Sandstorm

Imagination

I woke up in fear. A bell was ringing loud at the door of my habitation. I stepped outside: panic invested my village. Mothers and children ran towards the common living space that held a tunnel that will keep them safe. Some of men went with them, giving them an extra-protection in case of an attack. The other men came in and out of every home to collect each family their most valued properties. It was a clean organisation. Everyone knew where to be and what to do. Everyone, except me. It wasn’t the first time we experienced this situation: sandstorms were our daily. Yet, i was still not used to it. ‘Hé!!’ I stopped stopping and ran under the dome. I found myself a place and sat with the rest of my people. I wanted to help in any way possible but my training would start only in ten solar cycle. The underground got crowded: on one side, all belongings, on the other, us. It was quiet. All we could here was the wind blowing strongly and sand hitting our roofs. Although, everyone seemed calm, a point of fear floated in the air. Mothers kept their progenitures close. And kids didn’t let go of their creators’ hands. Men felt fear as well but were better at hiding it. One man stood out.

He was the last to arrive, heavy bags on his shoulders. He sat his back against the door, a piece of wood on his thighs. While everybody looked down, his head was up, surveilling everyone. His eyes stopped at mine. For a moment, we stared at each other, then he kept on going.

2604. We are hundreds of years after Mother Nature reached a breaking point. Disaster after disaster, the human race was forced to retreat in the most hostiles environments: forests, isolated islands, deserts, etc, and divided in clans. Mine was a nomadic clan. We barely stayed put for a full moon circle. Next to where my clan settled the longest, there was a large forest, ruled by animals with claws as big as my arm, surrounded by mountains of sand, infested by odd creatures thirsty for…anything. In between all of that, there we were, armed with sharp arrows and poisonous wooden lances. There were rules installed before i was born. Two of them were very important:

  1. Do not enter in contact with any other clan.
  2. Do not disrespect animals. No matter how small or big they are.

The first rule was easy to follow: the nearest clan was three sun circles of walk away. The second rules was respected to the extant of necessity: we killed some of them in order to survive. On a shiny day, Clay, a kid at the cusp of becoming a man, was sent in the forest to prove himself to the village. I was told of his story. He spend several moon under a fallen tree, hunted snakes, ate worms and drank the water from the sky. On the last day of his trial, he noticed unknown footprints that he followed with ease until the traces were washed by a river. He crossed it and found on the other side a small fury animal, sleeping. Out of reflection, he went around it without waking him up. When he was far enough, the mother came out of the bushes. I was told that Clay froze a moment before the fight began. Both Clay and the mother bear engaged at the same time. Claws and lance clashed in rhythm. It didn’t last long, but human’s stamina was lower that the beast’s. Although, in his last strength, he managed to jab his weapon into the bear’s throat. The latter fell instantly, leaving the human alone and weak. As proof of his value, Clay dragged the mother across the forest, and carried the baby bear on his shoulder. Facing this image, the entire clan remained silent. The chief of our clan stepped forward and stared at the young Clay. He, then, took his lance and gave it to him. For my people, that was a sign of respect. Since that portion of his life, Clay was trained harder that any other, to become our leader. Strong and fearless.

The storm has passed. Clay stood up first and checked the safety of the overground. Once he came back, everyone stood up then froze. Our leader had blood on him. His soldiers rushed outside. It seemed that some people from another clan had found refuge in one of our home. No contact with another clan. Our chief reassured us and led us out of the tunnel. We were found. That meant that we needed to move to another location. We left our installations behind and walked through the desert. I didn’t know where we would plant our houses again nor when. None of us did. All we could do was trust our command. After all, he’s my brother.

The Messenger

A day in my life, A day in my mind, Imagination, IRL

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The Messenger | This is a long one | If you have a chance to say one last thing to someone you lost: what would you say?

The lasts scenes were something i personnally lived. Seeing an empty appartment – once again – but this time, the goodbye was slightly different. More like a ‘real farewell’. The kind i didn’t expect to say or feel before i would be very old. Or never, actually. But it happened.

This will also be – hopefully – my lasts drawings about it. I’m moving forward. I can’t stay still forever.

Therapy

A day in my life, A day in my mind, Imagination, Random Thoughts

I waited five minutes before the only door at the end of the hallway opened. A man appeared behind it. A dark suit on with a white shirt and a red tie. I thought it was a bit too dress up for a psychologist. But whatever. I stood up as he greeted me then suggested i enter in his office. The room was pretty large, allowing a desk surrounded by three chairs, a couch and a library to coexist. It was quiet. The closed door isolated us from any sound coming from the outside world. A bubble. Safe and dangerous at the same time. He offered me a seat on the couch, right away. I waited for him to sit first then mimicked him. I sat at the edge, far away from him. I look at him: he had a notebook he already wrote on. When he was done, he looked up to me, gave me a smile then waited. After a long minute, anxiety grew in me.

– ‘What are we supposed to talk about?’ i asked.

– ‘I don’t know. What do you want to talk about?’ he replied.

– ‘Euhm, i don’t know.’

– ‘I see that you keep on looking around. What’s on your mind?’ The remark surprised me. I thought i was subtile. I shook me head and raised my shoulders as an answer. ‘You must be thinking of something.’ he insisted.

I hated those kind of questions: what do you think about? Do you trust me? Well, before you asked me that, i did trust you. Now, i think you’re suspicious. So, no, i don’t. When the psychologist said i must be thinking about something, my mind went blank: i stayed quiet. He looked at his watch. I checked the clock on the wall. Seven minutes has passed.

– ‘So we just let the hour pass in silence?’ I slightly nodded. ‘Why did you came here for, then?’ He asked.

– ‘I was asked to. My brother… asked me to.’

– ‘And you always do what he ask you to do?’

– ‘Not always.’

– ‘Why did you choose to do this?’ I thought about it: i was about to say that i didn’t know, but, obviously, it would end the conversation short.

– ‘I don’t know.’ I said it anyway. ‘By curiosity… I guess’ He wrote it down.

– ‘Just out of curiosity? Do you know why he asked you to come to therapy?’

– ‘Euhm, i guess because he’s going to therapy himself. Maybe he wants me to experience the same thing. So that i can undersand.’

– ‘Understand what?’

– ‘Why he’s going to therapy.’

– ‘And do you understand it?’

– ‘I do.’

– ‘Sounds like you didn’t need this to get it.’ I smiled. ‘And why do you think he’s going to therapy?’ I took a minute.’Do you think you need it too?’ I remained silent. ‘How are you doing?’

– ‘I’m good.’ Another question that i hated.

– ‘That doesn’t sound like an honest answer.’

– ‘It didn’t sound like an honest question.’

– ‘Do you think i’m a dishonest person?’

– ‘No. I just think it’s… not a sincere question.’

– ‘Why do you think that?’ I sighed. ‘Tell me.’

– ‘Usually, when people ask that question, they don’t really want to know how the other person is doing. All they want to hear is ‘yes, i’m doing well’. Whether they are a good person or an asshole.’

– ‘What makes you think that?’

– ‘Just…Observation.’ My lips were sealed. He let go of a smile.

– ‘What if i’m really interested in knowing your state? What would be your answer?’

– ‘I’m good.’

– ‘Same answer. Why?’

– ‘Because i am.’

– ‘You don’t open up to people much, do you?’ I looked at him straight in the eyes.’Why is that?’

– ‘No special reason.’ He smiled again. He let a moment pass.

– ‘Tell me: why now?’ I didn’t understand. ‘I’ve been following your brother for few weeks, now. He told me about you, a few times. He told me he asked you many times to come before. So why now? What changed your mind?’

– ‘…It’s her birthday, soon.’ i whispered.

– ‘Your mother’s?’ I nodded. ‘When is it?’

– ‘Friday.’

– ‘And you felt like you needed to talk to someone? How do you feel about it?’ A ghost passed by. ‘What are you going to do that day?’

– ‘I don’t know. Probably nothing.’

– ‘Are you going to meet with your brother?’

– ‘Probably not. I don’t feel like being around people…’

– ‘You feel better on your own?’ I shyly smiled, my look was stuck on the carpet. ‘What are you doing when you’re alone?’

– ‘I stay busy: watching shows, videos, drawing, listening to music…’

– ‘Drawing? What kind of drawing?’

– ‘Euhm, whatever comes to my mind.’

– ‘What was your last drawing?’

– ‘A photography that was taken when i was smaller. I think.’

– ‘You think?’

– ‘I’m not sure that picture truly exists or it’s just a memory i made for myself.’

– ‘You don’t have it?’ I shook my head. ‘What was it?’

– ‘It’s my mom and i in front of our old house. She’s, sort of, leaning on me.’

– ‘So you recreated it?’ I nodded. ‘You think about her often?’

– ‘Every day. Every time i do something, i think about calling her, telling her everything.. But i can’t. Not anymore.’ I paused. Then a laugh slipped as tears blurred my sight.

– ‘What’s funny?’

– ‘Euhm, i…now that she’s gone, i want to talk to her. But, before…I didn’t have anything to tell her. That’s just… that’s just… fucking dumb…I’m an…hyprocrite.’

– ‘Why do you think that?’

– ‘I don’t feel like i have the right to… feel this way.’

– ‘You mean being sad?’ I nodded. ‘You know it’s human. You just lost someone you loved.’ As i satyed quiet, he continued: ‘Why do you feel like you don’t have the rights to be sad?’

– ‘I’ve never… I haven’t shown her my affection. I was cold and mean to her… I rejected her.’ A tear dropped on my hands.

– ‘It’s not your fault, if she’s…’ The psychologist’s sentence faded away.

 

Dumb sentence. I closed my eyes when that thought immerged in my mind. I took few seconds to recollect myself. Then when i opened them, i found myself at my desk, a dozen of files to work on for the day. Noises from the background gently arrived to my ears: people talking, laughing, greeting each other, sounds of printers, computers starting, keybord being smashed by cafeinated fingers. Suddenly, a closer voice pulled me out of that confusing state between reality and dream: ‘Are you ok?’ I looked at my left and saw my co-worker’s concerned face. I realized that my eyes were filled with salty liquid and my chicks were wet. My heart was pounding and my throat closed on itself. I opened my mouth to answer but words couldn’t get through. I stood up, apologized rudly and walked as fast and as discretly as possible to the bathroom.

As soon as i locked myself, i broke down. Fucking imagination…

Chaos

Imagination

Springtime. The day was still bright but the sky was full with clouds, giving the air a nostalgic mood. I walked by a church with a red door. Above it, there’s an angel watching over the horizon. I took a right turn. The street was empty. My footsteps echoed in rhythm off trees and bushes. A car passed by. In front of me, a group of three men fooling around. As I came closer, they noticed me: they stopped talking and stared at me. Frightened, I tried to cross the road, avoiding any eye contact. Suddenly, I felt a pressure on my right arm that pulled me back abruptly. I looked at them, uncertain of things that were about to happen.

In a matter of seconds, my body was lying down on the ground. I was in a foetal position: my arms around my head, my knees close to my chest. I closed my eyes. I felt quick prints of fists and feet on my back, arms and legs. My jaw was tight. I couldn’t scream. I wasn’t allowed. Otherwise, their kicks would be more intense. Pain increased. I felt waves of shocks spread through my bones. I opened slightly my eyes to glance at their faces: they were smiling. Laughters resonated in my mind. A minute passed and they got tired. ‘Pfff. He’s not doing anything. It’s not funny anymore.’ said one of them. They walked away leaving me for dead. ‘Yeah, he used to scream for help. That was funny.’ I heard a different voice said.

I stayed there for a moment. My back was wet. I was lying in a puddle of water. The sky was still grey. In the corner of my sight, a bright colour appeared. I turned my head as my body was immobilized. A portion of blue sky was coming to me. Sunrays broke through. I stared at that image for seconds. I smiled. In that moment, I knew things will be good.

We’ll do it all on our own.

Imagination

We’ll do it all. Everything. On our own. We don’t need. Anything. Or anyone.

Those words were the last I remember from her. She vanished in front of me in a blink of an eye. I couldn’t do anything to prevent it. Or to stop her. ‘We’ll do it all.’ It keeps repeating in my head. ‘Everything.’ My body is unable to move. And my mind is pausing on the image of her leaving. ‘On our own.’ The world around me slowed down, sounds echoing. I feel nothing. Everything becomes blurring.

It all started few weeks ago. It was the end of a chapter, as she used to say. She was passing her final exams when I heard her say it for the first time. We’ll do it all, everything, on our own. We don’t need anything, or anyone. She looked at me in the eyes as she pronounced the last word. I could feel her determination, her will to succeed without any help. Who could help us anyway. Nobody understood what she was going through or they forgot how it was to be under the pressure of being judge by people who don’t know that your life depends on them. She kept repeating it before each exam. I don’t know where she found the courage to get through it all alone. Few of her classmates gave up in the middle of finals. Some left right before the end. When she passed her last exam, the worst one I think, she felt relieved. I could feel it. So did the others. She screamed to free all of her frustrations, pressure and anger she gathered for the last two years. The next week was supposed to be the easy part, where she was in between lives, waiting without beliefs her results. It was a week where she was still a student on vacation. But something went wrong.

One morning before the results came out, there was a huge sound followed by an earthquake. It woke us up. I went outside to see what was going on. I saw few neighbors getting out as well or putting their heads out. I walked to a main street. It was separated in two by a large hole. Buildings were wiped out. Cars drove right to it. I tried to warn them but, by the time they understood my signals, they were already falling down. Afar, there were dark smocks getting higher in the sky. She joined me. I looked at her: she couldn’t believe her eyes. She grabbed my arm, terrified. A second loud sound came from above us. We looked up. A ball of fire shred the blue sky. It landed not so far from us. A violent wind hit us. It was followed by five seconds of silence then we started to hear screaming. The ground trembled again. It increased more and more until we lost balance. Then the calm came back. I looked at her, checked on her. She seemed to be focus on something: she looked around, analyzing everything. Suddenly, she stood up and dragged me to the apartment. She grabbed a backpack and put her wallet, a charger, few clothes and books, a bottle of water, few papers, her red book, a pen, a pencil and her car key. She changed her shoes without lacing them before rushing outside again. I didn’t notice before I saw it but the ground was shaking again. People were screaming to death. Cries joined sounds of crashing buildings. She poked me on the shoulder as I was stuck on the view of a body crushed by an upside down car. I followed her to the car. We jumped in and she drove away from that craziness. When we were far enough, she looked at me and asked: ‘What the F was that?’ I didn’t have the time to respond that she pulled over the car. In front of us, there was a huge hole. I saw something odd. I opened the window to see more clearly: there was a hand holding on something unstable. I heard a deep voice screaming and a child crying. I was about to inform her but she was already running towards them. I caught up on her. A man was holding his son in his right arm while holding on with his left hand. We lost two seconds staring at each other. Suddenly, she kneeled and reached out to the kid. His father tried to push him up but he was too scared to let go and get in stranger’s arms. She reassured him and finally gained his trust, at least, for the next five minutes. She pulled him to the ground and made sure he wasn’t injured. Then she grabbed the man’s arm. She leaned on her legs and started to push. ‘Come on! Help me help you!!’ On those words, the man was half way out of the hole. On a final effort, she pulled him out. Out of breath, they both lied down for few seconds. The ground shook again. She stood up, addressed me a sign and took her bag and the keys. She gave the man her car key: ‘Take your kid to a safe place. There are three more seats in the car, so take people on your way’, then left.

I caught up on her and tried to keep up with her pace. ‘Where are we going, now?’ I gazed around. People were filthy. Desperate. Lost. The earthquakes were over, so did the screaming. Only cries and our footsteps kept resonating in the air. We walked for hours going nowhere. We saw corpses at every corner. She suddenly stopped. Ahead of us, a woman was screaming for help without anyone hearing her. We ran to her trying to decipher her words: her brother was stuck underneath a wall on the first floor of her house. We looked at each other for a second then rushed to the house. I heard groans from behind a door. She kicked it and ran toward the man on the floor. Blood was flowing all around him. I examined the wall. ‘You can lift it. Find something to use as a lever.’ She took an iron bar and placed it between the man and the wall. She started pushing. The wall mounted up a little bit. She pushed harder. A weird sound preceded a sudden scream. She froze. ‘What was that?’ she asked. ‘Apparently, a big screw was stuck in him.’ She tried to evaluate the space underneath the wall and pushed a little more. ‘Can you move?’ From his screaming, she guessed no.

The wall started to get low. The man noticed it and tried in vain to move his body. The wall approached slowly but steadily the man’s face when, in a loud scream, it flew high. In the middle of its course, it stopped for a second. The man saw a foot coming dangerously close to his face. The foot hit the ground strongly. Then a body hid the wall to make it disappear.

She pushed it on the side and let herself fall with it. They took a moment to catch their breath. Him from seeing death face to face and her from the oddly incredible strength she just delivered. The man tried to sit down after regaining his mind. But she remained lying. I thought it was strange. I came closer and checked on her. She looked me in the eyes with a shy smile on her face. Her shirt turned red. ‘Another screw.’ I pulled her out of it. The bleeding went worse. I put her left hand on the hole: ‘Keep pressure on it’ and helped her walk to what was left of the bathroom. Fortunately, we found a first aid kit. We came back to the man to stop his bleeding and put some bandages around his belly. She made sure he wasn’t badly injured somewhere else before she took care of her own. A small earthquake took us by surprise. A sound of something falling and smashing into something else worried us. When everything was calm again, nothing in the room was destroyed. I helped her stand up: ‘Can you walk?’ she asked. The man could barely stand up but was able to move. She helped him get out of the room. When we faced the stairs, we froze for a moment. I went first to make sure it was steady enough for us to walk on. Then they followed me. In the middle of the stairs, under the man’s steps, a sound of cracking scared us. By the time we turned around, the sound became louder and he disappeared. Thanks to his instincts of survival, he held on what was left of the stairs. By reflexes, she grabbed his arm: ‘Let go!’ His look on his face revealed his fear. ‘Come on, trust me!’ He hesitated for a moment and finally let go. His body went brusquely down a little bit but she had him. I saw on her face that she didn’t have the strength to pull him up anymore. I held on her free arm: ‘You’re gonna put him down.’ She started to get over the stairs. She held on tightly but her arms were trembling. What a dumb idea, really, she thought. Slowly, the man was close enough to jump without getting hurt, so she let go of him. He landed safely on his two feet. She looked down to measure the distance between her and the floor. ‘It will be alright. Come on, let go’. She let go of the stairs. As she did so, her arm met a sharp piece of wood that opened her forearm to her palm. In a scream, she fell on the ground, trampling her ankle. ‘Are you ok?’ the man asked. She stood up. ‘Yes, let’s get out of here.’ We walked out to the man’s sister. She ran to us, relieved, scared and happy at the same time. As they hugged each other, we walked away without a word.

As her blood kept flowing, we walked to an unknown destination. Her pace slowed down and her skin became pale. She could hardly breathe. I stopped her in the middle of the street. I sat her down against a destroyed building, pulled out the bottle of water and made her drink few sips. I looked around if there was anything I could use to make her feel better. But there was nothing. Not even a single person. She looked me in the eyes, a bigger smile on her face. ‘We’ll do it all, everything, on our own. We don’t need anything, or anyone.’ A strong wind blew the dirt on the floor. It was so thick I lost sight of her. ‘Hang on!’ I heard myself shout. ‘Hey!!’ But when the view became clearer, it was too late. Her eyes were closed, her heart stopped beating and her hand let go of mine. She vanished.

Her words keep repeating in my head. My body is unable to move and my mind is pausing on the image of her smile. The world around me slowed down, sounds echoing. I feel nothing. Everything becomes blurring. I freeze in this street, alone. I feel a small breeze going through my chest. I start to get cold. I look down at my hand. I can see through it. I’m disappearing as well. I sit down next to her. I put my hand on hers. I can feel her body no more. The breeze becomes warmer. I look up. The sky is clothed by grey clouds. I hear the rain starting to fall. The smell of it invades the air. I gaze around. Rain on buildings seemed to be tears. I feel tired. I close my eyes, lulled by the sound of rain. ‘See you on the other side’.

Thug Life

A day in my life, Imagination

I woke up in the middle of nowhere. My head hurted so bad, it took me five minutes to realize i was still laying on the floor. Floor that was filthy. Dusty. When i finally stood up, i scanned the environment. A desert. I was in a desert. I felt lost, then i remembered i was shot. I panicked on that thought and checked myself. But no wounds. In my disarray, i noticed a sound. A constant sound of what seemed to be water. Like a stream. I looked around to determine where it came from. Afar behind me, there was something shining. I walked towards it. When i came closer, the shining thing appeared to be a freeway’s barrier. The stream sound was the sounds of cars going from left to right, very fast. A bright light blinded me from the left. A loud sound deafened me. I was confused for a minute. When i came back to my senses, i jumped on the other side of the barrier. Few cars honked at me. I put myself in the middle of the way. A car stopped five centimeters from me. I stared at the driver. He looked scared and perspiring. I walked to the driver’s door, opened it and pulled the driver out. I took his place and started to drive away. Few seconds later, a memory struck me : i was with someone before i got knocked down. I checked all around me, hoping i would see him. But nothing. I drove back to where i woke up. I made few rounds. When suddenly, a silhouette appeared in between two bushes. It’s him. My friend ran out to me. He got on the car. A minute later, we were driving on the freeway and my friend pulled the wheel to the right. The car turned drastically out of the road. I hit the break. We drifted for few seconds then stopped. I looked at him, my eyes wide open. ‘What the…’ He walked out of the car and ran to a hole. ‘Yeah, ignore me!’ I followed him. In the hole, there was a car : a dark blue car, a little messed up. It’s his car. He jumped in the hole and got in the car. I followed him. He started the car and drove backwards. He hit a wall. Then forwards. He hit a wall again. We were trapped. I thought, ‘we can use a Cargobob to pull out your car’. He looked at me, a little light in his eyes. We got out of his car to jump in the other one. Two police cars appeared and pursued us. While he was driving nowhere trying to escape the police, i checked on a map where we could find a Cargobob :

– ‘There is one on the rooftop  of the hospital in town, but it’s kind of far away from here. It will take time. And there is another one, a little closer – but still far though – but it will be hard to get, at the military base.’ I paused. ‘So which one do you want : the safer but longer plan or the dangerous but less longer one.’

He took few seconds to think : ‘Or maybe…’ He didn’t finish his sentence and drove directly to a rural airport. We were at the end of the lane. The police lost sight and track of us. When we approached hangars, a shape of a big airplane formed itself. We hoped it was what we were seeking for. We came closer and there it was : a military green Cargobob. Nice call!! We ran to it. We got in. As soon as i closed the door, some gang members showed up. I looked at my friend. He looked at me with a small smile. ‘Let’s kill ’em!!’ I jumped out of the airplane, pulled a gun out and started to shoot at the gang. When i killed my first victim, one of the police car, we just got rid of, was passing next to us to get back to their base. Policemen got of their car and started to shoot at me. I took care of policemen then ran to hide behind a burned bus. I usually had a hard time to survive in a gang war. But this time, i had the police on top of that. I killed four gangsters. I felt weak. My friend ran out of ammo. I caught my breath. I shot few policemen but more of them came. I killed the last gang member and stayed in cover behind the bus. My friend recovered a little bit. I got the last two policemen on our way and we ran towards to Cargobob. We took off as fast as we could, and fortunately, escaped the police. My friend flew us to his trapped car. He tried to place the plane on top of his car so the magnet could grab it. But the maneuver wasn’t easy. After two try, he landed the plane between a cabin and a pole. He focused on his task and tried to take off again. A black smoke came out of the plane. It doesn’t look good. On that thought, i jumped out of the plane and made few steps. It took only few seconds for the plane to blow up. I laughed so hard! A shot came out of nowhere ruining the moment. I pulled out a gun and scanned around me. Cops found me again. I thought we got rid of them. I shot at them as they shot at me. A great battle, which i was losing, was on. I hid in the hole where my friend’s car was. I defended myself the best i could until my friend came back from the death. Few seconds later, as i shot a policeman, a car drifted next to the exploded Cargobob. I ran towards it and got in. My friend drove us away. Cops and helicopters pursued us. I tried to shoot at them. We went on the train’s trail, hoping to find a tunel where we could hide. A cop shot in one of our tire. Another tire popped up. We were drifting all other the place. The car became uncontrollable. With three good tires, i was able to explose two helicopters with sticky bombs. But as we were sliding at every turn, that became harder. My friend suddenly pulled over. ‘What are you doing!?!’ He went out of the car and started to shoot at everyone. ‘I can’t drive this car anymore!’ I followed him. We watched each others backs for few minutes but it looked like we weren’t making it. I thought of a solution as i emptied my charger. Then my friend noticed an helicopter flying towards us. It was different from the others. We were suspicious about its intentions. Until it landed not so far from us. We cleared our way to it. We jumped in and the pilot took us off. He bombed two helicopters and lead us away. After five minutes, we got rid of the police. Our savior landed us in the rural airport. Safe and sound. We put foot on the ground. I looked at my friend. We couldn’t believe someone would actually help us. We gave him multiple thumbs up as a thank you. When the unknown player took off, we saluted him.

Christmas Story

Imagination

Christmas story 001

Once upon a time, there was this teenager who walked in this lightenened street, in this huge city where life was at its fullest. At that time of the year, days were shorter and nights longer. Earth was covered by a white coat. The wind played hide and seek with people. No matter how many clothes they were wearing, a chill got them every now and then. They walked close to each other, trying to get warmer. They carried three or four bags in each hand. Some of them had big boxes in their arms, wrapped in paper gifts. As the young teenager scanned the street, he noticed a boy stambled and fell. The teenager ran across the street to help him, as nobody seemed to pay attention. He picked up a piece of paper next to the boy’s hand. Without asking, he read it: it was a list. He didn’t had enough time to get through the letter that the boy took it out of his hand. The teenager looked at him. The boy looked angry with a point of despair in his eyes. He looked at the teenager who stared at him. A barely hearable ‘Thanks’ came out of his mouth. A big smile appeared on the teenager’s face. As the boy started to walk away, the teenager open the conversation : ‘What’s your name?’ The boy turned around. He looked around him, hoping the teenager talked to someone else. As he noticed he was adressing to him, the boy answered : ‘Henry’. A bigger smile was drawn on the teenager’s face. ‘Let’s go!’ he said.

The teenager dragged Henry in the mall. He gazed around. A light of fascination appeared in his eyes. Everything was bright. There was a gigantic Christmas tree in the middle of the hall. Around the top of it, two polar bears with wings flew in circle. On their backs, two smaller brown bears enjoyed the eternal ride. A lot of big, small, thin and medium boxes hid the foot of the Christmas tree. A melodic song was on repeat on the speakers. But people’s voices and laughters covered the music. The teenager grabbed Henry’s list and took a look at it, ignoring Henry’s protest.

Christmas’ gifts list

– a barbie doll

– a xbox one

– a skateboard

– a stay in a spa

He looked at Henry. He wondered how was he going to pay for all these stuffs. ‘I was about to just choose one thing… The xbox… 360. So we could play all together…Or maybe the Wii, i don’t know yet’ Henry mumbled. He took back his list and tore it. His frustration could be see on his face. The teenager grabbed his arm and lead him to a store. It was full of doll. On each shelf, there were different dolls. The teenager turned to Henry, opened his arms and screamed : ‘Choose!!’ Henry felt embarassed. He walked toward the teen trying to silence him.

– ‘What are you doing?’ he whispered.

– ‘Choose’ the teenager repeated.

– ‘I can only afford one gift! I have to pick one thing that could please to all of my family.’

– ‘Choose!’

– ‘I don’t have the money for that!’

– ‘Choose!’

– ‘Stop saying that!! I can’t!!’

All eyes were turned to him. The store has stopped for a second. Then returned to its pace. The teenager put his left hand on Henry’s shoulder. They shared a look. The teen kept his smile and said : ‘Choose.’ Henry gave up. He started to walk around the store. He checked every doll to finally pick one. ‘Let’s go!’ the teenager said. They headed to the cashier and waited. Henry was nervous. He gazed at the teenager who observed everyone in front of them. What is he doing? thought Henry. Then the teenager played around with a baby. Who is he? They paid then went to another store. This time, they were surrounded with technology : flat screens, computers, cellphones, headphones, printers but no consoles. The teenager pointed to a sign that indicated another floor. Henry followed him, still perplexed on why he keeps following him. They stopped in front of two boxes : one said PS4 and the other one said Xbox One. Henry looked at the teenager. His smile said ‘choose’. With a sigh, he took the box that said Xbox one. Then, the teenager brought him two floors above where books were kings. They walked around and stopped in front of a shelf full of small books. On these books, it was written ‘SmartBox’ or ‘Wonderbox’ : they seemed to offer packages of different trips, activities all around the world. The teenager picked a few and read them cover to cover. After putting back the last book, he choose one he already read and marked a page. He put it on top of the box Henry carried. Then, they went to the cashier and waited again. The line was big. How come there is so much people on Christmas Eve, Henry thought. Five minutes later, their turn arrived. Henry looked more and more anxious as the moment of payment came. He pulled his card out and passed it. The cashier thanked them and wished them a happy holiday. Henry was astonished. He scanned the ticket. Then froze. After few seconds, he stared at the teenager, panicked. ‘What is this?’ he asked. The teenager smiled at him : ‘Let’s go!’ He pushed Henry toward a sport store. They walked through it until the wheel sport. Next to ten bikes, hanging on the wall were different types of deck: small ones, longboards, skateboards and cruisers. ‘Choose’ the teenager said. Henry put his bags and box down. He glanced at the teenager before judging boards. He selected one and showed it to the teenager. The latter said : ‘Let’s go!’, a smile still on his face. They went through the payment point like the last time. Henry felt more suspicious about the teenager and finally asked : ‘Who are you?’. The teenager turned to him, surprised. He thought. Then he said : ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ Henry didn’t know what to answer. ‘What do you want?’ he repeated. Henry sighed, he’s completly ignoring my question, he thought. ‘Nothing’, Henry answered. He waited the teenager’s reaction. The latter paused for a second, his eyes wide open then his big smile came back. ‘Let’s go!’ he said. Henry was now confused. ‘Where?’ Henry asked. ‘Home!’ he said. The teenager lead the way to the subway.

After thirty minutes, they arrived at Henry’s home. Behind the main door, there was a small hall leading to a small kitchen. At the left of the hall, a door lead to the livingroom which was opened to the kitchen. On the right, there were stairs that lead to the first floor, where three rooms and one bathroom were. When they entered, no one welcomed them. ‘They will come  home a lil later’, Henry said. ‘We need to hide these before they come back.’ He went upstairs and hid the bags in the bathroom where no one would look. Then he took the box, walked around, looking for a place to put it. He looked at the teenager for help. The latter gazed around then dragged him to the kitchen and pointed under the lever. Henry gave him a look : ‘What?’ The teenager shrugged : ‘It might work.’ Henry shook his head but still put the gift under the lever. Just when he closed the closet, his mother came in with his siblings. Henry pretended to wash hands and welcomed his family. His two brothers went straight in front of the TV while his mom and his sister walked toward him their hands full of bags. Her mother stopped when she saw the stranger in her house. ‘He is…hum..a friend’, introduced Henry. The teenager smiled at her. She nodded and asked her son to help her and his sister. Henry and the teenager complied, at Henry’s mom surprise. When they finished, Henry brought the teenager to his room. On their way, the teenager scanned the place. On the stairs wall, there were pictures of the family. A lot of them were pictures of Henry and his brothers and sister. On few of them, there were the parents. He noticed a spot where dirt formed a square. He called Henry and asked about the missing picture. Henry paused. He looked around and told the teenager to keep walking. When they were in his room, Henry closed the door behind him. He looked down, his expression has changed. ‘He was a fireman. He died two weeks ago.’ The teenager kept his smile after hearing the news. Few seconds later, as if he took a time to gather himself, Henry tried to know a little more about the smiling teenager. But the latter ignored all of his questions, again. Suddenly, the teenager waved at Henry as he stood up. Then he went downstairs and left. A minute later, Henry’s mom called her troops for dinner.

Around one o’clock in the morning, Henry woke up, half conscious. He went to the bathroom, took the gifts bag then slowly walked in the kitchen to grab the big box. He headed to the livingroom where a tree was beaming. He put his gifts underneath the tree and went back to sleep.

The next day, Henry was woken up by screaming. His lips smiled slightly. He turned around in his bed, trying to go back to sleep. But his brothers and sister ran into the room and jumped on his bed. ‘Wake up!! Wake up!!’ they screamed. ‘Santa came!!’ Henry got of bed with difficulties. He followed his siblings to the livingroom. His mother was sitting on the couch with a small box in her hands, a smile on her face. It’s been a while… Henry thought. There were papergifts all around the floor. Henry’s brothers and sister’s face were smiling from ear to ear. His mother walked towards him and handed him a gift. He looked at her, surprise she bought him something, mostly when she said earlier she couldn’t afford any gifts this year. ‘It’s not from me, it was there amongst everything else.’ Henry was now suspicious and curious. He unwrapped the gift like he was six and discovered a ‘Samrtbox’. There was page marked. He opened it and read :

Skydiving for two

He couldn’t believe it. He looked at his mother, his mouth open. She looked as surprised as him. Then Henry rewinded his day. It struck him : the weird kid he met chose this gift. ‘Mom, did you get a gift?’ She nodded. She crossed the chaos to a couch and came back to show him her gift. Another Smartbox. When…? In the afternoon, Henry went back to the mall where they met. He looked everywhere : he went back to all the stores they went to but he wasn’t there. Tired of searching, he sat down to rest a little bit before he went back home. When he was about to give everything up, he looked up to the huge Christmas tree in front of him and he saw him. He was standing at the tree’s foot. He looked at the tree like he was talking to it. Henry stood up and walked toward him, his eyes still on him as if it prevented him from diseppearing. He grabbed his arm and turned him around. His smiley face looked at Henry : ‘Merry Christmas!!’ he screamed. The latter smiled in turn. He felt relieved. They took a seat next to the tree and stayed silence for a while.

– ‘Thank you…’ Henry mumbled. The teenager turned to him. ‘Thank you for putting a smile on my family’s face again.’ The teenager put his big smile on his face again. ‘But… Who are you?… At least, give me your name.’

– ‘It’s Christmas’, he said. ‘You can call me Santa Junior!’

On that, he stood up and walked away. He turned back, smiled one last time to Henry and disappeared. Henry went back to his home. His brothers were playing on the xbox one while their sister played in her room with her new doll. Henry went to his mother’s room. He opened slightly the door and saw his mother crying on a letter with a necklace attached to it. He entered in her room : ‘Mom?’ And he sat next to her. ‘It’s from your father…’ she whispered.

Concert

Imagination

He walked in a dark large room. Space and silence reigned. Only his steps dared to bother them. As he came closer to a sheet, a synthesizer started to play the first notes. He opened his mouth and his voice resonated through loudspeakers around him and the room. Screaming could be heard few meters away from the man. Spotlights turned on as the piano was played. One of them lightened the sheet from the back, just showing the man’s shadow sitting behind a large piano. When the guitar started, few smaller spotlights lightened a stage below where all musicians were settled. A crowd clapped and screamed as they recognized the song.

At the end of the second chorus, as the electric guitar did his solo, the man picked up the mic, stood up and went through the sheet. The crowd has a second of silence. They couldn’t believe what was about to happen. Arriving at the middle of the stairs, when drums exploded, a single spotlight was directed towards him, showing him the way and finally revealed his face. At that moment, the crowd went crazy. They all screamed their lungs out. Walls were trembling. Everyone jumped around. Excited to finally see him. We could feel the excitment, the joy and the surprise. Every girl screamed at their highest note. When the singer arrived at the stage below, he sang the third chorus along with his group. Screaming went louder. The edge of the stage was surrounded by arms trying to reach him. The first rows were crushed  by the last ones. Some of the fans cried. Others fainted. A lot of ‘Oh my Gosh!!’ could be heard. People were shaking. They couldn’t stay still. Their eyes were wide open. No one blinked as if they took picture of that moment with their brain. The joy was suffocating.

At the last lyrics of the song, the light focused on him. Darkness surrounded him. The light slowly disappeared as the final note echoed in the stadium, to finally vanish into the darkness.

Do you remember?

Imagination

I remember. It was July, 2014. It was… Where was it? Oh, right, we were on that big island : you, for vacation and I lived there. We met in a fast food. I was waiting for you at the bar for five minutes now. I thought you weren’t coming until I see you step in. You were wearing snickers. It was winter but on that island, winter’s temperature were around 25 degrees. With your snickers, you wore some shorts, probably to balance your outfit, and a T-shirt. Red. As to show your determination in life. Each step you made was full of confidence. Or so I thought. The atmosphere around you was peaceful, quiet and carefree. You looked up to the ceiling, admiring the design of the room and let the mood fill your innocent eyes. You came closer and the smile that illuminated your face, disappeared slowly. When you sat down, you looked serious suddenly. Your eyebrows are pleated marking a dimple in between and making your eyes smaller than they already are. You stared intensely what was in front of you and didn’t even see me. You took off your hat, put it on the table and order a drink: ‘Coke, please’. I noticed you moved your head, slightly, in rhythm. Suddenly, you laughed at something, then you saw me seeing you and  tried to contain it. The barman gave you your drink, a small light appeared in your eyes. It was a treasure for you that you needed to carry very preciously. You looked at your phone, texted to someone and put your phone away. You didn’t seem to worry about anything.

After a moment, you gave me an intense look right in the eyes, trying to gather all your convictions, then deflected on something far behind me. That’s when he entered. At this moment, I knew: this conversation we’re about to have will change everything. Nothing will be the same. He sat next to us. You glanced at me one last time, pulling your hair back. He followed your eyes to his reflection then turned to me: ‘I’ve been waiting to see this image for a long time now.’ I looked at him and mumbled with a broken voice: ‘Nice to see you…Dad’.