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lunes, 1 de julio de 2019

Heretics and Idiots

Für Cielo, an amused muse.

Heretics and Idiots:

            Coordinate your legs! Do not fall!
Run, run, run for your life! Don’t throw up that beer, you paid for it!
Run, faster! Run!
Her legs burnt, her lungs started failing and she couldn’t catch her breath, every movement felt like headache and, in the middle of her drunkenness, the world didn’t seem to know where it was.
Skin like parchment, muscle and sinew strings, clotted blood after her and her iron, stained and shiny, defying the moon. They growled, coming on her heels.
And she, determined, stared at that gate before her, as the ground under her feet looked to be following another way.
In a time like that, they were faster than her, and she knew it.
High grass passed her by like a dark blur. Her sword finished two of them standing in her way, the sister’s movements were perfect, although, she burped when exhaling as she thrusted her blade at one of them. Surprisingly, she also killed a third one when hauling her sword out from the second undead skull.
She kept on running, more tired. She hit the door with her body, unable to stop. She opened it. She closed it. She used herself to barricade it.
Where she was?
Chairs, tables, wall made of stone… ¿a lounge?
–Twelve chimes on the other side of reality… –a man was sitting over there, absent-mindedly looking to the infinite.
–The dead are going to break through! –she shouted–. We need to bar this gate!
–…souls gather before the primeval fear…
–Hey, asshole, help me out!
–…the horned lords shall bow their heads…
She needed to find an escape route, they would probably get distracted with that madman, giving her time enough to run away without being followed.
Moonlight, as it passed through their thick glass, coloured the floor in darkness.
The dead banged at the door and at the stained glass windows. She wasn’t sure she could hold on much longer.
She saw a postern.
And she plunged at it.
And that door opened.
A staff casted an intense pale blue glow, glimmering still as no fire could ever do. The dead instantly froze.
–I need your help –said a young man voice–. Are you drunk?

That madman didn’t stop blathering and the necromancer, visibly fascinated, started to take notes.
Zoe, in that unreal situation, decided to vomit.
Sombra, her crow, managed to get through and join her. It cawed as it flew from her shoulder to the nearby tables.
Long minutes after that Zoe addressed the necromancer:
–Aatami, what are you doing here? Why in hell did you kill these people?
–I did it in self-defence –he answered plainly.
–Against librarians? Do you really want to convince me you didn’t set up and scenario in which you didn’t foresee them assailing you?
–I guess the show is part of the job: black clothes, skulls… people like to know what to expect –he laughed–. If I am robbed, does that mean that I am asking for it?
She looked at him, annoyed.
–They attacked me when having sight of my staff –he said, now noticeably angry–. I asked them if I could commence certain readings and they attacked me –he insisted–. This is a library and I wanted to read and I wanted nobody to kill me because of it. I honestly thought this was the proper place for that –he defended himself, showing her a book out from his cloak.
She counted those corpses on the floor.
–Hey, and about the fifteenth librarian… –she mentioned–, was it also in self-defence?
–Perhaps you find it hard to believe but, I promise you, it wasn’t a turn-based combat.
–I’m sorry, I’m not used to take the necromancers’ side: I hunt you –she explained–. I hunt you all and your creations –her crow cawed–. Do you think there are no reasons to destroy you all?
–That answer requires from certain nuances and that is precisely why I am here. Do you fancy a tea?
–Of course.
–That man picked my interest. He can be either an oracle or just insane. We’ll bring him with us. Someone should feed him. As we get out, could you please kill those zombies?

She glared at the bruised and fractured face of that last zombie standing on the field, face to face, her choked breathing as a sign of her exhaustion. That dead body was shredded skin, traces of muscle and bone. The female undead stood completely still. A blood blister on her cheek. A wound in her shoulder, punctured.
Zoe looked in her eyes, for a moment they reflected a plea close to sadness, it was just an instant. It lasted just an instant.

–How can a cabin in the woods be so cosy? –she asked right after Aatami gave her a small glass of tea. They were illuminated by the candlelight.
–Do you know what this man is talking about? –the necromancer queried, observing that strange fellow in a corner.
–I don’t think he does either…
–He’s relating an old prophecy –that madman went on reciting those unfathomable verses.
–The kind that mentions those Highly Unfriendly Gods?
–We called them the Ancient Ones back in the Academy. What do you know about the Church?
–It’s divided in four branches: the Sisterhood of the Death, which I belong to; the War Maidens, who ironically don’t tend to take part in any war; the… Wait a moment, why the hell are you asking about this?
–I incorrectly formulated my question, my apologies. Do you know anything about the Church origins? Why it was created?
–To erase necromancy. Well, the Church of War doesn’t seem to have any purpose other than the practice, and… the Church of Disease works on healing it, and the Famine one is up to alleviate it. But the Sisterhood is the first branch. My sisters and I work making sure dead things stay dead. Judging by your looks, I don’t get a single one right.
–How long have you been a sister?
–I was a little child when I arrived to the monastery, given that I started fighting when I was around fourteen or fifteen years old… I guess I’m a sister since you were born.
–And you never wondered why necromancers are, why they can’t extinguish their own creations, only bring them to a halt?
–Yeah, but when I’m killing them, they can’t give the best answers –Sombra cawed and flapped its black feathers.
–Let’s come back to your Highly Unfriendly Gods. They devastated the world more than a thousand years ago.
–That’s true –she agreed.
–Do you know where they extracted their energy from, which allowed them to access our reality?
–Mmm…
–Have you ever asked yourself how do we necromancers reanimate the dead?
–I hope this isn’t a tricky question. Errr… with magic? –Zoe ventured.
–The dead still have a spark of life we use, to utterly destroy it the Death sisters must finish them.
–Are you telling me that those Highly Unfriendly Gods obtain their energy from the undead?
–No, I’m telling you they obtain that energy from the dead, from all of them. I know it breaks your official tale, but the Church of Death was born along with the Academy of Necromancers to ensure that any remaining energy in every corpse was properly extinguished and, thus, the Old Ones couldn’t make any use of it.
–Are you making such affirmation on any basis?
–Yes, indeed I spent the last two years of my life on gathering documental support for this theory.
Aatami reached a shelf and placed some ominously bulky codices on the table.
Are you making such affirmation on any summarized basis? –she enquired in an alarmed tone of voice–. I won’t read that, no way. Besides, where did you get those books?
–Some of them from the forbidden city of Untersagt. Regarding this one –he said about the book he just borrowed– from the Svalbard Library. I believe they have a shortage of librarians now.
–But what could have happened? Necromancers don’t go around now summoning undead so that my sisters can kill them, I’ve never heard of something like that. In fact, they muster small armies of undead people to achieve their own goals. And reasonably, to defeat those zombies in the long run, we need to face every necromancer we find as well.
–Certainly, what remains today is nothing but a residual tale about ancient rituals, already forgotten. In case my theory is correct, consequences are going to be… lingering, nonetheless. And I love being right, but the only way to be always right is to admit when you’re wrong, so let’s tread carefully.
–Who the fuck would’ve covered something like that?
–Probably nobody, probably everybody.
–Not a very specific answer.
–Honestly, Zoe, I don’t believe there’s a conspiracy to set the Old Ones free, I don’t think there’s anybody to blame for devising an evil plan which will lead us to our extinction. In my opinion men and women forgot their History through centuries of infighting for power, I’ve read about small groups attempting to keep the essence of our struggle or to transform it, I’ve read about frontiers colliding and countries at war which had other priorities to handle provided the Sisterhood of the Death was relatively present. Taking the writings into account, at some point during the fourth century the alliance between the Church and the Academy was so deteriorated that all communication got cut. It is easy to imagine how a black legend around the Academy could have been spread and it’s a reasonable consequence that, after years of vicious prosecution and hunt and constant endeavour to regroup, the necromancers themselves adapted little by little to that narrative. There are copies of these books in Untersagt, meaning that at least a few people kept these records and possibly had some knowledge about how the world looked like after the Old Ones coming.
–I guess the Highly Unfriendly Gods must perceive a lot of energy after the Warming and the Wars Age… why they didn’t come sooner? Our ancestors were famous due to their discoveries and technology, but also for killing and slaving millions of people throughout the centuries.
–I’m afraid I can only offer speculations to you –he answered.
–And what’s the relation between all that and this guy? –interrogated Zoe while looking at that ever muttering man.
–I don’t know, perhaps he lost his sanity, but in case he is an oracle as he looks like… He would be warning us about our close end. It makes sense considering that energy accumulation by the Old Ones is a constant and slow process.
–And what do I have to do with this? –she probed.
–You’re going to help me –Aatami answered–, you’re a legend, aren’t you?.
–Are you crazy?! –she roared–. I am a necromancer’s friend, I’m not the most orthodox Death’s sister, precisely. I might be a legend but they look at me as if I were a weirdo, man! –after some cursing time she managed to calm herself–. You say I must help you. Help you with what? –of course, she was already afraid of the words he was going to pronounce.
–Help me restore the alliance between Church and Academy and find any mean to destroy the Old Ones or reinforce dimensional boundaries –the wizard stated.
–You’re freaking out. And I’m freaking out, you’re telling me the world…
–…is not what it looks like. But it makes sense, am not I right?
They drank their tea, pensively.
At first they didn’t notice, but it was already there.
A deep silence broke through the cabin, so intense that they were capable of hearing their own hearts pumping blood, their breath too loud, their eyelids when blinking, their hair standing on end, their ears clicking while reacting to that absence of any external sound.
Perhaps instinctively, they gazed at the oracle: his body bloated and rippled, his skin darkened, every part of him seemed to get torn off and reassembled. The echo of those abhorrent sounds among the emptiness reverberated inside the heads like a nightmare.
A beast beyond definition had managed to cross in order to devour all sanity.
And the flow of time had ended.


sábado, 1 de junio de 2019

Herejes e idiotas

Para Cielo, an amused muse.

Herejes e idiotas:

¡Coordina las piernas! ¡No te caigas!
¡Corre, corre, corre por tu vida! ¡No vomites la cerveza, que las has pagado!
¡Corre, más rápido! ¡Corre!
Sus piernas ardían, sus pulmones luchaban por dar abasto, cada movimiento dolía en la cabeza y se sentía como si el mundo no supiera dónde quedaba nada en la borrachera.
Piel correosa como pergamino, hebras de músculo y tendón, sangre coagulada y el acero desafiando a la luna entre brillos y manchas. Ellos gruñían, le pisaban los talones.
Y ella observaba con determinación aquella puerta de madera a la que se dirigía mientras el suelo parecía querer ir por otro camino.
En esas circunstancias ellos eran más rápidos que ella y ella lo sabía.
La hierba alta pasaba a su lado como un borrón oscuro. Su espada acabó con dos de los muertos que se interpusieron entre ella y su destino, sus movimientos eran perfectos aunque al soltar aire para dar una estocada eructó. Para su sorpresa hirió a otro zombi en la cabeza al sacar su espada de entre el cráneo del segundo cadáver andante.
Siguió corriendo, más cansada. Se golpeó contra la puerta, incapaz de frenar. La abrió. La cerró. Usó su cuerpo como barricada.
¿Dónde estaba?
Mesas, sillas, paredes de piedra, ¿un comedor?
–Doce tañidos al otro lado de la realidad… –un hombre estaba sentado en una mesa, mirando al infinito.
–¡Los muertos van a entrar –exclamó ella–, necesito atrancar la puerta!
–…las almas se reúnen ante el miedo primordial…
–¡Eh, gilipollas, ayúdame!
–…los señores astados inclinarán sus cabezas…
Necesitaba encontrar una vía de escape, posiblemente se entretendrían con ese loco dándole tiempo para huir sin que la siguieran.
La luz de la luna, al pasar por el grueso cristal, coloreaba el suelo en la oscuridad.
Los muertos golpeaban las puertas y las vidrieras de las ventanas. No estaba segura de poder aguantar mucho más.
Vio una puerta lateral.
Y se lanzó en su dirección.
Y la puerta se abrió.
Un báculo emitía una luz azul intensa y mortecina a la vez, refulgiendo de forma estática como ningún fuego podría. Los muertos se detuvieron al instante.
–Necesito tu ayuda –dijo la voz de un hombre joven–. ¿Estás borracha?

El loco no paraba de hablar y el nigromante, consecuentemente fascinado, comenzó a tomar notas.
Zoe, ante aquella escena surrealista, decidió vomitar.
Sombra, su cuervo, había logrado abrirse camino y llegar hasta ella. Graznaba ocasionalmente mientras volaba desde su hombro hasta las mesas alrededor.
Largos minutos más tarde Zoe se dirigió al nigromante.
–Aatami, ¿qué haces aquí? ¿Por qué demonios has matado a estos hombres?
–Ha sido en defensa propia –contestó llanamente.
–¿Contra unos bibliotecarios? ¿Pretendes que me crea que no has preparado un escenario en el que sabías que te iban a atacar?
–El espectáculo forma parte de la profesión, ya sabes: ropa negra, calaveras… a la gente le gusta saber a qué atenerse –se rio él–. ¿Si me roban es culpa mía, voy provocando?
Ella le miró, irritada.
–Me han atacado al ver mi bastón –dijo él, ahora visiblemente indignado–. Les he preguntado si podía comenzar unas lecturas y me han atacado –insistía él–. Estamos en una biblioteca y yo quería leer y que nadie deseara matarme por ello. Me pareció que éste sería el lugar apropiado, la verdad –se defendió, mostrándole un viejo libro de entre sus ropajes.
Ella contó los cadáveres en el suelo.
–Oye, lo del decimoquinto bibliotecario –comentó Zoe–, ¿también fue en defensa propia?
–Tal vez te cueste creerlo, pero te prometo que no fue un combate por turnos.
–Perdona, no estoy acostumbrada a ponerme del lado del nigromante: yo os doy caza –le explicó, su cuervo liberó un graznido–. ¿Crees que no hay razones para destruiros a todos?
–La respuesta  a esa pregunta requiere de ciertos matices y precisamente por eso estoy aquí, ¿quieres tomar un té?
–Por supuesto.
–Me interesa este hombre: tal vez sea un oráculo o un loco. Nos lo llevamos. Alguien tendrá que darle de comer. Cuando vayamos saliendo, ¿te importa matar a los zombis?

Con el aliento entrecortado por el cansancio, Zoe miró con desprecio el rostro magullado y fracturado de la última zombi que quedaba en pie sobre el campo. Su cuerpo muerto, hecho jirones de piel y atisbos de músculo y hueso, estaba completamente inmóvil. Una costra de sangre reseca cubría una mejilla. Una herida en el hombro lo había perforado.
Zoe la miró a los ojos, por un momento se reflejó en ellos una súplica cercana a la tristeza, sólo fue un instante. Sólo duró un instante.

–¿Cómo puede ser una cabaña en un bosque tan cómoda? –inquirió Zoe mientras Aatami le daba un pequeño vaso de té. La luz de las velas los iluminaba.
–¿Sabes lo que dice este hombre? –interrogó el hechicero, mirando a aquel extraño en un rincón.
–No creo que lo sepa él tampoco.
–Está relatando una antigua profecía –el hombre loco seguía recitando sus versos incomprensibles.
–¿De ésas que hablan de los Dioses Muy Poco Amigables?
–En la Academia tendemos a referirnos a ellos como los Antiguos. ¿Qué sabes de la Iglesia?
–Está dividida en cuatro ramas: la Hermandad de la Muerte, a la que pertenezco; las Doncellas de la Guerra, que irónicamente no suelen participar en ninguna de ellas, las… Espera, ¿por qué demonios me preguntas esto?
–He formulado mal mi pregunta, mis disculpas, ¿sabes algo del origen de la Iglesia? ¿Por qué se creó?
–Porque debíamos luchar contra los nigromantes. Bueno, la Iglesia de la Guerra no parece que tenga ningún propósito en particular aparte de entrenar, y… la Iglesia de la Enfermedad se dedica a curarla y la del Hambre se dedica a paliarla. Pero la Hermandad de la Muerte es la primera. Mis hermanas y yo nos ocupamos de que las cosas muertas sigan en su sitio. A juzgar por cómo me miras no estoy dando ni una.
–¿Cuánto tiempo has sido una hermana?
–Era una niña cuando llegué al monasterio, si me puse a combatir con unos catorce o quince años… supongo que soy una hermana en funciones desde que naciste.
–¿Y nunca te has preguntado el porqué de los nigromantes, por qué no pueden destruir sus propias creaciones, sólo detenerlas?
–Sí, pero cuando les estoy matando no pueden responderme bien –Sombra graznó, aleteando sus plumas negras.
–Volvamos a tus Dioses Muy Poco Amigables. Arrasaron el mundo hace más de mil años.
–Así es –convino ella.
–¿Sabes de dónde extraían la energía que les permitió acceder a nuestra realidad?
–Mmm…
–¿Nunca te has preguntado cómo podemos reanimar a los muertos?
–Espero que no sea una pregunta-trampa. Esto… ¿con magia? –se aventuró Zoe.
–Los muertos tienen una chispa de vida que nosotros utilizamos, para extinguirla totalmente las Hermanas de la Muerte necesitan rematarlos.
–¿Me estás diciendo que los Dioses Muy Poco Amigables extraen energía de los no-muertos?
–No, te estoy diciendo que obtienen la energía de los muertos, de todos en realidad. Tal vez rompa el relato, pero la Iglesia de la Muerte nació junto con la Academia de Nigromantes para asegurarse de que la energía remanente en los cadáveres se extinguía y, así, no podía ser utilizada por los Antiguos.
–¿Tienes alguna base para realizar tal afirmación?
–Sí, de hecho, buscar apoyo documental para defender esta teoría me ha ocupado los últimos dos años de mi vida.
Aatami fue a una estantería, puso varios códices ominosamente gruesos sobre la mesa.
–¿Tienes alguna base resumida para realizar tal afirmación? –inquirió, alarmada–. No pienso leerme todo eso, además, ¿de dónde los has sacado?
–Varios de ellos de la ciudad prohibida de Untersagt. En lo concerniente a éste –dijo respecto del libro que acababa de tomar prestado– de la Biblioteca de Svalbard. Creo que ahora necesitan bibliotecarios.
–¿Pero qué pudo pasar? Los nigromantes ya no conjuran no-muertos para que las hermanas los destruyan, nunca había oído hablar de algo así. De hecho, los nigromantes utilizan pequeños ejércitos de no-muertos para alcanzar sus propios fines. Y, razonablemente, para acabar con los zombis a largo plazo, solemos tener que hacer frente también a aquellos que los conjuran.
–Efectivamente. Lo que queda a día de hoy no es más que un relato residual de las antiguas funciones, ya olvidadas. Si mi teoría es cierta, sin embargo, las consecuencias van a ser… duraderas. Y me encanta tener razón, pero la única forma de tener siempre razón es saber admitir cuándo te equivocas, así que procedamos con cautela.
–¿Quién coño puede haber encubierto algo así?
–Probablemente nadie, probablemente todos.
–No es una respuesta muy concreta.
–Si te soy sincero, Zoe, no creo que sea una conspiración para liberar a los Antiguos, no creo que nadie sea culpable de trazar un plan maligno que nos lleve a nuestra extinción. Creo que los hombres y mujeres han ido olvidando la Historia a través de siglos de luchas internas por el poder, de pequeños grupos que trataban de conservar la esencia de nuestra lucha o también de transformarla, de fronteras en colisión y países en guerra que tenían otras prioridades siempre y cuando la Hermandad de la Muerte estuviera relativamente presente. Teniendo en cuenta los escritos, en algún momento del siglo IV la alianza entre la Iglesia y la Academia estaba tan deteriorada que cortaron las comunicaciones por completo. Resulta fácil imaginar que alguien pudiera construir una leyenda negra alrededor de la Academia de Nigromantes y resulta fácil pensar que los mismos nigromantes, en algún momento y tras años de sangrientas persecuciones e intentos por reagruparse, fueran ajustándose poco a poco a esa narrativa. Hay copias de los libros en Untersagt, de modo que al menos unas pocas personas debieron de conservar alguna idea del mundo tal cual era tras la llegada de los Antiguos.
–Supongo que los Dioses Muy Poco Amigables debieron percibir muchísima energía tras el Calentamiento y la Era de las Guerras… ¿pero por qué no haber venido antes? Nuestros ancestros fueron famosos por sus descubrimientos y su tecnología, pero también por esclavizar y matar a millones de personas a través de los siglos.
–Me temo que sólo puedo ofrecerte especulaciones –respondió él.
–¿Y qué relación tiene este tío con todo esto? –interrogó Zoe, contemplando a ese hombre que no había parado de murmurar incoherencias.
–No lo sé. Puede que sea un hombre que ha perdido la cordura, pero si fuese un oráculo, como parece… Nos estaría alertando de la proximidad del fin. Tiene sentido si pensamos que la acumulación de energía por parte de los Antiguos es lenta y constante.
–¿Y qué pinto yo en todo esto? –indagó ella.
–Tú me vas a ayudar –contestó Aatami–, eres toda una leyenda, ¿no es así?
–¡¿Estás completamente loco?! –exclamó ella–. Soy amiga de un nigromante, no soy precisamente la Hermana de la Muerte más ortodoxa que existe. ¡Seré una leyenda pero me miran como a un bicho raro, tío! –tras unos segundos de soltar maldiciones, consiguió calmarse un poco–. Dices que te voy a ayudar, ¿ayudar a qué? –por supuesto ella ya se temía las palabras que iban a venir a continuación.
–A restaurar la alianza entre la Iglesia y la Academia y buscar un modo de destruir a los Antiguos o reforzar las fronteras dimensionales –afirmó el hechicero.
–Tú flipas. Y yo flipo, me estás diciendo que el mundo…
–…no es lo que parece. Pero tiene más sentido así, ¿verdad?
Bebieron su té, pensativos.
Al principio apenas repararon en ello, pero ya estaba allí.
Un profundo silencio se abrió en la cabaña, tan intenso que eran capaces de oír sus corazones bombeando sangre, su respiración demasiado alta, sus párpados al parpadear, el arrullo de su piel al erizarse el vello y los oídos chasqueando al reaccionar a la ausencia de todo sonido externo.
Tal vez de forma instintiva fijaron su vista en el oráculo: su cuerpo se hinchaba y fluctuaba, su piel se oscurecía, todo parecía romperse y re-ensamblarse en ese cuerpo y el eco de aquel estruendo en medio del vacío reverberaba en sus cabezas como una pesadilla.
Una bestia más allá de toda definición había conseguido cruzar para devorar toda cordura.
Y el fluir del tiempo se había acabado.


miércoles, 1 de mayo de 2019

Todas paseamos por la calle

Todas paseamos por la calle:

Si hubiese ido solo o con amigos lo hubiese entendido mejor, aunque no sé si “entender” es la palabra apropiada.
Supongo que no lo debió de pensar mucho o se le fue un poco la cabeza.
Bueno, ya me diréis vosotras, y vosotros, claro, cómo lo veis.
Yo me había agachado ligeramente y estaba arrastrando una de esas sillas metálicas de terraza por la acera, porque había una mesa libre pero nada para sentarse.
Y noté una mano que me agarraba el culo.
Y en ese momento me quedé en un breve estado de shock, porque a mí aún no me había pasado nada parecido aunque, como tampoco he conocido jamás a ninguna mujer que no haya sufrido abundantes abusos y acosos a lo largo de su vida, estaba mentalizada.
La calle no estaba muy transitada, inequívocamente había sido él.
Y él iba con una chica, así que durante un segundo más o menos estuve tratando de asimilar la situación. Esas cosas las hacen los machos cuando van solos o en manada, y, en general, no de día… ¡Y no acompañados de mujeres!
–¡No me toques el culo! –grité cuando me recompuse. Nadie se dio por aludido, en realidad casi parecía que estaba hablando sola, así que corrí un poco para salvar esos escasos metros que nos separaban y me puse frente a él.
–¡Tú, hijo de puta –me presenté, educada–, me has tocado el culo!
La chica le miró incrédulo y él lo negó.
–¿Pero ha sido un roce o…? –dudó ella.
–Ha sido un: “te agarro el culo bien fuerte”, ¿sales mucho con este imbécil?
–¡Esta puta loca está mintiendo! –se quejó él, creo que algo disgustado al ver mi cara porque debía estar pensando que, encima, con mis treinta y muchos años era demasiado vieja o demasiado fea, o alguna mierda de ésas.
En cualquier caso no debían de llevar mucho tiempo saliendo, conociéndose o siendo amigos porque la chica le miró como si fuera un perfecto gilipollas. Normal, anda que decir eso… Todavía un: “debe haber sido un malentendido”, o algo así hubiera podido hacerle ganar unos segundos, tal vez la discusión.
–Ya no –respondió ella tras pensárselo un poco–. Por favor, no vuelvas a llamarme –se despidió de él.
Y él tuvo la decencia de marcharse y, supongo que como ya no tenía nada que perder, gruñó:
–Zorra –tampoco a un volumen demasiado alto, el pobre debía de sentir su orgullo masculino herido.
Pero se fue y, mirad, mejor así.
Me da la sensación, según lo escribo, de que todo era un poco más surrealista de lo normal. Pero sólo un poco, porque la realidad ya es una puta locura.
En fin, yo estaba bastante cabreada y la chica, bastante decepcionada, a juzgar por su expresión.
–No te preocupes –le dije–, eres joven, cuando tengas mi edad verás a los capullos de lejos. De todas formas una… Siempre es complicado ver a través de una persona que está intentando impresionarte.
–Dios, soy… –iba a lamentarse ella.
–No –la corté–, no lo eres. Ni tú ni yo tenemos la culpa. ¿Quieres tomar algo? Te invito.
–Ufff… –dijo rindiéndose sobre la silla–. Muchas gracias.
–Bueno –suspiré con un alivio incómodo–, ha sido la primera vez que me acosan por la calle. Menuda mierda.
–¿La primera? –en ese punto a la pobre casi se le cortocircuita el cerebro, lo juro.
–Soy transexual… ¡he perdido mis privilegios! –la sonreí.
–¿Eres transexual? –repitió incrédula–. No se te nota.
–Es un cumplido bienintencionado y… bastante ofensivo, pero no te preocupes: es complicado acertar –asentí.
–Jo, perdona.
–No te preocupes, simplemente intenta pensar que soy una mujer y no un pato espacial y todo irá bien.
–Entonces –se le iluminó la cara–, si te dicen cosas como: “te maquillas mejor que yo”, eso no te sienta bien, ¿no?
Yo me reí y la respondí:
–Implicaría que no soy una mujer pero puedo hacer algo que es propio de mujeres, no sé cuál de las dos partes de la frase es peor.
Ella se rio, no era una risa amarga, pero el peso de la normalidad la aplastaba. El camarero vino.
–¿Qué desean? –quiso saber con una amabilidad muy profesional.
–Pide lo que quieras –le ofrecí.
–Ponme una 1906, por favor –se decidió ella.
–A mí, una Coca-Cola –dije a mi vez.
–¿Light? –me preguntó el camarero. Y yo me quedé un poco así, ya sabéis, aunque le contesté rapidito:
–Normal, gracias.
–Micro-machismos –me susurró ella.
Y, como no nos apetecía llorar, nos echamos a reír.


lunes, 1 de abril de 2019

In the Name of God

Rock me like the Devil
Whip your tail and turn me on
Turn me to eleven
Leave me burning when you’re gone
CRUCIFIED BARBARA.

In the Name of God:

It was raining and the traveller needed some rest.
That inn didn’t look particularly crowded, but there were many men inside and many eyes on her, and, had it not been for that sword she carried, she would’ve liked to disappear, shrink and pass as unnoticed as she could.
Unfortunately one of the regulars who looked like a good man sat by her side while this traveller ate cheese and drank wine. He didn’t mention she was a woman, nor pointed the fact that she was wandering this world by her own. He was just telling her a story, again, he looked like a good man.
It was claimed that a curse had spread through these lands, a curse whereby children were born without a soul.
–Yeah, everything is the hag’s fault. She brought those children to this world, they cannot even smile nor talk either, they look like dea…
–Wait –the drifter, Candelaria was her name, interrupted him–, are you saying this witch was also those children midwife? –she enquired, not believing it.
–Well –the man started, visibly uncomfortable–, we didn’t know she was a witch back then… We could’ve had imagined it, though! That old hag, she never had a husband… that’s not a good sign.
Have you realised yet? God created the man in his own image –Lilim’s voice inside her head slid like honey, its incontrollable yearning for a little fun twisted an obscene moaning, savouring her irreverent desire in need of something to lick–. What are you going to do with those children, my life? Do you care for them? –she found an answer with great determination in it–. I like it, every one of your heartbeats is exquisite… –she said on the verge of drowning in an ocean of pleasure, unable to restrain her thirst.
–What are you people doing with those children –the traveller asked, concerned, while striving to ignore Lilim’s words and power over everything laying under her skin.
–It seems to be demons doing, we called an Inquisitor, a certain Alonso García, with the mayor leave, of course, as it should be.
–This Inquisitor, when does he arrive? –Candelaria interrogated, perhaps too tense, too unsettled.
–A bunch of questions for an outsider you got there –the good man answered, distrusting her now, his kindness had gone.
Take care, Candela, we don’t want your delicious tongue to get chopped off, in case that sword of yours can’t protects it, I will be your body’s secrets safeguard, however, you know I would rather say inside –Lilim burst in a liquid laughter. Her unquenchable craving ensnared the traveller thoughts, spilling out and running over each letter pronounced in her mind, the human body started to turn on as Candelaria struggled not to take her hands down to her belly and then keep going, not there, not in public, she praised to Lilim–. You’re right… It’s dangerous… –the fire could only be extinguished with a lot of effort–. Ask for the elderly woman, my love. We’ll see if she have met a demon or it is only a case of mere humanity.

That path could be easily followed and the forest slightly protected her from the rain.
–You said “a case of mere humanity” before –Candelaria ventured, feeling somehow confused.
Lilim’s voice appeared again in her mind, like a hungry caress, with no desire to dominate any outburst:
There’s nothing more humane than pointing at whom is different, love.
–Maybe finishing them before even pointing at them –her lover betted.
The traveller arrived to a humble hut in a clearing.
It was so small that the woods would have engulf it if it hadn’t been for a fence around it, a brook and, possibly, a goat looking at her with herbivore curiosity.
Candelaria knocked the hut’s door four times.
–Oh, my! –the old lady exclaimed after opening–. You’re drenched, come on in! –she commanded.
–Thank you very much –said the drifter timidly.
–Sit by the fire. I hope you do like soup, I have no teeth and it’s the only thing I cook –she stated drily.
It wasn’t a big room: a hearth, a cauldron, herbs and spices, cold meat, a rabbit hanging from a beam and a goat rug in a corner.
Above the fire, on a ledge, there were books. Some of them written in Latin or, at least, that was what the traveller though, it was hard for her to recognise the language.
–A thousand thanks, mistress.
–My name is Nieves, from the town of Frias.
The old lady stopped at once, she looked alarmed.
–You wear a sword in that belt of yours –she pointed out.
–I resolved to come back from hell in order to be free. Not a slave of any man, nor a serf to any god –she unlaced her sheathe and leaned the sword aside the door–. I heard you’re the town’s midwife.
–You also have heard that they are displeased about those children. And that they blame me for it, in spite of most of the fact that the children are perfectly healthy. And those whom they that much speak about, they’re healthy as well, some of them will be even able to talk.
–Townsfolk say those sons and daughters don’t smile, that they look as if they were dead.
–Nonsense! They communicate with animals, and regarding humans they only need some practice.
–You’ve just suggested some of them wouldn’t be able to speak.
–I’ve said it crystal clear –she sharply said–. That doesn’t make them worse than anybody else.
–Those people asked for the Inquisition’s aid, soon a Holy Office delegate will be here to investigate this matter.
–Do you know what that means? –the old lady questioned.
–You will be burn at the stake for witchcraft though there’s no magic in this house and they’ll kill those children under any excuse of demonic possession.
–I’ve seen similar offspring growing –the elderly woman said while giving the traveller a bowl of soup and taking another one herself–. Some of them seem to be like children forever, and, at the same time, great sages. Some cannot talk and yet they’re able to read. Most of them avoid people and any human contact, or perhaps they want it but they don’t understand it. People don’t understand them either. But whenever they love someone they just don’t forget about that bond. And they never forget their word. Yes, they are eccentric and sometimes you need to explain some things in detail and, probably, a few times, yet they are no evil, let alone the devil’s sons and daughters. Although, what could men know about this… –she sipped her soup–. There are too many things beyond what eyes can see –the lady commented, a bit surly–. Knowledge takes always the form of an interrogation. Either way, your friend is very quiet. As far as I know about them, that’s uncommon.
Granny, it’s only because I’m in need of enjoying some minutes alone with my lover and, frankly, I’m starting getting nervous –a naughty and perhaps threatening giggle was heard, her tongue smacking her lips as she spoke through Candela’s body, with a different voice, lower and growler–. Do not worry, we feel grateful for your hospitality, we will head to the forest –she managed to say, barley capable of dominate herself, putting off her bodice.
The elderly gave thanks for that bodice wasn’t the last clothe the traveller wore, but the first.
–I’ll wait outside, the sun came back and I have some chores to deal with –Nieves decided–. I would like to say that goat rug is comfortable –she closed the door behind her.
–Hold my hands, my love, take my body –the pilgrim asked, being pure fire ablaze under her skin. Lilim was about to burn her lover’s garments, Candelaria hardly could take off her shoes, put off those breeches and get rid of that jerkin, she sweated, she longed. She wished to be her fingertips sliding on that body for what she defied every power, she desired to kiss that mind with which she abandoned the hell itself. Her fingers wandered through every corner of her desperate and wet body.
Lilim emerged over her with those horns, that tail, and her back wounded where her wings should have been, now lost for her lover. Lilim was kissing her lips, her lit up cheeks, her neck, her navel, kissing her between her legs. Minutes expanded when their tongues sought one another in kisses. Her movements and Candelaria’s merged into one unleashed rippling rhythm, harmonizing every thrust and every touch in one caress, being every vibration in the other’s body, trembling in crescendo, the one keeping in step with the other’s faltering breathing, catching their desire in a hasty kiss before it fled among sighs, being delighted in an orgasm echo at the lips’ edge.
The hearth’s fire crackled and intensified as they cried out of pleasure, they were tightened bodies in a horror vacui of sheer satisfied desire that left them burning nonetheless.
Didn’t you know? You should not take the Lord’s name in vain –she managed to say panting a smile.
–Why not? Priests do it all the time –Lilim guffawed.
They leaned back, one beside the other, trying to look for a comfortable position while hugging each other.
Sex is to the skin what love is to the heart –she said as she kissed the human.
–Lilim, you’re the sweetest outcast from all hell.
I know… –she claimed while laughing, not hiding her reborn thirst breaking free again.
Nieves was outside, sat by the stream, indulging in that golden evening after the rain and reflecting on how stupid it was that someone, having this person heard what she did that twilight, would have set fire to the hut with its occupants inside.
“The soup is good” she thought, staring at the empty bowl resting on a stone.
Candelaria got out with her own bowl in her hands, a red face and her hair in a mess. She was smiling.
–The soup is very tasty, thank you very much –the traveller said, feeling a bit of embarrassment.
Nieves let out a loud laugh.

There were only four children: Ana, four years old, the little philosopher: Federico, he was three and couldn’t speak but Ana was secretly teaching him how to read; Manuel, nothing but a new-born that never smiled and Mercedes, who was two years old and seemed to be permanently lost in her own world.
Their mothers were with them. Ana and Manuel mother looked troubled by almost every possible consequence she could think of, she tried to hide her tears. In Federico and in Mercedes mothers’ faces only rejection could be read.
They were taken to Alonso García, delegate of the Holy Office.
All the village gathered to know what would happen with the doomed children. The mayor was present as well.
There was a beaten up dog which didn’t separate from Federico, his mother stared at that animal with the same disgust she showed to her son.
Candelaria rushed to the church gates, where she was told she would find the Inquisitor. Nieves went after her, greeting the children.
–Are you the deceitful witch who created these monstrosities? –the Inquisitor probed.
The surrounding townsfolk started murmuring.
–I’m a midwife and nothing else until God speaks a word.
–And you? –he asked to the foreigner.
–Just a traveller.
The surrounding townsfolk kept on murmuring.
–What about that blade? –he said pointing at that sword she wore.
–I’m of noble birth and lineage –she unwillingly clarified, and every chit-chat turned into silence.
–You don’t look as such –words could be spat too.
–Hidalga they call me those who ignore my name: Candelaria de León. I travel and write about my encounters on the roads, since nothing can be obtain from my household lands. And I have papers which corroborate my words –she handed them to the Inquisitor, he didn’t look impressed by their authenticity–. Either way, my blade proved itself to be a great ally before adversity.
–And have you something to say in this matter?
–This woman, Nieves, had been helping these townspeople for years to give birth. These four descendants are different from the rest indeed, they are only four out of a hundred nevertheless, there’s no reason to think she has anything to do with it. There’s no gain in it for her yet these infants are as healthy as any other.
–They don’t respond whenever they’re called and can’t smile.
–Nobody should summarize the complexity of a human life in a prejudice –she replied –. Nor condemn this life because of it.
–That doesn’t prove these children not being a fault for our sins.
–Sir –the high-pitched voice of Ana called him–, I know how to read and I’m teaching Federico each letter in the alphabet. We don’t like the company of those who doesn’t care about understanding us, given that they laugh at us and beat us, however we do no harm to men nor beasts and follow the Lord’s tenets, how could that be wrong?
–Such intelligence in a woman, no matter her age and height, can only be the Evil’s doing.
The children’s mothers got scared due to different reasons. Also the townsfolk were freighted thinking that Satan had made his way to their small village.
Ana looked at them with curiosity.
The Inquisitor turned to Nieves.
–You are a witch and you’ll be judged for it –the man stated, placing a candle on the floor–. This is a quick and simple judgment method for I have a lot of souls to try today: in case the candle gets extinguished, you’ll be purified by the fire, I mean, another fire, a bigger one if possible –Alonso García called the parish priest who, with a shacking hand due to his long age, tried to guard the lit candle he carried against the wind.
Nieves thought she was going to die. The men had grabbed her so that she couldn’t escape.
Lilim’s laughter twinkled in Candelaria’s mind.
Flames flow through your skin made immortal, love –she commented with an excitement that overflowed from her contained desire–. Do you think we can keep that candle lit against wind and fear?
–Should God didn’t allow you to judge these children –Candelaria addressed the Inquisitor–, if He clearly prevented that from happening, would you leave this town?
–And how could God prevent such a thing, exactly?

Time went on idly, perhaps it had completely stopped in order to watch the demon who dwelled inside that traveller’s mind.
Lilim leaned out from behind Candelaria’s body, invisible on the human side of reality.
That’s so adorable… –she started feeling horny again, perhaps because the situation was funny to her, laughing dark and mischievously–, an angelical virtue ready to kill some tiny humans. So small that our winged hero must make use of a full-grown adult to undertake such a deed and not get his hands dirty of mortal blood –she enjoyed every word as if they were secrets crushing against a body surrendering to pleasure.
–HOW DARE YOU TO INSULT ME, LEASING-MONGER!
You haven’t taste the forbidden fruit: knowledge is a question, not an answer, and that cowardice you display is not an insult, only a consequence –she said while she laugh and pretended an angelical innocence somehow blended with a free lechery engraved into stone–. Yet what could we wait from whom serve that psychopath creator of the world? Your devotion for control and order makes you afraid, angel.
–SILENCE, DEMON! I AM A VIRTUE OF THE ANGELICAL HIERARCHY!
I am Lilim, daughter of Lilith –she declared, jaded– and you are nothing –the light emitted by the angel seemed to wane, his wings were more visible now, the same wings Lilim renounced to. She didn’t needed them.
The angel flew over her with intent to attack her.
The demon considered quite healthy to burn those feathers with the power of hellfire, that creature was getting on her nerves.
The angel fell and Lilim got down over him on all four, with her devil tail in movement, caressing that subdued angel lips, his neck, his chest as he tried unsuccessfully to break free.
Such a pity –she uttered, sad and hot over him.
Then she put her fingers together as if they were a sword’s blade and punctured the angel’s thorax tearing off his heart as she chortled, just to destroy it right afterwards under the pressure of her fist.
Oh, human, if you need a god in order to be good, you must go to the hell he created for you…

In the humans world Alonso García started to cry to the presents’ surprise. The candle was still lit despite the wind and he looked exhausted.
He fell on his knees, it was difficult for him to breathe. Candelaria seized him on time before he hit the ground.
The little Federico began to strike his head, there were too many people and he couldn’t think: he needed to focus on a point, on each strike, in order to sieve external stimuli from his own thoughts. The dog calmed him down and he hugged it.
That candle was still lit in front of everyone.
Lilim wanted to add a certain dramatic effect and she illuminated the church cross for some seconds with a dazzling light.
The whole townsfolk prostrated themselves in reverence. The demon couldn’t stop laughing inside her dear partner’s mind.
The inquisitor looked sideways at the church, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
And so? the pilgrim inquired. The candle is shining, the cross showed the very light of Heavens and your mercy was not allowed to proceed with the judgement.
The man stared at the traveller in bewilderment.
She let politely some second pass but the traveller didn’t get an answer.
Somebody give him nourishment and a bed! she shouted. Some terrified men approached and, pale as corpses, took the Inquisitor into a house.
The mother of Ana and Manuel, burst into relieved tears as she told Mercedes and Federico to come visit whenever they wanted. She looked at the traveller with profound gratitude and the latter smiled before coming back to her own business.
You are the mayor, isn’t that so? Candela probed a man among the crowd. We have to talk.

The next evening Candelaria stared at the stream beside Nieves hut, where she stayed overnight, having thanked the midwife a thousand times her hospitality and dedication.
Thanks for helping me, Lil. I don’t think I could’ve convinced that man about anything and, haven’t you been there, those boys and girls and Nieves would be dead by now.
No idea should be above human life.
Then the notion of sin is God’s insanity.
It isn’t a bad plan: god creates the sinner, he punishes him for his sins and, subsequently, that lord promises him salvation in exchange for eternal adoration.
After biting the apple you cannot believe that it is still possible to kill for justice, to punish for love her lover agreed, the demon was happy.
Believe me, you are the closest being to a goddess I’ve met in all my eternity each word merging into that lust Lilim’s teeth trapped. On your knees.
Candelaria smiled, naughty.