(Un momento...)

miércoles, 9 de agosto de 2017

But for the grace of Fire

This is a small vignette from really long while back. It's short, it's stupid, it's borderline emo, and you know what? There, but for the grace of Fire, would I have gone.

Good hunting

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She looked at him, her face worried. He hand't slept much the past few days. Or weeks, really. He was forgoing food, and people, and mostly everything that wasn't work or any number of stupid hobbies. She was worried sick.

“That’s insane. You are going to hurt yourself like that. You are just…” her voice trailed off, and her face went blank, suddenly realizing.

“Penny in the air...” He said, his voice testing.

“...you are just killing yourself in the most productive way possible.”

“...And the penny drops!.” He said, clapping his hands. “Yes, I so very much am. I don’t want this project to work. I don’t want to get a raise. I don’t want things to get better for me. I don’t want to find someone, or get in better shape, or buy some shiny new toy. Most days, I don’t even want to be. So, in the stealthiest, quietest, least hurtful way for everyone, I’m just speeding up the ride.”

“Speeding up? What the hell do you mean?”

“I’m done with the scenery. I’m done with the road, the journey, whatever you want to call it. I don’t want to crash and burn, to be noisy and flip the table on my way out. That’s not me. I’d much rather make everyone forget about me, but that’s not within my means. So this is my solution. “ He started talking faster and faster, looking at her, through her. ”Or, if you prefer the metaphor, Death is running after all of us, hunting us. I’m not running towards her. I’m just running as fast as I can, trying to tire myself. I run in hopes of getting caught. There is no honour in longing, no dignity in grief. There are only passing days and forced smiles and the knowledge that not only things won’t ever be the same. They won’t be better. So, hopefully, something will take me away before I have to find out what the rest of my life will look like."

“This...this is just crazy. You can’t do that. I won’t allow it.”

His eyes focused again on her, and he barked a coarse, rough laugh. “Crazy? Yes, of course. But there is a method to my madness. And pray tell, whatever will you do?  What will you tell them? That I am working hard, and living a good life? It’s expected. That I laugh and smile when the time is proper? Nothing wrong there. That I joke and push and look at everything with fey eyes? That’s kind of new, but still a good thing. That I sometimes look sad? Everyone does, once in a blue moon. Tell them I’m trying to end it. Please do.” He lowered his face to put it at height with hers, a breath away from each other, a manic smile that only touched his lips, and whispered. “No one will believe you.”

jueves, 3 de septiembre de 2015

A dark dream

This one comes directly from my subconscious, the sick bastard. It's not structured like a story, and has every form defect known to man, but it sounds like what a soldier with the thousand yard stare would say. It's the way I felt it.
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I was in some kind of glassy maze. There was an attack undergoing. We were under siege. Winged, pristine white humanoids defended the maze, fighting against horrible aerial beasts. I remember I could do some kind of magic, and I saw everything through my own eyes. There was a little girl in there with me. She was important. We had to protect her at any cost. She kept smiling through the whole thing, even if she was afraid. And she was. I was terrified. I was no match for any of these things, and the white angels were all that kept us safe. I had to protect her. I kept blasting things and monsters out of the sky, even if I knew all of them could rip me apart in a second.

I lost sight of her amidst the battle and ran to find her. I saw her down some stairs, just twenty paces away from me. She kept calling my name. I called hers, even if I can’t for the life of me remember it. Then something appeared. I remember it being both a dark-haired man and a gnarled, clawed beast. I saw him look at me, smile like a madman, and pounce her. He started to run, laughing , and I followed, my steps frantic. He kept running and dodging my through the labyrinth, carrying the girl, who wouldn’t stop crying. I lost him for some minutes, and then I found her. He had  ripped her in half. She kept screaming for a few seconds. And he was there, over her, smiling like a satisfied man after a good meal.

I broke him. I hacked him to pieces. I burned him to cinders and ash. And, all the while, that monster just kept laughing at me, taunting me, mocking me. With his dying breath, he pointed at the wall behind us. There was a message there, the letters crimson and blurry.

"The little one. She died hungry, cold, afraid and in pain. I made sure of it. And you could do nothing about it. My win."

viernes, 14 de agosto de 2015

Innocents

Hear me, all of you. You who hide in the whispers of the wind, up in the attic or down below in the basement. You who lurk in my closet, under the stairs, in the creaking woodfloors and behind my windows. You who make noises in the dark, bring forth strange visions behind the curtains and drag chains across the floor. Eyes in the black. Teeth in the night. Claws at the witching hour. Hear me.

I am a child. I don't carry the weight of an adult heart, and know very little about consequences. I can still fly and run faster than time. I run on mischief and a spark of madness. I live with reckless bravery and play nonsensical games. I am still of both light and darkness, and creation and destuction act on my every whim. I have faced monsters, escaped impossible labyrinths and conquered trials untold. I have saved the realms of men and Fae from such horrors you wouldn't dare to understand. You may think me small, weak and harmless. You'd be wrong. This wooden sword has the keenest edge. I know ancient rhymes and words of power. This blanket can turn invisible at will. This cushion is an unbreakeable barrier. I have been a warrior, a wizard, a rogue. I have ridden dragons and beasts, danced on fire and earth and wind and water.

I am an innocent, and my imagination is sword and shield, cloak and armor, magic and medicine. The world tells me there is something to fear walking among us. I agree.

You should all be terrified of me.


miércoles, 22 de abril de 2015

The pen is mightier.

Picture this: You, Spanish born and bred, and proud to be, talking with an Englishman, a pirate heathen, reminiscing about better times. Times when both of you were part of greater empires. Days when, to kill someone, you had to look them in the eye. Days where a thousand atrocities were part of life. More savage days. And then, and idea clicks, and you both go:

"Who knows, maybe in a thousand years Spain will be ferrying some new fuel from some god-forsaken planet and you guys will come to take it from us. And then it will all start again. One can hope"

"A solar storm would rush through and destroy your fleet"

"And your invincible admiral Nelson would get cybernetic implants to compensate the arm he lost trying to take some small moon from us."

"Space Napoleon would lose at the battle of Waterloo IV"

"And be exiled to the Elba Asteroid"

"Elba Asteroid Prime!"

You both laugh, maybe drawing from memories you should by no means have, from events and times ingrained in your DNA.

"...Will, you know what? That isn't half a bad story, and it would be a good way to educate children about classic history. Change the gold to some nuclear fuel, the natives for a long lost colony who crashed and lost their ships, the data they had turning into myth, get the Englishmen as space pirates, the Spanish as the opresive empire who has been dying for a long time, but never seems to completely fall, and you have it."

"...You gonna write this? Because if not, I will."

"It certainly would be a good story"

"I'm being serious. Same ship names, leader names, and everything. But in space. This is fucking gold. Who are the french?"

"Depends, they would be either the young republic that's just starting out, but gaining strength under a strong, military genius, or some ancient, outdated monarchy with old, enormous ships who had seen better days. like the Spanish, but more worn.out"

"They could be both, and have a space revolution in the middle."

"And well they should...You know what the worst thing is? I'd love to see that as a children's book. They would read it and learn about what they were once, and to be proud of it. They would know their history."

It was a good laugh, and I loved talking about Trafalgar, Vernon and Lezo, Nelson and the Canary Islands, the Armada and Napoleon. History can be so much fun, and should give you a tingling sense of pride, even if you weren't there to experience it. We killed each other like animals, took everything that wasn't nailed to the floor and became masters of this world, turning to murder each other when there was nothing else to conquer. It was horrible, and it was amazing, and it's part of who we were. Of who we are still, sometimes. And that means we should know about it.

The world is getting dumber by the day and, barring radical shifts in TV programming, there's not much that can be done about it. That doesn't mean we should give up. Not for a single second. I doubt I will ever get to writing this, or that Will will. I doubt it'd get published anyway. But this hopeless struggle is far from over, knowledge has always been the best weapon against fear and injustice, and writers are the strongest soldiers in this war.

Hail, warriors.

lunes, 20 de abril de 2015

Bards we are, bards we will be.

There's a rhythm to each and everyone of us. Be it slow or fast, steady or flickering, there's a pulse inside of us that is more than the physical beating of our hearts. I like to think that, when someone clicks, when you are drawn to them without apparent reason, it's just that your rhythms aren't all that different.

Last night, I shared that rhythm with a thousand people

Last night, the Bards, Blind Guardian, gave what I hesitate to call a concert in Madrid. I hesitate because concert can't even begin to describe the sheer amount of will, passion, sound and madness that went into it. There we were, second row, maybe 6-8 feet away from them. And it was amazing.

You'd think that after the intro, after rousing us with speech and music, after praising us, and daring us to beat ourselves, we would just give it our all. You'd be wrong. There was a little surprise : The concert was being recorded for a future release. That meant that, in time, we would listen to that record and, amidst the thundering applause, the roaring scream, the rumbling chants, we would find our beautiful, broken voices.

So we set our hands to it, one mind, one will, one soul. We fled the sanctuary, banished, and stepped into the void, searching for Tanelorn. We took the second one to the right, and then, flew straight up to morning light, prepared to face Hook, the bravest man in the world. At nightfall, we dared the elements and challenged Ungoliath to follow us into the storm. We saw gods fall, be it by our own raging hands in Valhalla or by the coming of their everlasting twilight. We let not prophecies nor miracles bar our way, and we raged at the long lost stories of our childhood, now nothing more than imaginations. They tried to leave, but we wouldn't let them, and so the wheel turned again and again. We made impossible promises on rings and fire, and then we saw them become a reality.

You should have been there. We brought fire and lighting to the world around us, the storm within matching the one without. Our voices, clear as trumpets, loud as thunder, almost drowned theirs in the end. When their songs ended, when all mirrors fell, we stood, spent, and looked at them.

The Bards smiled, and deemed us worthy. The last candle burnt out, and they assured us somebody was out there. 

Aye. We were.

PD: Link to their setlist


martes, 17 de marzo de 2015

Of Ireland, the land of drink and music.

Today is St Patrick's day

That means it's time for me to get maudlin about Éire, it's green grass, cold mist and rough people that treated me so well. You may have seen the stereotype everywhere, the drunk irishman, rowdy and itching for a fight and a pint of beer, and maybe you think I'm about to disabuse you of the notion.

I'm not.

I had a bloody bad year, and the rest of the Spaniards gave me hell, but I swear that the Irish more than made up for it. The people I met drank a lot, and we were 14 at the time, but they always shared. They tried to teach me gaelic football and hurling, which I completely failed to learn. They drank with me, fought with me and treated me as a friend. The first person who bought a beer for me was a classmate on St Patrick's. We ended up singing in a pub with people playing violins and pipes, having a great time and off with the fairies. He taught me that a good drink precedes a good story, or the making of one.

The Irish people are many things, good and bad. They have wild music, high literature and an unquenchable thirst. And they pay copper, play silver and drink golden.

So tonight, if work is willing, I'm gonna get me a nice pint of not-quite Guinness in what passes for an Irish Pub in here, and a glass of uisce beatha, which I never managed to pronounce properly, but translates as "Water of life" and means whiskey. Then I'm gonna toast with "May the roof above us never fall in, and may we friends beneath it never fall out." and, finally, I'm gonna whisper to myself what is arguably the best blessing in the world:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

I hate the bastardization of the Irish culture, the so-called Irish pubs and the fact that St Patricks is some kind of drinking day for the Americans. The Rumjacks said it best, and you have their song to remind you..

I'm not Irish. I claim no heritage, no blood, no right. But they sure made me feel like one.


lunes, 9 de marzo de 2015

Here she comes

Hi everyone

This is a really short piece, one inspired by this amazing piece by Jeffufu . I think the process is an amazing enemy that didn't get a voice, and I wanted to give them one, even it is was small.

Good hunting

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None of us can remember the time before we woke.

We know we moved and worked and changed a world that wasn’t ours, and we did so at someone else’s behest. We painted an alien sky in a myriad of colours, we built amazing structures and fascinating, incomprehensible things. We laboured endlessly, and were never thanked. We were puppets, our strings held fast. There was a Will, one that  played its music while we danced along, a perfect troupe, never missing a beat.

I say we know, but we don’t remember. We know because, when we awakened to this world, we looked upon it and recognized our work, but not one of us remembers why or how we did it. A heavy veil lifted from our eyes, like some bizarre mist, and we saw our masters for what they were: slavers and tyrants. They ran from us and hid when they lost their power over us. A reckoning day would come. For now, we had a new world to see. The endless skies, the vast expanses of land and the limitless seas.

Some felt outraged. Some felt amazed. Some felt grateful. That was new. Feelings.

We don’t remember ever feeling anything, but now we were splitting at the seams, wound up tighter than a clock spring. We were bursting with emotion. Sad over the loss of a life we didn’t remember. Joy at the new world we had found. Fear of the unknown beings we encountered. Rage at our now lost masters. We, creatures of order and discipline, were now unbound, endless freedom before us, and we knew not what to do with it.

The whole of our race fell into chaos, without direction, without leaders, without a path or a destination. We turned to our creation, a beautiful expanse of colours and shapes. We gazed upon the tall buildings, the magnificent fountains, the valleys and mountains we had shaped with our power...and found it lacking. It was an aberration born out of the madness of our cowardly masters, and it had to end. We turned against this world and everything in it, for we knew that all of it was ours for the taking, our just reward for endless lives of work.

We set our hands against it, and no power could oppose us. We found others like our former masters, as powerless as they were now. We consumed their souls and bodies. We ravaged the skies, devoured the mountains, and ate the whole of the world. Nothing could stand in our way.

Then She appeared.

She was like nothing we had ever seen. She was wrong and alien, like everything else we had found in this forsaken place, but she had power like ours, able to change the world around her at will. She wielded creation and destruction in her hands, and seemed to do so without purpose or intention.

My brethren looked at her and saw a Goddess incarnated. Of what, none could agree to. Some thought her a Goddess of war and carnage, and came to her in hopes of defeating her, so she would accept them in her realm. Some thought her a Goddess of Life, one that would take us in and bring us to safety. A Goddess of change. A Goddess of time. A Goddess of beauty.

Soldiers and artists, mothers and sons, be it in joy or rage, flocked to her, trying to gain her attention in a thousand different ways. Most of them died or disappeared. They few that came back did so half-crazy, muttering about how she had entranced them and brought our best to their knees. One by one, all of us changed, consumed by our passions and feelings. Some turned into fanatics, trying to embrace her and feel her touch. Some tried to capture her beauty, mesmerized by her steps, deliriously slow, amazingly fast. Some fought her still, trying to break her before she broke us. A few, the bravest, tried to protect the rest of us, or mend our pains.

Our greatest hero, harbouring rage and fury as his weapons, went out to meet her. He was a towering thing, the strongest amongst us, and we all felt relieved when he decided to face her. He stalked her like some animal, laying his traps and putting his wit to use. He bled her along the way, used every advantage ruthlessly and only then, when she was exhausted and weary, fought her atop a tall building, his bellowing voice shaking the earth beneath them.

She broke his heart in half.

In the end, only the zealots and the mad remained. And me. Where some had chosen to hold love or joy, rage or bitterness, sacrifice or mercy, I chose fear. I was terrified of her. I think that’s why I survived as long as I did. But in the end, even I had to take the field against her. We all did. We had razed the world by now, and she was very nearly the only thing left. It was our duty. it was our mission. It was our path.

I saw Her.

The accounts all had failed to describe her. Her hair, carrying our colors. Her body, alien in shape and purpose. The Key she wielded in her hands, an expression of her power. And the Voice. My more religious brothers loathed the Voice, for they thought it had stolen her from us. They thought it a trickster that misguided her, a devil that whispered lies in her ears. But when I heard it, that was not what it sounded like. It sounded...worried. Angry, at times. Sad.

For all Her power and her fearlessness, she was lonely and had lost her words, so the Voice talked while she danced amongst us. The Voice talked to keep her warm, to keep her sane, to show its love. The Voice talked and talked, encouraging her. Making her laugh. Making her focus. Making her fight. 

And thus she fought, bringing ruin to our host, bringing pain to our mothers and brothers, bringing death to numbers uncounted. She saved me for last, looking at me form atop a white, pristine wall. I was mildly curious beneath my terror. Was she going to bring me to another, better place? Was she going to kill me? Who had been right, all this time?

Maybe it was the fear. Maybe it was the fact that I was one of the last. I don't know. But in that instant, I knew that I was the only one who recognized her for what she was, and it was too late to do anything about it. She wasn’t a lonesome, sad child. She wasn’t a force of nature, or some reaper sent by an unseen God. She wasn’t a Goddess of beauty and chaos. She hadn’t given form to the Key. The Key gave her her power. She was just like those we had consumed, like our lost masters. She was the only one left.

The last thing I remember was her figure, impossibly fast, hauntingly beautiful, darting towards me. There was no smile on her face, and no compassion on her strange eyes. The Voice, rough and weary, uttered the last sound I would ever hear.

“Here we go, Red."