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A handful of Lightning Literature

Many events are so subtle and fast that being fairly human, we could even doubt their existence. And our lives are certainly not an argument against this troubling feeling.

Anyway, just as a thunder conquers the sky for a brief moment, and enlightens the whole dome of this astonishing bright galaxy, some events are like that; extraordinary, fleeting moments. Passionate… as insufficient sighs.

The following stories wished to be as thunders.

1. He who is in debt

“Please, call me Horatio,” he said.

An easy lavender perfume diminished, while the noon correntinian heat continued moving on with any qualms.

“Would you like a drink?”. He asked, in the brink of getting up.

“No,” she said “it won’t take more than a few minutes”.

She then placed her leather portfolio among them both, on the table.

Horatio couldn’t help an anxious feeling: twisted one of his thumbs, placed both hands on his knees, then rubbed his forehead. A sole drop of sweat went all over the bridge of his nose, just to die inglorious at his t-shirt sleeve

“Well, tell me. How can I help you?” Asked, wondering why she hasn’t used her suitcase yet.

She observed him with no distractions. Her brown eyes, big and bright as oil chestnuts, reflected Horatio’s afflicted face. Despite the bright eyes, all about her was decayed.

“As you may know,” her hoarse voice answered “I am here for the immediate and effective execution of a well-informed in advanced debt”.

“I see.” He said, while putting his eyes down. Abruptly, he perceived a glimpse of nicotine in her breath that surrounded him aggressively. Horacio found it hard to breathe that day; the week long expectation for the executive’s arrival got him anxious and tired.

For a moment, Horatio transported himself imaginarily to the 235 hospital room where he’s been some months ago. Immersed among blank starched sheets in the bed, his wife Marta; or perhaps what was left of her: a shriveled flower with no leaves, bending down its stem at a severe illness.

“We are up with your situation, Horatio.” The woman added. “We know about you recently losing your spouse. That’s why within the Extension Account Department we have decided to give you the postponement benefit. In another way, we assume you wouldn’t have the resources needed to organize all of your wife’s concerns”.

“Hardly swallowing saliva” he said it was right. “And you’ve been loyal to what we spoke. I am very thankful for that”.

“Have you used, then, the benefit of postponement according to the motive you quoted when asking for it?”

Saddened, he said it was right and started to realize how the woman’s figure started getting a colossal size, and how her ridiculously cold and old skin covered by a perverse shadow also wanted to veil him.

“In the name of the whole organization, we want to thank you for your trust, Horatio. You’ve been a notable patient”.

Suddenly, he thought about the possibility of any legal vacuum, any ignored detail that he could use in personal benefit. But with sorrow remembered he didn’t even have a copy of the documents. Horacio sighed. Outside of the house, a mythical roots and modern fruit mixed murmur of the city pushed to intrude within the conversation.

“I used the benefit according to what was planned, and the fact of you providing it to me, I consider that extraordinary,” he detailed. “At my age, I know extra time is always welcomed. And an extension from your own company, that’s even more valuable”.

“What a shame the extension is due at this very moment”, she stoned, interrupting what Horatio was saying.

The woman hasn’t moved a millimeter since the moment she sat there. Was wearing a double ash-grey suit: executive long sleeve jacket with no buttons or pockets; and knee tailored pants. Facing her, you could nearly see the curvature of her spine, trying to get out of her back. She was weirdly aged, and thin skinny: would pay attention without blinking an eye, articulate her words real fast and precise, and wouldn’t ever tremble at all. Very dry skin wrapping with no enthusiasm her hands and her facial bones as she speaks.

“Can I ask for a new extension? I promise to pay this time!” Horatio took that risk while raising his eyes.

She raised her chin and looked deep inside Horacio, almost interspaced all over his soul, digging till its inner first memories.

A second drop of sweat, more uneasy than the first one, ran the same path as her forerunner. This time, Horacio let her end up at a corner of his mouth.

“I must apologize. The Accountant would never allow a petition like that, under any circumstances”.

“I see. Your suitcase though”…

“My suitcase? What about it?”

Horacio hesitated. He felt angst and despair confused in the middle of his chest. That bright morning became an eternal night, wrapping him with no mercy.

“Wouldn’t there be any helpful document or procedure?!” He said, looking straight to the suitcase with big eyes.

She took a deep breath but her chest didn’t move at all.

“I am aware of every detail in your case, Horatio –she said, putting down the suitcase at one side of her chair−. It is not necessary for me to go through the files again. There’s nothing to be done, nothing you or I could ask anyone for.

As a thick cloud hiding a storm, an unexpected silence expanded between them. Horatio thought about Marta again, but this time without any of those suffering chains. His eyes focused on her thick, throbbing lips. They were the same he first saw back then at a shore of the Paraná River.

He risked one last time.

“Couldn’t you make an exception? Maybe for a few days. Couldn’t you come back later, after visiting other clients? I’ll pay you the next time we see each other. I promise, you’ll find me just here”.

“Horacio, I need to apologize again,” Death said “I work by commissions” .


2. Downstream

The fluent of blood spread over the unclean carpet, as a forest. A monochromatic rainbow of extreme pleasure mixed with the dirt of the floor, undimmed, made the small dust particles to plunge and benefit from the nectar of life, as well.

A desperate shout, from who couldn’t treasure the vital elixir, escaped as fast as it’s last breath, outside, onto nervous klaxons and the night mantle watching it all through its thousands sparkling keyholes; a howl of horror, a primitive shriek of anguish deepened the plutonic night much more than the yellow teeth cutting off the carotid with urgency.

And as the sea of rust conquered skin, clothes, and floor, the remaining humanity on the room faded as a dense tree loosing its leaves at the experienced autumn of death, gaving way to the sharp edge of the master and lord of knives: the eternal death.

Frozen blue seas surrounding the dark and remote human pupil, the eyes of whom was not now but yesterday, evaporated at the same rhythm of the blood running anxious outside of its pale body.

Most of the viscous bloodstream wasn't being part of gravity, nor evaporating, nor even childish encysting among clothing. The prominent stream was being sucked with expert lover’s passion by an infernal creature, by a gracious and confident eagle overflying the crags of madness and martyrdom. The forked tongue, restless, enjoyed whole clusters of generations and memories running downstream.

The demon relished not only fuel for its tormented existence, but also fantasies, dreams and hopes of whom was drying out with haste among its strong arms. The spectrum of that night was a monster from the Averno wich defining itself as a victim more than as a victimizer, embraced its terrible nature with no escape.

Not only beneath that one, but beneath all remaining moons, the beast was attached to being the mailman of every last letter, noticing -hateful sometimes- how the souls he visited could release the pain of being alive, of breathing, of being trees and flowers in a blissful field where its steeds would never graze.

Long before the sun crowned the sky, in the shadows of the bedroom, just below the compact dimensions bed, the blood nourished the interior of a body dead hundreds of years ago.

The vampire, enyoing the sweet and delightful queen of all drinks, perceived both pain and delight. Despair. In the middle of the huge chest, some plasma and the continuous frustration for not being able to escape the gloomy fate, seethed. An eternal thirst in a desert without borders. It was a perennial castaway in a sea without winds. A horrible present in oblivion.


3. My childhood at the sandbox

I’d swear my adversary wasn’t such, and that this cursed coliseum did not distill that horrifying smell slipping like this through all my skin. That this Gladius crossing my chest wasn’t more than a harmless toy. In a dying delirium, I could surely say I was having fun, in another time, at a tiny nameless somewhere on this cosmic arena. I’m sure I’m not dying, just playing death.


4. Handshake

“Come on in. Dr. Nuñez will look after you in a minute”.

It was a small sitting room, sinking in semi-darkness. Alongside, huge zigzagging prosthesis columns raised up from the floor.

“What brings you here, ZB31?,” asked without gestures.

“The implant on my arm, doctor. Sometimes it won’t even respond to voice commands. And in the mornings, it contorts in a weird way”.

“I see”. Núñez scanned the patient’s virtual record book, and said:

“Here’s the thing. It’s a human implant”.

“Excuse me, doctor,” the patient startled “what’s a human?”


5. Medusa Project

November 12

Dad died yesterday. An unexpected and terrible loss. I could not grieve him yet.

December 3

Investigation has been delayed. The size of my room is insufficient. Cabins use too much space.

January 24

I dropped the company. There’s no glory without compromise. Mom called today. Dad’s grave has been profaned.

February 18

Calculations are precise, but I can’t get chemical balance. Meat, inevitably, ends up decomposing.

March 19

I found the balance point. A marine species’ genetics has been crucial. I have catalyzed some saline solution.

April 2

Mom is being weird. She meaningless accuses me of terrible things. I have less space for my machines each day.

May 7

Fail. The effect won’t last twenty minutes. It’s getting hard for me to explain to my neighbors about the animal corpses.

June 3

I accidentally mixed my blood with the formula. When injected on rabbits, it lasts for weeks.

July 2

My DNA is the key.

I could finally talk with mom. I’m going to live with her for a while.

August 17

Dad came back. It’s like he never left. He tolerated saline solution. I can’t wait to tell mom.

September 10

Fail again. The effect only lasted three days. I need to keep trying.

October 13

Mom died yesterday. Her angelic face kept its crystalline complexion for hours.

There are no reasons to grieve her.


Nov. 14, 2020, midnight 14 Report Embed Follow story
Read next chapter The waiting room (chapter 1)

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