February 14, 2016
I am in the middle of formatting the new issue of the Scarlet Leaf Review and simply have no time to write my blog!
So, unfortunately, you will suffer through one of my writings again.
I know, it is dreadful!
So, here it is: Looking Out!
The terrace was lively and noisy although the temperature of the air was quite high. It was too warm for that period of the year but, regardless that, all the tables were taken.
Despite the hot day, people seemed to enjoy the beginning of the summer over a glass of beer or soda. Merry colours were shown off and the dresses of the women made the atmosphere festive and careless making everything smell and sound and look like holiday. It seemed as if everyone was talking the same time and laughter filled the air.
Suddenly, a loud noise made glasses on the table break and women screamed sharply and a shiver of anxiety went through all the people at the tables.
Finally, people remained almost speechless, and a few of them gasped. Turning to the area were the blow came, they could see the smoke embracing the high building at the end of the square, a hundred feet away. The smoke was black and everyone could say that it was bringing bad news.
Then, a second blast, louder than the first one, made them stand up hastily and run in the opposite direction, regardless of the curiosity that might have felt. For the moment, it seemed wiser to read about everything in the journals next day or watch over on the news. What mattered was to be out of the place without scratches and in one piece if possible. Survival came first, consciousness hadn’t woken up yet.
Only one man, a tall and dark one, dressed in casual summer trousers and short-sleeve shirt, stayed put and, narrowing his eyes, watched the huge mass of smoke and thin ashes flowing into the air.
His face betrayed nothing, as if he had not perceived yet the entire tragedy unfolding in front of his eyes. He kept his position for a few more seconds, and then, as hit by the urge of a thought, he started running in the inverse direction than the others, directly to the building which was already licked by hungry flames, with the top in a huge cloud of black and grey smoke.
From now, the air was filled with the sour taste of something similar to carbide and smoke started hurting his eyes. He could also here the sirens of the police car somewhere remote, getting closer, though, and he also saw a few people coming out of the building, puzzled, scared, horrified, but, the most important, covered with ashes and blood.
He stopped the first man he could grab and asked him something. This one had a cut across his cheek and chin, and blood, actually blood and dust, all over his sleeve. He seemed to have used it to clean up the blood on his face. The wounded man watched him for a few seconds and answered nothing. He only watched his lips moving without hearing or perceiving the words. He nodded, although he was not sure he understood the man having stopped him, and then, he passed by the tall, dark man and with huge steps he ran across the street, and then further along the street, as if he had no specific place in his mind. He ran only to seize a sense of safety and fresh air.
The tall man turned towards others coming out of the building and suddenly he became aware of the screams inside and a constant whining somewhere close. His heart started overwhelmed by the painful weeping which seemed to belong to a woman, and he followed it to discover who was there.
He found a small young woman, all covered in blood, holding tight the body of an older woman that seemed motionless. He realised she was actually dead, and most of the blood around and on the suit of the young woman belonged to the dead one.
He got closer and tried to pull the young woman up but this one was clinging onto her friend – or maybe relative, really hard. The man tried to speak to her, but she did not seem to hear him or to pay attention to him. He tried to look into her eyes, to make an eye contact and to calm her down afterwards, but he found no sparkle there. Her eyes were glassy and somehow foggy. She was not quite aware of his presence and she kept mourning over the dead body, without being aware of the still present danger.
He bent over her and grabbed her waist, pulling her strongly on her feet. That moment she realized she was not alone and she started to scream at him, trying to get rid of his strong hands:
“Let me go! Let me go!”
“I wish I could”, he answered softly, trying to bring some comfort in her pain, even though he doubted there had been a slight chance for that. “She’s dead, but you seem to be still alive. If want to stay like this, I advise you to come with me now.”
“I know she’s dead, you, bastard!”
“And you’re aware it’s been an explosion. The building might collapse anytime now. We cannot know what is actually hit” he continued, but rush penetrated his voice. He was on the verge of losing any patience, and he was known to be a quite impatient man.
“But I can’t leave her here, not like that”, the woman struggled with him.
“Yes, you can. I’m sure she’d have wanted you to run away from here, to live. You’d have felt the same thing for her, wouldn’t you?”
“No more arguments, young lady! You come with me, and now!” he said, pulling her after him.
For one moment, she tried to fight back, but she was too tired, too emptied emotionally, and she missed the force to make her point. She followed him, actually almost carried away by the strong arms that did not let her go, but tears were running along her cheeks, and she wiped them out with a dirty hand.
He became aware of her giving up and slowed down, trying to match her steps. However, after a few steps, he felt her falling down, and he stopped to raise her up. He noticed she fainted and he sighed bitterly. He bent over her and lifted her in his arms, and then he realised she was badly wounded at her right leg. Swearing in his beard, he headed to the ambulances that started to appear and he shouted to a young man that had just got off one of the cars.
“Hey, you! I have a wounded woman here”.
“Only one? There are wounded people everywhere”, answered the man back, already tired seeing the warlike image in front of his eyes. He was thinking seriously of trying a new job. He was sick of seeing so many disasters. The other day it was a chain accident on the highway, and last month, that stupid accident at the airport. He could not deal with all of these anymore. He had to stop doing it because things were eating him up. It looked as if there had been only dead people everywhere, every day, wherever he turned his head.
His tired and emotionless answered made the other man frown and, with an ugly grimace in the corner of his mouth, he said stressing every word:
“Till you get the others, you will take care of this one, you hear me?”
The menace was clear in his voice, too calm for the circumstances. The young man felt the acid of the words and the threat behind them and he almost started. He nodded without adding anything more and prepared to take care of the young woman, who was still unconscious.
“Where are you taking her?”
“To Bellevue, for the moment.”
The man nodded and then went towards the police cars. He spotted the policeman in charge and headed to him. This one glanced at him but seeing he was relatively in one peace and he did not seem to need emergency help turned back and shouted some orders to his men. The tall, dark man frowned again, fed up with people’s inconsideration, and with a very rough voice, he said a few words to the policeman, showing the same time a small ID. The words vanished into the noise and madness around, but the policeman caught enough to look better at him and at his ID.
Policeman’s look was cold and disdain was badly masked in his eyes. A sparkle came into his eyes, but he was not bold enough to send him to take a walk as if he had wanted. He nodded to acknowledge that he understood who he was and asked coldly:
“How can I assist you, sir?”
“Where exactly was the hit?”
“We’re not very sure, but it looks like it was meant for the first floor, somewhere in the middle of the corridor on the right”.
The eyes of his interlocutor told the policeman that probably that was the answer the man expected, even though he did not like it very much. He did not comment for a few seconds and then he said abruptly to the policeman.
“I have to get there and now”.
The policeman nodded catching the urgent note of his tone and thought: “I would have imagined you’d wanted. Otherwise you wouldn’t have shown me that”. However he shouted loudly:
A young, fair-haired policeman turned to him and said: “Yes, sir!”
“This man is going in, with no restrictions”.
The officer looked a bit amazed but only said: “Yes, sir! Would you come with me, please?”
He met her in a nice spring day when they attended a picnic to Mrs. Redman’s house. It was for the first time in his lifetime when he had laid eyes on something so fresh and beautiful and wit.
Nothing had warned him about the punch he felt in his heart. Something knocked him down on spot. He couldn’t take his eyes from her reddish and golden hair, with the sun playing in it or from the green eyes, covered with long lashes, covering the most beautiful look he had ever seen.
He didn’t dare to speak to her at first but he tried to be next to her all the time, to hear her, to see her reactions at people’s words and to let her laughter fill his heart with joy. Somehow, in the end, he found the courage to approach her and to try to make sure that the smile having won his heart would be on his side.
He finally managed to talk her out and to convince her to accept a short walk in the park near her house for the next day. He didn’t know how he could have taken a refuse, but he was the happiest man in the world at the moment.
All night he could not sleep because he was thinking only of her.
However, morning came and the grey light of the dawn tricked his eyes and wake him up. He had forgotten to pull the curtains the night before and only because of too much thinking of her.
He smiled at once and forgetting about the sudden waking up and about the early hour of the morning, he almost jumped out of bed and whistling a nice and witty melody went to the bathroom to start the routine of the day. Nevertheless, it was such an important day! He had to convince the angel with her reddish-golden hair that she belonged to him, that, actually, they belonged together.
The hours of the morning seemed to pass with some difficulty, but, however, he kept feeling an acute sense of joy and happiness filling his soul and mind and therefore, nothing seemed too difficult or too boring, even the presence of his aunt Mary, the old scrooge, that kept nagging everyone and no one in particular.
There were days when he considered her a real pain in the ass, and he could be sure that those days were not gone but that some day soon he would have the same feeling, but for the moment, he was able to forget and forgive and the day seemed brighter and brighter.
The afternoon finally came and with it, the promise of a nice and peaceful walk with the person he had fallen in love with at first sight.
He headed to the park and to the exact spot where they had decided to meet and he stopped on the bank of the small lake, looking promisingly at the distance to see her coming. The sun
He checked his watch and nodded. It wasn’t too late for what he had in his mind. He could even try to find what he was seeking for and even succeed.
He left his hotel room and headed towards the center of the little town lying in the middle of a valley lit by the sun. Sometimes, at least in the middle of summer, the sun was so bright that one could feel each fiber inside hurting because of the heat.
. He had been walking for several minutes when he finally spotted the lights in the most imposing building of the town.
Looking at it, everyone could have said at once that the building in question should have been the exact building he was looking for because only someone with the brains of his target and with his lust and greed could have ever built something like that in the middle of nowhere, because, if he was not wrong, he was exactly in the middle of nowhere.
The little town was hardly found on the map, on any map. Nothing important had ever taken place here and it was not like if it had ever been going to take place. Events had stopped appearing for a long time. He had hardly managed to spot the bloody town on the map of the region.
He stopped across the street and for a few minutes, however, quite long minutes, he kept watching the windows of the monstrous building lying before his eyes.
No taste could have been revealed in the lines of the awful construction rising straight before him. It seemed as if the owner was interested more in showing off opulence than in living in a place with warmth and finesse.
One couldn’t say the architecture was missing. There was one, even though a very disturbing one. No healthy person could have imagined something like that.
The grey of the building matched just fine the lack of lines and only robustness could be considered an appealing characteristic. It looked like the ugliest citadel he had ever seen.
A grimace made his lips arch but the sarcasm did not pass over the boundary of his thoughts. Although he would have liked to burst into laughter, he knew this was not the time or the place to do it.
He checked carefully the front side of the building and he finally reached the conclusion that no one was inside at the hour.
That meant that his information turned out perfectly accurate. He was told that the owner was somewhere in the mountains, he could see somewhere at a distance, fulfilling another of his multiple wishes: killing.
Actually he used to go hunting quite often in the past and nothing could have stopped him to do so, unless maybe an emergency in his line of work, if anyone could have named his job like this.
It was not the case. He had almost fulfilled all his purposes and all his targets had been taken out in a way or another. It was as if he could have afforded a holiday, doing what he liked the most: watching life departing from bleeding corpses, light of the eyes smoothly fading away.
The thought brought a bitter smile on the lips of the hunter in front of the house and he thought that irony of life was far from being understood. One could be either the hunter or the prey but sometimes roles changed and only people’s actions could decide which side of the riffle they’d be.
It was unlikely that anyone would come back during the night so he could have some time to accomplish his purposes, but he knew quite well that there was still someone inside, actually more than one.
Guard dogs were in the premises and he knew their kind very well. It would not be a fairy welcome. It could have bet on it. Actually, he had to think of serious measures to get inside and to get outside afterwards and this in one piece, if possible.
Born sometime in the past century, living in the 21st century.
Sometimes I have good ideas... (what do you think?)
Sometimes fascinating guests!
(that for sure!)
Sometimes I have to share some of my frustrations,..
(not too tempting, huh!)
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