Nov 8, 2021

If summer comes

A boy with blue lips was smiling at him through the blizzard. The storm roared through the woods, fighting with the trees, and this kid showed up out of nowhere and was in front of him pointing at something. The tips of his fingers were black and sticky, and with two of them, he was guiding him back. The man turned to look, and through a break in the wind, he noticed a stone hut. It sat there small, square, with a single window and drawn shutters, facing the weather for centuries.

In the absence of a path, any refuge was impossible to find, and tonight the hike had turned into an adventure where the protagonist becomes an example from which others can learn. However, the traveler did not panic, he meticulously continued his search even in the absence of a footpath. Where others would have turned around, he was walking forward with experienced steps. The traveler was on a mission, and the bad weather did not steer him back to the safety of the path, on the contrary. He was looking for his friends, lost in the mountains, far from any track, in the dark depths of the forest. He had been a few steps from the cabin and had missed it, but luck had been on his side.

The kid was sitting in the middle of the storm with a torn T-shirt over his stomach, shaking from every joint. The traveler grabbed the boy's hand and dragged him into the cabin. The boy burst into tears trying to free himself, but nothing slowed the traveler, he pulled the boy firmly and safely inside.

"Michael? Is that you? Were you behind us?" he heard this from inside.

The traveler looked up and right in front of his eyes was the reason for this whole adventure. His two friends, Julian and Andrea, who had disappeared, were now well and good, looking at him amused and slightly puzzled. They had that look of  "what a coincidence to find you here". Michael looked at them uncertainly, they seemed to him like a mirage. Was there such a thing as a snow mirage? The cabin had been a fortune, but to discover them inside was truly miraculous.

"I found the little one outside, put a coat on him."

At the sight of the child, Andrea took off her jacket and jumped to help.

"Where did you find him?" Julian asked.

"He was outside by the cabin."

"In this weather?"

"Yea, just look at the way he's dressed."

Michael was visibly tired, breathing heavily after each reply.

"I'm glad we came across this shelter, can you imagine trying to pass the night in this weather," Julian mused contentedly.

"And where exactly have you two been? We've been looking for you for the past two days."

"Two days? Come on, you're exaggerating, we got a little ahead of you guys this morning. We climbed the Furor before you did, that's all."

"And why didn't you come back?"

"We went down the other ridge, maybe no one saw us."

"But that was two days ago."

"What are you even trying to say? We got a little lost and ended up here. What's the problem? Why do you keep saying two days? Today man, we reached the peak today."

A chill passed through Michael and he turned around with a strange presentiment. The cabin had a single room divided according to use, each wall was assigned a purpose. The wall that carried the front door had on the right a small table with cutlery for two and a bowl that announced it as a kitchen table. There was room for one person to sit. To the left of the door was a wooden hanger, made from a single white tree, that seemed rooted to the floor. On the right wall, as you entered, sat the stove, and next to it the bed was covered with a simple blanket of faded gray. On the wall opposite the stove was a workbench with grinding and carving tools for wood. The table bore the marks of abuse, being chamfered and hollowed out by clumsy blows. The little cabin had only two chairs, each guarding its place in front of the tables.

Andrea put her coat on the boy and pulled him next to her, where he was completely numb.

"Honey, what were you doing all the way up here?"

The boy, in shock, remained silent. Michael was looking in his backpack for a flashlight.

"I'll hang it outside, if anyone else comes looking, they will find us."

Michael went out in the storm again with his flashlight and a cord ready. The snow caught his feet like a trap. At only 4 inches, the snow seemed to cling to his legs and pull him back, making him move cautiously. "I would like to find an Eskimo and ask him what the hell they call this swampy snow," Michael thought as he clung to a tree. He secured the flashlight on a branch at one end. The wind seemed to be pulling on it in all directions, so Michael roped it tight on the other end, hoping it wouldn't be picked up and thrown in the middle of the forest. The wind seemed to intensify with every second spent fighting the branch. The howling wind was cutting his face with blades of ice, just sitting outside began to hurt. He covered his face and walked back blindly to the cabin.

He opened the door and heard Julian cursing.

"What happened?"

"Someone's pranking me," Julian said, sucking on his forefinger and thumb. "I was trying to light a fire and this match ... look, it went off in my hand like a firecracker.

Julian took the next match and propped it on the abrasive strip, then flung it with a flick into the stove. It ignited in the air and fell over a few yellowed papers where it began to burn tempestuously. Julian closed the stove's cast iron mouth.

"What did I tell you, someone's idea for a joke."

"You are the one to talk. At least I found you. How's the boy?"

"He fell asleep," Andrea replied.

"The next time you two wander into the woods, let someone else know, ok?" Michael controlled his tone, trying not to disturb the child.

"I really don't see what the problem is."

"Reckless," Michael murmured, "People get lost on this mountain all the time. We'd better be more careful."

Andrea put the boy by the stove and began rubbing his hands and feet. She wiped his fingers, but they remained black.

"What is that? that can't be ...", but Michael stopped, remembering the sharp wind outside.

"I don't think so," Andrea replied, taking the child's hands and pressing them to her own cheek. "They're warm", she smiled. "I think they're just stained."

"Strawberries and blackberries in this weather?" Julian mused.

The child was white as a ghost and had fallen asleep with his mouth open. Between the eggplant-shaded lips, even the boy's teeth seemed to have a bluish tinge.

"I have penicillin with me if he needs it", Michael turned to search in his backpack.

Andrea pulled her hand from the boy's forehead and motioned a "no".

Julian was staring out of the cabin through the small window.

"It's clearing up outside, it must be earlier than I thought. Do you have a watch?"

Michael took out his phone, it blinked "low battery" and turned black. Andrea tried her phone.

"It's dead."

"It's the cold," Julian shrugged. "That happened to the camera, while we were up there."

After a few moments of silence, Andrea took the two chairs and placed them next to the bed, fashioning a place for all four of them to sleep.

"We should try to rest," she said. "We have to get the little one back home tomorrow morning."

Lying on the side of the bed with their legs outstretched on the chairs, dressed from head to toe, the three closed their eyes and joined the boy in a dreamless sleep.


It was dark and cold when Michael woke up. The fire seemed to have been extinguished for a long time, and the position in which he slept had turned him crooked. He cracked his bones trying to rearrange himself proper. All in all, he was well-rested. He took a kettle hanging from a nail and went out as quietly as possible to gather firewood. He let the others sleep.

"Psst morning", Julian gently stroked Andrea.

With her tousled hair, Andrea wiped her eyes and answered with a yawn.

"Should we wake up Blue Tooth?" he asked.

The child slept between them with a smile on his face. The boy's skin had regained its pallor, but his teeth retained a bluish tinge.

"Give him some time". Andrea put her hand lightly on his forehead. "It's fine. We just have to figure out what to put on him when we get out of here."

"I'll give him my jacket and wrap myself with the blanket. I'll be fine until we get back to civilization," Julian assured her.

Michael entered the cabin with a kettle full of snow in one hand and a load of branches in the other. He had a strange grimace on his face, half frowning, half constipated, he looked ridiculously serious. Michael scanned them from head to toe. He set the kettle and the wood next to the stove and took a piece of rusty iron out of his pocket.

"There is something very strange going on here," he said.


"This is my flashlight."

"How can that be your flashlight?

"I tied it to that mountain-ash just outside. It IS my flashlight."

Julian approached and gingerly inspected the rusty flashlight.

"Are you sure?"

"I tied it with my own hand."

"And it rusted, just like that, overnight?"

"Yes, while we slept."

"That's just great, what type of Chinese crap is this?"

Julian took the flashlight from his hand.

"That's not even the weirdest part. While I was out gathering wood ... I saw the sunrise twice.

"You saw what? How?"

"I don't know how."

"You mean the sun changed its mind? Maybe it forgot something and went back to get it."

"It's not a joke, if we wait ... I think it will happen again."

Julian sat down on a chair studying the flashlight. At his back, the day turned to twilight, and then tonight. Andrea approached Michael and asked him in a whisper.

"What does this mean?"

"It means another day has passed," Michael said looking outside unnerved.

"What do you mean another day has passed? We just got up. How long now? Fifteen minutes? and it's already the next day?" Julian mocked them.

"That flashlight has been outside for weeks, maybe even months ..."

"That's nonsense," Julian said as he hurried out the door.

"Jules noo", that's all Andrea managed to say, but Julian was already out.

The two looked at him from the doorway.

"It's nothing, it's just cloudy. Michael buddy, I think you got that disease, what's it called ... "cabin fever". And you, dear, you got it from him. It's that type of crazy you can catch. Just one day in the wilderness and you've both lost your minds. What the hell are you looking at me like that for? Did my beard start to grow or something? Come on, really, it's nothing.

Andrea joined him looking around. There was nothing unusual around the cabin. Michael was looking at the cloudy sky. Suddenly the clouds dissolved, revealing the black heavens.

"Look, Julian, stars."

"What are they doing ..."

"Revolving around the Northern Star."

"They can't be moving that fast" Julian continued aghast.

"Inside!" Andrea ordered.

The three of them entered and Andrea slammed the door, putting her body in front of the entrance.

"Are we ok in here? What's going on outside?"

"I don't know," Michael replied. "I need time to think. Let me think ..."

Julian put two fingers in his pocket and took out a matchbox "Bean & Sons - Guaranteed to light up even after weeks in humid conditions". The guarantee was written, on the package, larger than the company name. Julian took out one of the camping matches and pressed it to the abrasive strip.

"Time outside is clearly fucked up, let's see if it's equally fucked up inside, and saying this he struck the match over the wood in the stove.

The wood instantly turned into torches and then began to glow like embers. Michael looked bewildered at the speed and violence of the fire.

"We need to wake the kid and leave. Now!"

"Boy, we have to go," Andrea snapped.

Andrea picked up the boy and dressed him. Michael took his backpack, tightening the belts close to his body. Julian pulled the blanket over his shoulders, while Michael tied it around his waist. The child tried to resist but to no avail.

"I don't want to go out, I don't want to go out anymore," he managed to say.

"We don't have a choice kid, if we don't leave now, we may never leave," Julian insisted.

"Are we ready? Come on ... don't ... leave the damn fire," Michael said.

Julian glanced out through the small window above the working desk and stopped. He swallowed hard trying to find his words.

"Too late," he said at last.

In front of the cabin, the snow seemed to come out of the ground. It grew flooding the forest. Wave after wave, higher and higher, up to the knees, then up to the hips, higher and higher without stopping. The cabin sank into a white sea that frothed all the trees wave after wave.

After a few tense moments, Michael dropped his backpack from his shoulders and deflated. Julian fell into a chair and sat in amazement watching the show outside.

"Aren't we going to leave?" Andrea asked.

"It would bury us alive" replied Michael, staring blankly.

"If we had been faster..." Andrea began.

"If we had been faster, we would have ended up as Popsicles", Julian cut her off.

Michael reset to a previous state avoided looking outside. He checked the stove with his unmittened hand and decided to undress. He rummaged deep in his backpack and pulled out a can of meat and a few single-serving instant coffee packets. He picked up the kettle with snow and watched in amazement as it began to bubble with boiling water in a matter of seconds. He poured the coffee into the water and contemplated the fate of the can. He unwrapped the branded paper and made sure it touched the stove for just a moment. After that, he motioned for the others to approach. Michael was searching for a piece of bread when Andrea stopped him.

"Wait, we might have something", she took out four black biscuits as thick as a finger from her backpack.

Michael took something resembling cooked meat and spread it on each biscuit in equal proportions. Andrea found some polished metal cups in the cupboard under the kitchen table and dusted them off.

"Should I give him some?" She asked, tilting her head toward the boy.

"Yeah, he deserves some too."

The child gaped at the coffee and nodded. Julian couldn't take his eyes off the snow. Andrea brought him a biscuit to eat at the window.

"What's going on outside?" she asked.

"It's snowing," Julian said. "That's what it looks like when it snows."

They ate their biscuits softly, letting each bite last as long as possible. Their food was the only normal thing around them. Morning came once again outside and now the dance of the snow dunes was fully visible.

"Thanks for the grub", Julian said, then, looking at Andrea, he continued. "Remember when we said we would get old and fat together? One of those things might come sooner than you think."

Andrea looked at her hands, counted the cuts and wrinkles in her skin, and considered the places where her veins came to the surface. Even with all the paranoia, they still looked fine. But who really looks that closely at their own hands, maybe they were changed, maybe not. They didn't feel any different. "The nails, yes ... shouldn't they have grown?", she thought.

"Time seems to pass us by. I don't think we're aging, but possibly everyone else is", Michael supposed.

"You have no way of knowing until we get out of here ..." Julian reckoned without waiting for an answer.

They calmed down, the first instinct to flee had passed. The cabin was protecting them, they were safe inside. They were silent, thoughtful, and pondered the issue of escape. Sitting still, they listened to the sounds from outside trying to understand them. They looked around for an explanation and hung their eyes on every detail, the tools, the chairs, the stove, the strange coat hanger. They were looking for a button that would stop all of this. Julian began to feel the carving tools, sharp metal rods that did not reveal their purpose to a layman.

After investigating the whole room, Michael was now studying the boy. Andrea approached the child.

"Can you tell me your name?"

The boy was silent.

"I'm Andrea, he's Michael and that's Jules by the window."

"Peter", he whispered.

"What a serious name you have Peter. Can you tell me why you're dressed like that?" Michael tried.

The coffee helped the child's shyness, he was eager to talk.

"I don't know," he snapped.

"Do you remember how you got here?"

"I came ... I came with my parents on a trip."

"What happened to them?"

"I got lost... I don't know."

Peter wanted to start crying, but Michael looked at him unemotionally, there was no place for crying in this discussion, so he refrained.

"I kept looking for them, but I didn't find them, I lost them ..."

"He couldn't have gone that far on these slopes." Julian turned his attention back towards them.

"I walked for a long time," the child reproached him. "I got tired, I fell asleep, but it wasn't cold. When I got up, it got ripped," and the child pulled on his T-shirt as proof.

"It's okay, we can patch that up. How did you get to the cabin?"

"It got cold, I was frightened, I was running ... and then I found it."

"That's when you saw me?" Michael continued.


Michael smiled and patted the child.

"Okay Peter, I understand".

Michael looked outside and then looked back at the boy. An idea sprouted in his head, a possible exit.

"Pete here got lost in the woods when it was still warm."

"I would think so, the way he's dressed."

"And he didn't stay out for too long, he couldn't have. For him, winter landed just yesterday. This weather wasn't even in the forecast when we went climbing this damn mountain."

"That's usual mountain weather for ya, but who knows how things work in this little corner of heaven," Julian shrugged.

"I don't think things work that differently. Things move faster, yes, but otherwise everything is the same. The stars are in the sky, the weather is changing and the seasons are flowing. We shouldn't hurry, if we wait quietly for two or three days, we will leave this place in the summer.

"Time flies and the best thing to do is not to hurry", contemplated Andrea.

"Oh the irony, but I think he's right," Julian agreed finishing his coffee and continued cheerfully, "that's our way out".


"Can you imagine the look on their faces when we get back? What are we going to tell them? Oh, the ground ate us up for a few months, but we're fine. And the boy? Well, we found a boy in the woods", Julian was amusing himself.

Peter was sitting in a corner, looking morose and wanting his parents to come and pick him up. Andrea turned him toward her.

"It's not your fault Peter, I'm sure your parents will be very happy to see you no matter when we come back."

Peter didn't seem very convinced.

"Do you think people know about this place?" Julian continued.

Michael spun a finger in the air.

"Someone knew," he replied, "Someone built this cabin, and it wasn't aliens."

"Maybe it's a refuge," Andrea said.

"A refuge for strays like us?"

"Maybe for the locals. Someone spent a lot of time here. I think someone lived here. Look at the kitchen, look at that workbench."

"Maybe they hid here," Michael added.

"Hid from what?" Julian asked.

"I don't know, their problems. How old are these things? Maybe the russians were invading, or the french, or the germans.

"What about the Mongols" Julian continued, as the three of them smiled, "I can't quite figure out, how can anyone live here?" 

"It's simple, you plant your tomatoes today and pick them tomorrow," explained Andrea.

"And when you finally go pick up some vegetable oil from the store, you'll find people driving flying cars," Julian added.

"We shouldn't tell anybody, we should leave this place hidden."

"You think the mongols will be making a comeback?" Julian was pulling his leg now.

"No, not that, I was thinking maybe we keep this place for ourselves."

Julian flicked a copper still and listened to the strange high-pitched ringing it produced.

"Nobody would believe us anyway."

"And now? What are we going to do now?" Andrea asked.

"Now we wait and see if summer comes." 

Photo by Polina Barinova @LOOP12098
Versiunea în română: Daca vine vara
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Oct 13, 2020

The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick is one of my favorite authors and he has a couple shorts stories in the public domain. So here I am reading one of them. 

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Jan 15, 2020

Guru - Magnificul

Îndrăgostit de când e lumea și pământul ... și astfel sunt ceea ce sunt ...

Dintr-o dată a fost lumină, și ea a ars perfectul. A ars fierbinte lumea cea veche și tot ce era bun în ea, nimeni și nimic nu se putea ascunde. Ultimele moaște ale întunericului s-au adunat și au făcut pământul, ultimul loc pașnic. Iar acolo în ultimul refugiu al vechii lumi a venit să se odihnească și ultimul dintre cei curați.
Magnificul a venit mușcat de lumină și copt de căldură, cu corpul acoperit de mâncărimi și de boală. Supărat de lumină Magnificul nu se putea ascunde de ea în nici un fel, vedea lumina chiar și cu ochiii închiși, iar pielea îl mânca chiar și atunci când o dădea jos.
Obosit, Magnificul își găsi odihna pe pământ. Pielea gigantului, roșiatică și plină de boală, se calmă în aerul rece al întunericului. Puroiul viu ce i se născuse sub piele erupse de disperare în lipsa luminii. Odată cu boala vărsată, mâncărimea Magnificului dispăru, urgia murise în întuneric iar el putu într-un final să adoarmă. Prima viața se născuse și se stinse în lumea nouă.
Magnificul își aranjă cele peste o sută de brațe și se culcă pe pământ curat. Dar înainte să se așeze strănută peste pământ, acesta încolți cu fire de iarbă. Ochiul Magnificului se închise și El adormi.
Neputând suporta lumina pământul negru începu să se încălzească și să fiarbă, iar pământul fiert se mută înapoia celui nefiert și astfel Magnificul fu purtat de pământ peste orizont. Magnificul văzu prima dimineață a lumii noi. Odată cu ea apăru prima rouă pe iarba de lângă El. Sub respirația Magnificului roua prinse aripi și luă forma unor vietăți filiforme. 
Odată cu venirea luminii iarba începu să-l țină tot mai strâns pe Magnific. Magnificul încercă să se ridice însă liane groase îl prinseră de brațe și îl pironiră de pământ. Magnificul se zbătu și găsi un singur fel în care putea scăpa: se smulse din prinsură lăsându-și brațele în urmă. Doar două îi mai rămăseră din cele peste o sută, iar gigantul zbura acum deasupra pământului privind cu frică cum sângele lui, proaspăt vărsat, prindea viață. Forme groaznice, lighioane de tot felul începeau să viermuiască în pământ. Și toate aceste lighioane se întindeau în sus spre Magnific încercând să-l prindă. Acesta, ferindu-se de ele, se ridica tot mai sus. Odată plecat de acolo, cele necurate, lipsite de prezența Lui începură să se împrăștie pe pământ. 
Magnificul poposi pe pământ undeva departe în munții înconjurați de ceruri, urmat doar de libelulele aurii născute din roua dimineții. La început Îi plăcuse compania lor însă și ele erau imperfecte și se hrăneau din El, zumzăindu-L neîncetat. Magnificul le plezni teribil, răspândindu-le. Unele dintre ele pierzându-și aripile poposiră iar pe pământ făcând neamuri nenumărate de gâze și gângăni, altele zboară și acum căutându-L neîncetat. 
Magnificul se puse pe construit zidul negru. Zid care să separe lumina de întuneric, zid care să lase loc și celor curate și celor necurate. Un zid ce avea să țină lumina cu vicierea ei departe de El. Zidul era din marmură neagră, curată ca abisul și lipită perfect, cărămidă cu cărămidă, ca dintr-o singură bucată că nici mâna și nici privirea nu își puteau da seama dacă e o singură bucată sau mai multe. Magnificul își găsi iar liniștea și adormi pentru a doua oară, de data asta în spatele zidului de marmură neagră. 
Somnul Lui nu putu dura o veșnicie, pentru că acolo în întuneric începuse să se audă sunetul crispat al unui râcâit, ceva mânca zidul negru. Ceva cu dinți ataca întunericul, nu mai era lumina însăși ci creaturile ei. La început gigantul a încercat să le ignore. Ca să le dea pace, el își trase părul într-o parte, își deschise capul, și se scărpină acolo înauntru unde auzea, ca să-i treacă. Însă dinții au insistat și Magnificul putea simții zidul negru cum suferă din cauza rozătoarelor. Magnificul, în somn, își făcu un pumn din cele șapte degete și lovi grozav peretele, rupând dinții micilor creaturi. 
Nu dură mult și noi ființe începură să sape după Magnific, de data asta copiii șobolanilor aveau dinți din oțel și voință neostoită de teamă sau oboseală, creaturi puternice întru soare. Nu trecu mult și o astfel de creatură din carne și oase sparse zidul negru și îl găsi pe Magnific.
-- Noi suntem la fel, îi spuse omul șobolan. Noi avem gură, Tu ai gură, noi avem două mâini, Tu ai două mâini, noi avem nevoi și Tu ai nevoi. Tu ești tatăl nostru și te-am căutat.
Magnificul văzu creatura și i se făcu scârbă. Sângele Lui poluat de lumină născuse o creatură bolnavă fără înțelegere și cu viață puțină. 
-- Luați aminte că nu ați fost niciodată în voința mea. Multe sunt nevoile voastre și mare este prihana voastră. Și pentru că aveți minte puțină nu ați înțeles că zidul era pus aici pentru pacea lumii. Ați trezit „curățăniile” ce își doreau doar liniște și întuneric și pentru că le-ați deranjat voi veți suferii. 
-- Dacă zidul nu v-a putut ține atunci să vă țină cuvintele mele: Dacă Mă voi trezii pentru a treia oară, pe acest pământ, al vostru v-a fi sfârșitul. Voi sfârși cu toate creaturile, de la lichenul ce stă pe piatra rece și întunecată, la floarea soarelui ce stă cu gâtul întins după lumină, de la viermii ascunși în umezeală, la șopârlele ce se desfată la soare. Toți și toate vor pierii în ziua când mă voi scula pentru a treia oară din odihna mea.
-- Într-adevăr neisprăviți am fost căutându-Te. Am deschis porțile iadului în nerozia noastră, se plângeau oamenii șobolani cu minte puțină.
Și I s-a făcut milă Magnificului de ei pentru că erau sânge din sângele Lui și le-a căutat o scăpare.
-- Va veni și vremea când lumina va trece și lumea nouă va fi lumea veche. Voi nu veți prinde asta și nici copiii voștri, dar cândva linia seminției voastre va prinde și ultima zi de soare. Dacă până atunci vă veți curma de lumină vă voi accepta lângă Mine. 
Și se căiau ei în fața Magnificului cerându-i înțelepciunea să nu mai greșească. Iar Magnificul le-a luat dinții de oțel și i-a slăbit de spate până au făcut cocoașă, și i-a făcut neputincioși la trup ca să învețe să gândească mai mult. Și i-a trimis înapoi în lumină cu băgare de seamă și înțelepciune, învățându-i să scrie și să citească pentru ca mințile lor slabe să nu uite legământul. Și astfel cele două lumi au primit pacea. 
Iar pentru că oamenii șobolani au stat în prezența Tatălui au trăit mult și au învățat pe toți să stea departe de zidul negru. Și în timpul lor oamenii șobolani au șoptit la urechile tuturor animalelor povața, ca să se ferească și ele. Iar cele ce nu au vrut să învețe omul le-a înrobit și le ține în jug ca să nu greșească nici cu voie, nici fără voie. Căci vina cu voie sau fără voie tot vină este și are aceeași pedeapsă de la Magnific.
Tot ei au învățat pe oameni că boala vine de la „curățăniile” pământului, care vin după noi când sunt deranjate. Ele vin să ne curme de soarta mult mai grea ce am avea-o dacă l-am scula din odihnă pe Magnific. Ei ne-au învățat că e mai bine să stăm câte puțini laolaltă căci urgia cheamă „curățăniile”. Joaca prostească, muzica tare și dansul din picioare cheamă „curățăniile”. Dar și suferința și chinul le cheamă, și oamenii șobolani au lăsat scris să se curme suferința și durerea oriunde se găsește căci și plânsul cheamă „curățăniile”.  
Din învățăturile Magnificului să tragem gânduri bune. Odată cu venitul serii să aducem în suflet încă odată molitva de noapte:

Văd lumina ce se duce și încrezător deschid fereastra întunericului. 
Știu că soarele va murii și odată cu el va trece murdărirea.
Cu mâini sigure, deschid fereastra întunericului și aștept ultima zi ce va să vină. 
Întru copiii mei jur și cred în prima zi ce va fi să fie fără de lumină.

English version: Guru - The Magnificent
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Guru - The Magnificent

In love since the world began ... and thus I am what I am...

Suddenly there was light, and it burned the perfect. The old world burned hot and nobody and nothing could hide. The last detritus of darkness that remained gathered up and made the earth, the last peaceful place. And there in the last refuge of the old world came to rest the last of the pure.
The Magnificent came bitten by light and burned by the heat, his body covered with welts and disease. Angry with the light the Magnificent could not hide from it in any way, he saw it with his eyes closed. His skin itched even when he took it off.
Tired, the Magnificent found his rest on earth. The skin of the giant, reddish and afflicted, was soothed by the cool air of darkness. The living pus born under his skin erupted with despair in the absence of light. With the disease spilled, the Magnificent’s itch disappeared, the plague had died in the darkness and he could finally sleep. The first life had been born and was extinguished in the new world.
The Magnificent arranged his over one hundred arms and laid down on the clean ground. But before He sat He sneezed and grass sprouted around Him. The Magnificent's eye closed and He fell asleep.
Unable to bear the light, the black earth began to heat up and boil, and the boiled earth moved back behind the cold one and thus carried the Magnificent over the horizon. The Magnificent saw the first morning of the new world. Dew appeared on the blades of grass beside Him. Underneath His breath pebbles of water sprouted wings and took to the air.
With the coming of light the grass began to hold the Magnificent closer. The Magnificent tried to get up, but thick vines grabbed Him by the arms and stapled Him to the ground. The Magnificent struggled and found there was only one way to escape: He ripped Himself from the trap, leaving his arms behind. Only two remained from over a hundred. The giant was now flying over the earth in fear, as His blood came to life. Terrible forms, vermin of all kinds began to worm in the ground. And all these beasts were stretching up to the Magnificent trying to catch Him. He rose higher and higher, as He kept away from them. Once left alone, the unclean, devoid of His presence, began to spread around the earth.
The magnificent descended upon the earth somewhere far in the mountains surrounded by skies, followed only by the golden dragonflies born in the dew of the morning. At first, He liked their company, but they were imperfect and they fed on Him, constantly buzzing. The Magnificent smacked them terribly, spreading them all over the earth. Some of them lost their wings, and came on the ground making countless nations of beetles and bugs, others still fly to this day, searching for Him.
The Magnificent started building the black wall. A wall that separates the light from the dark, a wall that left room for the clean and the unclean. A wall that would keep the light with its corruption away from Him. The wall was of black marble, clean as the abyss and bound perfectly, brick by brick, as if in one solid piece that neither hand nor eye could tell if it was one part or many. The Magnificent found his peace and slept again for the second time, this time behind the black marble wall.
But His sleep could not last forever, for there in the darkness began the crisp sound of scraping, something was eating away at the black wall. Something with teeth attacked the darkness, it was no longer the light itself but its creatures. At first the giant tried to ignore them, to give them peace, he pulled his hair to one side, opened his skull, and scratched inside himself where he heard the noise, and let it pass. But the creatures insisted and the Magnificent could feel the black wall suffering from the rodents. The Magnificent, in his sleep, made a fist out of his seven fingers and struck the wall with force, breaking the teeth of the little creatures.
It didn't take long and new beings began to dig after the Magnificent, this time the children of rats had teeth made of steel and unwavering will. Unbroken by fear or fatigue these where powerful creatures of the sun. It didn't take long for such a creature of flesh and bone to crack the black wall and find the Magnificent.
“We're the same,” the rat-men said. “We have a mouth, You have a mouth, we have two hands, You have two hands, we have needs and You have needs. You are our father and we have been looking for you.”
The Magnificent saw the creatures and recoiled. His blood, polluted by light, had given birth to sick creatures without understanding and little life.
“You were never of my will. Many are your wants and great is your iniquity. You of feeble mind, you did not understand the wall was laid here for the peace of the world. You have awakened the “cleanses” that only wanted silence and darkness. You will suffer for your upheaval.”
“If the wall could not hold you then let my words hold you: If I awake for a third time, on this earth, it will be your end. I will end all creatures, from the lichen sitting on the cold dark stone to the sunflower stretched towards the light, from the worms hidden in dampness to the lizards unfolding in the sun. All will perish on the day I wake up for the third time from my rest.”
“We truly were witless in looking for you. We've opened the gates of hell in our foolishness,” the rat-men, with feeble minds, bemoaned.
And the Magnificent took pity on them, because their blood was His blood, and He made them a promise of absolution.
“The time will come when the light will pass and the new world will become old. You will not catch this day, nor will your children, but in the time to come the line of your descent will see the last day of the sun. If by then you will brake from the light I will accept you by My side.” 
And they were pleading before the Magnificent asking for wisdom so they may not be foolish again. And the Magnificent took their steel teeth and weakened their backs until they were crooked, making them helpless in the body so they may learn to think more. He sent them back in the light with care and wisdom, teaching them to read and write, so that their weak minds would not forget the covenant. And so the two worlds had peace.
Because the rat-men were in the presence of the Father, they lived long lives and taught everyone to stay away from the black wall. During their time, the men whispered in the ears of all animals “the burden”, to keep them safe. And those who did not listen or did not want to listen where enslaved, and were put in the yoke. So they may not err willingly or unwillingly, because transgression nonetheless has the same punishment from the Magnificent.
They also taught people that diseases hail from the “cleanses” of the earth, which come after us when they are disturbed. They come to restrain us from the much heavier fate we are destined to have if we ever rouse the Magnificent from his rest. They taught us it is better to stay few and far between because the orgy of life calls the “cleanses”. Playing foolish, loud music and dancing calls the “cleanses”. But also the suffering and torment calls them, and the rat-men have written down that is better to stop the suffering and pain wherever it is found, for crying calls the “cleanses”.
From the teachings of the Magnificent let us draw good thoughts. With the coming of the evening, we bring in our hearts once again the night's devotion:

I see the light is gone and I confidently open my window to darkness.
I know the sun will die and with it the defilement will pass.
With sure hands, I open the window to darkness and wait for the last day to come.
Through my children I swear and believe in the first day that will be without light.

Versiunea în română: Guru - Magnificul

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Nov 19, 2018

Omul de zăpadă

Vântul rece se opri și lăsă prima zăpadă a anului să se așeze pe pământ. Această primă zăpadă era o nea subțire și firavă, zăpadă ce ți se topește în mână înainte să poți face un bulgăre din ea, dar era prima așa că trebuie numărată. 
Veni seara și o a doua ninsoare se punea deasupra celei dintâi iar copiii începeau să o adune de pe mașinile reci, de pe gardurile de beton și de pe trotuare. Era suficientă cât să facă primii bulgări pe acel an. Ca de obicei copiii zgomotoși au aruncat în cei liniștiți și cei liniștiți au devenit și ei zgomotoși, era o veselie plină de chicote ce îi contamina pe toți plozii din cartier.
Târziu după ce ultimii părinți din cartier au ajuns acasă, o copilă cuminte pe numele de Bianca se îmbrăcă în geaca ei roșie și ieși la joacă. Majoritatea copiilor intrau înapoi în casă la ora asta, dar ei nu-i păsa, se adunase suficientă zăpadă pentru ce își dorea ea ... un om de zăpadă. 
Bianca își alese locul cu grijă, între două blocuri ce stăteau cu spatele unul la celălalt. Un gărduleț până la genunchi și o poartă sudată de rugină separa grădina dintre blocuri de restul lumii. Locul ăsta primea o singură lumină de la un lampadar obosit din colțul străzii. Locul era ferit de priviri de la sol, dar câțiva ochi curioși mai curgeau în jos din apartamentele celor două blocuri. 
Bianca inspectă terenul. Era mult loc liber de exprimare, protejat de soare și de vânt, omul de zăpadă avea să aibă o viață bună acolo. Fata strânse cu grijă primul bulgăre încercând să-l facă perfect rotund. Din acest bulgăre se născu mai departe o bilă și apoi o minge de nea ce se mișca de colo colo adunând toată zăpada ca un magnet.
Fulgi lipicioși încă mai cădeau din cer când Bianca obosită se așeză lângă omul de zăpadă pe jumătate terminat și îi vorbi.
-- Dacă o să mai ningă, mâine îți fac capul și îți aduc pietre pentru ochii, bețe de nuc pentru brațe și inima.

A doua zi Bianca ieși iar târzior afară și intră repede între blocuri să-și termine omul de zăpadă. Ea stătea în sclipirea tremurândă a lampadarului ce arunca o singură geană de lumină pe poteca grădinii dintre blocuri. 
Termină omul de zăpadă și fugii înapoi acasă, unde se strecură ca un șoricel având grijă să nu o audă părinții. Scoase din spatele umerașelor de pe hol brațele omului de zăpadă, iar din fundul dulapului de pantofi scoase o gheată fără pereche ce ascundea două pietre negre lucioase. Puse mâna pe clanța ușii de bucătărie și o mișcă ușor să nu scârțâie, intră căutând să-și termine expediția.
Cu mâinile doldora de cadouri se întoarse la omul de zăpadă. Îi puse mâinile de nuc, îi fixă ochii și cu mâinile înghețate, mângâie ceea ce părea a fi o sticlă albastră. Bianca deschise pieptul omului de zăpadă și transplantă înauntru o inimă de gheață. Bătătorii înapoi zăpada în piept și îi șopti.
-- Acum ești viu.

A treia zi venind de la școală fata aruncă o privire între blocuri, omul de zăpadă stătea cu o mână ridicată spre cer în semn de bună, Bianca zâmbi și își continuă drumul fuguța acasă, unde avea să-și aștepte părinții până seara târziu.  Odată veniți acasă Bianca se năpusti afară spre locul dintre blocuri, acolo omul de zăpadă o întâmpină iar cu o mână tremurândă în vânt.
-- Ce mai faci, mi-a fost atât de dor de tine, îi spuse fata îmbrățișându-l. 
Omul de zăpadă nu îi răspunse.
-- De ce nu vorbești cu mine? hai nu fi supărat ... te-am adus înapoi cât de repede am putut, și uite ce bine te-am pus, nu o să te bată soarele.
Omul de zăpadă nu părea foarte impresionat.
-- Vrei să-ți spun ce s-a întâmplat de când nu ne-am mai văzut? Am luat premiul 2 la școală, asta a fost astă vară, apoi am plecat cu mamii și tatii la mare. Am făcut castele de nisip acolo, e foarte frumos la mare, valuri cu apă verde, pescăruși și bărcuțe care plutesc în larg.
Un vânt firav purtă câteva cuvinte la urechile fetiței.
-- Păi ... mi-ai promis că îmi aduci niște nisip. 
-- Te-ai întors, știam eu că o să te întorci. Unde ai fost?
Bianca îl îmbrățișă iar omul de zăpadă la rândul său o strânse de geaca roșie. 
-- Aţipisem și eu. Te-ai făcut atât de mare, îi spuse el.
-- Da vezi geaca de anul trecut abia îmi mai vine.
-- Unde sunt ceilalți copii, nu prea am văzut copii pe aici. 
-- Nu te-am mai făcut la leagăne, acolo copiii sunt prea răi. 
-- Cum adică răi? întrebă surprins omul de zăpadă.
-- Se bat cu bulgări.
-- Păi și ce e rău într-asta?
-- M-au lovit cu bulgări și apoi m-au frecat cu zăpadă, eu nu mă mai joc cu ei.
-- Bianca nu trebuie să te ascunzi de prietenii tăi. 
-- Nu mai sunt prietenii mei, o să rămân cu tine aici și ne jucăm doar noi doi.
-- Mie îmi plăcea când erau și ceilalți copii cu oamenii lor de zăpadă. Îl mai ți minte pe d'Artagnan, avea o sabie cioplită dintr-un brad și ne luptam în fiecare seară. 
-- Nu mai mă joc cu ei m-au frecat cu zăpadă.
-- Hai Bianca era doar zăpadă, încercă el să o îmbuneze, apoi luă un braț de zăpadă și și-l turnă în cap.
-- Nu e la fel, nici ție nu ți-ar fi plăcut.
Omul de zăpadă desenă un cerc în nea. 
-- Când erai mică, Bianca, puteai să te joci ore în șir într-un cerc cât ăsta de mare, dar acum ai crescut, şi nu mai poţi să stai într-un loc așa mic, acum poți să te joci peste tot. 
Bianca începu să adauge petale cercului transformându-l într-o floare mare.
-- Poate ar trebui să te împaci cu ei, încercă iar omul de zăpadă.
-- Băieții sunt niște proști. Nu mai mă joc cu ei.
-- Și fetele?
-- S-au mutat, mai e doar Ana și ea nu iese la joacă așa târziu.
Omul de zăpadă privi împrejur și luă o bucată de beteală atârnată de un copac în grădină.
-- Bianca trebuie să-ți faci prieteni noi, doar nu o să stai așa să vorbești cu un om de zăpadă până la adânci bătrâneți. Trebuie să-mi promiți că ăsta e ultimul an în care mă aduci înapoi.
-- Cum adică, nu mai vrei să vi înapoi? Vrei să te las să mori?
-- Bianca, fetele mari nu se joacă cu oameni de zăpadă. Nu vreau să te văd că stai de una singură ascunsă printre blocuri.
-- Dar mie îmi place așa.
-- Promite-mi că ăsta este ultimul an, o să iei inima și o s-o îngropi. 
-- De ce? întrebă indignată fata.
-- Trebuie să-ți faci prieteni adevărați.
Omul de zăpadă luă beteaua și i-o puse peste gât. 
-- Uite ce bine îți stă, dacă te-ar vedea d'Artagnan ce ați mai râde.
Bianca se bosumflă, luă beteaua și i-o puse fular omului de zăpadă.
-- Bine promit, spuse ea.
Omul de zăpadă o îmbrățișă iar.
-- Ia să vedem ce ai mai învățat la școală, zi-mi repede trei capitale friguroase.
-- Ottawa, Moscova și Helsinki. Zi tu trei mării mici, continuă ea.
-- Marea Neagră, Marea Moartă și Marea Marmara, ai trei secunde să-mi spui trei vulcani activi? plusă omul de zăpadă.
-- Etna, Vezuviu și nu mai știu. Trei culori ce încep cu ”C”?
-- Crem, coacăziu și curcubeu. Auzi tu să nu ști trei vulcani. Zi-mi trei munți înalți.
-- Himalaya, Kilimanjaro și Pirinei, dar curcubeu nu e o singură culoare. Trei pietre prețioase? 
-- Diamant, rubin și ... ști că e târziu nu? hai fugi acasă. 
-- Nu știi? se hlizi fata la el.
-- Lasă că îți zic mâine, mustăcii omul de zăpadă.
-- Bine, dar o să te mai întreb eu și mâine, ai grijă.
Și cu asta Bianca își luă rămas bun de la omul de zăpadă și intră înapoi în casă, obosită și veselă.
A doua zi Bianca reveni ținând ceva ascuns la spate.
-- Am o surpriză pentru tine, spuse ea.
-- Ce ai acolo?
-- Închide ochii.
-- Nu pot să-i închid, nu am pleoape, uite îmi pun mâinile la ochii.
-- Bine, dar nu trage cu ochiul.
-- Bine bine.
Omul de zăpadă auzi ceva curgând lângă el, iar Bianca îl lăsă să se uite. Omul de zăpadă văzu răsturnată în mijlocul aleii o găleată cu nisip.
-- Nisip ca la plajă? întrebă el.
-- Da, hai mergi pe el.
-- Nu mi-ai zis că e la fel de fierbinte ca lava și că m-ar topi imediat dacă m-aș rostogoli peste el?
-- Așa e vara, dar acum e iarnă ... haide!
Și omul de zăpadă sări în nisip. 
-- Ha ha uite ce lipicios e, spuse el încântat.
-- Mama mă pune tot timpul să-l dau jos de pe mine la mare.
Omul de zăpadă începu să facă un mic castel de nisip.
-- Uite hai să-i facem niște turnuri, apucă omul de zăpadă să spună.  
-- Fă-i tu, eu o să caut niște rămurele pentru o poartă cu gratii, îi răspunse fata.
-- Să-i pui și o frunză uscată la intrare, o s-o ridicăm să nu intre străinii. 
-- Sapă-i un șanț cât îi caut eu ce îi mai trebuie, îi dădu sarcină fata.
Bianca și omul de zăpadă au continuat să se joace, împodobind castelul de nisip, iar la sfârșit omul de zăpadă desenă câteva animale lângă el ca să-l apere de copiii răi.
Câțiva bătrâni cu ferestrele spre curtea interioară se mai uitau cum se joacă Bianca însă nu băgau de seamă că se mișcă și omul de zăpadă pe acolo. Pentru ei omul de zăpadă nu părea cine știe ce așa că nu-l băgau în seamă.
Zile și săptămâni treceau iar după vijelii Bianca venea și dezgropa omul de zăpadă și castelul de nisip. De Crăciun îi făcu o barbă omului de zăpadă iar de revelion turnul de veghe, cel mai înalt punct al castelului de nisip, primi o artificie. 

Fata era întinsă pe spate făcând îngeri în zăpadă când observă cerul deosebit de negru și curat punctat de o mulțime de perle strălucitoare. Unele mai mici, altele mai mari, păreau că fac un șirag pe cer. 
-- Vezi cum vin stelele? 
-- Da, spuse omul de zăpadă, doamna cerului le poartă la bal în seara asta. 
-- Crezi că e cineva acolo pe cer?
-- Da ea are grijă de tot ce e deasupra, le poartă în nopțile senine și dansează cu ele pe cer.
-- Şi tu de unde o ști?
-- Păi ea e de când e lumea și pământul, și cred că o să fie pe cer și mult timp după ce nu o să mai fim noi. Nu prea o văd așa festiv îmbrăcată, iarna de obicei e îmbrăcată în nori groși dar acum văd că a dat jos norii și a ieșit la dans. Cred că vine primăvara.
-- Asta nu e bine, se face cald.
-- S-o fi săturat de frig și zăpadă. Cât să stai îmbrăcată în alb? și până la urmă trebuie să ne gândim și la ceilalți, copacii și urșii dorm, trebuie să se trezească și ei.  

Încetișor omul de zăpadă fu înconjurat de ghiocei și la puțin după asta căzu ultima ninsoare plăpândă de primăvară. Cu venirea primăverii omul de zăpadă se murdărise tot și fire de iarbă creșteau acum în curtea castelului. 
Într-o bună zi omul de zăpadă simții că se apropie sfârșitul și se hotărâ să-și ia rămas bun de la fetiță. El își luă unul din nasturii de pe piept și îl puse în mâna fetiței.
-- A venit și timpul meu Bianca.
-- Nu, nu poți să pleci, dacă pleci acum o să pleci de tot. Pot să-ți bag inima în congelator și o să ne vedem la anu.
-- Bianca, mi-ai promis, ești fată mare, nu mai poți să ai grijă de oameni de zăpadă, trebuie să crești mare.
-- Nu vreau, de ce să cresc?
-- Bianca vreau să mă asculți, o să fie bine, ai să vezi, o să crești, o să ai prieteni și o să uiți de mine...
-- Nu am cum să te uit, nu vreau să mai cresc.
-- E în regulă Bianca, așa trebuie să se întâmple, o să fie bine ai să vezi.
Omul de zăpadă îi zâmbi cald, iar fata izbucni în plâns și fugii în casă. Omul de zăpadă strigă după ea:
-- Pa Bianca, fi fericită, ... dacă nu e prea cald ne vedem și mâine.
A doua zi Bianca îl găsi pe omul de zăpadă cu un ochi căzut și o mână lipsă. 
-- Unde ție mâna, cine ți-a luat-o? Te rog vorbește-mi, îmi pare rău că am plecat ieri, nu credeam că o să se încălzească așa repede.
Bianca îi puse ochiul la loc, dar își dădu seama că omul de zăpadă era prea topit ca să-i mai răspundă. Bianca desfăcu zăpada moale din jurul inimii de gheață. Diamantul albastru ce îi dăduse viață omului de zăpadă era transparent în lumina zilei.
O scoase afară, o șterse și o privi mult timp lăsând-o să se topească în mâinile ei. O ținu în mâini până îi amorți degetele.
-- Nu vreau să te las, îi șopti inimii de gheață.
Apoi săpă cu căpușul mâinilor o groapă în mijlocul castelului de nisip și îngropă acolo ultima bucățică netopită din inima omului de zăpadă. 
-- O să mai mă joc cu tine ai să vezi, o să mai fac oameni de zăpadă cu alți copii și o să ne jucăm împreună.

English version: The snowman 
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The snowman

The cold wind stopped and let the first snow of the year settle on the ground. This first snowfall was thin and shallow, snow that would melt in your hand before you could make a snowball, but it was the first one so we have to count it.
The evening came and a second downfall doubled the first. The children began to gather it up from atop the cold cars, concrete fences and sidewalks. This was now enough to make the first snowballs of that winter. As usual the noisy kids threw the snowballs at the quiet kids and soon enough a merry good time contaminated all the youngsters in the neighborhood.
Later, after the last parents arrived home, a dutiful girl named Bianca dressed her self up in a red jacket and went outside to play. Most of the children were going back inside this late in the evening, but she didn't care, enough snow had fallen for what she really wanted ... a snowman.
Bianca had chosen the place carefully, a garden between two apartment buildings that stood back-to-back. A knee-high fence and a rust-welded gate separated the garden from the rest of the world. This place received the barest of lights from a tired sodium lamp post in the corner of the street. The place was secluded from prying eyes on the ground, but occasionally curious eyes still flowed down from the two tenements.
Bianca inspected the ground. There was plenty of space and lots of room for self-expression. Protected from the sun and the wind, the snowman would have a good life here. The girl carefully gathered the first snowball trying to make it perfectly round. From this snowball a small globe was born and then a sphere of snow that moved around and gathered up mass like a magnet.
Sticky flakes were still falling from the sky when Bianca sat down wearily next to the half-finished snowman and spoke:
"If it's going to keep snowing, tomorrow I'll get your head done. After that you'll need your eyes, your arms and a heart."

The next day, Bianca once again walked out quite late and quickly jumped the fence into the garden to complete the snowman. She stood in the shimmering glow of the street lamp shaping the snow.
She finished the snowman and almost flew back home, where she sneaked in like a mouse, making sure her parents didn't hear her. She pulled out two dried up walnut branches from behind the coat-rack in the entrance hallway, then took two shiny black stones from a pair-less shoe thrown in the back of the shoe cupboard. She put her hand on the knob of the kitchen door and gently opened it making sure it didn't do its usual crick. She entered searching for the last piece of the snowman.
With her hands full of gifts she returned to the snowman. She placed his walnut hands, fixed his eyes and with her frozen hands, caressed what looked like blue glass. Bianca opened the snowman's chest and transplanted the icy heart inside. She pressed the snow back in his chest and whispered.
"You're alive now."

On the third day coming from school, the girl glanced between the tenements. The snowman stood with a hand raised to heaven as if saying "hey". Bianca smiled, and continued running home, where she eagerly waited for her parents to come home. Once they got home Bianca headed back out to her secret garden, where the snowman greeted her once again with a trembling hand in the wind.
"How are you, I've missed you so much," said the girl, hugging him.
The snowman didn't answer.
"Why aren't you talking to me? don't be angry ... I brought you back as soon as I could, and just look at this place, the wind and the sun will never hit you".
The snowman did not look very impressed.
"Should I tell you what's been happening since we've last seen each other? I came 2nd in my class, that was last summer, then I left with mom and dad to the sea side. I made sand castles there. It's beautiful there, waves of green water, seagulls and boats float everywhere on the sea.
A faint wind carried a few words to the girl's ears.
"Well ... you did promise me some sand."
"You came back, I knew you would." Bianca hugged him, and the snowman, in turn, hugged the girl squeezing her red jacket. 
"Where have you been?"
"I was taking a nap. You've grown so big," he said.
"See this is the jacket from last year, it barely fits anymore."
"Where are the others, I haven't seen any kids here."
"I didn't make you at the playground, the kids are mean there."
"What do you mean?" the snowman asked surprised.
"They have snowball fights."
"Well, what's wrong with that?"
"They pinned me down and rubbed snow on my face, I don't want to play with them anymore."
"Bianca you shouldn't hide from your friends."
"They're not my friends anymore, I'll stay here with you and we'll play together."
"I liked it when other kids were around with their snowmen. Do you remember d'Artagnan? he had that sword carved from a fir tree and we used to fight every night."
"I don't want to play with them."
"Come on Bianca it's just snow," he tried to improve her mood, then took a handful of snow and poured it on his head.
"It's not the same, you wouldn't have liked it either."
The snowman drew a circle in the snow.
"When you were little, Bianca, you could play for hours in a circle as big as this, but now you've grown up, you shouldn't just sit around here when you can go and play all over."
Bianca began to add petals to the circle turning it into a big flower.
"You should try to get along with them," tested the snowman again.
"Boys are stupid. I'm not playing with them anymore."
"What about the girls?"
"They moved... just Anna is left and she can't come out this late."
The snowman looked around and took a piece of tinsel hanging from a tree in the garden.
"Bianca you need to make new friends, you can't just sit around and talk to a snowman until you're an old lady. You have to promise this is the last time you bring me back."
"What do you mean, you don't want to come back anymore?
"Bianca, big girls don't play with snowmen. I don't want to see you hiding from other kids.
"But I like it this way."
"No Bianca, promise me this is the last time. When spring comes you'll take the heart and you'll bury it."
"Why?" asked the girl indignant.
"You have to make real friends."
The snowman took the tinsel and placed it over her head.
"That look's good on you, if only d'Artagnan could see you now he would laugh and laugh."
Bianca took the tinsel pouting, she put it on the snowman.
"Well, ok, I promise," she said.
The snowman hugged her again.
"Now let's see what you've learned at school since I last saw you. Tell me, quickly, three cold capitals."
"Ottawa, Moscow and Helsinki. Now you tell me three small seas," she countered.
"The Black Sea, the Dead Sea and the Marmara Sea, you have three seconds to tell me three active volcanoes," continued the snowman.
"Etna, Vesuvius and ... pass. Three colors starting with the letter - r ?"
"Red, rose and rainbow. I can't believe you haven't learned three volcanoes. Tell me three high mountains."
"The Himalayas, Kilimanjaro and the Pyrenees, but rainbow isn't a color. Three precious stones?"
"Diamond, ruby and ... you know it's getting late, you better run back home."
"You don't know?" giggled the girl.
"I'll let you know tomorrow," mustered the snowman.
"Okay, but I warn you, I'll ask again." 
And with that Bianca said goodbye to the snowman and went back home, tired but happy.

The next day Bianca came back holding something behind her back.
"I have a surprise for you," she said.
"What do you have there?"
"Close your eyes."
"I can't close them, I don't have any eyelids, how about I put my hands over my eyes."
"All right, but don't cheat."
"Ok ok no cheating."
The snowman heard something being poured beside him, and Bianca let him look. The snowman saw a bucket of sand overturned in the middle of the alley.
"Sand from the beach?" he asked.
"Yeah, go ahead."
"Didn't you tell me it was hot as lava, and it would melt me if I rolled over it?"
"That's in the summer, but it's winter now ... Go on!"
And the snowman jumped on the sand.
"Oh, look at that, it's sticky," he said excitedly.
"Mom always make's me wash it off."
The snowman began to make a small sand castle.
"Let's make some towers,"  said the snowman.
"You do it, I'll look for twigs for a gate," she said.
"Let's have a dry leaf at the entrance, we're going to raise it so strangers can't come in."
"Dig a trench while I'm looking for all that," she said.
Bianca and the snowman continued to play, adorning the sand castle, and at the end the snowman drew a few animals beside so it stood defended from bad children.
Some old timers living in the tenements with windows towards the inner courtyard sometimes watched Bianca play in the snow. They never noticed the snowman, the snowman didn't seem all that interesting so they paid no attention to him.

Days and weeks passed and after storms, Bianca came and dug out the snow man and the sand castle. For Christmas Bianca brought the snowman a plastic beard and for the New Year's Eve, the highest point of the sand castle, received a single sparkler.

The girl was laying on her back making snow angels when she saw the particularly black and clear sky dotted with lots of bright pearls. Some smaller, some bigger they all seemed to be making a necklace in the sky.
"See how the stars came out tonight?", asked the girl.
"Yes," said the snowman, "the lady of the sky is wearing them tonight."
"You think somebody's up there?"
"Yeah, she's taking care of everything up there, she wears her stars on serene nights, and spins around showing them off."
"How do you know that?"
"Well, she's been there since the earth began to have winters, and I think she is gonna be there long after we're all gone. I don't really get to see her so festively dressed, she is usually wearing thick clouds in the winter but now I see she dropped them behind and went out for a dance. Spring might be coming."
"That's not good, it's going to get warm," replied the girl worriedly.
"She's just tired of the cold and the snow. How long could you stay dressed up all in white? not to mention we have to think of the others, the trees and the bears are all sleeping, they have to wake up too.

The snowman was surrounded by snowdrops, and shortly thereafter the last snowfall of the winter fell. As the spring came, the snowman got dirty, and grass began to grow in the courtyard of the castle.
One day the snowman felt the end coming and decided to say goodbye to the little girl. He took one of the buttons on his chest and placed it in her hands.
"My time has come Bianca."
"No, you can't leave, I won't let you. I'll put your heart in the freezer and we'll see each other next year."
"Bianca, you promised me, you're a big girl now, you can't take care of me anymore, you have to grow up."
"I don't want to, why should I grow up?"
"Bianca I want you to listen, it'll be fine, you'll see, you'll grow up, you'll make friends and forget me..."
"How can I forget you, I don't want to."
"It's all right Bianca, that's how it has to be. It's gonna be fine, you'll see.
The snowman smiled warmly, and the girl burst into tears and fled home. The snowman cried out after her:
"Bye and be happy ... Bianca, if it's not too hot I'll see you again tomorrow." said the snowman considering the weather. 
The next day, Bianca found the snowman with a fallen eye and a missing hand.
"Where's your hand, who took it? Please talk to me, I'm sorry I left yesterday."
Bianca put the eye back, but the snowman was too far gone to respond. Bianca opened the soft snow around his heart. The blue diamond that had given life to the snowman was transparent in the daylight. 
She pulled it out, wiped it clean, and watched it for a long time, letting it melt in her hands. She held it until the feeling in her fingers started to fade.
"I don't want to leave you," she whispered.
Then she dug a hole in the middle of the sand castle with her numb fingers and buried the last shard of the snowman's heart.
"I'll play with you again, you'll see, I'll make snowmen with other kids, and we'll play together." 

Versiunea în română: Omul de zăpadă

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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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