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Kindness

"I'm not a good person." She said it matter-of-factly, her gestures carefree. Her friends were looking at her in a serious face. Either they would burst out laughing at any time, or I just involuntarily attended to some form of confession.

I wanted to stop and stay to listen, I wanted to ask her why did she say she's not a good person. My legs ignored my curiosity and they continued walking, my mouth carried on with the ongoing conversation. But a part of me stayed with that confession and invented a whole person.

I thought about her appearance. She was blond. No. She was brunette. Reddish hair, blue eyes. No, green eyes. Average height, caffè latte was her skin color. She was wearing a white blouse, jeans, black boots. A nude colored jacket protected her against the wind, and I was satisfied with the way she was presented to my eyes.

Why did she say that she's not a good person? It wasn't enough to know how she looked like, I needed to invent a story for her.

It was likely that she had a sad past. Humiliated by her classmates, ignored by her parents, she must have thought that she wasn't good enough. But she was wrong.

Other times I imagined her being sincere, hindering her colleages, warning them like she was warning her two friends. No one believed her when she said, and she smiled.

I had imagined so many possibilities for this stranger that I had missed the obvious one.

My mysterious stranger, so many times by me reinvented, entered in the cafeteria where I was on a day that announced Spring. I still remembered her real look and, I don't know why, I beckoned at her and she interpreted that correctly, approaching to me.

I offered her a seat and she sat. Her smile left me speechless. I wanted to ask and I couldn't see the right time.

She waited and I asked, clumsy, why did she say that she's not a good person. Her calm smile muttered an only word. "Come". Hypnotized, I paid my bill and followed this stranger. She offered to get in her car and so I did. She explained that her name is Laura but that nothing of that mattered. That the only thing that mattered was to satisfy my curiosity.

She took me to a house in the suburbs and asked me to accompany her inside. I followed her steps after a secret, steps that led us to a room in the shadows. She caressed my hair and I shivered. She placed her lips on my cheek and her smile turned into grimace.

One. The shove that sat me on a chair that now I could see.
Two. The agile hands that closed the shackles around my wrists and ankles.
Three. She turned on the light and I saw the mutilated bodies of those that were listening when I first saw her.
Four. She nervously smiled, ear to ear, and only said "number sixty-seven".

The shadows came back and the pain was what remained.


Original in Spanish follows.


Bondad


"Yo no soy una buena persona". Lo dijo de manera casual, con despreocupación en sus gestos. Sus amigos la miraban con expresión seria. O estallaban en una carcajada, o acababa de asistir de manera involuntaria a una confesión.

Quería parar y quedarme a escuchar, quería preguntarle por qué ha dicho que no es una buena persona. Mis piernas ignoraron mi curiosidad y siguieron caminando, mi boca continuó con la conversación que estaba llevando. Pero una parte de mí se quedó con aquella confesión e inventó a una persona.

Le di vueltas a su aspecto. Era rubia. No. Era morena. Pelo castaño rojizo, ojos azules. No, verdes. De mediana estatura, piel color café con leche. Vestía una camisa blanca, pantalón vaquero, botas negras. Una chaqueta color crema le protegía del viento y yo me di por satisfecha con su apariencia.

¿Por qué dijo que ella no era una buena persona? No me bastaba con saber cómo lucía, necesitaba inventarle una historia.

Probablemente tenía un pasado triste. Humillada por sus compañeros, ignorada por sus padres, debió pensar que ella no era suficientemente buena. Pero se equivocaba.

Otras veces la imaginé siendo sincera, poniendo zancadillas a sus compañeros en el trabajo, avisándoles como avisaba a aquellos dos amigos suyos. Nadie le creía cuando lo decía y ella sonreía.

Había imaginado tantas posibilidades para esta desconocida que se me había escapado la obvia.

Un día que anunciaba primavera, mi misteriosa desconocida, tantas veces por mí reinventada, entró en la cafetería donde yo me encontraba. Aún recordaba su aspecto real y, no sé por qué, le hice una señal que ella interpretó correctamente, acercándose a mí.

Le ofrecí asiento y ella lo tomó. Su sonrisa me dejaba sin aliento. Quería preguntarle y no veía el momento.

Ella esperaba y yo pregunté, con torpeza, por qué dijo que no era una buena persona. Su sonrisa calmada musitó una única palabra. "Ven". Hipnotizada, pagué mi cuenta y seguí a esta extraña. Me ofreció entrar en su coche y así lo hice. Por el camino me explicó que su nombre era Laura pero que nada de eso importaba. Que todo lo que importaba era poder saciar mi curiosidad.

Me llevó a una casa en las afueras y me pidió que le acompañara dentro. Yo seguía sus pasos tras un secreto, pasos que nos llevaron a una habitación en la penumbra. Ella acarició mi pelo y me agité por dentro. Sus labios se posaron sobre mi mejilla y su sonrisa se tornó mueca.

Uno. Un empujón me sentó sobre un sillón que ahora veía.
Dos. Unas manos ágiles cerraron los grilletes alrededor de mis muñecas y tobillos.
Tres. Encendió la luz y vi los cuerpos mutilados de quienes la escuchaban cuando yo la vi por vez primera.
Cuatro. Sonrió de oreja a oreja, nerviosamente, y sólo dijo "número sesenta y siete".

La penumbra regresó y ya sólo quedó el dolor.
Posted by: Auryn Beorn on 02/02/2018 at 12:00:00 - 0 Comments

The Witch

There are places in the world whose names have been forgotten. Ghostly places, enshrouded in ancient magic, almost like if they weren't there, are waiting for inadvertent visitors that step within their boundaries to never be seen again.

One of these places was once called Inhn, but nowadays nobody even knows the place exists. Back in time, Inhn was inhabited by a cruel witch. She was nameless, for part of her power lied in being an unknown entity to those that fell in her small realm. Her cabin and the graveyard around were surrounded by a forest. Only part of the forest was reached by this ancient magic, enveloping it, but it was enough to set a trap for those who were wandering by the other side of the forest.

The witch was known to mutilate her victims to then transform them into disturbing creatures that lost their humanity. Those creatures were then caged like birds and set outside the house, in the darkest part of the graveyard, left alone to die.



She fed on their suffering and their blood. She kept all of their limbs to continue torturing them even after they died, for the torment of their souls trying to reach the hands that no longer they could touch and reach was a delightful scene for her to watch. Their limbs in jars was what those poor souls wanted to recover, but even being next to them, they could never be complete again. Their despair and denial about the situation was what tied them to stay in the place, exactly where she, the nameless, needed them.



But even witches grow old, and as she aged, she was losing her power. She needed more people than before if she were to regain strength, but the forests around Inhn had been forgotten, and barely if ever new visitors showed up. She had sowed pain when she was young, and now she was too tired to watch her own back.

That's how one night, it happened. The legends aren't clear about what happened exactly. The only thing we know nowadays about the events is that the last two of her creations that despite dead, still were able of breathing air, buried her alive. Exhausted, their bodies fell and rot over her grave, and since that moment, their souls guard the nameless' tomb, to make sure she'll never raise among the dead.



This didn't put an end to the witch's victims' torment. Their souls had been tied to their mutilated limbs, and day after day, their weeping laments could be heard if you walked close to the limits of the safe part of the forests around Inhn. As time went by, those souls forgot about the nameless, they forgot what led them to be dead without hands, and slowly, they started to vanish forever, in sorrow and pain that would accompany them until the end of time.

That's how another tomb at the graveyard was abandoned, and the power of the witch started to grow back within it, whispering a song in the wind that started to attract people into walking near the forest.

The legend says, this other tomb is waiting for the next lost traveler that crosses the frontier to Inhn and sets foot into that haunted land. The tomb will then announce to the traveler that the day is their last day alive, and this new death will have power enough to bring the rejuvenated witch back to life.



Posted by: Auryn Beorn on 14/10/2015 at 12:00:00 - 0 Comments

The Black Widow

I've heard all the stories about us. Vain and shallow creatures, hunting husbands to suck their lives and money. Heartless, self-centered, monsters. Sluts. Whores. Scum with no remorse. Yes, I've heard all of them, and then some more.

I call it envy. Of our strength, of our independence from the rules that make them call us whores while secretly wishing being one.



It's not true that we don't love our husbands. We do. We love each one of them, and we keep that love alive even after they've gone, which makes our love for them particularly strong. That's why we need them gone: Because we're creatures of love, able of that rare affection and loyalty that survive death, and we need love to carry on with our lives.



Not every woman is fit to the role. Your secrets can never be known: they are your main strength. Solitude will be your second skin. This is how it must be, in order to feel all that intense and lasting love for your future husbands.



When you dust envy off the world's eyes, what's left is how they really see us: Charming, mysterious, attractive in ways that go further from simply entertaining the most basic desires. We feel no shame for that, and we'll use what we are.



But dare exposing us in front of our lovers and we'll show you why everybody fears a black widow.



Posted by: Auryn Beorn on 06/10/2015 at 12:00:00 - 0 Comments

Watcher of the Sea

Ever since Ariel was fifteen years old, she would escape her father's surveillance, the King of the Under-the-Sea world, and swam to the surface. She liked to sit on her favourite rock every night, half a mile distance from the shore. She always looked up to the sky and smiled at the Moon. When the Moon was full, cloudy or not, it would tell her stories about the world that was outside the sea, warming her in its faint light, making of Ariel a distinctive spot of an otherwise lonely location.



Ariel was a mermaid. Mermaids were thought to be legendary creatures. Half human, half fish, and with a voice that would enchant and drive crazy in love any man that would hear them sing, mermaids hadn't been seen by humans since centuries ago, and so they had been forgotten.

That particular night, the Moon was explaining this when Ariel saw something in the distance. It was a ship, worryingly close to the storm near her. She loved being showered by the rain, but this was very different to those creatures called humans. The Moon had told her that there were storms so wild, they would break their ships causing the people inside to drown. This seemed to be what would happen tonight.

Ariel's fingers were clenching in anxiety while observing, and finally, the inevitable happened: a lightning struck on the ship, starting a fire, and while some people tried to suffocate it, others, pushed by waves that grew high as to reach gunnel, struggled to avoid falling in the sea.



There was tension and screaming at the ship. Ariel could not stop looking and the Moon reminded her that her father would be quite angry if humans would see her, that mermaids were not to interfere in human life. Upset and uneasy, doing her best to ignore the knot that was tying tight in her stomach, she was ready to dive back home and so she stood up. Then, another wave pushed the ship, and this time she saw a man falling in the sea.

It happened so fast that before Ariel realized, she had jumped towards the ship and was swimming to rescue the man. Only when she reached that half conscious human, the words of her father resonated loud in her mind. "Do not intervene in human affairs!"



She shook her head trying not to hear them, and swam driving the man to the safety of the seashore. She waited until he opened his eyes, laying next to him, and when he did, she smiled and told him in the sweetest voice ever heard, "I'm so glad I was there to help you! How are you feeling?"



The man stood up, his eyes widened in horror at the sight of the half-fish creature, and walked back a few steps.

"What, what... What are you? That's not possible! You're a monster!," the man said.

He reached the gun that was still held by his belt, and despite wet, he could use it and shot Ariel on her shoulder. She screamed in pain and fell.

"But, but... But I've saved you!," Ariel said, unable to understand, crying.

The man shot again, this time on her chest. Her eyes clouded and she fainted. The man shot a third time and there would have been a fourth one, hadn't it been for Ariel's father showing up on the seashore after the Moon called him saying it was urgent. Her father took the gun from the hands of the scared man and urged upon him to leave fast. Once the man disappeared from his sight, he threw the gun in the depths of the sea, took dying Ariel in his arms, and went back home with her.



Weeks after, Ariel opened her eyes. She was still convalescent and the injuries hurt. Her father was sitting next to her, he had been doing after their doctors extracted the bullets and cured her injuries the best they could. He smiled only for a second, then his stern look was back.

"Ariel," he said, "there's a reason why we don't intervene in human's affairs. They're a species of fearful violent creatures that attack what they cannot understand. Your intentions don't matter. They only see a strange creature to destroy and we have to protect ourselves from them."

One tear trickled down Ariel's cheek. She knew what would happen now.

"Now, there's the matter of the rules. You know them. If I am to expect for others to abide by my rules, I have to set an example by punishing my own daughter who broke them. I can't make an exception with you. You know what happens at this moment."

Her father was strict in applying the rules, and no matter her good intention when saving that man, no matter her promising she wouldn't break them again, Ariel was punished and cursed to eternally be the Watcher of the Sea. Always on duty to help drown those humans that would fall in the dark waters, she would be an invisible shadow to their eyes, singing to their ears while holding them and pushing their lives down in the depths of the silent sea.



Posted by: Auryn Beorn on 03/08/2015 at 12:00:00 - 0 Comments

Fallen Angels

Paradise was promised to us, until the day he confessed to his weakness and how much help he needed. They turned their heads towards me in wrath and blamed me for having allowed that he was weak. Their affection turned immediately in hate and so they stabbed me until I could no longer stand up, then kicked me out.

He came after me, despite of their begging and their let her die, and as he was crossing the doors to reunite with me in Hell, they stabbed him too. Their own son.

We were left alone with wounds that wouldn't let us move and live, hoping for a quick death.

But not even Death wanted us, and we had to survive in a world where we were the only ones we could trust. We were so hurt that started attacking each other. We were full of anger with nothing else to take it on but the other one. The blame, the blame. Who was to be blamed?



We are the Fallen Angels. We paid the price for defying the sacred societal rules. We are still angry. And now we begin to heal and stand up.
Posted by: Auryn Beorn on 30/06/2015 at 12:00:00 - 0 Comments
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