Along the Way

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Who doesn’t love Sunday mornings? Well, Zoe sure did. Nothing to do, she could wake up at any time she liked – even tough she always woke early, damn habits – and, best of all, she could enjoy the long and hearty breakfast she never had time to on weekdays. That’s where she was on that particular Sunday morning. Her bed was in the exact same state as when she rose at an unfriendly 7 AM, as was her hair, an unkempt mess, her beautiful curly twirls spawning in every direction in a shape she didn’t dare look at – she made a point of avoiding mirrors in mornings like that. She didn’t want to tame her mane unless she had to. And the only thing she had to do that morning was nothing. Continue reading

The Protector

My backpack weighed about twenty kilos, the sun was in its highest, I had forgotten to reapply the sunscreen and my sunglasses were slipping down my nose due to the sweat. All the makings of a stupid decision, and I knew it. I knew it before I started climbing the hill to the fake encouragement of my fellow hikers and campers. I knew I shouldn’t have fell into the dare, that I should have just ignored it. But they knew I couldn’t resist a dare, the bastards I grant the privilege of calling friends. So there I was, going up the rocky incline fully packed, because they doubted I could get up top and see if the view was as awesome as I said it would. Idiots. All of them, the whole group. Including me. Continue reading

There Where the Sun Sets

When she fires the first shot, her heart is racing, her head spins, and she trembles so much she thinks she will collapse. She is sure she has missed the target but, about one hundred meters ahead, a man is on the ground, blood flowing from a hole in his chest. She is mortified, panting, looking at times to the smoking barrel and the corpse on her property. A noise coming from the house brings her back.

“Sally, go back inside, now!” Continue reading

RMS

It was the biggest ship the young kid had ever seen. It was the biggest anything, in fact. When his mother told him they were moving, he wasn’t crazy about the idea, but didn’t fight it either. As a seasoned wanderer, he simply complied. His few belongings were easy to gather; besides his three or four changes of clothes and a grimy pillow, the only things he had to cherish were an old blanket and the little tin can toy car made by Old Floyd, the tramp from the park near his soon-to-be-former house. He didn’t even had a suitcase. Continue reading

Boredom’s Bridge Pillar

A red convertible Jaguar XKR-S speeds through the narrow tunnel, drifting as the road curves ahead of it. Right behind, a cobalt blue Aston Martin Vanquish performs the same stunts. Any inadvertent bystander observing the scene would be forced into a double take; it was easy to believe the same person is driving both cars. They screech into a full stop side by side, ignoring the fact the two-lane road is meant to cars going both directions. Roger, the driver on the Jaguar, stands up to better enjoy the view. The road is clear, empty and covered by a bright blue, cloudless sky, allowing one’s sight to reach as far as it can get. It curves ahead, surrounded by a mountain range on the left and a wavy plateau on their right. Far in the distance, a river and a bridge almost touching the horizon. A magnificent view, like a postcard picture, just outside their family’s estate in Switzerland.

“So, are you up for it?” Continue reading

Reaching for Air

It takes only around 23 seconds. Once his hands touch the water, quickly followed by the rest of his body, it is like he has entered his element. His arms and legs appear, to the outside viewer, to be moving on its own. His head, looking down then sideways, could well be interpreted as a sign of someone struggling for air. But he is in absolute control of his body, every movement a consequence of several hours of training. Continue reading

Woodwork

He was calm. He was always calm. He walked and moved and talked as if time was little more than an abstract concept. Thinking about it, isn’t it, really? Granted, he was way over his seventies, but I can’t imagine he being any different as a young man. It was a pleasure to take care of him. Between all the stories you hear about the elderly harassing and hazing their caregivers, one can become concerned. But he was nothing like that. Other than supervising the safety measures when he was working, most of the time with him was enjoyable. He had a way of making himself minimal, the bare essential being, almost not there. Continue reading