exact same thing at the same time. That’s when my brain started working furiously towards our goal. I hadn’t done anything up until that point, Elliot had done all of the work, as he proved while discussing every single chemical element required for that magic drink. I knew I had to do something to prove to him that I wasn’t dead weight. I didn’t know if he would take his recipe and go over to another bar and ask them for something. Friendship and business are completely different things; you have to bring something to the table in order to make the business work. That’s when I thought about the casino.

I told him not to worry after he spoke of financial difficulties. It turned out Elliot needed to make several trips around the world in order to get his supplies; that cost money he didn’t have. More than that I needed to make sure he brought enough supplies with him to last us for quite a while. Those trips were expensive and the drinks had to make the money for the next ones. He departed that night with smiles and laughs and the certainty that we were going to be famous, that our drink would be the finest the world had ever seen.

I started cleaning up after he left; we had been talking until almost dawn and nobody was around, no customers, no mobsters. So I went downstairs to where the casino was and started searching for the safe. One thing I knew about the casino was that the money was kept there for over a month before someone went to collect all the money. There were two safes, one that had the accumulated money and the one that had that months’ worth. All I had to do was get to the big safe before they collected the money from that trimester, nobody would check it for at least one month and that would give us enough time to make the trips and get the money back from the first batch of liquor we would produce. It was a dumb idea but I had no other way of getting that amount of money ready for my friend, and we were so close I could almost taste the drink.

The night after was when I worked on the safe and got the money out. It was the perfect time and those guys would only check it in another months’ time. It was easier than I thought too. Both safes were in the office downstairs and my previous occupation came to good use as I figured the combination almost instantly. That is not to say I wasn’t sweating all over the place, I knew I was a dead man if someone saw me working over the safe. I gave Elliot the money and told him to get us enough for at least a couple of months. We needed that much if I was to pay back the amount I took from them. My friend was surprised but asked no questions, in order for me not to tell him any lies, but he knew I was in a hurry and he knew I could get in trouble if I couldn’t get that money back.

It took a week before I saw Elliot again in a truck with all the materials he gathered. The clock was ticking for me and I was surprised when he said we had to begin testing right away. I had completely forgotten about that. In my mind it had completely escaped me the most basic principle of bartending: certain drinks had to be mixed using just the right amounts, or else that drink would turn into a disaster. I didn’t let him see my despair as I encouraged him to start right away and call me as soon as he had some sort of results.

Another week flew by before I got that call. The first drink had been made with successful results. I didn’t care about any of that to be honest with you, I just wanted to see the money flow, I wanted to put that money back in the safe and we would need to sell at least two thousand drinks to make up for the money I had taken.

But when I met with Elliot he suddenly had different plans. He said the drink would have been best kept a secret, something only us could get to enjoy. I don’t think I need to tell you how angry I was at that point, but I never let it show. Instead I told him calmly that I had to borrow quite a bit of money and that the only way to pay it back would be by selling the drink to the customers. Reluctantly he agreed after over an hour of discussion and persuasion. I’m a bartender after all, I can persuade like the best of them. A deal had been made, he would produce and I would advertise and sell as much as possible. The clock was ticking after all.

The results were better than expected and that led him to quit his job. Producing what we ended up calling The Green Wave took some time, especially considering the quantities we needed, and the customers loved it as expected. Did I make enough money? I would be lying if I said I did. But when I expected to suffer, it turned out I didn’t have to. One of the most basic rules for success is to always have a backup plan. All I had to do was plant some seeds and start a bit of discord; to raise the suspicions on certain elements before I would even to brought in to explain the situation. I did say in the beginning that Westerspring is a bad place, a city of lies and deceit. Nobody is safe from it, not even the mob. It didn’t take long for my carefully built web of deceit to take effect. A couple of guys died, bad people, people you wouldn’t want out there in the streets, so in the end everybody won and our little base of operations remained intact.

But why am I not innocent? Was it because of my lies?

Elliot had been planting some seeds too. It turned out we needed a little bit more of supplies than what he had at the moment. I knew the reason, it was clear as day. Just the other day I made the mistake of telling Elliot my debt had been cleared. That led to production growing slower and slower and more waste of materials. Now I knew Elliot wasn’t the sloppy type, I knew that from the start he never really wanted to sell the product. But when you have a business and clients are expecting it, we had at least a couple of hundred people every night, you need to do things properly, otherwise business will suffer.

Green Wave had almost outrun us, our own drink.

So when I met with Elliot a couple of nights ago I had to talk with him and persuade him to do what was right, for both of us and for the bar. But this time Elliot wouldn’t have it. He had found out why the drink was so successful: it had a powerful addictive substance that was also partially poisoning people. Something about one chemical being mixed up with another caused such effects. Authorities had to know, further testing needed to be done, and serious talking had to be had.

Why bother with all that when we had built everything with such success? I’ll never know it, but I was under the impression he had been drinking the stuff, that’s probably how he knew the experiment was a success in the first place. Like I said before, first I tried to reason with him, he was my friend after all, one half of the reason why our place was such a tremendous success. Then, and I regret this course of action to this day, I punched him in the face and threatened him. Which words I used escape me now, what I know is that it wasn’t pretty, and our conversation lasted a long, long time.

I threw Elliot in the garbage that night, hoping that his death would be connected to a hit or some random act of violence. People often saw us together and the police were pretty insistent with their questions. I didn’t flinch; they had nothing on me after all, just the connection. How it went with the bar, that’s another problem altogether. I didn’t have the formula, in the midst of that fit of rage I forgot to demand it out of him; I didn’t know where he lived either, so the Green Wave came to a halt. Customers were angry and stopped coming, the mob wasn’t happy either because that meant that the casino would no longer generate the income they had grown accustomed to. Eventually I had to sell the place, I was rather forced to do it, as expenses were piling up and I had no way to make the money to pay for them.

I am alone now, walking with no purpose along the dark streets, wondering and also praying that when this city consumes me, it does the job quickly and painlessly. I know that it won’t happen, not in Westerspring city, the city that will eat you up and spit you out, no matter who you are.

Let me know your thoughts on this one.

Have a great day!

Flash Fiction – 3

So here comes the third part of this installment, and I hope you’ve been enjoying it. This story is played out in a rather simple fashion, and despite not being anything spectacular, it was the most fun when I was reading it to the mic, very enjoyable. I had a title for it, but I don’t think too much of it so this title is going to be completely random.

 

The Smooth Chaser

He got people to call him Nick, but that wasn’t his name. He went by many names and played several characters of various reputations. That day his reputation grew more than he had bargained for. The old lord of the Chesterfield Manor had passed away a couple of days before he read the paper, big news in many regional newspapers, and nobody would come to collect his inheritance. The news served not only to inform about the death, but also to try and find any distant inheritor, so far without any luck.

Nobody knew him in that village so he took on the name and not a soul suspected anything. Who would even consider claiming he was not the lord’s long lost son of a maid who had been dead over twenty years? Nick’s story would grow larger and more elaborate as the villagers, with their questions, fed more and more information that he could have possibly wished for. Those were two of Nick’s best talents: getting information and telling stories.

After a couple of hours, Nick was indeed the lost son and he had indeed every right to claim the inheritance he deserved. Not even concrete documents were asked, much to Nick’s delight. Maybe he would make a small fortune with the estate, maybe he would just take what he thought to be valuable and run away before the truth came forth. This infinite amount of possibilities excited Nick, who liked to gamble and take big risks. When he had read in the newspaper that the old lord had died without any successor he didn’t even bother to read anything else. That prize was his for the taking and he had to be fast enough to claim it.

None of that came across his mind as the dogs started to chase him down.

Four ferocious beasts, the biggest dogs he had ever seen in his entire life, had been chasing him for over an hour after he took the first steps outside the large manor; he didn’t even have the chance to look inside properly. You see, a call had been made to request the presence of the new lord, something about rents and payments; something that had to do with money, Nick thought. Dodging a bite just barely he would sprint towards one of the main streets but found all the stores closed. He only had the time to make a split-second decision of turning left towards another main street, or go right and try to escape the dogs through a series of smaller streets. He chose the right path and continued to run as fast as his legs allowed; looking everywhere around him in order to catch the glimpse of a peasant who could help.

It didn’t take long for the hounds to trap him in a narrow alley and to stand firm and menacing, awaiting their master. At this point Nick was surprised as he expected one individual and an apology. Over forty people stood in front of him demanding explanations, and money to be returned to them. They had welcomed him dearly as they expected money, but looked poorly at him when he said he had no such thing. He had failed to read their expressions earlier. Nick tried to tell them the truth, but all that fanfare had set him clear as the old lord’s son, the evil and conniving old lord who had been exploiting the rest of the village and ruining people’s lives. It had taken them quite some time to kill him, and they had been waiting for the manor to become part of the village’s communal property, to see some of their money back.

Nick’s screams did not stop the villagers from killing him and burying him in the graveyard, along with the couple of other fools that dared saying they were also bastard offspring of the lord. Maybe Nick should have paid closer attention to the rest of the newspaper, the part that mentioned the mysterious circumstances surrounding the old lord’s death. Now all that they had to do was wait; wait to claim what was theirs all along.

Let me know what you think of it, see you all again tomorrow!

Flash Fiction Analysis – 2

Today I’m afraid I have to be quite brief. But let me tell you what came to mind while thinking about this story.

The first thing was Frankenstein. If you’ve read the book you know that the monster had no name, Frankenstein was the name of the creator. If you’ve read the book then you also know that he was escaping the monster and that the main series of events were caused by the creator, who abandoned his creation and vilified it without real reason. It’s clear that the same thing happens here. But I also believe that something like I described happens around the world, not only with human beings, but also animals.

The second part of the tale was based around the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. I’m a sucker for greek myths. Orpheus goes to the underworld to meet his wife, and in the story the boy returns home to meet his mother. In the myth Orpheus would lose his wife if he turned around, and the boy would lose his life if he did not turn around. This time the odds were bigger, has they involved death, but I think also gave the story much more strenght. Misunderstandings happen all the time, and people tend to be somewhat paranoid. What happens when you bring it to an extreme?

So this was a tale of revenge, but not really revenge. Nobody got what they wanted out of the whole ordeal and everybody suffered without a reason. Overall I enjoyed writing this, and I think it’s a bit of a lesson as the more you read the more you can play around with your writing.

I plan to have a Haiku for you in a couple of hours.

Until then.

Flash Fiction – 2

Ok so here comes another one, this story is centered around a certain greek myth, I guess it’s not that difficult to guess it after you read it. As usual I’d greatly appreciate it if you could give me a couple of words.

Her

In the spring that woman was dying.

She knew it clearly as she had been ill for a very long time, and her strengths escaped her with each passing day. She no longer could sweep the floors, or even carry the smallest of weights without help. But to her that did not matter, what mattered the most were the brain capacity and her ability to press the trigger. Every day she waited in front of her house sitting in her rocking chair and, with her jaws clenched, waited for him, for the moment when she would have to kill him.

In April she would have her chance. She knew he would come back for her, he had promised it years and years before, when she was still beautiful, somewhat kind and thought the world was a wonderful place. As the time came and she gave birth to him, everything changed. First was the shock when the doctors said she would not be able to give birth again. Then, another horrific surprise: the child was, in the eyes of the medical experts, a monster. Despite that, an abomination was raised and reared carefully, away from the contact of strangers, for they would have, without a doubt, killed him in a fit of both rage and fright. In their first years that did not matter and his appreciation for her was unmatched.

The child wasn’t evil, far from it. She cared for him more than any mother had cared for their offspring and she loved him dearly. What mattered if the child was deformed and had an inhuman skin? To her he seemed like an ordinary child. Plus he was smart and intelligent, liked to read and to help her in any way he could.

She was pondering how things had gotten to that point. Rocking her chair back and forth, the memories came to her.
The boy could not accompany his mother into town, he could not interact with other children, he had only the animals in the farm and the forest to play with; they would not judge him. Perhaps that is why many people are fond of their pets, as they do not care for skin color or religious beliefs, all forms of prejudice elude them. And so he played, explored, grew to like plants and nature and would spend a great deal of time in the forest, often staring at the sky and musing over the weird forms of clouds. Children have their way of making things fun and entertaining, even in the oddest of environments. So he was pretty much a very normal child.

Due, however, to her inability to talk about her child, she grew isolated. Rumors had spread all over town that her child had monster-like qualities and her ability to socialize with others grew smaller. No longer would her beauty be praised by the men in the town, she would no longer be welcomed at most houses, and she would no longer be able to haggle prices in the market. She had to settle for what she would be given, and that was her fate.

Resentment had grown. The woman knew she would also be deprived of grandchildren and would no longer have a viable heir to her farm. Nobody would even dare touch her child. That presented a problem; she would have to do everything outside the house by herself and had no other option than to hope that somehow her child would survive in a cold and unforgiving world, a world that would tear him limb from limb.

It was during his teen years that it happened. One girl had seen him in the farm chopping some wood and screamed her lungs out until she got home. Naturally her parents grew worried, asked about her erratic behavior and soon everybody spoke of how the boy was violent and started many other bloodcurdling tales. Talks about the mother being a monster were present too and, in an instant, she was shunned by the rest of the townsfolk, people she had known since she was a child, people who had laughed and cried with her, people who expressed the utmost joy when she was pregnant.

For more than a year tensions flared all over town, and not even her manners around the child were spared. Hostile words, small acts of aggression; something she’d never thought was in her. When he killed one pig she had been growing to sell, she had finally had it. In the most violent fashion she threw him out of the house. He pleaded and cried and begged his mother to reconsider, but she would have none of that. It turned out the boy thought he was doing his mother a favor and that the pig would feed them for quite some time. To think such an innocent act would instill his mother with that much anger drove him sad and he escaped towards the forest vowing to see her again, for one last time.

Those words inspired great fear in her. What did they mean? What could he have meant with ‘one last time’?
One day she went to another town and bought a pistol, for protection against wolves she said. The man did not know her, did not care about her suffering and aggravating condition and let her leave the store with it. The following years were spent with her waiting for him. Hired help had come from a nearby town, it was efficient help, which allowed her to make a living without having to barely lift one finger, she could focus everything she had on him. Years passed by slower and slower and she kept waiting for him. That one purpose guided all of her actions, justified all of her thoughts. The town and its people did not matter anymore; their words and rumors kept spreading, but no longer affected her. She would have been a witch, a sorceress, Satan’s concubine, the mother of all evil.

With time everything moves on, even the stories. Now in her senior years she was only considered the rich, half-crazy woman from the farm. Her employees knew what they were doing, and she paid them well for the job. To be rich did not matter, as her son, was it really her son?, said that they would meet. Throughout the years she had passed through different stages, first anger, then regret, then fear and now an uncontrollable paranoia that led her to many sleepless nights. Not even in her bed would she let go of her pistol, her only source of protection, her only guarantee of survival.

That spring was the one he came back; first as a small dot in the horizon, then as a black figure and finally one hundred feet away from her. His head and arms were covered in bandages, but that wasn’t the first thing she noticed. He had grown tall and strong and his clothes were not of a being who had spent his entire life in the forest, he no longer used rags, but a suit finely made and shiny shoes. Silence had surrounded them as neither knew what to say.
Deep emotion overcame her behind those tightly pressed lips and clenched jaw. She pointed her pistol to him as soon as he took a step forward.

“You now saw me one last time, take one more step and I’ll shoot you were you stand.”

He didn’t know what to do, didn’t know what his mother had gone through or what her thought process was. But he knew that she would kill him.

“Turn back and never come again.” Her words were powerful behind that frail voice and the pistol stood firmly in her hand, pointed towards his head.

Reluctantly he took a step back and began to turn around, but she did not rest and remained alert. She didn’t know what he could do, not after that threat made so long ago, and the fact he had waited for more than thirty years to exact his revenge made him all the more dangerous.

“If you turn around to see me one last time you will die, like the monster you are.”

He remained with his back turned, but stood still for a very long time. He began to walk away and after a while he knew he could no longer be targeted by his mother. He sat down in a log and began to unwrap the bandages that surrounded his head and arms. Throughout the years medicine had evolved, his skin now appeared normal and no longer would he be considered a beast. His mother would have been proud had she seen him.

One shot was heard in the distance and, sitting down in the log in the middle of the forest, he started to cry.

Another tragic tale, but let me know what you thought about it.

Have a great one!

Flash Fiction – 1

So here comes one of the stories I wrote, hope you all enjoy it, let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Like I said before, tomorrow I’ll dissect this story and let you know how everything came to be.

The Meal

Miguel Sanchez sat down at the table and stood still for a few seconds with his eyes closed. It had been a long time since he had a meal in complete silence. Opening them slowly showed him a nice grilled carp filled with herbs, which brought a flavorful aroma to the entire living room. That scent made him feel as if he himself had fished it, like in the old days, when he had to fetch his own meals for him and the rest of his family. It had been a true shame that it had been that chef’s last meal for him, but all things come to an end eventually.

That silence seemed to affect the lighting too, as the room shone brighter thanks to that candelabrum that he rarely used, a gift from another president a few years back. The way every crystal sparkled in the ceiling had him smile with satisfaction; that and other things. No longer would his wife bore him or anger him and no longer would his children embarrass him. They had been gone for over a week, soon after it began. It was nothing surprising and he knew they would act in such a way.

He enjoyed the quiet because with the fork he not only felt the crispness of the skin of that blackened fish, he managed to hear it too. After pouring the finest of the white wines, a rich and powerful flavor to accompany the fish, he took the first bite and closed his eyes again. He could feel textures he had long forgotten, flavors he thought didn’t exist, and the power that fish transmitted, that power he had not felt in so many years. Next came a bit of wine to accompany the fish and he could feel the freshness going down his throat.

He took a long look across the room. The large table no longer had the silver trinkets, or the rest of the silverware for that matter, but the room still felt rich, with the many portraits and paintings of those who had preceded him. The looks on the faces seemed to differ with every dinner he had. In one of the corners, next to a window, stood the orchid the wife loved for years, but abandoned in seconds. The old furniture remained, the kind that is not made in these days and is heavily worked, and portrayed flowers and fishes. He had had the good fortune of living in a place where people had good taste.

Then he remembered how in one of his first days he had lost his deformed coin in that very room, he could not find it no matter where he looked. After cleaning his mouth he got up and remembered that he had been standing close to the antique chair next to the window, looking at that line of horizon, where the sun shone bright red rising to answer his duty. How long had that been? Maybe more than fifteen years.

Crouching he realized the wooden floor had a crack in it, curious thing to notice after all that time. Grabbing a knife from the table, he could not understand how the last servant had set the table for more than one, he reached to touch a metallic object. After a bit of effort he had collected the old coin he thought gave him luck. With a chuckle he went back to the table, trying to remember when he had first gotten it. He took another chunk from the fish and chewed it down carefully. Maybe it had been with him after he went to buy milk that day, forty years ago, when his mother was sick and he had to do all the shores.

Looking up, towards the decorated ceiling he smiled. Outside the presidential palace the size of the crowd grew larger and larger, very soon they would break in and finally depose the tyrant.

Again, hope you enjoyed it.

Have a great day!