On Tuesday morning, around 10AM, I heard the first glimpse of eternity. It was my second holiday day. I was standing between cereals and pickle jars and somewhere above me a voice tried to convince me to buy slabs of steak that I had seen and that looked unhealthily red. When I saw those steaks a sick cramp formed in my stomach. Humanity has degenerated to the point that meat must be pumped with salt and chemicals to look red as we have grown so accustomed to colored food that we don’t even know anymore that flesh, after being drained of blood, is gray.
I picked a pack of sugared cereal off the shelf and it began. There was no warning. Just one voice stinging through the normal bustle of the shop. It sounded like a young screaming child that quickly ran towards me. I looked around to see the child until I heard it right in front of me but still could see nothing. Then, one after the other, more voices joined in, a choir of pained screams that grew in number and loudness by the second.
My forehead was slammed repeatedly against cold linoleum until one of the clerks did the last nice thing anybody will ever do for me. She pushed a pack of marshmallows between my head and the floor. I slammed my head into the pack rather than the floor. My hands were still pressed on my ears and I kept screaming for the voices to stop. Continue reading →
They made me swear by their lives. I have sworn never to tell – or else. Now it’s too late. It’s all too late.
I was married. We were happy. We had two children. I think we still do, but I’m not so sure.
The bank I worked at was just a small branch. An Italian name, if you must know. I worked first at the counter, then they promoted me. Back office. Deputy manager. Manager. All that within a year.
And then the men came. There were four of them and they opened an account for a small company. I don’t know why i had the account number written on my notebook. I must have told it to them or maybe they asked me to write it down. I wish I’d remember.
I checked just out of curiosity. It’s something I did – not often, but once or twice a day. When a customer looks interesting and you are curious who they are – nothing is more enlightening to check their account.
The account was not even a day open. 700 million. Seven Zero Zero Million Dollar.
The money came from different accounts, not just one or two – hundreds of them. Continue reading →
The fever hit me without a warning. I got up in the morning, had breakfast and went to the flea market. After a good look at a lot of old junk – books, games, old computers and even a massage chair that was so uncomfortable that actually hurt rather than massaged my neck – I bought nothing except two old recipe books. I bought cake from a cheerful young man at a small stall.
I was on the bus, with the books in a cotton bag on the seat to my left, when I noticed sweat dripping from my forehead.
By the time the recorded voice read the name of my stop the world was behind a thin white veil. I felt my heavy head, the cold Buddha necklace dangling against my chest and the shaking bus. Barely able to hold my balance I got off my seat. My hand tried to grab the cotton bag but missed it two or three times. The bus doors were already closing and reopened when I banged my head against them. The bus driver called something in my direction that I didn’t understand.
I don’t remember walking home. All I remember is how heavy my feet felt and that with every passing moment the world became more blurry. Continue reading →