MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “postweek”

Chasing Waterfalls

©MCD

It was a scorching hot summer day, but Jake was of the perception that you should grasp every opportunity offered to you to enjoy life to the fullest. The renowned waterfalls were very close to his holiday stay so he decided to go on the expedition early in the morning.

His car wouldn’t go that far though. It refused to budge further than the asphalt-paved road. So Jake had to get out, put his hat on, grab a bottle of water and take the trail on foot. Trekking was always one of his passions. He thought it would be an easy task.

But along the way, the road became steep downhill and slippery. Then small, sharp steps were added to the challenge, along with pointy branches that hit you abruptly. The temperature became humid and hotter as it took much longer than expected to arrive to the sought destination.

After an hour of trail – given that Jake took a wrong turn and had to go back to find the right road-sign for where he was going – he finally reached a rainforest-like path and could hear the sound of running water.

There was a crowd leading up to it.

Too many people meant he wouldn’t be able to enjoy it as much as he would like. Tourists often did not appreciate the cultural significance of what they were looking at.

Jake finally reached the foot of the waterfall.

You could hear the stream running from the top of the hill into a 3metre-deep pool. But that was pretty much it. There was not much to see and Jake was unimpressed.

Expectations often lead to disappointment. That was his thought at the sight.

And then he had to take the opposite route to return. And it was all uphill now.

Frozen paws

https://imgc.allpostersimages.com/img/print/posters/brenda-johnson-red-fox-sleeping-in-snow-in-maryland_a-G-13907520-14258387.jpg

There was no sign of it in the morning. Even before the sun was out, there was frost in the atmosphere and it was freezing. But it was expected to stay dry. It was in the midst of winter, however, and snow was always a possibility.

Not even a half hour had passed when the first snowflake hit the windshield.

The Chihuahua inside the warm vehicle got excited. As if it had understood the magic that was happening. It began to hop on the seat, stretching out its little tongue as if to lick the snowflakes that began to mount on the glass in front of it.

The driver next to the small dog was smiling. Not only because of the white scenery that began to spread rapidly now; but mainly due to the unexpected reaction from his four-legged friend.

When the road began to become more slippery, they slowed down. Caution was required.

That was when the little dog pinned its eyes outside a certain spot on the window and began to bark. Its tail was elongated like a needle.

The driver stopped and got outside.

The snow was even denser now. You could almost feel it falling on you. The Chihuahua managed to slip outside just before the car door closed.

There in front of them, near some snow-covered bushes was a furry bagel-like-circle. You could barely make out its pointy ears and fluffy tail. The snowflakes had almost engulfed it.

The dog’s owner approached cautiously and extended his hand. The fox opened its eyes. It didn’t move. Perhaps it was too scared. Or perhaps it was too numb from the cold. Its piercing blue-green eyes almost begged for help.

The driver picked it up without breaking the circle it had sat in. Inside the warmth of the car, the fox fluffed up its fur and almost appeared to smile.

The Chihuahua was happy. It didn’t want to be enjoying the luxury of a refuge when some other co-animal was freezing outside. Just because you’re safe, doesn’t mean everyone else is too.

Magic waterfalls

©Dale Rogerson

“Look”. She saw his hand rise and point to the source of that calming sound they were hearing a while now. It was still the beginning of winter and the water was flowing rapidly.

She always loved that sound it makes. She found it stole your troubles and drowned them into its soothing flow.

“Listen”. She said. They stood mesmerised with the sunrays bathing their faces. It was a welcome touch in that cold morning.

Whatever happened, waterfalls had a magical way of making everything better. And of bringing them closer together.

Water, after all, is the source of life.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Sculpted memories

js-brand-tree

©J.S. Brand

The things you remember are the things that are strange. The ones out of the ordinary, that are often nothing like expected.

When Mario told her he had a surprise-picnic planned, what immediately sprung to mind was something romantic, in a green field, with tall trees, flowers, silence and plenty of fresh air for them to breathe in and relax. They would also preferably be alone.

What happened though, was something Marisol could never forget. Mario took her to the neighbourhood park, where he prepared a mini-barbecue, under a sculpted tree.

He said this would surely create a lasting memory.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Two goats on a bridge

https://blog.cancaonova.com/seguidoresdocaminho/files/2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gif?file=2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gifThere is a story we are told as children about two goats fighting over a narrow bridge.  The story goes that “One day a goat was crossing the bridge. He saw another goat crossing the bridge in the opposite direction. The bridge was so narrow that there was no space for both of them to pass. Both of the goats didn’t want to go back. One goat said to the other goat “You should go back since I am stronger than you”. The other goat denied saying it’s stronger. Both of them argued for a while. Later, one goat put down his horns to fight to show it is stronger than the other. They fight furiously and both of them lost their balance and fell into the stream below. The swift current of the stream carried them away in deep water and both of them were drowned.” The story continues that a while later, two other goats approached the bridge and started quarrelling for the same reason. However, this time one told the other that to save them both from drowning, it would lie down and  the other would walk over it. “Then the wise goat lay down on the bridge, and the other goat walked over him. So they passed each other, and went on their ways”. The moral of the story is that “anger leads to sorrow and please leads to joy”.

But there is more to that.

We often become so stubborn we don’t want to be the one who withdraws from a quarrel no matter how big or insignificant it may be. We feel that we would be seen as weak if we back down, if we compromise, if we admit to the fact that our view is not the only one and not the only right one.

Yet, we make it a matter of strength, of vigour, of status, to be the goat that marches ahead and does not allow any other to move ahead of us.

We end up drowning ourselves and taking others down with us. When all we need to do is look around us and perceive the other side of things too. Allowing others to walk past, does not always mean that we are left behind. It just means that we are wise enough to allow others to co-exist and that sometimes trying to prove yourself all the time is just not worth it.

Turn away and slam the door

halloween-cupcakes-e1288184827127Melody was a bit of a hippie at times. She had days were she would only listen to country, and then others when she would abruptly switch to rock – it was exactly like that song said. But mood swings are apparently fitting to every woman, so that wasn’t strange. What truly suffocated Melody though, was the fact that some days she did not feel like singing at all.

It was the days when she felt her frustration with the world mounting inside of her, like a volcano ready to erupt. And it was precisely for that reason that she loved Halloween. Because she could really let it all go.

This year she was invited at a friend’s house for a Halloween party. Costumes were mandatory, and the entire house and yard were decorated with scary face-pumpkins with little candles glowing inside, as well as cobwebs, witch brooms, skeletons and the like. People apparently really like to be scared.

So Melody put on her cowgirl shoes and a western-style hat, but added a touch of Halloween to her makeup – she painted a bullet hole on her left cheek, one that left blood dripping onto her shirt. It was something that left many people impressed at how real it looked. One person even offered to find the first aid box for her.

Melody had been fired from her job this week, finding out the truth behind the saying that even if you work perfectly for 364 days a year, the slip-up on that one day is all you will be remembered for. So tonight, Halloween marked a new beginning too. A time to stop being the good girl she had to be, and conceal her feelings. Staying frozen in one place for too long, would just allow others to strike harder, she thought. So tonight it was time to let it go, turn away and slam the door. And that is exactly what she did.

Halloween enabled her to let her hair down, wear exactly what she wanted and ignore everything that was simply not going her way. After all, tonight was about remembering all those that are no longer with us, and they certainly would not want her depressed about something she has no power over. For Melody, Halloween served as a reminder, that we should enjoy life in its fullest, because it really is too short.

So go on, treat yourself to a festive cupcake and let it all go.

Happy Halloween!

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: No Time to Waste

The story of the driverless trucks

dnews-files-2013-03-Driverless-trucks-japan-jpgIt was raining heavily on the highway. Water drops were splashing fiercely on the windscreen as if trying to punish it for standing in their way of reaching the hot asphalt. It was unusual to rain in the summer in Larrypede. Summers were often scorching hot and humid. The only water drops one could find were the ones from their own sweat dripping from their forehead.

But today the clouds that covered the sky turned the day into night. If you didn’t know that it was just 11am you would have thought it was already evening.

Jessica and Todd had chosen the wrong day to visit their friends in the nearby town. But they were already halfway there so it was easier to just continue than turn back.

Todd had never found driving on the highway so strenuous before. He usually loved driving. And Jessica felt so safe with him behind the wheel that she usually slept the whole drive there.

Today was different, though. And it was not just the rain, thunder and lightning. There was something else in the atmosphere. Something mysterious that kept everyone tense and on-edge. Even the deer and the horses you could see along the highway were unnerved.

Then all of a sudden Jessica noticed something equally strange. They were the only car on the highway. Every so often though they passed by a huge truck with some sort of company advertising scribbled all over its container. But that was it. No other cars. Just their little city car and the trucks.

Why do truck drivers have such a bad name? Surely driving such a huge car is similar to driving a bus, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s because in the truck the driver has no company? It’s just him and his cargo?” Jessica was lost in her thoughts as she watched trucks pass-by them more frequently now. She remembered all those movies she had seen the majority of which referred to truck-drivers as horny, vulgar and disturbing old men, most of who were very often unshaved. She shuddered, as she turned to look at Todd. He was nothing like that. He was clean, gentlemanly and the smartest man she knew. She smiled as her goosebumps retreated.

They were now witnessing one truck every few metres. And the rain was falling stronger.

Jessica stared out the window trying to look into the driver’s seat. She wanted to ascertain whether the movie stereotypes about truck-drivers were true.

But she couldn’t get a clear view. Not because of the rain. But because of the lack of any driver.

She nudged Todd in panic. Maybe she was just imagining things. But he confirmed as the blood gushed from his face and he turned a ghostly pale.

The trucks had no drivers.

So where were they all going? And who was driving?

A few miles done the road, the little city car was surrounded by huge trucks. There was no way of trespassing or getting away now.

Why is it that whenever you make an important realization something worse happens?

They were only 20 minutes from their destination but now it seemed they would never reach it.

Why don’t you stop the car?” suggested Jessica as Todd was stirring his head from truck to truck wondering what to do.

And then what? No one will ever find us!” said Todd in a voice reminiscent of the key character in horror movies.

So all they could do was let the trucks lead the way.

It eventually stopped pouring. As if all of a sudden the skies had opened up and sucked back in all the rain. Even the clouds began to disburse when they finally reached a small farm house in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing else around. Only a few horses, cows and hens. Probably to fool people that it was a farmhouse.stock-footage-haunted-house-abandoned-farmhouse-in-rural-ontario-canada

What is this place? Is this where they’ll kill us and hide our bodies?” Jessica asked terrified.

You watch too many movies,” replied Todd, trying to remain calm. One of them should.

The trucks parked in parallel at a gravel opening that seemed to be used just for this purpose. Then everything went quiet.

Todd turned off the engine. He squeezed Jessica’s hand, took a deep breath and got out of the car.

There was no one in sight.

Jessica felt something soft rub against her leg. She squirmed and jumped onto Todd.

It’s only a raccoon!” he laughed mainly out of fright.

curious_raccoon_baby__by_eegaas-d4i0sm8There was only one person in Larrypede who was known to have befriended raccoons. And he was thought to be dead after he disappeared ten years ago. No one ever liked him as he never spoke to anyone. No one even knew his real name. They just called him Larry Raccoon.

Don’t ya worry he won’t harm you! This one’s extra friendly!” An old man humped and wretched-looking came out of the farm house. He had a white beard that reached his chest and ragged clothes as though he had been wearing them for years. He was thin to the bone but appeared to be as strong as his thundering voice.

It was Larry Raccoon. Todd recognized him from the images in the books on the myths of Larrypede. How was he here? Alive?

The old man offered tea and Jessica screamed. In her mind the tea would be laced with poison that would kill them instantly; he would use the horses to drag them into a pit; and no one would ever find them. She snapped instantly when Todd squeezed her hand. Maybe he was right. She does watch too many movies. But then again, you never know…

The tea was just that: a simple herbal drink. But the farm house inside had the appearance of secret cutting-edge headquarters. It was full of equipment, technology that Todd had never seen before, things he didn’t even know existed. And screens filled the place. He could see the entire highway stretch plus all the buildings in Larrypede.

Who was this guy?

Before they even had the chance to ask, Larry began to tell his story. His grandfather had come from the other end of the earth in search of innovation. His dream was to make technology work for mankind and not the other way around as it has become. He set up home at the town that now has taken his name and people flocked from across the country to witness the inventions of the “madman”. Some believed he could do it. Others simply mocked him. The dream was passed from father to son and then to grandson as the town grew. But belief in his purpose floundered. People began to think he was truly crazy as he was secluded in his house day and night trying to realize his grandfather’s dream. He had vowed to make it happen. People began to pay less and less attention to him. The only creatures that willingly came over for some reason were raccoons. And he welcomed the company. One day, Larry believed he had finally made the dream happen. He had created a car that did not need a driver. It could go wherever you wanted it to and you could direct it through a simple remote control and camera. But the car never returned and Larry set off to find it. If he could fix this error he had achieved the dream! But he got lost on the highway – he was never very good with orientation. He couldn’t find his way back and no one ever thought of looking for him. So he set up home in a deserted farm house. And began reinventing his dream from scratch. But this time he knew how to perfect it. That was how the driverless trucks came to be. But from the attitude he experienced while developing such technology he realized people were not ready for it. That’s why he never made a re-appearance. “Mankind is still too stupid and too selfish to take on such great responsibility,” he said.

The why did he bring these two here? He wanted to test his theory. Had things changed?

The bewilderment in Jessica’s face and the dazzlement in Todd’s eyes provided the answer he was looking for. And then Todd simply confirmed: “Think of all the things you could do with this technology! All the money you could make! You could build your own town! Who cares about the people who don’t talk to you!

Larry shook his head in disappointment. “It’s time you should go,” he said, as he offered some more tea. But this time Jessica was right. He did pour something in it.

When they finally reached their friends’ house, Todd and Jessica could not remember why they delayed by an hour.

Traffic on the highway,” said Todd. “and bad weather!” added Jessica. “Too bad cars can”t drive themselves yet, would have saved us some trouble” joked Todd as black clouds gathered over the sky and it started to rain again.

 

Written on the bus ride from Frankfurt to Strasbourg on 9 April 2014.

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