Jul 20, 2017

Chubby - part I - Purgatorium

A chubby kid in a black jacket sat calmly on the edge of a thin road on the quiet edge of the city.
The road connected the metropolitan stem to the little branches of the neighborhood with curves strangled by apartment buildings. And at this time, at 5 o'clock in the morning there was no one on the road, not even a bird in the sky showed its beak, but that was not necessarily because of the time but because of the day. The New Year had passed 4 hours and 39 minutes ago, and frightened birds hid in nests thinking of foreign lands. 
The chubby kid took his hat off, letting his hair breathe the cold winter air. He inspected himself top to bottom, he was dressed head-to-toe in black, and decided to lie down on the road. "It's inevitable, a car has to go by", he thought. The twilight of the morning combined with the yellowish fluorescence of the smog above the city. This tiring light splashed the street wiping its outlines, melting the plump boy into the asphalt. 
The jelly-belly was gazing at the sky when a thought crossed his mind, his face could give him away, so he turned his eyes to the ground and pressed his nose to the cold bitumen. "I wonder if hell is a cold or a hot place," he contemplated. 

The chubby kid heard a noisy car approaching, he closed his eyes, clenching his teeth in anticipation of the blow. After a sudden brake and a few curse words, the car continued its journey furiously. Behind her, a black limousine approached quietly and parked beside the boy. A man dressed in a cheap polyester suit jovially came out and hunched his back towards the boy.
- Can you get up? asked the driver.
The boy embarrassed by the ludicrous situation broke loose from the sticky asphalt melting below him.
- What were you doing there? continued the driver.
- Nothing, snorted the boy.
- Were you trying to kill yourself? Why? Let me guess, at your age ... a girl?

The boy ignored his questions and entered the apartment building facing the road, his original destination, his home. He called the elevator, but it did not want to come, so the chubby kid took the stairs. Reaching the front of his home he pressed the door handle, but the door seemed glued shut by the cold. He sat his butt down on the lobby heater considering whether or not to ring the door bell 10-20 times so his parents would wake up and let him in. Looking through the glass in the hallway, he saw the limousine driver playing on his phone. With his eyes still on the phone, the driver gave him a wave. The chubby kid went back down. 

- What are you doing here? lamented the boy.
- I'm waiting for a client. Do you have WiFi here, can you give me the password?
The boy shrugged.
- I don't know it by heart.
- That's too bad, I'm sitting here bored to death, literally counting the cracks in the pavement. Look at that shadow over there, where do you think it comes from?
- Is it a game? I don't know ... from a tree?
- No seriously, really look at it, insisted the driver.
The boy looked at it for several seconds, and the closer he looked the more the shadow began gaining volume.
- That's my jacket, exhaled the boy.
- Yes? And if you look closely?
- Somebody's wearing it ... what the devil?
- No, no not the devil, Death, smiled the driver. Though given that you committed suicide, it's likely you'll see him soon enough. The car didn't miss you kid, it went over your head like a ripe eggplant.
The driver leaned toward the boy and he ran away.
- Do you really want me to leave you here? the driver wailed after him.
The boy escaped into a small neighborhood park, guarded by apartment buildings on all sides. He sat on a scuffed bench. Suddenly he felt very tired as if he had been hit by the past night's sleeplessness. The surrounding buildings seemed to bend toward him. The sun lit up the sky and the plump boy stretched his head on the bench. The trees were real, the bench was real and there was nothing to fear. Clogged noises were coming from the distance, but everything was very peaceful here. "It can't be", he thought, closing his eyes, fatigue making him fall asleep on the bench.
He woke up when the sun had reached noon, the city was still empty, but on the asphalt black spots were moving around. One of these shadows approached the chubby kid and oozed it's way on his bench. "It must be a dream", he thought.

The chubby kid went looking for a man of flesh and blood. He found him in front of a neighborhood cinema. He was an old man, and the boy followed him in the cinema.
- Excuse me, interjected the boy.
The old man raised one eyebrow, stared at him for a long time, then put a finger to his mouth and whispered to the boy.
- Keep it down the movie is about to start, what's the trouble?
- I thought I was going crazy, I haven't seen a person all day long.
- Well it's after the New Year's maybe they are sleeping, the old man smiled, and returned to the film.
The boy tried to understand the movie, but the sound came to them like an echo from another room.
- Why is the sound so bad?
- It's a foreign movie, read the subtitles, you'll get used to it after a while. 

The boy looked around and listened to the echoes of the film and among them were the comments of an absent audience. Looking at the old man, the boy finally accepted, he and the old man were dead.
- I think ... you're the first dead man I've ever seen.
- Aaa ... you're a warm corpse? no worries you'll get the gist of it.
- Why aren't there more of us?
The old man waved his hands.
- Some go away, others are taken, Don't bother your head about it.
- Do people who commit suicide go to hell? the boy asked seriously all of a suden.
- Did you kill yourself kid? Yes, that's one of the rules.
- So I have to go to hell.
- Have to? I didn't say that, is just a senseless rule.
Then, leaning back, he continued towards the chubby kid.
- It's like this movie, were you paying attention? It's about a father who persuades his children that cats are ferocious killers and the airplanes in the sky are just wooden toys.
- And they don't realize he's fooling them?
- No, because they trusted their father and they were too scared of cats to leave the house, the old man explained.
The boy glanced at the screen where one of the children was shooting his sling at an airplane in the sky.
- A driver came after me, the boy continued.
- Who? Death? Death used to be a lot nicer but nowadays he's too busy looking around for free internet. Let me tell you something, the old man approached the boy, there is a heaven but Death can not get you there, only Life can get you there.
- Life? It's a little late for that, I am a shiskebab on the side of the road.
- Not life, but Life, emphasized the old man, she's a little girl who walks around between the shadows, she's out there somewhere in the streets, she can help you. 

The boy left the old man in the cinema and returned home. Posted in front of the apartment building was last night's driver.
- Did you go see her?
- Who?
- Your love, because of whom ... you know ... splat.
- There's no one like that.
- Why would you lie to me? the driver raised an eyebrow.
- And who might you be, exactly?
- Me? The interstitial lubricant of the universe, Death at your disposal ... ahem ... listen to me you have to see her, that is the only way you'll know if you can get out of here and get where you need to go.
- In hell you mean, because I committed suicide, I should go to hell.
- Yes in hell but it's not what you think, everyone goes to "hell". Basically, there is no heaven or too little of it, as you see the work vehicle is not a helicopter.
- And wouldn't I be better off staying here and watching movies for eternity?
- Do you think the dead wandering the earth are doing well? Those who remain will never escape the consequences of their lives. Their debts will never be paid, their tragedies will never be forgotten, their love will never be fulfilled. This place is not for the dead. The old man haunting the cinema didn't stand a chance.
The boy began to press his fingertips in the building's metal door trying to see if it resisted under pressure, if he could get through objects, nothing.
- You have to see her, that's the only way you will know if you'll stay or not, sighed the driver. 
The chubby kid sneaked into the girl's house, but came to a closed door and could not enter. He closed his eyes and started pushing with all his force into the wooden door that separated him from her. The door stopped him, but he began sliding to the door's edge and before he knew it he was squeezing like a water balloon between the door's hinges, in her bedroom. A shadow was stretched out on the bed, and the boy focused on seeing her better. Looking for the source of the shadow, he could see her as a colorful fog.
- I love you, or rather I loved you, mulled over the boy for a few moments. Now that I'm dead, I guess it does not matter, maybe it never mattered.
The outline of the girl grew stronger and her airy substance coagulated in front of the boy.
- What did you say? she turned to him.
The surprised boy replied stunned.
- I love you and I'm dead.
- I don't think that can kill you, she said somewhat amused.
- You would be surprised, replied the boy, still surprised he was able to speak to her.
- You should really put something on ... you're so transparent I can see your ribs. Are you really dead?
- I think so.
- And why did you come here?
- Death thinks I committed suicide because of you. It's waiting to see if I'll become a poltergeist eternally terrorizing the living world, or if It can lead me quietly to hell.
- Well, if you killed yourself because of me then maybe you should haunt me.
- I do not know, I don't think so. I was just fooling around and a car drove over me. I don't think I died because of you.
- Oh, I was thinking you might want to stay with me instead of going to hell, but do whatever you want ... So what's it like being dead?
- What can I say, you can't go through doors like they do in cartoons, but you can sneak in cinemas, other than that it seems a bit boring.
The girl approached him.
- Have you ever had a dream were you knew you were dreaming? And saying that, the girl crossed her fingertips through him.
- Come on, don't be lame you don't see me putting my fingers through you.
- Sorry. Don't be so sad I'm sure there are many interesting people in hell: Caesar, Jeanne d'Arc ... Gandhi.
- And quite a lot more, if Death didn't lie to me.
- What?
- Nothing ... look I think it would be better if I left.
- Noo, please wait, you have to tell me how's Death, is she hot?
- Maybe next time, and turning his back she turned into smoke. 
The chubby kid started searching for Life on the streets at intersections cluttered with shadows and then in empty places, in alleyways and dark passages, in the basements of buildings and in the sewers, but saw nothing. Life was nowhere to be seen. Then he came back to the park, and sat on the bench were he had first napped as a ghost. Above, he heard the cry of a baby gray owl from a nest. He glanced over and saw the baby bird weeping. Amazingly on a branch trying to reach the bird was a little girl climbing towards her. She touched the chick and it suddenly vanished. 

The chubby kid waived, and the little girl came down. The boy noticed her big curious eyes, especially for their purple color. The little girl sat next to him on the bench, fresh blades of grass emerging behind her footsteps.
- I think I was looking for you, remarked the boy.
- Me? The girl asked, straightening her dress.
- Yeah, I think you can help me. Take me to heaven or at least help me not go to hell.
- Why hell? What happened?
- I died, a car ran over me as I was standing in the middle of the street ...
The little girl pouted.
- So what were you looking for in the middle of the road?
The boy took a breath and tried to explain.
- I loved a girl and she didn't love me, that's about it. I sat in the middle of the road because I didn't want to long for her anymore. To stop thinking about her before I go to sleep at night, and to stop thinking about her when I wake up in the morning. I don't know, I wanted to let go.
- Well ... did you talk to her?
- Yeah, but a little late, I was already dead. She didn't really take me seriously, I think she was dreaming.
The little girl looked at the boy sadly.
- I don't think I can take you to heaven ... but you don't deserve to go to hell either.
And saying that, she stretched a finger towards the boy's nose, just to hit the driver's palm, that suddenly appeared between them. An explosion of multicolored sparks resulted from their touching and a bead fell down boiling in the winter soil.
- Oh no, he's mine, said Death watching the purple-eyed girl.
Life gave the man wearing the black polyester suit a mischievous smile.
- Hello, how are you, still taking people to hell?
- Where they belong little girl.
While Death and Life were quarreling over his soul, the chubby kid picked up the bead that was trembling with ancestral energy.
- I think he deserves a second chance, continued Life.
- Why, because love killed him? snapped Death.
- No ... because he didn't do anything. You can't just throw a inocent child in hell.
- Well watch me.
- Okay, do what you want, but I still think you're wrong.
- So kid what do you say, are you ready? Death turned his attention to the boy.
- I think so, we can go, the boy replied defeated.

And with that, the chubby kid climbed into the black limousine with the driver going in after him slamming the car door.
- By the way, you were asking yourself earlier, it's hot, it's really quite hot in hell. Let's see, I came on Union street, I should do a left and we'll get there in no time.
He flicked the GPS twice and it still didn't show the way. 
Continued in... Chubby - part II - Infernum
Versiunea în română: Grăsuțul - partea I - Purgatorium

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