"It’s you again. I see".
“Wind blowing strongly today in San Jose, California. We assure people it’s just a storm, nothing to be worried about, just get inside, lock your doors and close your windows, it’s gonna be a long d…”.
“People are commenting on the last year's COVID-19 as if it was planned by China’s government to sink America’s markets…”
“Hello, how may I assist you today? Would you like me to play some music?”
‘Yes, play some blues on Spotify.
As all shopping malls, food markets, and cinemas are closing down, people are walking in the street with hurried faces. Cold wind blows against buildings and brings shivers to whoever stands outside their houses. It is as if air assumed a blueish color and took people’s spirits with them.
An owl moves from house to house flying nearby their chimneys. It moves with the fast speed of the wind and ends up in a mountainous region just outside of the city.
But quickly the owl notices a particular house standing stoic in midst of the trees.
After a couple of minutes by the road just outside of town, there is a house.
It is a brick layered house, with a tall chimney, and there are some blues playing inside. The house looks as if it has been there since the beginning of time. With dulled glass on the windows, and mold growing on the walls. The grass hasn’t been cut and grows wildly between the fences around the house. It is not a house for a human to live in.
There’s a huge cracking noise and suddenly the music stops.
The owl is grown attracted to that particular sound. And it decides to get closer.
As it gets closer there is a small tingling noise, as if a mouse is being killed. And that gets the owl more interested in going inside.
Once the owl is inside the house, all it can sense with its highly accurate hearing is
There appears to be no one in that house. No sign that a human lived there. No water running in the sink. No TV, no food lying around.
Just this living room with its vine carpet, some grass growing between the wooden plates on the floor, and the heavy enclosed air locked inside by closed windows. Pictures of unknown family members grayed and dusty from being exposed to the weather. It didn’t appear to be only one family in those portraits. There were people from multiple ethnicities. The inside and the outside of the house mixed together in an uncommon harmony between human organization and nature. There was space for dust to enter, and a barrier for air to leave. There was mold, but no other sign of life.
The walls were yellow and with cracked paintings already falling from tiles. Some fungus was nearby the corner of the ceiling, with green and vivid red color. The owl was interested in something it could eat. The sound it heard from a mouse being killed made it suspect that at least some sort of food was in the house.
Maybe there was.
High-pitched noise came from the corner of the living room, the entrance to the bathroom. As the owl approached further, there were some red drops nearby the couch, as if from a fast blow to a wounded animal. But surely the animal would be larger than just a mouse.
Grunts coming from the bathroom turned on the owl’s animal instinct to survive. It started trying to fly into the chimney where it came from.
“WeEEEEeee got it, yes we did, we got it again”.
“There, food, we need you alive after all.”
A full-grown man lying on the tub.
Red lively blood comes out from his chest cavity into the water. As the blood stains the water, he grunts, and cries.
“There is no salvation”.
“You asked for this”.
“You couldn’t just let us roam free, so you had to take us with you”.
“Now we take your soul, piece by piece. every single day. forever”.
He is fed a partially eaten owl. The tears roll down his cheek and meet with the blood from the carcass he is eating.
A lighting storm begins, it is only 18 pm, and he already knows it is gonna be another long night in that house.
A sharp pain starts in his neck as a bite-sized wound gets lighted up by the storm outside. No light is found inside that house. Not before, and not ever. He drinks some scotch to numb himself from all that pain and lights up a cigarette.
Takes a puff, and uses it to cauterize the bite in his neck.
Smoke flies into the air and assumes the same blueish color as outside. Smoking calms the man down, he stops grunting. After the cigarette is over he lights up another and burns himself in the wrist. He can’t seem to be away from pain too much. He needs to feel alive after all.
The bathroom is dark, and there’s water falling down from the ceiling. The lighting casts shadow figures on the wall. As he tries to take another puff, there is a cracking noise.
Bone comes out of his forearm, and mixes with the water in the tub as he tries to put it in its place.
There are no hospitals around, and no point in going either, they’d just call him a crazy suicidal son of a bitch.
He gets out of the tub to get something to wrap around his wound only to reveal a partially open cut beside his navel. More blood leaves him and he falls down hitting his head on the side of the tub.
The cigarette falls down to the floor and creates a little light on the ground, there is some sort of duality between the orange light from the tip and the blue light from the storm outside.
But soon that duality is ended by the blood leaving the tub and extinguishing the cigarette’s light. House is dark, once again, as no light is allowed in.
The wind blows into his face, the windows are open. And the cold wind awakens him into a world of pain and suffering once again. He shivers inside the tub with clear water.
He gets up, no wound in sight, and he knows it is coming again, soon. But he never knows when.
He gets up and walks into the living room, and gets some more whiskey, maybe then he can just pass out and wake up tomorrow. As he goes by the living room, he notices the carpet is ruined with blood from a wild animal, and the couch stinks of death.
He goes into the kitchen looking for some more poison, he finds an old-looking dull knife lying around the sink. He goes on to wash it but quickly stops, grabs the nearby beer can, and jumps on the couch.
‘Where is the tv? Fuck’.
He drinks one beer after the other. Then there’s the whiskey. After each drink, reality seems easier to deal with, and things start to be fun again. He can simply enjoy being alone watching the thunderstorm outside. He wonders if the people that lived in that house had a blast just as much as he did. As each drink comes down his throat and he holds down the puke, life keeps getting brighter and brighter.
He manages to empty his fridge and the whisky bottle, and it is only midnight. He isn’t tired, not at all, he can hold on to more booze than that. He needs to hold on to more booze than that. And he wants to get tired. He knows little about the darkness of the world, but he knows not to stay awake at night, especially around 3 am. Nothing good happens at that time. And he is not gonna let insomnia stop him from sleeping.
He gets up with difficulty and goes waving his body from left foot to right foot toward the bar, there must be something there to drink. He gives one step.
His stomach cries and starts sending his throat impulses to throw up.
Takes another step and falls down on the floor hitting his head. He opens his eyes, and the room is dark. Darker than he thought could be. The storm passed. So there was no light coming from outside. He starts crying.
There is no salvation now.
He left everyone, he left his family, friends, and wife. His kids left him first. That is why he decided to go into the priesthood. He spent a lifetime fighting inner demons to eventually turn to God. But God isn’t here right now. He doesn’t enter this house, and he doesn’t like following him around. There is nothing good to see here.
If God can’t save him, maybe another shot can. He gets up and keeps bumping against things in the dark. He must trust his memory and touch now.
He passes his hands on the walls and keeps going towards where he remembers the bar is. There is no noise coming from the outside, even though the windows are open.
Whoever could be watching his sad miserable existence could only wonder what gets someone this low in life.
A piercing object comes from behind him as he manages to finally touch the scotch on the bar.
There is now something across the man’s chest, a stake piercing his lung. He tries to cry, but blood fills his mouth and stops him.
He knows, it started again. And worse of all, he knew he was only one scotch away from oblivion.
Now he is very much awake, feeling his whole body shake and the piercing pain in his chest. He tries to get some air but can’t, he can only wait for it all to end.
As he falls down, he feels as if chains are being wrapped around his arms and legs, and they are starting to pull.
As he tries to scream all his tendons feel on the edge of tearing themselves down. The object in his chest has been removed during the fall. He starts coughing dark dry blood.
“There is no salvation for you here Jack”.
A tall figure with spikes on its head stands on top of him. As it touches Jack’s chest, his skin burns, and he screams louder.
“You don’t get to ask us why, you’ve brought this upon yourself”.
The window opens, and rain starts entering the living room.
Jack gets up. And goes running towards the window, maybe he can escape the house.
He jumps out of the 2nd-floor window and collapses on the floor.
Roosters get up early on the farm nearby. They wake their killers every day.
Early in the morning, the doorbell rings. Who would want to get into this house?
‘Wait up, I’m going.’
The doorbell rings once again.
The tall wooden door opens making those old door noises. It reveals a tall old dark-skinned man, wearing priest clothes and a golden cross necklace across his chest. Right beside him is a lovely little girl. She is wearing a pink shirt and some jeans, couldn’t be older than 10.
‘What do you want?’
“You are Jack right?”
“I have been told to come for you, I’m Lucius, and she is Mindy. Say hello to mister Jack, Mindy.”
“Hello, mister Jack”.
“You are Jack Wollock, the priesthood said you ran away 60 years ago, I didn’t imagine you’d look so young. Is it true then?”
“You know what they say”.
"It is worse".
“Mindy has been going through a difficult period in her life, she is having some terrible nightmares, and I’ve been told that you could help her”.
Jack touches the little girl in the head, a flash of light goes into his consciousness and he feels death. Again. But this time feels different. It feels colder.
She’ll be alright now.
“Really? Is that all it takes? You don’t need to read something from the Bible or something?”.
"No, you can leave now".
“Here’s some money, thanks very much, Cindy’s parents will appreciate it”.
"Cindy? I thought she was Mindy".
“Ow, I must have misspoken earlier, you know how old minds can get, I’m about the same age as you would be. I’ll be leaving now, thank you very much”.
Jack looks as the two figures walk inside the car beside the road.
The girl walks inside the car first, and the man closes the door for her.
She looks through the car window and smiles. She doesn’t look as much like a little girl from afar. She doesn’t even look human. The man shook his head and goes inside. Maybe he should watch TV. He heard earlier on the radio a storm was coming.
"Well", he tells himself, "if the news suck I can always drink and listen to some blues".
He goes into the house. And the wind starts blowing hard. Weird that such a nice day could turn bad.
‘Things can always get worse". He sits on the couch and starts drinking.
Humans are one of the deadliest animals on the planet.
Somehow they manage to transform themselves into what is required to survive.
“Hello, sir?”. The girl pokes the man on the ground with a stick.
‘What? Who?’. Jack opens his eyes.
“I’ve been waiting a long time sir, he said you’d help me, but you didn’t”.
‘Who are you?’ He gets up and takes a closer look.
He looks around, the sun is lighting up the whole area that he can see. He turns to the girl and says:
"It’s you again. I see"
This is the first story for the newsletter "📺 Storytime".
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