Monday, August 19, 2013

Dark Man - Part 1

          I’ve been having the same dream for the past three weeks now. I’m in a bright white room and I feel awfully terrible, dark, and dirty. It felt like this cold wet blanket wrapped around me, keeping me from moving. My hands felt wet and dead cold. As I looked down I saw that they were covered in red, dripping on the white floor. There was a body lying in a pool of red, a painter I knew from college.

           I would then be thrust suddenly into a dark, deep forest at night. I’d be running, my heart felt as though it would be bursting out of my chest. I would always trip at the exact same moment at the exact same time. Then, looking up I would see a dark cloaked figure in front of me. I knew I needed to run from him, but I couldn’t. I would then be surrounded with many like him, with nowhere to run. They close in, and then I wake up.

           I would always wake up in a cold sweat with blood on my sheets. It was from a scar I had on my chest that I don’t remember ever having before I started to have these dreams. Each time the scar would slowly get bigger, and deeper. It would never completely heal. The memories of this dream are stained upon my mind no matter how hard I try to forget them.

Then, one day the meaning of the dreams became all too real.

As usual, I would go to the bathroom to clean up and fix up the new wounds. The T.V. was left on and the news was on. It rambled on in the background and I didn’t pay much attention to it. Then I heard it, the painter's name, Don Jenson. I immediately went to the television to see, it felt so urgent. There he was on a murder scene, dead. I felt chills go down my entire body, it didn’t feel right. Did I do this? What the Hell is going on? What should I do?

           I was desperately confused, staring at the TV. I got a hold of myself when I noticed the time. I was late, so I got ready the rest of the way and tried to focus as much as I could as I walked out the door. My head was pounding, I couldn’t concentrate on anything I was doing. I walked into the art museum where I worked. I passed by one of Don’s painting and I felt a force stop me. I was compelled to look at the piece.

           It was a single eye in front of a background of confusion and chaos. It felt like the eye was looking, piercing deep into my soul. I felt a pain in my scar and it began to bleed through my white shirt. I ran quickly into the bathroom to see if I could dress it quickly. I needed to figure it all out, especially if I was somehow a part of it.

           “Are you alright Jay?”

           I looked around and saw Rudy a co-worker. 
           “I’m just fine. I just scratched myself up a bit before I got here,” I said.

           “What happened? You’re bleeding like crazy.”

           “No, I'm... I'm fine,” I replied.

           He walked away and I put my shirt back on. I couldn't understand anything that was happening to me. It just didn't make any sense. I left the bathroom and the police were already there, looking for me. My first impulse was to run, but why? I wouldn’t stand a chance, even if I tried.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Onda na Mar - Part 1

“Lucilene Alves por favor,” Bill said to the security guard behind the window.

It was hot and muggy, the humidity high. Sweat was dripping down his face, his shirt soaking wet from his sweat. Bill could hear the waves of the ocean only a few blocks away. He began to think about how much he really hated it there in Salvador. He hated the weather, the heat, the people.

He was going to have lunch with Lucilene, the mother of one of his students. She was often too nice to him, he had no interest in her.

He taught English medical terminology at a nearby English school. He was a long way from home; Waco, Texas where he was born. He left his wife for a Brazilian girl ten years ago. It didn't last more than a year, but he was stuck in Brazil. He couldn't face going back home. There was nothing left for him back in Texas.

“Pode entrar,” (You can go in.) the security guard said buzzing the gate to open.

Bill walked in and proceeded to walk into the building and into the elevator. His stomach began to wretch as the elevator got closer to his destination. The thought of the aging Lucilene and the awkward situation that was soon to follow made it all hard to bear. The bell rung too soon and he was there.

He exited and paused, contemplating whether to run or stay. He rung the door bell. Lucilene answered the door,”Oh Bill, boa tarde.” she leaned in to kiss him on his cheeks. He leaned in following the motion; he only liked this custom with the younger women. She knew a little bit of English. “Make yourself at home,” She said as she walked into the kitchen.

Bill gazed out the window for a moment looking out towards the vast buildings. It was a stark contrast to the view from his apartment. From his apartment he could see the favelas sprawled out on the hills in an ironic display of colors. Here, from Lucilene's window, he only saw the upper-class in their fancy apartments. He thought of Vera, Lucilene's daughter. “Is Vera here?” Bill said loudly.

“No, she is... at classes,” Replied Lucilene, “Would you care water?”

“What?” Bill asked.

She walked in from the kitchen. “Would you care water?”

They sat there in silence for what seemed like several minutes. Bill was trying to grasp at what Lucilene was saying. “I think you mean to say, would you like some water?” Bill said rudely.

“Ah yes,” said Lucilene as she cleared her throat, “Would you like water?”

His mouth was dry, he answered yes.

He was quite disappointed that Vera wasn't there. She was beautiful and young, highly spirited. She was his favorite student. He knew that lunch was going to be long and awkward unless she got there.

“Lunch is ready,” said Lucilene a few minutes later, “I hope you like feijoada.” He hated it, the common food of the people of Bahia. He never could understand the contents of it, often being cloaked in the dark black fluid.

They discussed at length about Vera and her studies. Lucilene was slowly inching forward as Bill was inching back. Every so often she would “accidentally” put her hand on his arm. It was a short lunch and Bill made sure of that. “Well, I need to get back to the school,” said Bill abruptly. He walked himself to the door.

“Wait!” said Lucilene, “Beijos,” she leaned in for the kiss. He walked out ignoring her.

Bill walked away from the apartment building obviously irritated. It had been several months that Lucilene had been trying to woo Bill. She obviously couldn't take the hint that Bill wasn't interested. He tried to avoid any conversation with her at all, but Vera, yes beautiful Vera. He thought of her then, her perfect young body, her shinning white teeth.

His fantasies were interrupted by screaming. He looked up and several people were running, some bumping into him as they ran by. He looked up and saw it. A wave several feet high was rushing toward the coast. Fear almost kept his legs from running, yet he managed to turn around and run. “Up hill, gotta get up hill,” was repeated in his head.

He ran and realized he was running straight into the favelas high in the hills along with several others. As he was running up some of the stairs he turned his head not realizing the piece of wood extended from a building in construction. He hit it with a loud thump and then blackness.