Aug 19, 2017

Chubby - part II - Infernum

The car went down Union Square tunnel, and all of a sudden turned left, to find a paved road. The car shook terribly and the driver smiled at the chubby kid.
-- The road to hell is paved with good intentions, that's why we need great suspensions. The glass above the oil indicator went flying into the driver's lap. Let's take the scenic route, this road is shaking my teeth lose.
-- Do you hate me?
-- Do I hate you? No, I don't hate you.
-- Then why didn't you let the little girl touch me and bring me back to life.
-- Hey, you had every reason to try it, and it was my duty to stop you. I did my job, but I don't hate you, I kinda like you, and saying that he grabbed the boy's cheek.
-- Could you not do that?
-- HA, you'd better get used to it kid, the inferno is going to be a lot tougher than that, a real hell for you.
-- Seriously, that's a flat joke even for you.
-- And it's gonna be the last good joke you'll hear for eternity.
-- Do you really want me to go to hell?
-- Yeah, look there's the Lake of Tears, all the tears from hell go there, without it this place would be very dry, but as you can see we keep relatively fresh. And there's Suicide Crest, were troubled souls try to end their existence by throwing themselves into the river of fire. They're suicidal folk like you, and want to escape eternal life.
-- And they die?
The driver gave him a smack over the head.
-- How can they die, they're already dead, they suffer and continue to exist. Ehh you don't have to despair, not everybody here has it that bad. You'll have a much harder eternity if you suffer the official punishment and you punish yourself besides that.
The car slowly rolled in front of a wharf and parked on a barge.
The ferryman asked:
-- And something for me?
The driver shrugged.
-- You happened to have a silver coin on you kid?
-- I don't think so.
-- Apologies old man, the new generation doesn't know the tradition.
-- I should leave you on the other side ... I should. If I were to respect tradition there would be more dead people on the wrong side of hell. No one ever thinks of me, look at this ocean of blood, it grows every day, every day the journey takes longer.
-- Don't pay any attention to him, the job has gotten worse with the bridge competing against him, the driver disclosed to the boy.
-- There's a bridge over this turbid water and you took me by boat?
-- Tradition young man. I don't like the highway to hell, it's like a conveyor belt, the process loses its mystery.

The driver put his hand in the reddish coagulated ooze around the brig. The coagulation liquefied in front of the vessel facilitating the advance.
-- Thank you boss.
The driver smiled knowingly at the boy.
-- Fresh blood demands revenge, in time it will get black and cloudy just like the rest.
As they arrived at the destination, the ferryman mumbled something and started back.
-- Get back in the car, I'm not taking you to the main gate, there's too much traffic there, I know a place where we'll get in easier.
Alongside of a fence, a wobbly gate was guarded by a dwarf. The chubby kid read the sign above it "Supply Gate".
-- Hey I have a little one here, can we get in this way?
The dwarf greeted him with a series of cheerful grunts. The dwarf spoke a long-dead language, but by his mood the boy understood that he would let him in.
As Death pulled him towards the gate a lightning from the muddy sky hit the metal hinges melting it. The dwarf cursed the sky with a few screeches and surveyed the boy more closely. He grasped the boy's nose and turned it once to the left and twice to the right, then shook his head and sang a limerick to the driver.
-- It looks like the GPS wasn't the problem.
-- Then what is the problem?
-- Hell does not want to welcome you.
-- Excuse me?
-- Yeah, don't be so surprised, it happens. Why do you think there is a big traffic jam at the main entrance. Management is still struggling to make room for everyone. The condemned don't dig fast enough so the administration is lagging behind. You can't come in all willy-nilly around here, you need to have your own place ... maybe in the seventh circle along with your suicidal friends, or maybe in the second circle.
-- Why? Who's in the second?
-- Those who sin out of love.
-- Stop it, I didn't die because of her.
-- You know if you push a man to suicide, you also end up in hell, so there's a chance you'll see her again.
-- Really, when?
-- In 62 years ... on average.
-- You don't know when she'll die?
-- Of course I know. But I will know then, not now. I never said I was omniscient, just omnipresent. It's not my place to know these things. Let's find a motel for you.

The road paved with good intentions looked much better at the entrance of hell, and on the outskirts lay the Lost Baggage Motel. The driver entered and went to the reception, elbowing men and women that had stacked their luggage in the entrance hall.
-- Excuse me, I want a room for the kid.
The receptionist replied without raising his eyes.
-- I apologize, we no longer have free rooms, a cult came quite unexpectedly and we are all full now.
-- Hey we came here first, a teenage couple snapped at the driver. You'll wait after us.
The driver turned towards the young couple.
-- You were in such a hurry to get here that you came without me. It wasn't even your time... but whatever.
The driver raised his eyebrow at the receptionist, and he began to type furiously on the ancient computer as it was spreading a greenish glow on his face.
-- Can I put him in a room with someone else, maybe with one of the cult families?
-- Very well, I'll leave you here.
-- But wait I don't...
-- I'll pick you up later, I need to figure something out... something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

As he walked into the motel room, the boy almost bumped noses with a very blond and very pale girl.
-- Who are you? she asked.
-- Oh ... Eric, they put me in this room until they find an opening.
- I'm Camy, you can stay here as long as you like.
The girl's father opposed the boy.
-- No, that can't be, this is our room, it's absurd, and picked up the phone to call the receptionist only to have blood splatter down his ears until he was able to set the receiver back down.
-- What is it dear? asked the girl's mother.
-- Shut up, the boy has to stay.
-- Maybe you should talk to our leader.
-- Our dear leader led us to hell, you know, in hell.
-- Yes, but he's still our leader, maybe...
-- I won't listen to him anymore, not in hell. You can believe his craziness but I can not.

-- How did you end up here? the chubby boy asked the girl.
-- We've all taken a pill.
-- And you got here because they gave you a pill? he asked incredulously.
-- Yeah, they asked me if I wanted to come with them. How about you?
-- I sat down on a road and a car ran over me.
-- And your parents?
-- They're up there somewhere.
-- In heaven?
-- No, on Earth, they haven't died yet.
-- Ohh I'm sorry, at least I'm with my parents, and the little girl smiled gloomily at the boy.
The chubby kid looked at her parents, who were still arguing. The girl was sitting in the corner looking at her dolls.
-- How long have they been like this?
-- It's not their fault, we've been waiting for a long time, they're just tired, we'll go in soon and it'll be okay.
-- Listen, would you like to come with me? I'm gonna go talk to whoever runs this whole thing. You don't deserve to be here, nor do I.
The two of them started walking towards the Supply Gate, the chubby kid holding the girl's hand. Arriving at the lightning welded gate, a man with dirty blonde hair was staring at the gate from the other side, from inside hell. The chubby kid inquired:
-- Can we get in?
-- Only if you want to jump it, answered the man and continued busying over the fence.
-- Excuse me, can we do that? the boy asked, surprised at the possibility.
-- Yes, why not? But I don't see why anybody would like to jump into hell.
-- Who are you? asked the girl timidly.
-- Me? The man raised his head slightly irritated and continued to the children. I am the caretaker, if a pipe brakes, if there's a power outage, or if lightning comes from the sky and hits the supply gate, I have to deal with it. Then he began mumbling to himself: "I have to find an acetylene welder, wait ... is the fence magnesium, should I do an argon weld ...".
The chubby kid grabbed the holes of the fence and climbed it stumbling. The pale girl stood down, mistrustful.
-- Eric, are you sure this is okay?
-- Come on, Camy, grab my hand, he smiled at the girl. We'll get in and we'll be done.
The administrator continued his discussion about the welding needed to repair the gate with the dwarf in his native tongue.
-- Okay we are in, now what? demanded the pale girl. 
The caretaker glanced at the two.
-- Do you know where you want to go?
-- Not really, shrugged the boy.
-- Okay, wait a few seconds, I'll solve the gate thing and I'll take you to the Central Registry, they'll sort you out.

The three climbed into a truck that was missing a wheel. Occasionally the truck would scrape the road only to miraculously return to a balanced position. On the way, the caretaker spoke to them.
-- What brings you around here? What did you do to deserve damnation?
-- I don't think we deserve to be here. I was just stretching out on a road and a car ran over me, and her parents gave her some pills.
-- Ahh two suicides or maybe a suicide and a lovesick mistake.
-- Why the damn does everybody say this? I did not kill myself for love, I did not kill myself at all, it was an accident.
-- I was right? I can guess sometimes. It's in the eyes kid, unrequited love is like a bare electric cable, that rattles around flicking sparks, at least that's what an electrician once told me. Well, here you are, I understand, many of us don't deserve to be here, starting with me. But hell is a welcoming place for all, they'll find something for you too.
The pale girl looked at the boy closely, and joined in.
-- I think he has "sad puppy" eyes.
-- Really you too? the chubby kid shook his head.
-- That's right, but my electrician said it in a more poetic manner, replied the caretaker.
The chubby kid tried to steer the conversation in another direction.
-- Man, you don't understand, we don't belong here, so we are going to that Center thing and getting a ticket to somewhere else.
-- Heaven? You want to go to heaven? the caretaker was surprised.
-- No, I don't know, just not here.
The caretaker sneered a little.
-- I don't think you can ... but that is your business.

At the registration office, the caretaker greeted the gatekeeper and presented the children.
-- There's been a misunderstanding with the two of them. They don't deserve to be in hell.
The gatekeeper bursted out laughing and a flame escaped one of his nostrils making him slap his face with a reflex.
-- The queue to get in here begins beyond the gates of hell, advised the gatekeeper.
The administrator smiled.
-- He's kidding, you need to take a number.
And by saying this, the administrator pulled out a ticket with the number 8 written on it, and continued.
-- I had an appointment with them earlier, but you can go in my place.
The gatekeeper looked at the note and escorted them inside.
-- You're lucky, people wait for an appointment here for decades.

The children entered the dilapidated building with doors that could hardly open, and were welcomed in the office of a completely red man trying to repair a typewriter.
-- Whatever your problem, it would be best if you would not require the letters "n" and "y".
-- There's been a misunderstanding ...
-- Your ticket number please ... eight. And he began writing on the typewriter e-i-g-h-t.
-- We don't deserve to be here, and we want to leave, the boy tried again.
-- Nobody ever came out of hell. Well with some legendary exceptions, but all of those were well before the current administration.
-- Listen, we didn't do anything wrong, we don't belong here.
-- No one ... or maybe you know how to play the lyre ... no, no, no one. All I can do for the newcomers is a "r-e-p-a-r-t-i-t-i-o- " damn that word has a "n". I'm sorry, I can't help you, please reschedule at a later date.
The red man stuck the ticket into a nail and the children were sucked out of the building.

In front of the registry office, the caretaker sat chatting with the gatekeeper.
-- So? he asked the children.
-- He kicked us out, the boy answered angrily.
-- I tried to tell you, there's no way to escape. No one ever gets out. Well there is a way ... we could just rush the gates, there are many of us on this side.
-- Won't anybody stop us?
-- The cherubim, the seraphim, and an archangel, or two.
-- Would we stand a chance?
-- It was foretold it would happen, the caretaker gave a waggish smile and continued, plus you brought something that could help us out.

Arriving at the gates of hell, the caretaker spoke to the boy.
-- Give me the Pin of Making, I'm going to tap it on the gate with Hephaestus' hammer and it's gonna open ... more or less.
The boy searched his pockets and took out the bead that fell down when Life and Death touched.
The pale girl pulled on the chubby kid's hand.
-- Eric, do you think you should be helping him?
-- It's not fair, Camy, we don't deserve to be here.
The caretaker slammed the bead to the gate and once it cracked, it pulled the hammer out of his hand and with an unimaginable vacuum disintegrated it. The destruction of the bead resulted in a small black hole that dislodged the gate from it's footing.
In the next moment Death appeared beside the jelly belly.
-- Really kid, you're the Antichrist? You?
The boy stared at the driver.
-- I don't think we deserve to be here. Not me, and definitely not her.
-- No, she doesn't deserve it.
-- So why did you bring her to hell?
-- She wasn't in hell, she was at the entrance, there is a difference.
-- And why was she there?
-- She was supposed to let go of her parents, you know, to be cast into eternity.
The driver kneeled in front of the pale girl, caressing her.
-- How are you doing honey, are you all right?
-- Yes thank you, mister Death sir, I think we are in a bit of trouble.
-- I know, but it's going to be fine.
Death rose and pointing to the destruction of the gates spoke to the boy.
-- You think this won't have consequences? It will have consequences of biblical magnitude, I might even say apocalyptic.
-- You don't look very disappointed, replied the chubby kid.
-- Truth is, it was supposed to come earlier. It was rumored back in the 1300s, plague, sickness, I was working three shifts, I'd have preferred it to end then.

Comets of blue flame traversed the cavernous sky in the direction of the gate. Behind the caretaker, rows of curious demons and dead people were gathering anxiously.
From the flames of the comets men came dressed in rusty armor floating above the earth with the help of their six wings of blue fire. Their leader came up front and spoke clearly to the caretaker.
-- You've decided, you got tired of this miserable existence and dared the revolt, you have decided the end of all ends.
The caretaker signaled the surrounding damned to sit quietly. He took down his work gown and approached the floating angel.
The boy grasped the driver.
-- So is he the devil? muttered the boy.
-- Yeah ... didn't I say you might meet him?
The angel took out a sword of light ready to thrust the caretaker.
-- I'm sick and tired of this place and not just for myself but for them too. Either let me go or exterminate me forever. I know what comes next, and I will not fight you.
The angel stabbed the caretaker in the chest.
-- Now what? the boy asked as he began freezing in place.
-- I don't know, there is no hell without the devil, contemplated Death.
Looking around, he noticed that all the angels and demons had frozen in place, as if stuck to the air they were in.
-- Without hell, life remains an equation that can't be solved, the purpose of the universe lies in balance, and time no longer has to flow.
Watching the boy frozen in time, Death continued rhetorically.
-- Perhaps this is when Death must also die.
At that moment, the jovial little girl that was Life poked him in the ribs, making him squeal.
-- Don't take your self too seriously, okay? the purple eyed girl mocked Death.
-- What the hell? he exclaimed.
-- Ha ha, I told you it wasn't a good idea to bring the kid to hell.
-- What are you doing here?
-- I came to revive him, pointing to the caretaker pierced by the sword of light.
Life got close to the caretaker and closing her eyes she approached his nose with her finger.
-- Wait, wait ... are you sure you want to do this? insisted Death.
-- It's okay, the lady boss wants to make some changes.
And touching the caretaker's nose he returned to life, and then a thousand crystalline feminine voices were heard in hell: My will be done.

The chubby kid woke up with his nose fully frozen and glued to the asphalt. The driver helped him get up from the ground, and then they lay their buts on the sidewalk.
-- What happened? asked the boy.
-- What happened... the universe almost ended, God made some changes: members of the suicide club no longer go "automatically" to hell, the devil is free to walk the earth, stuff like that.
-- What about me?
-- You'll live for another 60 years ... on average. Take care now, I don't want to see you too soon.
-- And Camy?
-- The little one? She resumed her life about 10 years ago. Here, she gave me this number, I'm sure she's waiting for a phone call.
The driver jumped into the car and went on his way in the tune of gypsy music.

Maybe you didn't read: Chubby - part I - Purgatorium
Versiunea în română: Grăsuțul - partea II - Infernum
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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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Feb 12, 2017

Two storytellers him and her

♂ - They are sitting next to each other on the bed ... no, on the couch. And there's something in front of them, it must be a TV. A film in front of them, maybe a drama?
♀ - No let's pick something else, a romantic comedy or an animation... or both.
♂ - The boy took her hand.
♀ - She slided next to him and kissed him.
♂ - Why did she do that?
♀ - Because she loved the boy.
♂ - And the boy loved the girl.
♀ - And what do boys and girls do when they are in love?
♂ - I don't know.
♀ - They began to tell each other anything and everything.
♂ - Aha I was thinking of something else. You mean, the boy told her how he fallowed her on their way to school, stalking her but never quite going next to her. The boy liked to look at her from a distance. He took care to be close to her.
♀ - And the girl told him she always knew he was behind her, and she would always wait for him to catch up after being separated by a stop light.
♂ - The boy didn't know that ... maybe if he knew he would've walked next to her.
♀ - It's fine, they walked together after he found out.
♂ - Did they talk about anything else?
♀ - Yes, the girl was curious: What did the boy write in his notebook, that he would end up tearing up pages and throwing them out the window?
♂ - The boy just wrote nonsense.
♀ - And what if she found, by chance, one of his discarded pages?
♂ - I think the boy would be embarrassed. But anyway what page did the girl find?
♀ - She pulled out a crumpled square sheet of paper and read: Sometimes when I talk to you I forget what I'm saying. I watch you speak but I can't hear you, I look at your mouth and try to read your lips but it's hopeless, if anything it's worse.
♂ - Well that was one note, I am sure the rest were shopping lists and notes for math.
♀ - The girl thought the note was very beautiful.

♂ - Did they still watch the movie? I know that's how we began.
♀ - Yes, the girl was nesting in his arms, and they started the film.
♂ - The boy pretended to be embarrassed but he liked having her next to him.
♀ - What was the movie about?
♂ - Something about a world where animals talk and their mishaps with people, I'm not sure, it's clear there were some talking animals in it. And then the two watched the movie quietly.
♀ - What do you mean quietly? just look at them laughing at that fox, she's so funny.
♂ - I think it would be better to leave them alone while they watch the movie.
♀ - Fine grumpy.

♂ - Do you think the movie finished?
♀ - Yes.
♂ - How much do you think they love each other?
♀ - What do you mean?
♂ - Well, do you think the boy managed to kiss the girl again?
♀ - Yes... and not just once.

♂ - The two were walking through the park.
♀ - And they sat their butts on the grass and watched the sky through the trees.
♂ - The boy was breaf, and asked the girl to pick out a leaf.
♀ - The girl was in no rush, so she pointed at a brush.
♂ - With or without a rhyme, the girl had to pick out a leaf this time.
♀ - Would a pine needle do? would that be a good leaf for the girl?
♂ - If she really liked it yes, the boy took a small pine branch and...
♀ - No ... wait ... no. The girl looked at all the trees around her: the proud oaks, the weeping willows, the cheerful chestnuts and from all the trees around her she chose a maple. She went to the tree and picked up a fallen leaf. The girl told the boy: Look, this is the most beautiful.
♂ - The boy took out a handkerchief and gently wrapped the leaf, then put the handkerchief in his pocket.
♀ - The girl asked him why he did that.
♂ - The boy always wanted to have the girl next to him, plus he had a leaf binder where he collected all the girls he ever kissed and he wanted to add her to the collection.
♀ - Seriously? The boy had a collection of girls?
♂ - No, it was a joke, the girl didn't take it seriously.

♂ - What else do you think they did?
♀ - I think at one point they must have fought.
♂ - Why?
♀ - I think the boy disappointed the girl. I think she was expecting more and the boy in his silent ways failed her.
♂ - Maybe it was the girl's fault, who always wanted something new, again and again, anything and everything and was never satisfied with the boy. While he was content just to be with her anyhow and anywhere.
♀ - So the boy was simply boring, that's what you mean?
♂ - Perhaps the girl just stopped loving him after a while.
♀ - No, that's not true, she loved the boy, but she wanted more from him. She wanted to have adventures, wanted to see unexpected things and go to unusual places.
♂ - And because he wasn't like that... they broke up.
♀ - Why is this a sad story?
♂ - I don't know, maybe they weren't meant to be together.
♀ - And how did it end? The girl dumped the idle boy?
♂ - I think so.

♀ - Later at school the girl pretended not to see him writing again in his notepad.
♂ - The boy waited until she went outside, and this time instead of crumpling the paper and  throwing it out the window he placed it on her desk.
♀ - The girl lifted the note and looked at it tentatively.
♂ - She opened the note and saw a red maple leaf pressed on the sheet and read the words written next to it: I love you my leaf, there won't come a day when I won't love you, where won't be a walk in the park were I don't think of you, there won't be a wind that doesn't remind me of you.
♀ - I know the girl liked it but ...
♂ - But what?
♀ - Well they broke up a couple of lines ago.
♂ - Yes, I remember.
♀ - She went to the boy with the note in her  hand and said: You know, you forgot to tell me which is your favorite leaf.
♂ - The boy pulled out his handkerchief and carefully opened it. Inside there was a fresh walnut leaf. And then he told the girl: I knew from back then that we didn't fit together, I don't think our trees grow together.
♀ - The girl grinned at the boy and replied: You should have told me, I love the smell of walnut leaves.
♂ - So now what?
♀ - The girl kissed him.
♂ - But ...
♀ - Shut up, I said they smooched, ok?
♂ - And the rest?
♀ - The rest doesn't matter, don't you see? that is true love, the rest will come by itself.

versiunea în română
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Dec 9, 2016

Choking me

It's choking me. I know it makes no sense but I can't breathe when I think about it.
Lying down, a booger in my left nostril was bothering me. This was my upper nostril as I usually sleep on my right side. It's an important detail because the bottom nostril plugs up whenever I sleep like this. My bottom nostril gets squeezed as if someone is choking me from within and not a drop of air flows through it, but the upper nostril relaxes and lets air pass. Not now though, now there was an obstruction.
Some fucking thing made me dig after that mucus. Slowly but surely I concluded that there was something else there, something concrescent on the nasal wall, a polyp was budding inside my good nostril sealing it partially. There's nothing worse than something giving you enough air to gasp for more. And this body was plotting to strangle me inwardly. A terrible panic swept me. And the more I panicked the more blood was rushing to my head thickening my arteries. Letting in decreasingly less air. It was a vicious circle and I had to do something or else I'd die suffocated within minutes. I had to unlock the obstruction, I had to fight against this body that wants me dead.
I took a teaspoon and I dug deep into the sinuses with the narrow tail of the spoon, looking for the polyp. I found it and pushed it aside. The cold metal reduced its size but I couldn't stay with a spoon up my nose. The panic slowly eased away, I needed a solution, perhaps a pen tube. And while I was looking for a pen good enough to stick up my nose I came across the scissors. Perfect, a permanent solution.
I stuck the scissors up my nose and when I thought I found the polyp I pressed down hard. The pain hit me right in the brain, like an arrow struck my head, but that good kind of pain, when you suffer for a reason. I tried to blow out the polyp but nothing came out. I had to insist. So I stuck the scissors up my nose again and again and cut and cut until I could blow out enough of that motherfucking polyp so I could breathe. In my enthusiasm I may have nicked a vein for now unfettered streams of blood were flowing down my nose. A small price to pay for survival.
I arrived at the hospital with this bleeding problem. And the ER people bandaged me and tied me to the bed. They kept asking me "why didn't you just breathe through your mouth?". Well, I don't know, the thought simply didn't occur to me.

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Sep 25, 2016


In front of an old building with cracked arches and plaster embellishments, a middle-aged man sat with sunken eyes trying to figure out when would be the ideal time to enter. He waited in the door threshold looking in the tall and narrow hallway.
The man rubbed his chin while studying the solid wood doors guarding the building. The old wood was set with iron bolts that nailed brass belts. The hinges were thick as a finger and quite rusty. "Impossible to move" thought the man. A nail pricked the hard door and on it a sign hung "Police Station No. 5".

It was late and the man stepped inside shyly. He enter cautiously among the people who were coming out. Left and right plainclothes policemen were bumping into him as they hurried home. A bandaged hand slapped the bulletin board, and in the back of a semi-circular hole a woman flinched:
- Public relations ended two hours ago, she said.
The man focused on making an effort to speak, he was looking for the words that came from somewhere behind his confusion.
- My brother was kidnapped, I want to ... a small break hung between them ... make a statement.
A few minutes later the man was degrading into a police inspectors seat. The inspector raised an eyebrow to the woman that brought him.
- If this is a joke I'll have you know I could have been at home by now and this would have fallen on someone else's head tomorrow.
- You work too hard, see what happens if you stay up late, she replied.
- I understand you want to make a statement. What happened? directed the inspector towards the man.
- I'll tell you what happened but please don't interrupt me, I'll try to remember everything.
- Fine, I'm listening.
- Two weeks ago my brother came to me with one of the most bizarre problems. He told me that his wife left him. My brother's not one of these guys that joke around, he's a professor, he doesn't do that. I looked at him like a idiot because this time he really had to be joking, he didn't even have a girlfriend as far as I knew. But he continued with Sofia this and Sofia that, Sofia was apparently his wife. I didn't remember nor knew any Sofia. And he married? Why didn't I know that? I told him these things and he gave me a funny look, apparently I had forgotten, how could I be one of those people that forget? I thought he lost his marbles. I tried to reason with him but to little avail. He took me to his apartment to show me pictures of the wedding, where I had been present, allegedly. We arrived at his home but found nothing. He said things started to disappear from the apartment, at first he thought she took them when he wasn't home, but now he wasn't sure. He didn't find any pictures from the wedding, nor any pictures of the two of them together but he did pull out an old picture of a girl sitting alone on a bench. He said the girl started to behave strangely, that she spoke of a missing child and that she finally "decided to forget him". I didn't know what he meant by that. He said he looked for her at work, and spoke to friends, but nobody knew were she was and what's even more bizarre, after a while nobody even remembered her. All this seemed very dubious to me but not even two days after that he disappeared as well. I went to his apartment ... nothing, I went to his job nobody wanted to help me, so I came here. To be honest I know he wasn't kidnapped, but he's gone and I want you to find him. I want to know if he's okay.
- Ok sir ... I'll see if I can help, please stay here while I look up some details.
In this pause the man stretched a hand on the police inspector's desk and began to feel it for scribbles and scratches. These scars were collected over the decades and the wood had harden with them. The desk had iron legs and a hook on one of its legs. The inspector's desk appeared to be a former student desk with a backpack hook holder. The man continued to look around and his gaze fell on the clothes rack, it had a metal tag stamped with some letters erased by time.
The inspector came back to the table and studied his eccentric interlocutor for a few seconds and then spoke:
- Can I ask what happened to your hand?
The man flexed his hand and a moment of clarity passed over his foggy eyes.
- Nothing, I hit a door, and then he lowered his hand under the desk.
- I did a few searches and you do not have a brother. Do not have a criminal record, you are not married, you do not even have unpaid fines. Now, come to think of it, if your brother doesn't exist should I be somewhat concerned about the missing imaginary woman? Do you have anything else to tell me?
- You have to go to his apartment, a old lady who stays  opposite his apartament will remember my brother and his wife. I don't know why but she remembers.
- Is that all?
- I know it sounds strange but you gotta help me.
As he was leaving the man ran his fingers over the embossed metal label of the clothes rack, reading it with his fingertips "Rack number ... for the Municipal School ..."

The inspector decided to stretch his legs and walk to the missing brothers apartment building. The stairs at the entrance were eaten away by the rain and inside the railing swung to steps of a tenant walking up the stairs. The apartment was listed as vacant on the maintenance list. The missing brothers apartment didn't have a number but it had a footprint of a missing welcome mat in front of the door. The inspector gently tapped the neighbors door and a old lady with her hair in iron curlers replied without much enthusiasm.
- Hello, sorry to bother you, could you help me? did you see anyone enter this apartment here?
- Who? where? There are so many renters, I can't remember them all.
- Here the apartment in front of yours.
- That one? no no .
- So you didn't see anyone going in here?
- I saw that welcome mat disappear, I don't know who took your mat but it wasn't me, I've had this carpet here for 12 years, ever since ..
- No ma'am, I'm not interested in the carpet.
- Oh wait, your brother was looking for you a few days ago. He seemed worried, you shouldn't lose touch with your family, it's a pity.
- My brother?
- Yes yes, blood is thicker than water, you know what they say ...
The inspector turned around, reached into his pocket and grabbed a key without thinking about it. He tried it on the door without a number and it opened the apartment. The one bedroom studio was nearly empty. A nightstand with open drawers sat next to a bed without sheets, but there was still something here, a specific smell, something familiar. The inspector tried to find the notebook were he wrote down the strange man's address. But curiously he had lost it. Chills were running through him from head to toe as he was trying to remember the man's address, then almost by reflex he knew where to go.

The inspector found the man on a bench behind the building. The man opened his hand bandage and threw it in a trash can. The inspector saw a hypodermic needle and a few drops of blood in the middle of the rags.
- Are you sick?
- No, the pain helps me concentrate, helps me remember, that's why I pricked myself. Without it everything goes blank, I'll forget my name before the night falls.
- I don't understand, what is happening? why don't I remember you, or anything else?
- I don't know, but I'm pretty sure it's for the best.
- Why?
- I think you chose to forget, there are some things you are better off not knowing. It's much easier than you think, it's like a fog that comes for you slowly and then quickens, details are lost, then nothing.
- And if I want to know?
- There is something written on your desk, it might help you. This will be the last time we see each other. I'm tired, I can't stay awake anymore.

The inspector returned to the office but looking at the sign on the door he felt something was wrong "The City Office of Geodesy and Cartography". He entered and the woman behind a glass pane waved her eyes at him.
- The boss is looking for you.
- I had a personal matter ...
He entered the office and a bureaucrat buried in paperwork  began to apostrophize him.
- Welcome back, how many hours does it take you man? I need you to look over these 10 buildings. They're awaiting permits, so forget the coffee breaks and help me.
- Sorry I had a thing to take care off ... I'll get right on it.
He had a itchy feeling in the back of his neck that he had forgotten something, something important. But what? was he supposed to meet someone? was he looking for something? His fingers ran over the scratched surface of his desk and stopped over the words written by a child. The writing had been thickened and pushed into the wood by stronger hands: "Mama whirly and dada twirly made a girly. Please daddy come home soon ...
- Come on, man, stop day dreaming we don't have all day, his colleague poked him.
And his last thoughts evaporated as he started assessing the  certificates on his desk. 

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Jul 30, 2016

What does your blood say about you

People used to watch TV or read the morning newspaper for the horoscope, that time has passed, now for the horoscope you simply put your finger on the blood collector while you're taking a piss. And so this is the new morning routine. Horoscope? - "You might have a face to face conversation with your boss and if you have the nerve to ask for something, you'll get it, if not, he won't beg you to take it."- good , Health? - "This is not a good period for your health" - ehh bad luck. If you have enough money you will leave a drop of blood every morning in the Collector and He will dictate not only what you have to eat but also what you have to do on that day. You'd think that a beautiful and unique mirror of the human spirit such as your self would be free to do whatever he wants, unfortunately this is not true. Oh my little tender reflection on the retina, you are but an deterministic equation: genetics will crook your teeth after your 13th birthday, subtle chemical imbalances will change the way you think, bacteria will change your DNA and your leukocytes, protectors of the meat temple, will change your mood in the hopes that you will stay inside where you are all safe. O thou great and unique miracle of the world you are on a boat in a storm tossed at the mercy of circumstance. I just hope I have a paddle on this ocean.
I feel a legion of creatures curving the road I walk on. Collector: "Depression, negligence, avoid public transport, aggression, suggestion of exercise at home, day off". It's been saying the same thing for the last 3 months, I haven't yet reached the famous "code red", danger to yourself / danger to those around you. Lately I've been "recommended" the chocolate croissant and coconut milk. I know all the food is regulated and all pills are integrated, but nobody tells you exactly what you're taking with your food. By the state I'm in I guess it's a antidepressant and something for anxiety. But it may as well be something against some chronic disease that the Collector, in His eternal wisdom, decided to keep hidden from me.
Or maybe he decided I'm not fucking enough these days, but they usually put that in the water. When someone up top decides that the population is aging the city goes crazy. It's easy to see when they want some fresh blood by the number of people fucking in the parks. While your dog is trying to take a shit, a girl pulls on his tail because it excites her. I don't drink the public water, I don't wash my hands with it, I don't wash my clothes with it. Water is the emergency doping system.
My blood is thicker than usual, let's see what the Collector has to say today. I hear rumors that when the Collector decides you're too unstable or completely useless it will "recommend" you something hidden, something that can't be eaten by accident, something like poison. Perhaps it's a combination of products. How many of us escaped death because the shop didn't have cola and we took pepsi instead.
There are of course the classics: You shouldn't eat meat unless you have a streptococcus or something. You have to wait until you are sick enough to eat a nice roast beef, otherwise the antibiotics will hurt you. You're supposed to eat chicken only while growing up, no man should ever eat chicken meat after the age of 21, I haven't heard of any adult with the "recommendation" - chicken.
Ohh shit where's my "chocolate croissant and coconut milk"? You must be joking "honey 322" what in the hell kind of chemical cocktail are they making me take. I'll never find this shit at the local grocery, I have to look for a honey shop. It will take a day to find that crap, maybe this is how the Collector forces my hand to get that day off. Well blow me, I'm going to work I'll see about that honey later.

At work the air intake gauge awaits me. In the old days you would be fired if you stank of booze now they'd probably let you work with a 0 index of productivity and a null salary for the day. Pray to your God, to the Lord of pulmonary alveoli for a good amount of oxygen in your exhalation, because your day's wage depends on it. My ass, look at this fucking payroll, it's a joke. I barely get in the office and the boss is calling for me.
On his desk there is a jar of honey. Are we both so sick that we need honey?
- This is for you.
- Honey 322?
- Yes, it came in the office before you did.
- Is it something serious?
- I don't know they don't tell me these things. Now... I can't convince you to do the right thing, but I know things are going badly, I know you don't want this jar but I also know it's the only way things will get back to normal.
- And what if it's death? What if for some reason the Collector decided to kill me today?
- Then it would be for the best to die today. Tomorrow might be worse and you might hurt others.
This two eyed testicle, this piece of filth, this disgusting excuse for a human wants me to die. And he wants me to die in such a way that I won't bother him too much. He wants me to go to the bathroom and die as politely and as close to the dumpster chute as I can. Ohh O Lord, my God, my blood Collector, why didn't you sent a crowbar so I can slap his face off.
- And what if I hurt you today ... right now. What? didn't think of that?
And I fell over punching him in the head. I felt tissues under my hands crackle and pop, but through my kicking I only heard him  laughing. I stopped and he muttered a few words to me.
- Haa, I was wondering why I feel so numb, they gave me an anesthetic for this meeting. You have no choice, take the honey now and you may have a chance.

I took the jar and ran. Ok ... maybe they know. I have to calm down. Maybe they can read it in my blood. Deep breaths. They knew I would do this? My hands are shaking. They knew I would beat up my boss. I have deep cuts on my fists. They let me beat him. I'm bleeding. They knew I would run afterwards. I have to go to the hospital. They let me run. I should have drank the honey. How stupid can you be. Things can't go back to normal. And now here I am with my "honey 322" in hand. They expect me to drink it. Ohh God. They know I'll drink it. My Savior, my Collector don't kill me just yet ... 

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