MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

An unexpected awakening

Misty drinkKarin woke up feeling her head was about to explode. Had she fainted? She looked around but what she saw had happened was very different from what she remembered. And why did she have blood all over her hands?

The last thing she recalls is having a drink at home with Regina. Come to think of it, it was her shadow that she saw running hastily away after David’s shooting. But was David really shot? He had no bullet signs; instead Karin had a wound on her arm from where a bullet scraped her. David on the other hand seemed stabbed. And the dagger lay right there next to Karin.

So what on earth had happened?

Karin had to remember. She had to force herself out of this trance and recall what happened. What really happened and not what she mistily thought did.

So, she was having a drink with Regina, to congratulate Karin on her lead role in the performance, and Regina was telling her that she did deserve it – a hint of sarcasm with a lot of jealousy?

Then Regina asked for a refill, and Karin left the room for a minute. When she came back, she did taste something a bit different in her drink. And then it all became fuzzy. As if she was living a dream, or rather a nightmare! So Regina had given her a drug; one that allegedly was the door to paradise – or hell – from the likes of it.

So, what had happened? Was Regina so jealous that she caused Karin to kill the person she loved the most? And not even remember it? And then, what? Regina even tried to shoot her off?

And what was David doing there anyway? Was he trying to warn her?

The piece of paper Karin had found in David’s pocket still lay there on the floor. She picked it up, with the clouds now removed from her eyes and read it clearly:

“Trust no one. Not even yourself”.

Also part of this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge to include the third definition of the word door:

DOOR
3: a means of access or participation : opportunity <opens new doors> <door to success>

 

Early Bird or Night Owl?

Early Bird or Night Owl

The saying goes that it is the early bird that catches the worm. But on the other hand, the night owl is considered one of the wisest animals on the planet. (Of course, there is also the one that says the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese). So which one is it?

I think I’m a night owl. Wait. I know I am. I usually write and get inspired during the late night hours. And I do find it difficult to get up early in the morning. I will get up if I have to though. It’s just not a matter of choice. And although all this “early or night person” is considered to depend on your “biological internal clock”, I think it also depends on the circumstances in your life. For example, maybe it’s too hot to get up and be productive early in the day. Maybe by the time you sort out your daily schedule, half the day has already gone by. Or just maybe, you appreciate the silence of the world asleep, in order to get your work done. Away from distractions and prying eyes.

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t really matter what kind of bird you are, so long as you’re free to fly as you please!

 

Part of Daily Prompt: Your Time to Shine

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Because the Night

Lunar or looney?

wolf-howling-at-the-moonWhy is it that whenever there is a full moon something seems to happen inside of you? Like a switch that is automatically turned on and you get moody, more emotional, over-sensitive and sooo stressed and worried? Is this the power of the full moon? Or are we simply experiencing a transformation into werewolves!?

Maybe it is all associated to the reason wolves actually howl at the moon. There are numerous myths trying to explain this. One of them traces its roots to a famous legend, telling the story of how wolves howl to the moon and sing at the stars because that is where the spirits of their ancestors are found. There are others too, like the one telling of how Coyote (the Native American trickster deity) is jealous of the love that the moon and Wolverine have for each other, and he tricks the Wolverine into going to the mortal world to fetch a bouquet of flowers. The Wolverine then realizes that once he became mortal, he would not be able to return to the spirit realm and every night, he looks up in the sky and sees the Moon and howls her name. But… he can never touch her again.

Thousands of ancient civilizations – some of which go back to the Neolithic Age – pair wolves with the moon in images and in literature, leading to today’s popular belief. Hecate, the Greek goddess of the moon, was known to be surrounded with the company of gods. The same applies for Diana, the Roman goddess of the moon and the hunt. The Norse mythology relates the story of a pair of wolves chasing the moon and the sun to summon night and day. The Native American Seneca tribes believe that a wolf actually sung the moon into existence.

Yet there are also studies showing that the wolf’s howl serves as an alarm call, enabling it to reconnect with the pack if they become separated and warn off rival packs.

But does that all explain our change of behaviour during nights of full-moon? It could simply be psychological, but there is also the unfounded belief of a lunar effect – that there is correlation between specific stages of the Earth’s lunar cycle and deviant behavior in human beings that cannot simply be explained by variation in light levels. In fact, Even the word “lunacy” meaning “insanity” comes from the Latin word for “moon” and can be linked to this exact belief.

But you know what’s stranger? Nobody really notices this change of behaviour until something unusual happens. And then it is all linked to that bright round shiny thing in the sky – not the sun, but the full moon…

Also part of Daily Prompt: The Full Moon

Also part of Daily Prompt: Howl at the Moon

A Lethal Clue

Bullet hole in glassDavid stood there soaking wet from head to toe. She grabbed him from his shirt and pulled him in, poking her head outside just to check no one had seen them. You could never be sure.

What happened? Whose was that blood? What had he gotten himself into? Karin needed answers, her mind was about to explode from the panic and the unanswered questions that circled her head, threatening to devour every thought she had.

But David just stood there still. As if in a state of ecstasy. As if what had happened had not quite registered in his mind yet. He was clenching the dagger in his fist and was staring into…nothing. His otherwise enchanting emerald green eyes now seemed void of all emotion.

What on earth had happened?

Karin began to search his pockets for a clue. As she drew out a small folded piece of paper from his shirt pocket, David flinched, as if he had been awaken all of a sudden. Karin quickly unfolded it, with an unsteady hand and a pounding heart. It had an address and two initials: I. Z. She dropped the paper as she immediately felt the floor being swept off from underneath her feet. She recognized that address and knew that name. Ivy Zanda. It was her best friend and co-dancer. They practically grew up together. And she didn’t live too far away. Why was this in David’s pocket? And what did he do to her?

Did you kill her?” She yelled at him, almost in tears. It couldn’t have been her. No, Karin refused to accept that Ivy was responsible for all this trouble she was in.

“Not…her” David managed to utter as if something was choking him.

“Then who? What happened?” She urged.

But David never managed to say. As soon as he opened his mouth, a swish was heard, with glass shattering from the window by the door behind him. Karin shrieked, as he fell in her arms. Lifeless.

Also part of this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge to include the third definition of the word ecstasy:

ECSTASY (noun)

3: trance; especially : a mystic or prophetic trance

 

In € / $ / £ / ¥ / руб / ﷼ we trust

1in_god_we_trustHave you ever truly noticed that the US dollar features the wording “In God we trust”? Why would you need to explicitly state that on a piece of paper used so commonly for transactions of all sorts, legal or illegal, ethical or not? Does that not make you wonder to whom exactly you are pledging allegiance? Is it not in money that this trust lies?

MoneyWith the global economic crisis being the order of the day and reason justifying all the negative trends occurring, money has once again entered the spotlight. Not that it ever left. It was just depreciated for a while, as people began to implant the idea in their head that “money doesn’t buy everything”, and “there are more important things in life than money”. But are there?

This crisis has clearly demonstrated otherwise. For when entire countries surrender their sovereignty to foreign lenders in exchange for liquidity, then there is something wrong. Because the moment you run out of money and are forced to depend on outside help in order to keep your economy running, then you indirectly allow them to infringe on your rights and dictate how you should manage your affairs. With the simple threat of cutting-off cash flows hovering over your head.

Mark Twain had said it well: “The lack of money is the root of all evil”. Think about it and you will see how right he was.

Corruption, clientelism, tax evasion, stealing in every way and form has one objective alone: to gain more money. And it is acknowledged that the more you have, the more you want, and the more you want to preserve what you already have. No matter how you have gained it.

In this day and age, money can buy anything and everything. From material goods, to land and property, to people (as regards their support, for instance), to even citizenship. This latter one is the new controversy spreading in the EU. Granting citizenship in exchange for money. If you invest several million in a country, you will be handed over its citizenship, allowing you free and unlimited access to the rest of the Common Area. This is not a unique case. It is widespread and certainly unethical. But when you need the money, how are you going to say no? It’s like the Godfather making you an offer you can’t refuse…

Even celebrities do it. For example, recently as in the case of Gerard Depardieu, who in order to avoid paying high taxes in France, went on over to Russia where he was readily granted citizenship and made investments there. Easy no? See, when you have money, the whole world is your red carpet. And you can go around choosing what real estate, painting or island to buy simply for your pleasure. And all the while you PR yourself as a philanthropist, despite never doing anything to actually help the people/children who are starving at the other end of the world.

Money may buy everything you need and more, but it can never buy honor, respect, or morals. At least these are still priceless. (Even in the presence of a MasterCard).

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: No Fair

A dark act

theatre_stageDarkness, like an evil wizard, had engulfed her soul end to end, carefully tucking away the edges. She could just about picture how it would all happen and that made her shiver despite the stifling heat outside. All color was erased from her normally peachy cheeks as the image ran through her head. Right when the swan song would sound, when that majestic figure would gracefully dance its last breath away, when the notes from that classic masterpiece would delicately pluck the strings of each heart in the room, right then. That is when they would strike. They would barge in, breaking down the theatre doors and charge in like soldiers of the apocalypse, with their bazookas and Kalashnikovs at hand, pointing them at anyone who would dare to even move. It would be horrible. And that was why she had to avert it at all costs. She had to do something to save her job, her dignity, her life. She had to fight. It wasn’t going to be easy. But she would try.

The doorbell rang as the rain could be heard drizzling down the tin roof from the attic. It was monsoon season. And it was also pitch black outside. A sign of the gloom to come? She was still horrified from the dreadful “could-have-beens” that had overwhelmed her. With a trembling hand she opened the door. She wasn’t really expecting anyone. So when she saw David standing there she was even more shocked than before. Especially since in his right hand he was holding a dagger. And it was dripping blood.

Also part of this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge to include the third definition of the word color:

color (noun)
3: complexion tint:
a : the tint characteristic of good health
b : blush

 

In the shadow of fear

fear_turtleThere is a wonderful Spanish proverb that is imprinted on my mind since I first watched Strictly Ballroom: Vivir con miedo es como vivir a medias. And it is true. If you live a life in fear, it is like living half a life. But if you stop and think it is actually frightening to consider how much fear is part of our lives. Fear of not being adequate, of getting hurt, of doing something wrong and getting punished. Fear of not accomplishing your dreams and risk being considered unsuccessful even by yourself. Fear of losing control, and then of having too much of it. Fear of not having enough, or of having too much you are in danger due to the envy of others. Fear of the uncertain, of the unknown. Fear of not being safe. Fear of embarrassment, of loss, of defeat. Fear of change. And lately the fear that you will not be able to provide for yourself, let alone for your next of kin.  The fear that you or your possessions are no longer safe no matter where you are. That even banks – those institutions that used to guarantee the protection of your life’s savings – will now rob you blind, let alone the risk of your accounts being hacked into.

Sophocles put it well: to him who is in fear everything rustles.

There are so many sources of fear that if you constantly dwell on them you will never even live, being afraid of even your own shadow. And the worse thing of all is that “there is no passion so contagious as that of fear” (Michel de Montaigne). Fear feeds on fear itself.

Everyone is afraid at times. It is a natural feeling to have. And fear is indisputably part of our lives. There are even times when fear is good, for it keeps you alert and is watchful of your heart’s desires. But how much it takes up of your life is clearly a personal choice. You can either chose to surrender to the gloom or resist the anxiety that looms behind each corner and perpetually feeds on itself. Negative thoughts accentuate fear. All you have to do is turn on the light…

The Chase

police-shadowThe wind was lashing at his face as if punishing him for his actions. But he persisted in speeding against it. He had to reach there in time. His 650 cubic engine bike skid across the gravel as it came to a halt. He jumped down and ran, past the old wooden door of the building, which from afar seemed a ramshackle and up the stone steps. His heart was pounding. Was he in time?

The apartment door creaked as he pushed it open, leaning aside so as to avoid anything that would potentially fly out at him. Nothing. Silence crept across the room as the floor squeaked at his presence.

The place was a mess. Even messier than usual. It all revealed a fight had taken place there. Someone thrown over the table as it broke, and then across the wardrobe as it leaned open, acceding to its torturers. He could picture it all in his head. Gunshots had been fired, for there were bullet-holes and empty shells scattered around. And then he saw it…

Traces of blood.

He couldn’t tell if it was his own, as his hand was still bleeding badly. He had by now grown numb to the pain and didn’t care about that. He just wanted to find her.

If those bastards hurt her, it’s gonna be the end of them, he thought as he scanned the room for another clue, some evidence that could reveal where they where.

As he turned to look inside the hole that was forged in the wall clearly as a result of the earlier wrestling, he saw a shadow move across. The pupils of his eyes widened. Alert, he reached for the bottom of the desk, feeling for a button to press. A button that would be his salvation.

The shadow moved closer. It was tall and muscular. And it was coming right at him. A body-builder-type man who seemed impenetrable, as a dagger was still protruding out of his left shoulder blade and a piece of wood was sticking out of his foot. Yet he kept moving. Frank was apparently his next victim.

He found it! And with a click a side drawer sprung out from the desk. Frank grabbed the revolver now in sight and hammered down the personification of carnage rapidly approaching. He fell down like a thick pine tree in the woods. Only there was no-one to yell “timber”. Frank felt relieved but it was no time to relax, no matter what his namesake Frankie used to say. He quickly got up and started searching the man’s pockets. There was bound to be something there. Something that would help him find Loren. He couldn’t lose her now. Not after all they had been through. They were the only thing they had left from their previous lives. He had vowed to stand by her and he was not going to break his promise.

He found a folded paper in one of the trouser pockets. It was an address. 306 Westwood Avenue, Warehouse 5. He knew where that was and it wasn’t friendly. He had to hurry. He grabbed the gun and ran out the door.

As the bike growled to a start, another shadow appeared at the window directly above. A man, brawny yet thin, smoking a cigar. But Frank hadn’t seen him…

Calling on Morpheus

funny_insomniac_owl_sticker-Lately I can’t sleep. At all. And it’s not just because of the mouse running around in the roof, fighting a pigeon, and all the rumbling going on over my head because of it. No. I can’t sleep because I can’t seem to get all these thoughts out of my head. Another consequence of this maledetta crisis… And the more I try not to think, the more something else pops into my head and my insomnia simply nourishes itself and perpetuates this state of non-sleep. Even if I am extremely tired, when I go to bed I suddenly become wide awake. So much that sometimes I actually empathise with owls – if I hooted, I would very well know what it feels to be one – awake all night and falling asleep during the day. It’s not pleasant, I’ll tell you that. You end up eventually falling asleep when you actually don’t want to – when you’re watching your favourite TV series for instance, or during a sunny afternoon.

So how do you treat insomnia? Despite the inadvertently ironic response that “the best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep” (W. C. Fields), I was told that the only way to treat insomnia is to relax. Easier said than done, you may say and I agree. Maybe even meditate – but that sometimes leads to more thinking so…not that helpful. Counting sheep doesn’t help either because I get confused along the way. Then imagining you’re climbing down a flight of stairs also has adverse results leading to the feeling that you’re falling off the bed and resulting in you jolting every few minutes. But I find that actually getting yourself tired during the day may also help you fall asleep at night. So exercise, yoga and a whole lotta running around, ought to do the trick!

So I tried that and it sort of helped. I slept for two hours. Then the super mouse went into a crazy chase and cannibalous scrambling and screeching with a bird in my roof and I was up. Again. My brother joked that some people would actually pay to see a fight like that going on. But I wasn’t seeing anything – and definitely wouldn’t want to either. There was just so much noise going on at hours during which even the night itself is asleep, or rather should be. It’s annoying. And everyone knows that the more irritated you get, the more your blood pressure rises due to an increasing heartbeat and the more awake you feel. Get my point?

Anyway, so here I am trying to fight insomnia away. During the process I have listened to about five playlists twice over, written a 4,000 word story, and a dozen of other short stories of varying themes and plots. Hey, at least I’m being productive.

I’ll try to go to sleep now. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve realized that getting yourself tired actually works. A bit. So I’m hoping Morpheus will visit soon (no, not the one from The Matrix, although that would be cool…). Anyway, if you have any work you would like to get done, give me a shout, I may still be up…

N.B. Written at 2am.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Mr. Sandman

On the tip of a pointe

The-Ballerina-IVShe loved the feeling of freedom that came along with a double pirouette. And how the movement en pointe was always so graceful and yet so dynamic. There was so much energy in the dance, in the music of Tchaikovsky and Strauss. She absolutely loved it all. Ballet was her passion. Her life.

She still remembered her first show. How she tightly tied up her hair in a bun and graced it with feathers to complete the outfit of a young swan in the relevant story. She felt part of it all, from the minute she put on those soft pink ballet slippers as an infant still. And then, when she gained the privilege of wearing the pointes! She felt more alive than ever. For her, ballet entailed a passion for life that no one could understand. It was telling a story to an audience but at the same time actually living it, experiencing the pain, the anguish, the excitement, the joy, the happiness. It all appeared so real precisely because that it was how it felt. Ballet was a passion rooted in the heart. And the perfect ballerina knew how to convey it to the public because she could transmit that energy and that feeling to anyone who witnessed her dance. She could be so free, beautiful and elegant and at the same time so powerful, forceful and vibrant. She could be just about anything she wanted.

Tonight was her big performance. She was now part of the most renowned ballet company in the world. And she was the prima ballerina. It was her dream! And it was coming true before thousands of people who came to watch. She could still recall all the steps that led up to this. How she twirled in a tutu as a child, and how she pirouetted on the tips of her toes as an adult. It was hard work and sacrifices, but it was all worth it. Because this is what she wanted to do. And this is how she wanted to say it. Ballet was an art, written with grace in the heart. And she wanted to let it out – to allow it to stream out of her and embrace each and every one among the audience. This was her night. It was her time to shine like a bright star in a clear evening sky. The world was at the tips of her pointes and she was ready to conquer it…

Also part of Daily Prompt: The Excitement Never Ends

Also part of Daily Prompt: Pains and Gains

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