Saturday, 31 October 2015

Story #67 - What's this love thing? (part 8)

I gulped as we were staring into each other's eyes.
For a Halloween-themed party, we're probably the only ones not in that mood. And it's not even the 31st yet.
Not many people around. And that's alright. Julie's enough.
Clara approaches me. She's all smiles and dressed in a low-cut red dress, with just the amount of make-up needed. Man she's gorgeous. But my eyes are on Julie. Clara introduces me to her friends. Although my lips are in an upwards swing, and my hands meet theirs in a firm way, I don't care. What I'm going to say to her is the only thing on my mind.
"Dan! I'm surprised you're here," she says after I passed through Clara's friends.
"So am I. Clara was quite persuasive."
"Was she?"
"I didn't know you two were still in touch."
"Yeah. We hit it off... You never replied to my message."
There it is. "I didn't know what to say, and while I was reading it, Clara saw me and wanted to read it herself. I had to switch it off."
"And what's your answer?"
"Wanna go somewhere else?"
"It'd be rude to her."
"I think I can explain it."
She laughed while I headed towards our friend. She was entertaining her own.
I tapped her on her shoulder. When she looked my way, her eyes were big.
"Well, Dan, what's going on there?"
"Is it alright if we leave?"
She laughed. "Okay."
"You didn't have to ask my permission, though."
"I figured since you invited me here, I'd at least do this."
"You're such a friend."
"Don't spoil my mood."
I also said my goodbyes to her friends, then I turned toward Julie. I increased my step until I reached her. I grabbed her hand and I almost sprinted to the steps.
"Hey, slow down, alright?"
"We have plenty of time."
I bared my teeth.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Story #66 - What's this love thing? (part 7)

Clara said she'll see me at Leicester Square, but I've been waiting for half an hour. I might as well...have something vibrating in my pockets.
"Where are you?"
"Near the Leicester Square tube."
"Why are you waiting outside?"
"Because that's where the meeting was supposed to happen."
"Oh. I changed my mind on the way there and went in this place called Julo. Sorry, I forgot to tell you."
"Is it far?"
"No. Let me find the postcode for you. Just a sec."
Not even into out meeting or date or whatever, and she's already got her head in the sky.
"Hey, I can't find it right now. I'll text you."
But she sounded like she was having fun. Better walk around and ask some people about it. Or maybe I should finally reply to Julie. It vibrated again.

After she gave me the post code, I went to this place. Not far from where I was. I didn't think she'd want to go clubbing. 20 pounds to get in, huh? I'd better make sure I get something back.

Going down the steps, I spot Clara, who is not alone. Three other girls, one guy, and Julie.
I'm starting to sweat.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Story #65 - What's this love thing? (part 6)

I still don't know if I'm ready to hear what she has to say about me. I'll see how things go.
We came in this coffee shop, which Clara kept saying that it has the best brewed stuff in the area, "Way better than what you'd find in those chains." and there are only four other people in here. Then again, the clock hasn't passed half five yet.
"What kind of coffee would you like?"
"Surprise me," I say, and she smiled.
I grabbed a table nearer to the end of the place, in a more secluded area.
I checked my phone to reread Julie's message while I waited. My pointer hovered over the Reply button. I started sweating. I took a deep breath and shut off the phone. I couldn't be level headed right now, and I'd rather not write anything bad.
"I bought you a latte. Is that alright?"
"Sure. I'm not too fused about coffee in the first place. How much do I owe you?"
"My treat. I invited you here to do unspeakable things to you."
"Ha ha."
"Everybody laughs before they're tortured. Then they realize it's not theirs."
"You sound like me. Are you alright?"
"Am I alright? I'm having a great day. I met you and it will be even better."
"Not for me."
"Don't be quick to shrug me off. Are you ready?"
"I'll never be ready,"
"Okay. I know I said that you are more of a friendzoned guy and that I'd tell you how to improve yourself, but I've been looking at you from the counter there and there's not much wrong.
You lack some confidence with girls, and you act way too cautious because of it. Has it ever paid off?"
"Come on, spill it out. I'm not a gossip monger."
"It hasn't."
"So, why do you still do it?"
"I don't know how else to behave."
"I can see that," Clara says and starts smiling. I'd like to punch her. It feels like those lips are mocking me. It's annoying. "Oh, and you need a different hairstyle. And maybe groom at times. And a new style of clothes."
"Clothes? You've never seen my outside of work clothes. I have different stuff than cargo pants, black t-shirts, and running shoes."
"Uh-huh. How about we meet once in your nicest clothes?"
"Where do you want to go?"
"You'll see."
"Great. Let's meet at Leicester Square at nine pm."
"Sounds good."

We finished out coffees right after that, then headed off. I wonder what's in my head at this point. I have a bad feeling about this.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Story #64 - What's this love thing? (part 5)

That shift went by fast enough. I was relieved. And nobody asked me about my grumpy mood, which I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing.
After I left the pub, I checked my phone. Julie sent me a message.
"I'm sorry about earlier. I'm feeling down. I just can't be nice to people. I even took some days off work. I'd like to make it up to you if you're available in the coming days."
I stopped in the middle of the street, staring at my phone like some genie was popping out of it.
"...alright? Hey, hey. Dan, hellooo..."
Clara had her face near my phone at it took me a good five seconds to realize that. She's another former colleague who traded jobs in the area. From bartender to baker. It was a sudden and a drastic change. I've asked her several times why the switch, but she never answered.
"Oh, it's you."
"What's that supposed to mean? Were you expecting some famous actress?"
"No. I was stuck in my..." Her figure went from facing me to facing the phone. "Whoa. It's private," I said and took it away, then closed it and placed the device in my trousers' right pocket.
"Sounds like you have a date, you heel you."
"You know, you're always like this."
"Like what?"
"Unsure. Giving those types of answers. And then there are the problems you face when asking girls out. Feels like World War 3 is about to start."
"I don't know what you mean."
"You do. You're just kidding yourself. Think I don't know that you liked me?"
"True. You never made a move. And now it's lost, for good. Your chances weren't that big, though. I always felt that you were more of a friend type than a boyfriend type."
"Sounds harsh, I know. I think you're a nice guy who deserves a girl, but you have to change."
"In what way?"
"Hmm... I'm off right now, judging by the time, you are too. Wanna grab a coffee?"
"If you tell me about me, sure."
What's going on right? First Julie, now Clara? Can something good come out of this?

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Story #63 - What's this love thing? (part 4)

"H... Hi."
"Why did you call me?"
"You kissed me."
"I wanted to-"
"I was quite emotional, wasn't I?" Her breathing pattern went from regular to heavy.
"I'm sorry."
"What for?"
"That was...a mistake."
"Sorry. Bye."
Before I could say anything, she hung up.
I felt over the moon when I received her phone number. Now I feel twenty feet below it. I feel like I don't belong anywhere. If the wind would blow, it'd shatter me into pieces and flutter me away like glass shards.
And I have to be at work in an hour.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Story #62 - What's this love thing? (part 3)

I waited until ten in the morning. I was anxious, restless, peppy. I needed something to do while I could call Scott. He was the guy every girl wanted to have as a friend, and he wouldn't have wanted it otherwise. But what he wanted was...unattainable. 
"Dan, love, how have you been?"
"Great. Listen. Do you have Julie's number?"
"I do."
"Can I have it, please?"
"What I get in exchange."
"And what do you have on your mind?"
"A date."
"Err...if there won't be any fooling around."
"No fooling around."
"Magnificent. I'll text you her number right away."
Yeah. He kinda put me under the bus there. I hope I won't regret it.

I had her number five minutes later. I was even more pumped up. Hell, I was sweating like a bloody waterfall. If you saw me, you'd think I just finished a five kilometer run. 
I put her number in and dialed. After the first ring I discovered that I didn't know what to say. My mind went blank. 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Story #61 - What's this love thing? (part 2)

When I opened my eyes, I found myself at work. Someone hit me in the head with a piece of paper. It stung a bit. I looked at him. "Wake the fuck up," he said. Same old Johnny. Always cursing, even when there's nothing to do around or worry. I'm wondering if he has Tourette's.
I'm a bartender at the Molten Circus. I know, a stupid name, yet people still come. I get asked that question at least once a day, and I try to tell them various things, and by far my favorite story is that a circus was once on these grounds, built over a cemetery, and one day the circus tent was burning. The people in charge went bankrupt after that. A sad case. But I think we get some regulars with my stories, or at least I'd like to think that.

Anyway, that Hugh guy was working here up until a week ago. I hated him. He was arrogant, and nothing special on the bar. Didn't want to help bring up heavier stock like wines, only crap like straws and toilet paper. Anyway, he pissed me off when he asked Julie out, although I should be upset at myself since I really took my time and lost my chance right after that. Indecisiveness happens to the best of us. I sound like an old man, I know, and I act like one at time. I guess her being the first cute girl here in over six months made me fall for her. A rejection would've been better at the time.

This day passed by fast. Johnny was still swearing, even with girls he was trying to flirt. That was bad. They rolled their eyes every time he said "shit" and "fuck". After our shift, he asked me why is he so unlucky with girls. Didn't know what to say.
After we parted ways, I started thinking about Julie again. Damn, her lips were so soft.
If only I could talk to her again...and I might do that from tomorrow.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Story #60 - What's this love thing? (part 1)

I was walking one day to work. Looked like a regular day. No clouds, but not much sun either.
The streets had the same grey tint without having a leaf on them.
I had passed a block of seven houses, and every one had their drapes over their windows, like they were cowering in fear of having the sun's particles in their homes.
Anyway, I was talking with some of my other voices in my head, you know, to pass the time; I'm pretty sure everybody does it, although most people deny doing so; when I saw Julie.
We used to work together until she found a different job, one that she said was much better. During those five months she was around, she brightened me. There are certain people who smile even when others are negative and gloomy and tiresome and bitchy and... She was this person. Whenever I was sad or conflicted, I'd look at her smile and feel everything vanish. It's all because of a gap in her front teeth. I've heard people call her a bunny girl, which I found kinda rude. She simply giggled.

Julie was coming my way, smiling, looking at the clouds with her big brown eyes that could rival anime ones. She had a haircut, though. A fringe. Made her figure stand out more. I thought "Shit, I might fall for her even more." As I was doing this, she saw me and waved at me. I waved back.
Approaching one another, wondering how to start things, I stopped.
"Hey, Dan."
"Hello, Julie."
"What are you looking at?"
"Oh, I saw a pebble that I thought looked great."
"Still looking at random things, huh?"
"Going home?"
"To work, actually."
"Oh," she said and her lips frowned.
"What's wrong?"
"You know I was dating Hugh, right?"
"We broke up recently, and he kinda humiliated me. Whenever I think of that place, I get sad."
"That's...wrong. One jerk shouldn't affect your feelings that much."
"We both made mistakes, though."
She pushed her chest against mine and almost swept me off my feet. I was surprised and didn't know what to do for a few seconds, then I hugged her; her hands did the same.
Julie raised her head and I could see the tears flushing down her reddish cheeks, leaving snowcone-like tracks behind.
"It's al..." Our lips touched. I closed my eyes.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Story #59 - No such thing as haunted houses!

"Yo, Alex, wanna come in this house with me?"
"Isn't it private property?"
"Kinda, but it's also abandoned. And I heard it's haunted."
"By what?"
"The dead?"
"Yeah, obviously. I mean, a ghost, voices, something else?"
"Nobody knows. Everyone who went in there said they saw nothing, yet they heard noises."
"Boring, isn't it?"
"It might be fun. So?"
"Yeah, sure. I can do shopping later."

As those two went past the chainless gate, one light switched on inside the place. It was warm, and dark, and quiet.
The door was open.
"Huh. It wasn't like this when we were outside."
"Must be that haunted thing. Or so you say."
"Well, there was a light on, too."
"Must be a couple or something."
Screeches can be heard upstairs. Silence. Then muffled music.
"See, a couple."
"Or some killer who was dragging her victim, and her heels were making that noise. But I don't know what's up with the music. It sounds shady. Let's check it out."
"Oh, boy."
Slowly moving inside the dark hallway, trying not to make a noise, one of them kicks a metallic object. The music stops. He holds his foot and clenches his teeth.
"Goddammit. Who the hell put a bucket over here? Hurts like a motherf..."
"Why aren't there any steps?"
"How should I know? You okay?"
"Getting there."
"Let's go up."
"Come on."
"I'm running out if something happens."

Walking on all fours up the steps, they reach the top. No lights are on. There is no smell. Or noise.
"Where should we go now?"
"It sounded like it came from that room."
After their whispers, they walked over to farthest room down the narrow hallway. Only one person at a time could fit.
The door seemed to open with every foot they took.
"Hey, man. I'm going to stop."
"Come on, Alex. Don't be a pussy."
"...okay, fine. Just until we reach the door."
And they continued.

A short couple of steps until the room, when the wall to their right opens up and swallows them inside.
The lights turn on. There's blood everywhere. There are...bones, too. And...
The lights turn off.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Story #58 - Red panda for a pet

"Darling, your dad and I feel that you can have a pet now. What would you like?"
" panda."
"A what?"
"A red panda, mommy."
"I don't know that one."
"It's small, with ears, and teeth, and paws, and a tail, and a nose, and eyes."
"Ahem. We'll look into it, okay? Now go and play."

Several days have passed.
"Yes, darling?"
"Will you still get me my red panda?"
"Uh... Baby, how should I explain this to you...we cannot have a red panda in our house because the law doesn't allow us."
"That's stupid."
"But it's the truth. They're protected, and you can't raise them like you do a dog or cat."
"That's stupid."
"Don't you want a cat instead?"
"What about a hamster?"
"No. Only a red panda."
"Well, I guess you won't get a pet."
"That's stupid. I hate you."
He left the room.
"You'll get over it. Can't afford one of those creatures. They're odd. Wouldn't want them in the neighborhood."

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Story #57 - Getting out of bed

What time is it...? 5 am. Way too early to wake up. I still have time. I'll just wake up later.

What about now? 6 am. Dammit. I don't have anything to do. Why am I waking up this early? Somebody must be mentioning me or something. I'd rather sleep a bit more. 

Hmm... It's 7 and I feel tireder than before. What's up with that? One more hour won't hurt, will it?

Crap. I overslept. It's 9 and I have to be at work in a half an hour. Kinda impossible now. Dammit. Maybe I should call in sick... Not a bad idea actually. I'll go to the doctor's office and get something for it, then. It's Monday anyway. Nobody cares at the office. Better call the boss.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Story #56 - Dead End?

They say that there are no dead ends in the city. That every street or alley you pass leads you somewhere. They probably didn't know about this one.
It's dubbed "Stranger's alley". Nobody really knows where the name came from, but every week someone passes by this place, something happens.

Last week a couple went there to take a picture. The guy even went on top of the wall and clung to one of the branches. His girlfriend turned her back to him so that she could figure out where to stop; at least that's what she said. When she turned around, he wasn't there anymore. She yelled for him as she ran toward the branch, but she couldn't see or hear anything. In a mad fit, she called the police. When they arrived, they said she might be hoaxing them. After she showed them pictures, they started looking. They didn't find anything.

There have been missing dogs, kittens, and children. And nothing from them has been found out. Not even foot traces from whoever is taking them.
I decided to check it out. I brought a knife and a flashlight, along with a camera.
It's dark, nobody's around, and so far, so good.
I'm climbing on top of the wall. Hmm... This smell of plums came out of the blue. God, it's dreadful. I should've brought a gas mask.
Now that I'm at the top, I am peeking at... Huh? There's nothing here after these branches. This smell, though, it's making me drowsy... I hear some footsteps. Can'

Monday, 19 October 2015

Story #55 - Not a fairy tale

Once upon a time there was a guy in his early twenties. He was the generic average bloke you'd meet everywhere or read about. No noteworthy features, intelligence, or skill. Just grey.
He went through life like a shadow. Even his own parents paid him less attention once they realized what he was all about. They stopped taking him to family meetings and days out; he didn't dislike that.
One day, this guy decided to pawn his watch. It was the only thing in his wardrobe that looked inappropriate with his attire. It was gold; everything else was either white or black.
He went to the shop. The guy behind the counter said it was fake, and that it wasn't worth much. Disappointed, he left.

After he came home, he went into the garden and planted it under the grass, one foot deep; then poured water over the patch.
Week after week he waited for something to pop up, but nothing ever did.
A month and a half went by, and he decided to check on it.
There wasn't anything worthwhile above, so he decided to dig.
A few worms were crawling over the watch; he peeled them off. It was dusty and sprinkled with dirt; he blew on it. The fake wasn't working anymore. He rotated the buttons, but it was in vain; the color turned from golden to dark red, almost brick-like.
"Guess there aren't any fairy tales in real life, are there?" He said as he hung his head in shame.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Story #54 - Squirrel goes nuts

My nut, my nut, where is my nut? Oh, my, squirrel. I can't find my nut. I've been wanting to eat it since there was light, and I saw that it vanished.
I'm not going to ask anybody else about it. I don't want them to think that I misplaced my food, so that they can steal it later. Nobody from the squirrel kingdom can be trusted.
I still cannot find the thing. It was big, plump, and hard... There it is. That human has it in his hand. And he's...bringing it closer to me. It's near me... I can't believe it. I have to stretch... A little more... A bit more...aaaaaanddddd I have it.
Thank you human, but now I'm running away. From you, from everybody. I have my nut and I'm happy.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Story #53 - Fierce Felines?

"Hey, guys. What the hell are you doing?"
"Can't you tell that we're playing charades?"
"Yeah. We're trying to make these figure out what we're trying to show."
"What if you don't?"
"They'll hit us with the thing from their hand."
"It hurts like a motherf..."
"You alright, tiger? He just hit you."
"I'd so like to chomp his little hands off and his little head off, and everybody and everything."
"Shame we don't have claws and teeth anymore, right?"
"We're supposed to be tamed, you know. We don't go around and do that."
"You're one to talk, lion. You were the big shot. Now look at you, in two paws, shaking your ass on this stupid wooden frame that can fall any minute now. Are you in the circus or what?"
"I'm dancing."
"More like bouncing, haha."
"Wait till I get my paws on you, tiger. Your friend will get hit, and you'll be mine."
"Look around you. There are more of my bros here. The one with the ball in his mouth can easily jump you, drop the ball in your mouth, and then it's bye bye lion."
"I'm pretty sure these humans will bring some more of my comrades around. Aw..."
"See what happens when you don't dance as you should?"
"You know what, as much as I'm tired of you and this other one, and your stupid charades, I say we get them."
"But we don't have teeth and claws."
"You've got tails, right? And we weigh more than them. We can do some damage to them."
"I don't know."
"Yeah. I quite like eating... What are eating again? It's been a long time since I last chewed."
"There you go."
"Let's put it like this, then. If we defeat them, how are we going to eat without teeth? Whatever they're giving us keeps us going, but how else are we supposed to..."
"Wait... Lion!"
"Oh, come on. We'll wing it."

Picture belongs to Britta Jaschinski, and it's titled "Broken Cats".

Friday, 16 October 2015

Story #52 - Why those videos go viral

"Have you noticed how people that like cute creatures like animals and humans, only like them when they're small?"
"I think they like them at every age."
"Not really. People prefer cute kittens, puppies and toddler, heck, even ugly ones, to grown-up ones."
"You're wrong."
"Okay. When a kitten meows and is small, you find it cute, feed it some food, then play with it. When a small child talks smack, you find it funny; everybody does. When that kid is fifteen and does that, he's in a rebellious phase. When he's in his twenties and does that, he's immature. When he's over forty and does that, you know shit's gonna get down."
"You have a weird way of looking at life."
"Oh? And how do you view it?"
"Well, it's true that those are cuter, but the older ones are more passionate."
"Who cares about passion when you want to laugh? When you want to de-stress yourself? Sometimes it's less about trying to think, and more about trying to enjoy, to feel good, to ease back, to lose a few brain cells."
"Do you feel good after it? Feel pumped up and ready to destroy someone or something?"
"No. I just smile."

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Story #51 - Intriguing coffee girl

I've always enjoyed my cup of coffee alone. Whenever someone came and joined me, I wouldn't even look at them. They'd usually talk to me, or touch my shoulder, or poke my shoulder with their finger, and I wouldn't say anything. I wouldn't turn around. I couldn't be bothered.
You see, I always felt my world to be more important than anyone else's, but regardless of that, I'm a poor morning person. I'd rather shut up and go away from you than bear your sight and give you my two cents on your appearance or intelligence. Yes, I'd be that nasty. I know that ignoring is equally nasty and it doesn't really bode well for me in the short or long run. It won't make me any friends. It will only get me pointed at.

Yet, recently, something weird has been happening. Two minutes after I put my cup down, some girl puts her cup next to mine. I don't know who she is yet. I've never seen her in the college canteen before.
She has short curly hair that covers half of her left ear; the right one has a dangling earring with a cherry. Every time she rocks her head to the side, it flows like the wind is carrying the piece of fruit almost out of the tree. It left me speechless a couple of times; still, I didn't talk to her.
I listen to music when I'm here, but I always hear her laughter. I don't know what's so funny in her phone. I'd like to find out, though. Her giggles are short and full of vigor, like those people who start to laugh, can't stop, and you join them. Although she knows how to stop, you still end up laughing along.
Also, she changes her nail polish every day. She had, green yesterday, black and blue the day before, pinkish before that. I wonder what'll be today. I might change myself, too. I might start looking at her while she's here. Might start talking, too.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Story #50 - Breaking stuff again

"Goddammit. You broke a glass again. Yesterday some plates. Today a few of these. Who knows what tomorrow."
"Why are you so upset?"
"Because you broke them."
"And? It's an inanimate object. It doesn't scream, it doesn't yell."
"True, but it costs money."
"They're bloody cheap. Nobody really cares what you eat on, you know. Get over it. It won't kill you if three of them are cracked or smashed. Stop vesting your emotions in crap like this. They're not your friends..."
"I gave them names though."
"God... Look, it happened, alright? It slipped. I'm sorry. I'll buy you a new set. You happy?"
"Not really."
"What'll it take to make you happy?"
"Hmm...probably nothing."
"That's your choice, isn't it?"
"I guess so."
"When will you know so?"
"No idea."

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Story #49 - Doing the same day, everyday

I wake up, take a shower, grab a bagel or a muffin, have an espresso, and dash off to work.
I take the subway to work. I always get there at 9:25 am, and I always get on it at 9:30, even if it's crowded.
I finish my stop at 10:02. I leave the ramp four minutes later. I arrive at work ten minutes after that.
I say "Hi" to a couple of folks, then go on my computer. Usually, as this thing changes times, but it's a constant, I have a meeting with my boss about nothing in particular. He's not really saying that I'm doing a great job, just a decent one; I don't really care much about the job, either. If I'm only putting in a minimum effort, and he's okay with that, then so be it.
I don't talk much with my colleagues at work, however, when we finish at 6:30 pm, we go for a beer. Fridays we go for five.
After that beer, I go back on the tube. Apart from Friday, I am always there at 7:10 pm, board it four minutes later, and get in my area at 7:46 pm.
I grocery shop, or that's what I think I'm doing, when I'm only buying muffins/bagels, humus and pitta bread. The flavor of the chickpea dish changes, though.
Then I go home, eat that while I check on random, nonsensical stuff, watch a movie, and then go to sleep.
On the weekends I tend to eat a cake, and a few pizzas, while watching three movies. And that's the weekend.
And that's my life. And there's nothing wrong with it. Although some days I feel like I should fall on the subway tracks.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Story #48 - Going out on a picnic

    Once upon a time I was having fun with my family in this very spot. Seeing my baby daughter smile and laugh made me see how beautiful life is.
    You see, this place didn't have all this cobblestone in place. It was filled with grass all over. And benches. Plenty of other people were here. Couples learning love, couples realizing love, couples with spent love.
    We were nice together. We had been in love for almost ten years. We weren't even middle class, so all we could afford was going out to a movie and the monthly pub thing, to have a something different to fish and chips or sausages and mash that I grew tired of eating every week.
    When Noelle was born, eight months ago, I felt that life could not go better. And for a short while, it was. She was crying, not her heart out like others of her age, just enough to keep us awake at night. I was prepared for that, and I quite liked changing her diapers. Then something happened.
    People began to lose their jobs, not because they were bad at them, but because of higher-ups. I wound up losing mine as well.
    I was without one for a month, and went penniless within three weeks. Being paid weekly was nice. Not being was not.
    I was at my wits end. I even thought about stealing some apples or carrots. Hell, even milk. I was close to doing it one time when a couple of guys got into a fight near a marketplace and everybody turned into a crowd for them. My hand reached out to get the bread, the only thing that I could get, and my hand stopped. It simply froze. Then I took it back and put it in my pocket, and went on my way. I hated myself for not doing it, and for thinking about doing it.
    My wife was an emotional wreck by this point. Noelle was crying more often, and who could blame her. No other food than her mum's milk. No diapers. No warmth in the house. It made me feel ashamed of being a father.
    I had a friend who had found a job, and he came over and asked me if I wanted it. I didn't ask what it was about and said yes straight away. I was cleaning animal carcasses and dung.
   I tried not to mind it. Much. And as long as the money came, I was glad that my family was happy.
   Two months after this we arrived in this park. It was the first weekend I had off since I started that job and I wanted to enjoy myself. The weather was nice. The sun was bright. Then it turned dark all of a sudden. No clouds, though. A siren could be heard. And something falling.  

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Story #47 - First alcoholic experience

I was walking down the street once. It was the first time in my life that I had had a drink. I didn't really know if I liked it or not, but everybody else seemed to be livelier with it. I think I was, too.
I'm usually shy, and I was right now as well, especially since it was the first time I met these people. I only had my friend, Claire, with me, and she's out there as hell. If you put her in a room with five people, she'll talk to all five and probably lead them to something. If you'd put me in the same room, I'd probably read a book and barely make any eye contact, unless someone had something that'd pique my interest.

Getting back to that time, we were going to this pub. A friend of hers had her birthday, and Claire told me to "move my ass outside of my room and have a little fun." To which I said "I am having fun. I'm reading." She gave me a look and told to get ready 'cause we'd be leaving in ten minutes. I panicked and put on some of my less nice clothes. I don't really know why. I had time. I guess I freaked out since I knew how she was and what she might do to my nice ones.

Once we arrived at the place, "The Crow's Arm," we went upstairs where her friend was. I was expecting about ten people; there were over forty. Being out of my comfort zone is an understatement.
I tagged along after Claire for a whole hour, pretty much. I'm pretty sure I bugged her, but I didn't care. She knew how I was, and she knew she had to do something.

Some guy came up while I was sipping some soda and lime. "You look really out of place here."
"How can you tell?"
"You've been following that girl since you came in. What are you drinking?"
"Soda and lime cordial."
"I'll get you something."
"I don't drink alcohol."
"You'll like this one," he said and left my sight. He wasn't bad looking, and I didn't know his intentions. I liked his blue checkered shirt, thought. Oh, and his brown hair tilted slightly on the side, like a drape. I was looking for Claire after that.
"Here," he said, handing me a glass of a orange-ish looking beverage. "Have at it."
"What is it?"
"Drink first."
And I took a sip from the straw. There was a wedge of orange placed on a side of the wine glass.
"It's nice and bubbly."
"You like it then. It's an Aperol Spritz."
"I don't know what that means."
"It's a mixture of Aperol, Prosecco, and soda."
"Uh-huh," I mumbled, and took a longer sip. I started to like it.
For the next half an hour, we talked about everything and nothing. And I had two more of these.
Claire came by and looked at me with the glass, then hugged me; she also whispered something unintelligible, to which I nodded. I think the alcohol had started to affect me.

I don't really remember much after that. I think I had a few shots. I know that one glossy looking white shot was in my hand. It looked as it tasted. Disgusting.
Then I found myself outside, and boy did my head shake. I wanted to go straight, yet my legs went zig-zag.
I had to cross the street. You always looked right. Even the fuzzy writing on the ground said the same; I looked left. I heard a loud noise coming from my right. Then I was swept off my feet.

Everything went blank.
When I opened my eyes I was on Claire's sofa. My clothes were on the floor. I looked under the coverlet to confirm, and it was a yes. I felt like I had been violated.
I asked Claire about that night and why I was naked, and she kept telling me that she couldn't remember, but she assured me there was no foul play. I didn't feel different, so she might have been telling the truth.
Still, it's been over a year since then and I haven't had alcohol in me. Can't say I miss it much.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Story #46 - When the low rebel

"Yes, servant."
"I have won countless wars for you. I have pillaged villages, I have given you the most beautiful women that we have found, I have burned the smarted children, I have poisoned political opponents, I have sicked dogs at beggars, I have..."
"Get to the point, servant. I don't have all day."
"You are losing everybody around you, master. I have heard whispers suggesting that you might be paranoid. That you do not wish to serve anymore. That you are making mistakes in every regard."
"Go and make them vanish."
"To be honest, I have no wish in doing your bidding anymore. I have made you rich. I have put gold in your lap, on your clothes, on your feet. You have put only stone on me. You have draped me with snakes and spikes, made my family look away when I came inside. You turned me into a less glamorous image of yourself."
"I did."
"It ends right now."
"I concur."
"Dispose of this slab of a servant that's in front of me. Make sure he ends up where he says he's from."
"Huh? Why you double-crossers. You said..."
"Oh, you didn't have to core his apple right in front of me. It doesn't matter anymore. I'm going to take a bath. Have fun."

Friday, 9 October 2015

Story #45 - Letting your mind wander after a walk

They say that ideas, good or bad, come when you walk. A half an hour, an hour, longer.
Well, yesterday I walked for over five hours. Haven't met anyone. Haven't seen anything out of the ordinary. Just a green park, plenty of brown benches, some looked a tad rusty, some even had some wooden boards missing.
I saw that and I wanted to let my ideas go wild. I had nothing...nothing. But now I can figure out that some dog might've been too bubbly and thought it was a tree branch, or some couple had been too lovey-dovey, Hell, maybe even a runner who did a few too many jumping squats.
Then there was a bald spot amid the grassy patches which looked weird, and looked like it had been shoveled right off, although there weren't any step marks around that portion.
I found it weird that there were no animals or birds. Even in the most abject places you usually find pigeons, squirrels, or hell, snails, worms, spiders, ants, something like that. Maybe what caused the bald spot caused the animals to flee. Maybe an invisible being that doesn't leave traces went around and kidnapped all the living things from the park.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Story #44 - Let's buy stuff

One day I was thinking to myself, "I don't have stuff in my life. A book, a laptop, and that's about it." I really felt I needed more.
So I went and bought a few more laptops, just to have, who knows if I'll ever use them. Maybe I'll end up reselling them.
I never used chairs in my life, apart from school, and didn't miss them. But then I had an idea of building a fort and hiding myself under it.
I had been eating on the floor for years, and a table was lacking in my house. Maybe I could try some of those fancy pull-ups where you need a really strong core.
I always wanted to paint, so I'll buy some oil paints, since they look better, and a few canvases.
I always wanted to draw professionally, and I found the nicest-looking graphics tablet. Hopefully it'll work. It's kinda old.
And I went with "I always..." for a few weeks, until I felt that my house was filled too the brim. Then guess what? I didn't have time to enjoy them. I simply stared at them. I didn't know with what to go first. I only figured out that I had to sell.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Story #43 - Going in the zoo

"Stacy, Stacy..."
"Huh? What?"
"Stop reading on your damn phone. We're in the zoo now. Look at the animals."
"Seen one, seen them all."
"Do you really mean?"
"Well, look. This monkey is giving us the finger."
"It's a chimpanzee, and I'm giving it my finger."
"Smart. Now it's going ballistic."
"So? That's why it's in a cage, isn't it?"
"Imagine if it were out."
"That's boring. Let's go somewhere else."
"I don't know. Aren't there any other type of animals around?"
"You said that if you saw one, you saw all of them."
"Yeah, well... Pictures are nice. And documentaries. But I wanna see something different than your average chimp or random bird like the magpie."
"Fine. Look. A giraffe."
"What do you want to see?"
"A lion murdering a human."
"Er... Yeah... There aren't lions in here."
"That's a shame."
"Oh, look, a tiger. I'm jumping in."
"See you in a few minutes."
"Stacy's really going in. Without fear. Now three of them saw her. They're growling. She doesn't care. She's just running towards that tree. One went after her. Boy does he have speed. Shit. I think he just clawed her leg. And she's rolling. The tiger's on top of her. And it just bit her hand right off. She's screaming. I couldn't care less. Oh, a guy with a rifle popped it and darted the beast. The others scattered around. Stacy's crying, but at least she's safe. I hope she'll enjoy that thrill forever."

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Story #42 - Trying too hard to be funny

"Hey, Billy. Hey... Check out that kid."
Billy stops licking his popsicle. "Which one?"
"With the red t-shirt that "Huu-Hah" on it."
"Looks like a bellend to me."
"Everybody looks like a bellend to you. Probably you, too."
"Screw you."
"Alright. Let's go to him."
"For shits and giggles."
"What, you think licking a bloody ice cream stick is more worthy of your time?"
"It's sweeter."
"Oh, come on. I'll buy you a new one if you don't enjoy yourself. It's sweeter..."
Billy shrugs and continues on with his iced delight, as both of them go towards the person.
"Hiya, mate. How's it going?"
"Fine," the guy says, looking at them with half opened eyes.
"Rough night?"
"Don't feel like chatting, are ya?"
"Not really."
"Okay. I'll just ask ya one thing."
"What's that?"
"Huu-hah...huu-hah. What's that all about?"
"Kinda like that Al Pacino bit, but not really."
"Never heard of him?"
"I only watch Youtube."
"You should know Scarface."
"No. I watch viral videos. And kittens playing. That type of stuff."
"Right. If you don't know, then you don't know."
"Huh-hah... Sounds funny, mate."
"Sure. I'm going now."
Billy was on the other side. Him and his friend stopped.
"Dammit. I wanted to be funny and I failed. Let's go home."
"You said you'd buy me another one."
"Fine. I hope it's bitter, this one."
"You should buy one yourself while you're at it. Maybe you can actually make a joke next time."

Monday, 5 October 2015

Story #41 - Talking to...

I like my hair. Don't you? Of course you do. Everybody likes my hair. Look at how curly it is. And black. If I were to have spiders in here, I wouldn't know about it. Not like it would make much of a difference. Anyone who gets wrapped up in my strings can die, or lose a finger. It's that feisty. But you already know that.
Oh, I so miss hearing your voice, even if it was all brash, rude, raspy, even if you always said the dumbest things. I guess I feel nostalgic about the worst things. I shouldn't feel like that, considering how you treated me my whole life.
You always spat in my face. When I was happy, you told me I was showing off, you made me feel paranoid, made me afraid to be myself. Every smile I had was turned into a scowl. Every piece of laughter added to the music of sorrow.
When I finally moved away from, you had to follow me. You had to know every thing I did. Why? Why couldn't you let me go?
Well... I suppose I started to accept you after a while. That's why you're here.
I still wish I could get rid of you. And I'd want you back straight away.
Oh, why are you doing this to me, mirror?

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Story #40 - Everybody wants everything handed

"Hmm, I wish I had a fairy around. I could have it give me all sorts of wishes."
"You called, master?"
"I am your fairy, master."
"Where did you come from? Why is there light in this room? I was about to go to sleep and now I have aliens in my pad."
"I am not an alien. I am a fairy, and you wished for me to appear."
"Oh, yeah? So, can you give me wishes?"
"Okay. I wish I had a girl next to me."
"Very well... Poof."
"What's this?"
"A girl."
"This is a doll for children. What can I do with it? Pet its hair? Dress it up?"
"Be more specific next time."
"Fine. I want to not have a job ever again, but have enough money for the rest of my life."
"Very well... Poof."
"Let me check my bank account... Nope. Still the same amount."
"When you will pay for something, regardless of the amount, you will have it."
"Let me try that. I'm gonna buy...hmm...twenty bags of peanuts at five bucks a bag. That should be more than what I have. Checkout... Holy shit, it worked."
"I'm glad you like it."
"Okay. Here's another one. Whenever somebody wants something from, they'll forget it and praise me instead."
"Very well... Poof."
"I have a new text message. From Melanie. "You are amazing." Haha. I might be the first one that she complimented in her life."
"Is there anything else that you would like, master?"
"I have to sleep on it. I will tell you tomorrow."
"Very well... Poof."
"Wait. What did you do?"
"It is tomorrow already."
"But I'm exhausted. I haven't slept at all."
"Very well... 
"... Poof."

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Story #39 - Every kid dreams wildly

"Mommy, I know what I wanna be."
"What's that, Danny?"
"A thug."
"A what?"
"A thug, mommy. Like those people on the streets that go around with guns in their arms."
"Do you want to kill people, honey?"
"No, mommy. I want to protect people."
"Why don't you become a police officer?"
"Because they hurt innocent people."
"How can you say something like that?"
"It's true. I saw it on the news yesterday. A man was walking down the street, and he wanted to cross over. He let the cars go by, and crossed over once there were no more cars. Then the police man came and hit him over the head with the bat. Then he arrested him. I don't want to be like that."
"You can be a good officer, in that case."
"No, no, no. I don't want that. Thugs dress nicely, officers do not. Thugs have their own schedule, and they are charming, too."
"Darling, thugs are doing bad things to people. They sell drugs. They make you want to do things you don't want to do."
"I don't care, mommy. I will do them, and like it."
"What happened to your previous dreams?"
"Everybody is a footballer, a baseballer, a hockeyer, a basketballer. Plenty of others are astronauts, scientists, musicians, painters, artists. I never hear a story of someone wanting to be a thug."
"Because they know better. You should, too."
"I should, but I don't care. I want to be a thug."

Friday, 2 October 2015

Story #38 - Marriage mischief

"Come on, we've got a train to catch."
"We have time..."
"You said that an hour ago. You don't even have your bags packed. Heck. You're not even dressed."
"We have plenty of time. When's the train supposed to arrive?"
"In twenty."
"How long does it take us to get there?"
"Packing, getting into clothes, getting out of the house and making sure you don't forget something..."
"You still haven't done that? Boy, you're lazy. Instead of berating me for an hour, you could've done just that and we would've been outta here much sooner."
"Are you telling me that this is my fault?"
"Are you joking right now?"
"When is the train coming?"
"Better get a move along."
"And you?"
"Don't worry about me. Just let me know when there are ten left."

"There are ten left."
He shut off the TV, stood up, grabbed his jeans, his t-shirt.
He grabbed his rucksack from behind the sofa. It was already made.
"I'm ready. Come on."
"Well? I'm at the door. What are you doing?"
"Counting the time."
"I don't have time for this. Come on already."
"Fine. Stay here for all I care. I'm going. Bye."
He closed the door. Footsteps could be heard going down the stairs.
She looked at the table.
"He took the tickets, but I forgot to tell him that they're for tomorrow."

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Story #37 - Don't have friends like these

It's getting dark. I've been in this house for four days. It was me and four friends. I'm alone right now. One after the other, night after night. All their stuff are in their rooms, yet no one was shocked afterward. Maybe they didn't care. Hell, they were even asking me if I knew whose belongings those were. I almost snapped. But I kept my composure and said that I was expecting some friends. I even gave their names, and they looked at me like people at the start of viral videos.
Anyway, it's getting dark.

The phones have stopped working this morning. I should've called the police right after Marie vanished, but I figured she went with Josh somewhere and was messing with everybody. All four of them were. I was wrong. If they were messing with me, why would they leave everything here, including their phones and wallets? Did they go out in their PJ's? Not those people. They couldn't get out of the house without gel in their hair, mascara, lipstick, make-up, and some other stuff that I have no idea what it is.

I've had this pizza ready for five minutes now. Popcorn, too. I can eat it all, but I don't want to. I want to share. Where are humans when you need them? I have to stop thinking about that. The movie is starting.

The house is silent, except for the TV and my mouth. And that's alright.

Thunder sounded off just now. It didn't come from the screen, nor from the outside. It came from behind me. Beyond the couch. I...don't want to look.
I'll pretend nothing happened, and just eat more pizza.

Another thunder. Louder. I fart. Loud. It smells. Something grabs my shoulder. It's bony.
"You are the last piece of my puzzle. I can be alive again."
Is what I heard in a shivered kind of a whisper. Gave me goosebumps. Made me drop the pizza. My hands started twitching. My hole started releasing more gas. I closed my eyes.

I don't know what happened after that, but I found myself in a cemetery, wearing the same clothes. Then I saw my friends talking right near a crypt. I blinked a couple of times, then I rubbed my eyes. It was them.
I decided to close my eyes again. Big mistake.