SURREAL ADVENTURES FROM THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sitting on ice flowers

Who the hell was that guy and what on earth did he want from me?

My guess was that he could very well be some fucking freak who had seen me in the Sandwichian papers next to Ed; then he probably decided to buy himself a black hat and Darkman outfit at the Halloween sales just to blackmail Ed and scare me out, with the evil purpose of making some easy money.

I actually had no enemies; at least, not as far as I knew.

Could the dark guy be a revengeful Bob Gausman in disguise? Nah. Firstly, I would have recognized his voice. And secondly, in spite of the fact that he hated me for having dumped him just a few weeks ago, in the back of his mind he was a decent guy and he would never do that to me.

As a business magnate and a powerful man, Ed surely had a few enemies of his own who could have considered kidnapping me to extort him. And I was such an easy victim: I led a normal life, totally unaware of any potential danger and therefore, unprotected.

So there I was, forced and locked into a car by an unknown weirdo all cloaked in black, with no real features to be seen. On top of it, the car was moving.

After the initial puzzling moment, I started feeling agitated and anxious. I sensed a situation of extreme danger. Call it fear, alarm or panic. Call it what you want to: I was actually scared.

But there was something more: that negative and unpleasant sensation was evoking an image of my childhood. When I was little, some nights I used to feel a terrifying hostile dark presence in my room. I would wake up from my nightmares all covered with sweat and sit up in bed crying, until my mother would hear me and rush to put me in her lap and give me a big hug. Then, and only then, the dark thing would vanish.

But the shadow continued to lurk around for years. The frightening image worked as a courage-building tool and helped me face my fears. I tried to see that dark being as a character from a scary puppet show; as a laughable shadow in one of the survival horror computer games I used to play; as a clumsy bladed-gloved serial killer’s apprentice that I could have easily thrashed; but wherever his hideaway would be -Halloweentown, Alone in the Dark or Elm Street- I could never run away from him, so I grew up with the feeling that something sinister would happen to me some day.

- Where are we going? –I asked-
- What makes you think I’m gonna tell you? –he said with a voice that seemed to come from beyond the grave, his face approaching mine until he could perfectly smell the stinking scent of fear dripping out of my pores-.

We stood still for a few seconds, face to face. His rainbow eyes glowed.

-You look like you tried to gatecrash at a Halloween party and you got caught. –I said-.
- Thanks for the compliment, but no. I'm not a party guy.
- Remove your mask and let me see who you are!
–I said, pulling his black cloak-
- Hey, pack it in! There’s no such mask! –he spat at me, pushing me aside-.

Suddenly, he looked into the distance, hit the floor twice with his cane and the car softly took off, just like an aircraft. We quietly flew under the twelve bridges of Gritvyken; hovered in the sky; glided over the sea in the still of the early morning.

That gentle flight took us to the outskirts of the city, near the oil wells. Still in fear, I tried to enjoy the sight looking out the car window with my eyes wide open. Nobody seemed to be watching us. That two-bit Voldemort knew how to do good tricks. But I desperately needed to breathe some fresh air.

- Let me out. – I said-
- Shut up. –he ordered-
- Many people will be looking for me, I warn you! –I yelled, waving a threatening finger-

- Oh. That sounds so scary –he chuckled-.
- If you’re planning to hold me for ransom, let me tell you that it’s not a good idea: I’m just a working girl and I’m poor.
- I know. I haven’t grabbed you and forced you into the car just for peanuts
-he said, roaring with laughter-.
- Then… who are you and what is it you want?

A dark tinted glass screen right in front of us didn’t let me see who was driving, but I knew there was somebody else there. I leaned back beside my weird kidnapper and stared into his eyes, challenging him. He stared back at me.

- I want you to give this message to Ed Davies: Tell him the blaze that has destroyed his business is just a reminder of the deal he made with his old friend Jimmy Moon some two hundred years ago in Vienna. The deadline is over now and if he fails to fulfil his part of the deal… there will be consequences. –he said, very seriously-.
- Jimmy Moon? Is that you?
- Yes, that’s me.
- And what will be the consequences?
–I asked in concern-.

- Ed seems to be very … emotionally attached to you. I may want to take your lovely soul and the halo of life that surrounds you… just to show him that gentlemen must observe their oaths. Mmm… you have such a bright and lively aura about you. –he said, drawing an imaginary circle above my head-.

His black fingertips framed my face and touched my cheeks lightly. I perceived a sort of dark lust in his touch and so I stepped back. I was very frightened. His threaten sounded true, but I didn’t want to look weak and found strength out of weakness.

- Stop playing Bergman’s Seventh Seal, man; this is not a chess game between you and me to take my life! –I screamed, hitting back-
- Oh, no. I won’t be taking your life, Leni, but just this crown of vivid energy that you radiate. –he sketched again a circle around my head with his index finger-. First you will lose your liveliness; then, you’ll become a black rose and finally… you’ll embrace the dark. –he whispered-.

The wheat fields surrounding the city faded away as we flew over them. Thousands of ice flowers splashed with white the trace of burnt land we had left behind. The devastating sight of destroyed life was horrific.

The car landed smoothly on that gloomy landscape. Jimmy Moon looked at me and said solemnly:

- You’re free to go now. But tell your man he will lose you forever if he doesn’t do what he’s got to do.

I nodded. The door to the car opened and I jumped out, as scared as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. The door closed by itself behind me and Jimmy Moon’s car took off again, disappearing into the clouds.

I didn’t know where I was. There wasn't cell phone coverage. I asked myself what Ed and Jimmy Moon’s deal was about and why I played such an important role there.

I felt I was a fairly small thing: just a doll. I decided to rip my clothes off, starting with my skirt and throw the little pieces of fabric on my way back to the civilized world, hoping somebody would find me.

I walked for hours on the burnt grass, completely lost; disoriented, I uselessly looked for a specific direction to find my way back to the city; but there was no trace of a reference to help me do that.

After a while, my skirt became unbelievably short. There was no more fabric left. I had even thrown my shoes away. My legs and feet were grazed, cut and bruised by the ice flowers. I had bloodstains in my ankles.

The sun was already high in the sky; still I couldn’t see anyone around. My whole body was aching. I sat on the frozen ground and cried.

Suddenly, my cell phone went.

- Leni, I’ve been calling you for hours but I just got your voicemail. –said Ed-. There's been a big fire at Kynkybooks office and the building is completely burnt.
- I know.
- Where are you?

I stopped my sobbing and said:

- Jimmy Moon pulled me into his car this morning and asked me to give you this message: you have to fulfil your part of the deal or you won’t see me again.




"Hyperballad" (Björk)

22 comments:

Dick said...

Hi Leni

I like your blog, it takes some time for me to read because of my poor english. lol
I've tried the translator and it's really good but I'll try to do without using it.
Have a great week

Leni Qinan said...

Hi again, Dick!

Thanks for visiting and commenting. In all honesty, I don't think your English is poor, but I'm glad the translator was useful.

I wish I could do like the flowers of Texel: They can say a lot without words. I love them.

Have a nice week too. :)

PS.- By the way, your new pic is cool, I love blue-grey-green eyes!

Grass said...

whoah, this story is becoming more sinister sis. Gosh, Mr. Moon did sound serious about the deal, serious enough to burn Ed's business to smoldering ruins and kidnap the love-of-his-life.. tsk tsk

like you, i also had a boogeyman in my room whose form, strangely enough was similar to Dracula's. I remember I had constant dreams of him haunting me in floating casket.. yikes! I guess it's normal for kids to imagine these things.. but you are right, we have ways of dealing with them and getting over the fear.. :-)


xxx

Fernando said...

Me está encantando esta historia, creo que me haré fan de Jaimito Luna.

Me recordaste a Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

Buena semana, LeTi.

Un beso.

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Grass!

Yes, Mr. Moon is a very dark man indeed and the deal sounds like it’s something BIG. It seems that Ed has to do something now, or things will get quite difficult for me. And I still don’t know what was the deal about –next post-. So the ball is on his roof.

Wow, you too had a boogeyman! That’s so scary! It’s not strange among kids from 2 to 6 years old to have night terror and nightmares –I hope Guge doesn’t-. I remember it very vividly, and something even more scary: my grandpa (who had died before I was born) appeared in my dreams and tried to calm me down (which was even worse, causing me more panic). Hopefully it all disappeared when I grew up.

Take care, sis. Big hug.

Leni Qinan said...

Hola Fernan!

Muchísimas gracias por el piropo literario –la comparación con el Gran C.R. Zafón, Sandwichiano como yo, me ha alegrado el día-. Ojalá algún día yo llegara a escribir la mitad de bien que él.

Me alegro de que te guste la historia –ya te voy pillando el aire, ;)- y Jaimito Luna es un caballero oscuro, muy solemne y cabal, pero peligrosísimo, como podrás ver próximamente.

Un besazo y buena semana a ti también.

Leni Qinan said...

TRANSLATION FERNANDO/LENI:

Fernando said...

I’m really loving this story. I think I’ll become a fan of Jimmy Moon’s. You reminded me of Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

Have a nice week LeTi.

Kiss.


Leni said…

Hi Fernan!

Thank you very much for the literary compliment –the comparison with C.R. Zafón the Great, Sandwichian like me, has brightened up my day-. I wish I could be half as good as he is.

I’m glad to read that you liked the story –I think I’m getting your style- and Jimmy Moon is a dark man, very solemn and upright, but very dangerous too, as you will be able to see soon.

Big kiss and nice week to you too.

Mr Coppens said...

Your nightmares and images were disturbing..further compounded by that video..
Bjork is soo weird eh?

I appreciate that you chose Bergman's Seventh Seal over Demi Moore's Seventh Sign...that would have been way too scary!

INNER VOICES said...

wow... am a bit nervous for you...

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Donn!

My nightmares were scary indeed. I still remember them. It was like Stephen King’s horrific books. Luckily they stopped soon.

Yeah Bjork is weird, and I like her a lot. You’ll find many of her songs in this blog. I like her because she’s creative, intense and daring. She has a touch of naughtiness that I really like, but yes I reckon she’s weird, hahah. I saw her in concert last year and she was wonderful.

Bergman’s Seventh Seal was such a tempting reference, Donn! I saw that film when I was just a kid and I was really impressed by the Death character. Not so sure about Demi Moore’s Seventh Sign, hahaha.

Take care!

Leni Qinan said...

Hello IV!

Nervous? You? (I can't believe it!)

Hm… well, I hope some White Night will save me! Chivalry hasn’t died yet, I hope (please say it hasn’t or I’ll start feeling a bit nervous too!). ;))

Grass said...

That story about your grandpa reminds of something similar that happened to me when I was still an infant.. My parents told me that my grandpa took me in his hand and put me beside my sleeping parents. But the thing is, my grandpa was dead for years before I was born. Mommy was so surprised to see me crying beside her when she remembered putting me in my crib before she slept beside my dad.. hmmmmm.. my parents never forgot about it and they told me when I was older....


hmmmmmm...

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Grass!

I see, similar scary memory. Were you really frightened? Grandpas and grandmas are supposed to be wonderful and the most loving persons to their grandkids, after their parents –sometimes even more, they have the experience and the necessary calm and wiseness to educate kids-. But to deal with the figure of a dead grandpa is too much for a small child, I think. At least, it was for me.

I was very scared indeed. I remember perfectly how my grandad –whom I never knew- appeared in my dreams and he would whisper to me ‘don’t be afraid’, but I always was in a panic until his face disappeared and I woke up all covered with sweat, crying. My nightmares finished when I was some 5-6 years old. I never gave them a supernatural meaning.

Big kiss+hug, 4 u & Gugu, sis.

max said...

Leni… Leni…

I always thought there was something fishy with Ed. He’s a real catch, I know, but he has huge debts with the Hell people and now there's something strange with Jimmy Moon too-. (Why do you fancy weird guys that much?)

Jimmy sounds like he’s very offended by Ed’s behaviour (I can’t wait to read what’s the deal about). I’m quite nervous about you.

Take care, please. ;)

Crabtree said...

Encore inspiré mais cette fois par ce poème de Paul ELUARD inspiré par sa fille de 10 ans

La terre est bleue comme une orange...

La terre est bleue comme une orange
Jamais une erreur les mots ne mentent pas
Ils ne vous donnent plus à chanter
Au tour des baisers de s’entendre
Les fous et les amours
Elle sa bouche d’alliance
Tous les secrets tous les sourires
Et quels vêtements d’indulgence
À la croire toute nue.

Les guêpes fleurissent vert
L’aube se passe autour du cou
Un collier de fenêtres
Des ailes couvrent les feuilles
Tu as toutes les joies solaires
Tout le soleil sur la terre
Sur les chemins de ta beauté.

Œil de sourd
Faites mon portait.
Il se modifiera pour remplir tous les vides.
Faites mon portrait sans bruit, seul le silence,
A moins que - s'il - sauf - excepté -
Je ne vous entends pas.

Il s'agit, il ne s'agit plus.
Je voudrais ressembler -
Fâcheuse coïncidence, entre autres grandes affaires.
Sans fatigue, têtes nouées
Aux mains de mon activité

la peur a de nombreuses facettes !!

l’espoir d’un monde nouveau, de citées nouvelles et d’une vie meilleure et plus sage ,ou au contraire, des espaces inconnus font peur, font rejaillir la crainte de l’autre, celui qui pourrait faire du mal, la crainte d’un avenir incertain, source de nouvelles dominations...?

Roberto said...

Hola Leni,

I have returned of a trip now and I will travel again out of Spain soon (by the way, to a place that I am sure you love), but I promise you I will read anxiously your new "delivery" asap.

Kss (y que no pases demasiado frío en tus islas...uff)

Leni Qinan said...

Dear Maxi,

1-I hope Ed has his reasons for doing the things he does.

2-He’s a real catch, but he won’t catch me with all his money. What I really like is his mind and his soul.

3-Why do I fancy weird guys that much: because they’re different. I like beautiful freaks. They’re not just like the others.

4-You’re nervous about me. Don’t be. It’s bad for your health. ;)

Big hug. Thanks for caring.

Leni Qinan said...

Bonjour Crabtree,

Merci pour ce beau surréaliste poème de Paul Eluard avec la ‘mise en paroles’ des peurs de sa fille et vos considérations sur la peur.

À mon avis, ce qui nous cause la pire angoisse est l’inconnu et l’incertitude. Ça c’est la peur en état pur.

Peur de perdre l’amour, la liberté et la joie.

On verra ce qui arrive au futur proche.

(*pousse un soupir et fait au revoir de la main*)

Leni Qinan said...

TRANSLATION CRABTREE/LENI:

Crabtree said…

Still inspired, but this time by this poem from Paul Eluard, in turn inspired by his 10-year old daughter:

The Earth is blue like an orange
Never a mistake words do not lie
They no longer give you cause to sing
It' kisses' turn to get along
The madmen and the loves
She her wedding-ring mouth
All the secrets all the smiles
And what garments of indulgence
To believe her quite naked

The wasps are flowering green
The dawn is worn around the neck
A necklace of windows
Wings cover the leaves
You have all the solar joys
All the sunlight over the Earth
On the roads of your beauty
Eye of a deaf person
Make my portrait.
It will change to fill all the vacuums.
Made my portrait without noise, only silence,
Unless - if - except - I do not hear you.
It’s the matter, it’s not the matter.
I would like to resemble
Annoying coincidence, among other big businesses.
Without tiredness,
heads tied with the hands of my activity

Fear has so many different shapes!
The hope of a new world, new cities and a better and wiser life, or on the contrary: the unknown places are scary, they bring back the fear of others, that which could make evil, the fear of a dubious future, source of new dominations…?


Leni said…

Good morning Crabtree,
Thank you for this surreal and beautiful poem of Paul Eluard with the literary exercise about his daughter’s fears and your considerations about fear.
In my opinion, uncertainty and fear of the unknown is what causes the worst feeling of anguish. That’s pure fear.
Fear of losing love, freedom and happiness.
We’ll see what happens in the near future.

(*sighs and waves goodbye*)

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Roberto! (*smiles a big smile*)

Wow! What a hectic life you lead! I hope at least that you can enjoy your trips –traveling for business (as I presume you’re doing) is sometimes very stressful- So take it easy, and try to enjoy it.

Or is your trip for pleasure? Are you on holidays?

By the way, I’m intrigued: where’s that lovely place you’re traveling to? (*scratches her chin and thinks… Paris? New York? Tokio?*). OOOOOh tell me! I’m so curious!

I used to travel for work too in the past. But luckily, not now (South Georgia Islands and Burdishland were my most frequent destinations –hahaha find the equivalent in real life, that will be very fun!).

No hurry to read the story, Roberto. This week I’m real busy and I won’t be posting again until Sunday, I think. So I can wait for you.

Take it easy, and try to enjoy your trip. I’ll be warm, safe and sound at the ice flowers fields.

Big kiss, take care, and see you soon.:)

ysfb said...

That one was deep. I had to read it a few times, kept me thinking.

Leni Qinan said...

Hi YSFB!

Thanks, but take care: All thinking and no playing makes the sick one grow sicker, hahaha.

Btw, very very nice new pic of yours -you look a lot better than the red Che Guevara The Great!-.

(*grins and goes back to work, where she should be right now*)