Speak and Wander #1 : How it started

Walking down an empty road as the midnight has passed, windows have been closed above my head, locking out all the madness of the day, since the people inside have survived, they could take a break and move one tomorrow.

Hey, you must be reading me, right? That little mess of mine that tries to catch your attention. No, please, just hold yourself and do not leave yet. My story has not even started so calm down and take a breath. Grab a pillow, take a seat and make yourself comfortable because this might take a while. Or maybe more than that. The story of mine could absorb your time but I hope it’s worth it. I hope.

My name is Steven. Steven Reid. Or at least, this is written on my ID. I used to go with that name when I was younger. Some people mignt have said it fits with my idiocrasy. I still womder why. But this part should be left for another time and place, you could be lucky  to find about it if you stay longer.

I am writing those words as I sit on a bench close to the sea. I could hear light waves as they spread along the surface of the sea. That’s how it usually sounds, I am sure I am not hallucinating. My earphones are plugged in my ears but they still cannot cover the sound of the water. Quite the atmosphere to begin my story.

It all started one common, cloudy morning in the office, just like each and other day. After a rough awakening, eyes still trying to open, a coffee cup on one hand and, as I have half – eaten my slice of yesterday’s night pizza with the other hand, dressed myself as formal as I used to and I grabbed my bag to leave. Jump on my bike and started pedaling as fast as I could. No more than fifteen minutes to arrive and place myself behind a desk and my computer. Waiting for me as usual to work. But this time, it was different.

“What happened to my computer Cliff?” I remembered myself asking a partner of mine that was sitting next to my desk “I have tried at least five times in a row and my working buddy doesn’t seem to be on the mood for something like that”.

He had just shaken his head with no worry but curiosity about my situation. Surely, he didn’t have a clue about what was going on with my machine. And I won’t blame you for not having a clue this time Cliff. But in the process, you might take the blame for some things.

“Don’t know buddy. Did you tried to unplug it, it might have a problem of connectivity or with the power provider”.

“Oh come on Cliff, it’s not a damn Game Boy to take out the cassete and blow inside to clean it up”.

“But you could try also, you have nothing to lose from that” you have said.

Until today, I wonder why I listened to your “advice”. Propably I was over with possible ways to revive it or any other explanations to my problem. Or I have taken your words for granted. And that’s how I got myself in the beginning of the unpredected. Of what I wasn’t aware of.

I hold the socket with my right hand as I try to unplug the computer with my left. No no, I am not left-handed as you may guess. Just that moment I prefered this side. The plug made sparkles of lost electricity as it got out and I fall back terrified. Next, my “working buddy” turned off and it wouldn’t turn on again, even though I plugged it back again and repeated the same procedure. Damn you, Cliff.

“Now it doesn’t even open! I am going to lose all my files. Oh God, the job of six months has gone to the trash! Why did I listen to you?” I have shouted to him “now what?”.

“Calm down man. Relax and take a breath. Don’t be a madhead. There must be a proper way to fix this.”

“Like what you clever? Hit it with your fist to make it obey you back again like a caveman?

“Funny. We can call the IT service that the boss is using to maintain and update our computers once in a while. They have their way into fixing stuff like that”.

“And what I am going to tell – Excuse me, boss, my computer has dropped dead for a while and I need some geek to revive it right away because I am going to fail the project we have preparing?!” I derided.

“Exactly this, it gives the other the right message you want. Let me make a call to his secretary to see if he is in his office.”

I should have stopped him. Or maybe not. You could have a word in all of that. Until we reach the end. Then, you could look back and say if I was unlucky or hit the jackpot. The point is that he managed to talk with his personal secretary but he seemed that he was out for a while. She was sweet enough, as Cliff has mentioned to call the service for us in person. A member of their team was on the way.

“See? He will be there and the pc guy will fix it and you will manage to continue your work without further disturbance, Steve”

“It’s Steven, Cliff. Don’t just cut letters from my name. I have told you I hate that” I said and I turned myself the other way to hide my anger. Better stay cool around other people and especially collegues, my father used to tell me. You never know when you might need somebody.

“Anyway, he might be close, the store is not far away from the office” he had said.

Oh lord, he was right. We didn’t count the minutes. And soon enough, tic toc, we heard a knock on the door. It opened slowly for a slim figure to enter.

And then, she appeared.

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Rejected by luck, accepted by life

They have traveled far away from their place. Different images of nature have replaced those of gunpowder smokes. Instead, the only grey they could see was that That cloudy, moody sky, that hasn’t changed too much since last week. Raindrops kept falling on our heads and our only way of protection were those feeble branches with few leaves still hanging from their edges. Our supplies have finished and the only sign of water could be found down to the river, but its freshness was questioned.

Nobody knew those places, not even an inch, not by coming for a holiday trip in the past. Some postcards with beautiful sunsets and idyllic beaches, tourists, adults and kids, relaxing as the waves were caressing their feet. On the contrary, they haven’t got those feelings so far, except dirt, mud and dust as their daily and sole partners.

“Mama, my stomach aches and can’t walk for now. I’m hungry and my mouth is dry” cried out loud a little boy, about six to seven years old “when are we going to arrive? are we close?”.

A gentle, slim figure of a twenty – something woman bent on the little boy. She stroke his head lovingly and left a dim smile to appear on her face. She couldn’t allow her exhaustion to affect her fondess. From her characteristics somebody could distinguish her fatigue all over her figure. A face covered with mud and few scars, her clothes with holes that were tried to be covered roughly and her hands injured and dried by the wind and drought.

“We are almost there my love” she replied “I know that you have made a great effort until now but you have to be patient for a while. We are almost there”.

“And where are we going to stay? Do we have a home in that place we are heading?”

She tried to hold herself, no tears should appear on her face. Keeping calm was one of her major role that she had to play. If not she, then who could do it?

“Yes my little boy. You will see, everything will be good again.” she said without even believing her own words “Mum will provide you with everything and you are not going to miss a thing!”.

She grabbed him from his waist and raised him on her arms. Even though some days have passed with only one meal for the whole time, from the daylight to the night, and her son has lost weight as she also, her arms didn’t feel so weak. Only her power of will was enough to continue their way.

Her head turned again to the river. Across their way, the other place they had to reach.  She could direct her gaze to the moving water, as the wind was blowing, dragging liquid and solid elements together and rain has joined his party again.

But they had to move on. Somebody, somewhere across that place was waiting. For those newcomers. For those “outcast of luck”, longing for that clear sky, crystal sea, bright future.

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As I captured the scenery in this photo, different stories came to my head. My last choice was that little glimpse of light inside this blackness one can find. And I admire those people that never surrender.

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It’s time

“What will you like me to bring to you?” he asked Marianne while his eyes were gazing the view from the hill.

She puffed and blew before her answer as those words were their final goodbye.

“Only you, safe, that’s what matters” replied with a low voice.

They could see from above the boat approaching the harbor with the old crew ready to offer their places to the new blood. Kohen was one of them, still in the spring of his youth that decided to give up the life on the stable surface for the liquid element that has taken many to its arms: sea.

“Do that for me” said as he stood up “close your eyes and sing the song I was playing in the streets of Amsterdam when we first met. Remember it, right?”

She placed her palms on her face whilst her lips were whispering “… it’s time that we began to laugh and cry…” and Kohen disappeared walking down the pathway of the hill.


I am participating in Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, where we write a short story between 100 and 150 words (plus 25 words sometimes) in length. The photo above for the prompt was provided by Footy and Foodie.

Yellow in the smoke

The sky was cloudy as usual, turns of grey and light sun could be distinguished. It didn’t need too much time for it to wear the rainy dress and to quench the streets and roads of the city with raindrops all over.

He opened his yellow umbrella, big enough to cover himself and to not get wet. With a colour like that, his figure was the only one among the other dark and shady umbrellas that wanted to be one with the moody weather. Even though he didn’t have any other piece of garment with the same colouration,  he loved wandering around with his black coat and the yellow umbrella. This  object could produce different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object emitted the light.

He wasn’t furious enough to escape the storm that was coming, but he seemed to welcome it without hesitation. As a man of his kind, he had a reputation for sailing close to the wind with his actions. Dealing with people of any kind, causing trouble around, was regarded his favourite hobby. Especially when he wanted to amaze the opposite sex.

His right hand moved to his pocket, from where he got a small cigar, put it in his mouth and then again he light it with a red lighter until its edge was burned. Smoke came out from his nostrils, caressing his lips. That could only calm him before the storm. Not the one that was about to bucket down, but only when he will appear inside that little pub, full of drunken youngsters that have light fingers, with no other thoughts for their life, except the moments they could get a second bite at the cherry.

Until the lull before the storm, that was coming inside the place, under the protection of a yellow umbrella, two sparkling eyes within the smoke.

A face to remember

I entered the house as I unlocked the entrance of my place. No speaking sounds could be heard, even though I could see that everybody was there, from my father to my youngest cousin. Some were sitting on sofas, other to the couch, less will be standing, looking up to the ceiling or turned their heads as they heard the key. I still remember that day.

My dream was interrupted by sounds coming from the kitchen. I opened my eyes and I checked the time, only to find that it was still seven o’ clock in the morning. It was my preparation period for the entrance exams and usually my anxiety didn’t leave me to sleep properly, but I wasn’t planning to get up early. I dressed myself with a blouze I found hanging on my chair and I went to the bigger room to answer my questions about this puzzle.

“Hey, what’s going on?” I asked “why are you gathered in here to chat early this Saturday morning?”

They heard me and they stopped. No further discussions or any other comments to my question. Only one phrase to easy my curiosity: “do not focus on what we were talking, you have to study, it is Urgent to finish and be ready for your exams. That’s a lifetime chance!”
Later, I will find that you had an accident in the hospital, your nurses were not responsible enough for you, that your eyes have closed and you might not open that again.

The next week, I will follow a routine plan to get along with another anxiety, except this of my examinations: you, still “sleeping” in the hospital, while my cousins were visiting you only to touch your hand, still warm sometimes, in order to feel close to you. Remember that you were talking about your future departure and I was making fun of you? Until you decided to leave forever from this place.

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Now, everybody were waiting for me. With a candle on our hands, with our face depressed from sadness. As we wish to remember  and cherish you forever. As we do not want to forget, as we want a face to remember.

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Holding the ticket on my right hand and the bag on my back, I stepped in the airplane. I might be one of the lucky that could fly each month to a place. But it has been some time since the last trip,primarly for leisure. And so it begun…!

The first surprise came with the cold wind.Great change I might say from the 29° Celcium in the South to the 7° Celcium of Budapest.Thankfully I was well prepared and my coat kept me warm as I looked for the way to the place that was going to be my base for the next days.In contrast with the underground metro, this of Budapest seemed quite old and the”mind the gap” sound-trademark was missing.

As I found my apartment and made myself comfortable, I took a walk by the river. Sun was down and afternoon just passed by for a short time until the night was there and…  I was in front of the House of the Parliament.

The lights around this magnificent building reveal  its beauty and the details of the architecture that went through both World Wars and still catches the eye of each visitor after more than a century.

Next day, despite the rain, got my umbrella and went for  a walk tour around the historic city centre of Budapest. Different buildings were standing some meters above from my head, with tourists at times posing for photographs (sometimes a little bit too much creativity for their pose).

Not so far from the Chain Bridge, one of the oldest and biggest bridges in Europe,  with lions guarding its entrances, the basilica of St. Stephen’s could be viewed, standing with majesty and greatness. Similar characteristics could be found in the interior, where people from different countries were amazed with the design and the marble sculptures that could be found in different corners inside the church.

Next morning, the Buda part was in the program. Starting from the Margarita’s island, passed from different districts and houses that didn’t lack in anything to the Pest side. But nobody should miss the old city among the walls with the Fishermen’s bastion, the Mattias’ church and the view from the Buda’s castle. And so didn’t I.

The last day before the return was more relaxing since it was spent almost all in the Budapest Zoo. A common visitor could admire from ducks and deer to anacondas,armadillo, lions and elephants.The only thing is that I felt a little bit for those big animals stuck in places that will never be a proper substitute of their natural environment. Gorillas seemed more lucky though.

Leaving Budapest and after an enjoyable trip in another country I realised how I missed travelling outside from my homeland, despite the fact that I was living abroad for a while. Wanderlust = the  desire to travel, this word just describes me without any other description. This city has captured me and I might be back in Budapest one day, one out of other Promises.

Farewell Budapest.

Into the wild #nature_shooters #nature #ig_europe #instagram #wanderlust #budapest #skyporn #instalifo

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One year ago…

Well, it’s been almost a week since I came back, having finished with all my duties as a “grown up scientist” in another land full of prosperity. And now, I am lucky enough to enjoy my freedom while my anxiety about “what’s next” tries to overcome. But look where I was a year ago.

One year ago… I didn’t have a clue where I will be, how my life might change, what kind of chances might come on my way. For sure, life never comes with a certain plan, even if you try hard, right? That also makes it beautiful and enjoyble, with its ups and down, smiles and cries, the falls but the stand ups.

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One year ago… The use of another language in my daily routine seemed mostly an enterttaining though, but also pretty intensive, I might say. You see, confronting people and making friendly relationships with fellas from a different country than the one you lived in most of your life until now, shall push you forward to your personal growth. Going out, university tasks, programm managing, following different daily habits wasn’t always an easy task. At least, in the beginning.

One year ago… I was  a grown up with a childish mind (well hidden at the most) which during this period faced challenges different from the one he was used to.

One year….Here and Now. The sun is shinning bright over another island in Greece.People going around with their luggages, rollers making noises as they are being crawled around the gates. I, having my bags close to my seat, observe the sun shining over the blue of Aegean sea. London is way back this time. This one year has changed me forever and I will keep on getting better day by day.

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