The Lizard Under the Pillow

Publicado el 19 de mayo de 2023, 13:55


On the 22nd of December 2008


      I was lost, that I knew, and as I sat on the cold cracked pavement I realised something that I had never been able to see before; I was alone. The night was closing in on me, and I became invisible. No one could see me because no one took notice of me, and as I began to feel the crisp, cold air smacking across my face and crawling into my little skirt and shirt, I became tired, but not the kind that is felt by lack of sleep; maybe so too, but it was not just that, I felt a drowsiness that came from my brain and travelled down into my stomach which felt empty, a hollow that echoed through the rest of my body and spread across my flesh and bones. My dark-coloured skin looked somehow translucent against the beaming light that was standing over me. It was a tall, thin giant pointing at me like a policeman would to something that has been misplaced.  The street’s traffic began to slow down slightly. The colourful painted cars shone like stars every time they passed me by and they came closer to the shining light of the lamppost standing over me. Across the street, three beautiful lights were changing in colour every few minutes, I closed my eyes but the magic lights were still sparkling; the red, the green and yellow began to move, parading in a procession of glitter that almost blinded me. My eyes stayed shut for a very long time. Perhaps I fell asleep for a little while under the nursing warmth of the lamppost far above. My dry, shivering skin felt tight around my wrists and ankles, and as I tried to move my neck to one side, it felt stiff and painful. There was another source of pain; my left and right arms felt also difficult to lift, and under my armpits I felt a sting, I could feel that they were swollen. It was not entirely a conscious reflection, but rather more intuitive, the sort that a little hurt animal would experience when injured.


      My little hands began to feel numb I rolled down my eyelids to look at them. My fingers were turned inside of the palm of my hand, and as I tried to stretch them, I felt my little finger bones make an effort almost to the braking point, but my fingers finally stretched without snapping. My little hand then rested on top of my legs, feeling the rough touch of the material of my skirt, the faded cloth that partially covered my scrubby little legs, leaving the rest for the world to see, a world that was passing by without noticing me. I made no noise; I only occupied a little space on the ground, a little tiny spot on the vastness of the big wide world. As the night began to darken everything, more lights appeared everywhere. Or if they had been there before I only realised they were there at that moment. Their intermittence had a very strange effect on me because I began to feel drowned by the light; somehow I was becoming the light, and I felt it so intensely that I was tranquil and calmed. Slowly the pain began to melt away across my being, but it was not like the pain was leaving me but rather I was leaving it behind I was moving away from the cold and darkness, alighting in elation towards warmth and light. For the first time in a very long time I heard a voice, but it was more a music, a sound that directed me.


      My fragile body was still seated on the pavement, but this time was leaning against the lamppost, quiet and still, peaceful.  My chocolate bonny face with dark fibre hair appeared more fragile than ever, my body that lay sideways was skinny and resembled a rag doll that has been dragged many times across the floor. But it did not matter anymore because my soul had already departed from my body. Leaving it behind felt like stripping off a raggedy old dress that was incapable of the primary function for which it was designed: covering the body to protect it from the environment. My body had stopped fulfilling its purpose soon after I stopped feeding it after of course someone stopped feeding me, and this fact came as a blow, a fact that had never materialised before. It was difficult to guess the age of my stifling soon decaying body; malnutrition had shaped my body, had impoverished my existence. I did not recall human closeness but only a distant contact with other beings of my species. But now I felt free, elated, and light as a feather, volatile and part of the atmosphere, part of that quiet and still night. My soul rose above the ground without direction, leaving that poor little corpse behind. No one noticed still; it remained invisible to all human eyes.


      Slowly something began to approach me, something white and transparent, something small and warm like the summer.  The being slowed down as it came close to me and it moved about me like a little bird fluttering around. Then it stopped and said softly “Abebi, I am your mother. Come with me.” Mother began to rise and I was compelled to follow her, attracted by a magnetic force that did not allowed me to stay or go elsewhere. She raced fast, light and free to a faraway place, and I knew because I remember that night turned into day and the cold changed into warmth, but also everything else began to change as we sped along; the lampposts and the buildings disappeared, the smell of the decomposing city turned into a mix of floral essences, and the view changed into something wonderful. There was a bright blue sky reflected upon the earth, upon the soft, moist ground, nature bloomed everywhere. Flowers and trees and water fountains were alive everywhere.


      Suddenly I stopped, the inertia that had attached me to my mother had set me free now but she was standing beside me, allowing me to take it all in, slowly, but with peace because she knew I had been here before, not a very long time ago. She knew that it would not take me long to remember home again, as I did. Home it was. At last I had returned. ¡ I felt it in my spirit! I felt that kind of wonderful feeling that humans have when they enter their warm and cosy home and they feel safe inside, protected from the everyday chores, but better; this was infinitely better because it was not a confined space but a vast open land that had no beginning or end. It had no boundaries and no fences; the width was infinite and endless.  The land was carpeted with flowers, and the warmth of the sun came down in sparks of angel rays that began to fill my spirit with great joy and happiness. Other spirits were around, many more but I did not need to be introduced because I knew them all. We had met during our eternity, and only as we had come to Earth had our knowledge of the spirit world been erased in order that we would be able to have meaningful and fulfilling experiences. But how it was that sometimes things went terribly wrong, I thought then.


      My mother pulled me closer to her, and I felt she was trying to tell me something, something important, for the warmth I felt through her claimed my attention; we spirits have no physical eyes, there is an inner vision with which we can see each other. This power of sight is within the soul and so only through love and the various intensities of love can be transmitted to another spirit in a way that is possible to see. My mother told me that it was time for me to meet someone very important, and then I knew that I was about to meet Jesus, the kindest spirit of all. 


      I turned around and there he was, not far away from me, only about a distance of a big long tree I moved towards him, contemplating him as he was working in his craft, a magic sort of wavering. My mother then told me that Jesus was sawing thoughts. Long strings of beautiful thoughts that he was to send to people in response to their prayers, and I remembered, astonished, how a few times I had heard that little voice in the back of my head when I asked for help, how many times the words that came into my head were far superior to anything I could ever have uttered, so I knew that they were not mine but someone else’s words I new they came from God. As I approached Jesus, he looked at me, and he, too, I knew from before; I had always known him. He knew how my life had been, the little life that I had, had only lasted four years. I wanted to ask him many questions about life, about all the suffering and pain, about the inhumanity of the world. He answered me strongly with firm words that I will never forget: “Mankind has chosen its own fate, and the victims, as I was, each one of them are a part of me that want to strive to do the right thing again. Some succeed to reach across human’s souls to love, to be kind and generous, others like me must die in order to make a difference, it is in the process of death that the world stops to reflect.  Your life, Abebi, has been part of a significant moment in time, what is to be learned from your life transcends; it rises above your mere existence. As it is now you have become an angel; your suffering has not been in vain. As for eternity, you will live to be happy, as you are the little angel of faith. You are becoming as we speak a guardian angel to a child that is on her way to transform human rights in Africa. She shall achieve respect for women in Africa.”

      Then, I felt very close to my mother and father, and had an extraordinary feeling that everything was right, that my life and death had had a purpose, and that being detached from my body was a natural state. My spirit had to become liberated in order to continue my journey. The gift that I had been given when created had remained: the overwhelming capacity to love. Now I had to extend my gift to this child to allow her to reach out to others in order to change the future of African women, forced into marriages that kill them with disease and labour, forced to have many children that they will have to watch, if they survive, die day by day of hunger.


      I travelled to her side. She was sitting on a stool in her straw-and wooden-built school. Abena was feeling distracted while her colourfully dressed teacher talked. Abena was miles away from here, far, far away, building a new world for herself, trusting that someday her life would be different from the lives of her sisters. I sat quietly beside her, and as she prayed in a low voice, I saw the string of thought filling her, advising her on the right path. 




26th of October 2009


      The Sun slowly fell over the Moon’s eyes, and she became blinded by the brightness and the thickness of the rays. The heat was nothing to the Moon because she then, used to be cold; she used to be a cold creature that needed the heat and the warmth she lacked. She and He became happily married and one day they had a little child, a baby they called Earth, she was a round little baby, a babbly bubbly little girl with dimples in her cheeks and lovely little eyes, open and smart. The Earth grew told, round big and strong and then the mother and father distant themselves from the child.

“Mother! –She cried one day, “Why do you leave me?” –She was frighten, frighten of the loneliness and the cold, –but her mother reassured her.

“You are a strong little planet, darling, go and make your way; wonderful things are waiting for you, dreams and wonders.


      The Earth tumbled for a while over in the sky, thinking what she should do; she went around and round, wondering why she must leave, why the child had to leave. And she wondered, whether she was ever loved; did it all have a purpose in this life? Why did all had to end, and where did all began?


      The Earth started to grow and she glowed and she sparked and shone like gold, with life made of endless vegetation and beings. Then one day she realized that she had grown and matured and that inside of her she had all these life and beauty. That she was love itself; it emanated from her insides, from inside of her being which burst it, and killed her.




18th of November 2009


      She entered the room of the hotel full of excitement, thinking of the holiday ahead, together with Noel, her love for the last two years. Both had planed this wonderful trip to Venice and he was as excited as she was with the idea of the vacation. A maid entered the room after them depositing the luggage on the colourfully tiled floor. The maid exchanged a word with Laura and she gave her a handsome tip. She had money to spend on this trip and she wanted to be generous. She felt the need in her heart to be kind in words and money. Laura observed the maid turning around, going back to the door leaving the apartment and she observed how elegant she looked with that uniform, and how her beautiful hair, tinted with thin strikes of ahs-red and locked in a neat bon, appeared trapped under the strain of the hair bobbin. This thought passed quickly through Laura’s mind and in a second it was forgotten, the maid was out of the room and she was left peacefully alone with Noel. He walked towards her and tenderly took her hand, he got close to her lips and he kissed her gently, Laura felt that rush of emotion that always came over her when he touched her, she knew he was desperate for her love and she wanted that feeling of intoxication she created in him. It reminded her of the time when they first met, and still he wanted her; that feeling always came back when they were alone, and specially if they were away from home. Their apartment in Barcelona was small and their lives were too busy and too demanding to pause to enjoy romance. Their stressful lives needed a moment of quietness where they could look and touch each other’s souls again, and that moment was here. The monotonous Easter Holiday had come with a promise; Noel had arranged for the trip and she was very happy to leave the routine behind to travel to the enchantment of Venice. In the last few months, their lives seemed to have come to a sort of a stop, a dull awful stop where nothing seemed to go forward nor backward. But here they were, together in this beautiful island where nothing seemed to be real and what was real was not real but strange and foreign, it was the colour and beauty, that was what she hoped to acquire in Venice and to take it back with her in her heart to remember anytime dullness crept back into her life.


      After almost two hours in the bedroom Noel suggested to take a walk by the canals and find some place to eat. He was hungry but she on the contrary felt too excited to eat. She wanted to walk and explore the little new world they had encountered. It seemed to her she had stepped in from another dimension into a different one where everything was new and fresh, alien to her everyday senses. Laura put on her yellow dress and she walked holding hands with Noel down the stairs feeling radiant, she glowed with a renewed beauty and her eyes sparkled with rays of happiness. A rush of thoughts began to go through her mind about everything she wanted to do, placed she wanted to go, museums, theatres, opera houses. She wanted to see all the shops but most especially the stores where costumes were sold, she wanted to buy one for the carnival that night and she felt a rush of excitement going through her veins just thinking about it.

       As they entered the softly lighted landing of the hotel the young maid who had helped them with their luggage to their bedroom went to meet them.

“Excuse me, sir; you have a telephone call from Barcelona, would you like to take it on the hallway?” 

      Noel decide he would do so immediately and he left accompanied by the maid who introduced herself to the couple as Silvia. She obligingly reminding Laura that she was to remain at their disposal while in the hotel, then Laura was left alone quietly.

      She stood by the doorway looking out at the narrow street and at the front building. The white paint was chipping out slowly; the humidity of the island was softening the wall plaster and it seemed that at any time the building would collapse coming down into pieces; the beautiful arcaded windows and the majestic Eros holding his head upright was also to melt to the force of time, and Laura while watching this horrid seen of decadence felt a moment of sadness. Beauty was so ephemeral, so of the moment and so transcendent, she thought. She herself was to decay someday too, become old and ugly. She hated ugliness, and she realised, now like never before how strongly she needed things that surrounded her to be beautiful, kept from ageing, to preserve her own beauty against time. For the moment she contented herself by being part of that stage looking at the incorruptible Eros out there in the open sky. Laura looked about her, in order to see if Noel was coming back, and she saw he was standing in the far end of the staircase talking to the maid, Silvia. She observed in wonder, but when he noticed he quickly called her with a sign to join them, she ignored stepping outside the hotel. The air felt crisp to her skin reddening her stiff tiny nose, the door opened and Noel came out at last, Laura preserving her pride said nothing. Both walked on the streets in silence until, finally Noel suggested a restaurant he had been recommended where they served delicious pasta. She agreed and both continued to walk more cheerful now talking about the most enchanting places they would visit, the Palazzo Ducale, the Museo Correr of art and the Basilica dei Frari. They passed by the Teatro La Fenice and seeing it was open they decided to walk in. An opera was being performed and she could recognize it well! Her heart exhaled with excitement. Laura stood paused in silence looking through the huge glass doors that separated her from the dream while she listened the moving sounds of Madame Butterfly. she began to weep, a deep strangling cry that made her gasp for air, she felt she had every reason in the world to be happy and yet she felt none, it was her life. She felt no will to continue the kind of living she had engaged herself into, she hated her job, the routine, the perfection… and for a moment she felt she could run away forever, from everything, from her little house, her little job and her dependence on him because he loved her. The music, the words brought clarity to her head, she did not want to be her, Madame Butterfly, waiting always longing for what she wanted but suffering only in the end, yes, longing for something that was never going to come, living under the shadows of illusion while she moved in circles, always coming back to the empty colourless shade of her life, and yet the colours remained for ever as part of a stage where she was only allowed to enter during a brief encounter, for a short parenthesis of time. At least Butterfly knew what she wanted even if she had to die deceived and heart broken in the end. The music invaded Laura’s heart with a powerful hypnotic sensation and she felt the repression of a pleasure, restrained, unexplored and inexplicable, but given by a deliverer of an ancient god who had come from the remains of Scamander and Clëis, chaining her to a new destiny. Laura stayed for a while glancing around the baroque opera hall full of glittering light, looking at the actors on the stage. They lived the life they wanted, she thought, watching them suddenly feeling strong envy for the first time in a long time, their lives were full of meaning and so worthwhile. These thoughts gave Laura new strength, and then she concluded that she would find a way out of the sadness. And with this thought her spirit soothed and the pain eased.


      Laura and Noel walked outside the opera hall, dusk had fallen upon the streets and everything was tinged of a warm mellow colour, the lights in the houses had began to lit and from where they stood every lighted window had turn to butter.

Finally they reached the restaurant and as they entered they felt sudden warmth penetrate their beings, climbing up their nostrils into their brain intoxicating with comfort. The little restaurant was full of candlelight and decorated with such charm that Laura felt restored again of her happiness. She watched the paintings on the walls and the small statuettes with admiration and compliance, Noel took Laura’s hand again as they peacefully sat on a nice little table by a fireplace. While they ate they spoke of their plans for the day and she told him of the costume she wanted to get and all the details of it: the colour the length… and she spoke about how exited she was about going to a carnival party that night. He listened attentively; Noel was used to her liveliness and need for luxury. They could only afford it occasionally, but when they did, she wanted to feel pampered like a queen. Noel always wondered of her need of money and little luxuries, he imagined every woman did, but he was not sure she could be happy for a long time if she lacked the things she craved. Laura desired more excitement and more new things as time went by. Noel supposed she was bored with life and that she required all those things to make herself believe life was enchanting and changing everyday, when in fact, it remained static. He on the contrary liked the routine of his life, he liked to come home from a day’s work, rest his head in the couch while watching the news on TV, listening to her moving swiftly about in the kitchen finishing the last few things for supper. He loved that feeling of peace, comfort and security, while she was beginning to dread it. That’s why he had planned this trip, to take her away. She had suggested it few months ago and now he felt it was the right time. He loved her and wanted to please her drifting heart, he thought, while watching her in silence. Laura was contemplating one of the paintings of the Madonna and child and at that moment he felt they both had a resemblance; it was that melancholic look Laura had lately. He thought, both shared a perfect face, shaped like an oval-egg with a round chin and a pale tone in their complexion which stood now more vividly against her dark eyes and fine-hair. She noticed he was looking at her and she smiled and kissed him quickly. For a moment she felt sorry for him, she did not know why she felt that way but she did. Perhaps it was his love that made her feel pity; that look on his face always arouse such tenderness in her that she almost despised him. But she needed his love, it was the fountain from were Laura drank everyday when she felt low, ugly, not clever enough or simply unhappy. He furnished her with new doses of love and confidence everyday which were vital for her existence, they were to her like wine to the ill for drink, Laura was in need for this love as much as bread or sugar. He was the substance that provided her with the fuel she needed to continue life and she in return gave him her love, a selfish kind of love, but love nevertheless.


       Laura and Noel spent the rest of the evening shopping together; the streets were crammed with shops and people roaming about happily among the splendour, by the canals and by the narrow streets, they too blended with the vicious crowd seeking for the remembrances of the past, taking photographs by the Basilica Della Salute or in the bridge of sight. As they wondered about the streets they saw a painter inside a shop and they decided to enter. Inside there was an old man standing in front of a canvas, painting a beautiful nude of a women, Laura was surprised to see that woman and she stared at her and the thought came to her that the woman looked lost and anguished. She recognized something of herself in her; it was the colour, an absorbing, hunting-red with which the artist had filled in the lady’s surrounding, contrasting it with the pail thin body of the woman which made it so beautiful and yet it all seemed so cruel.


       Their next stop was to the costume’s store where Laura bought a beautiful dress of huge proportions. She resembled an extravagant noble princess from the 18th century and Noel bought the marching suit, they also bought two mascaras but they promised to keep them from each other, only to revealed them at the party that night, they would have to search for each other among the other costumes and masks.

As they strolled back to the hotel, night fell. The canal, long and quiet stretched languid and timid, the murmur of the wind was like the cry of the water, cold and humid, hovered all around them while they walked on in a jealous hurry.


Laura entered hasten into the hotel asking for the key to her room at the receptionist, meanwhile Noel made a phone call to Barcelona. She rushed up the stairs, cold a shiverish, dying to have a warm long nice bath before squeezing into her new costume. She filled in the tub to the brim allowing herself to dip gently into the hot steaming water luring with pressure.  


       She was there a while when she remembered that Noel had not yet come up to the room from his phone call, and she began to feel a bit anxious, Laura remained in the water for another while but as minutes went by she felt more and more uneasy so she decided to dry herself to go and see. Putting a towel around her she stepped in the bedroom floor and changed. Laura opened the door but Noel was not at the hallway. She timidly walked down the stairs, her hair was still wet and a spray of her sweet essence descended from her fresh newly clean body. As she reached the end of the stairs she saw them, laughing together at the reception. Silvia was flirting with Noel and he seemed flattered by her doing so. Laura walked up the stairs again growing more and more indignant at every step she took back to her bedroom.


       She thought of Silvia, of her wild beauty so different from hers, of her red beautiful long hair, her eyes so confusing. Jealousy crept under her skin and raced her heartbeat with the force of a hammer hitting against the wall. She began to change her clothes, covered in confusion and wonder as she started to feel what she most dreaded in this world: loneliness. She realised now that this bedroom and all her dreams were that and only that, dreams and an excuse to continue to lie to herself about the truth.


       When Noel came into the room Laura was radiant again, he excused himself for the delay over his phone call to Barcelona and forgot all about it afterwards. She was not interested in his motives; all she wanted was to get out as quickly as possible to have a good time. He put on his costume and in a moment they were both ready to walk out of the room, leaving a twisted essence behind them. Walking down the stairs they held hands. This time she took his hand tightly hoping they would walk by the reception were Silvia stood. And there she was, wearing her neat uniform that looked so charming on her she thought. She looked at her with delight and annoyance, and as they passed her she looked at Laura, but Laura returned her stare defiantly and angry.

They walked out into the street and after a short walk by minuet windows and beautiful painted wooden-doors they arrive at a hall beautifully decorated and already full of men and women dressed in extravagant costumes. It was a colourful expectable full of wealth, art and music. A music quartet composed by a pianist and three violinists was playing softly while cocktails were being served among the guests. Again Laura and Noel had opened a door that had taken them into a new passage to fantasy, and how exiting it was for Laura to be out of herself again, to be able to reinvent herself again and again: her looks, her personality and her inner thoughts, becoming misshapen by the activity outside which deceived her mind giving her the false illusion that she had steeped into a new reality. She was pleased to walk by people without being able to recognise one another, confusing the mind once more, pretending she could flatter the truth with ephemeral flowers, fooling the senses with false illusions.


      Laura and Noel disappeared from each other’s view putting on their masks. Noel wondered off, strolling without a purpose among the various people, taking a drink or two, engaging into conversation with some foreigner about the genuineness of the place and occasion, about the meal being served and the game later on, but all the time he was thinking about Laura, she had disappeared from view. He did not know what her mask looked like but he hoped to recognise her by her beautiful green golden dress she wore. But here with all the dresses of the women mixing… it was difficult to see hers from the rest. He began to wonder why he had agreed to such a thing, it only makes me worried, he thought. He was not afraid of loosing her but of not being able to find her all night and have to spend it alone chatting to strangers, and she? Did she not care about being all alone in a strange place were she didn’t know anybody? but he knew how easy it was for her to make friends among casual acquaintances, she could meet anyone, any women and begin to talk about any subject with total ease and have a good time. But he was sure she would turn up in the end all full smiles and with liquor in her hand sipping and dancing. Then he would be happy again seeing that she was content and merry. Noel continued chatting to some people as he looked about hoping to catch a glimpse of her. For a moment he thought he had seen her, and he rushed squeezing through people and the bubbly dresses of the women.


      After an hour of search he became tired and hot with the stuffy atmosphere of the place and Noel decided to take a bit of fresh air. Outside the night was dark and mist was hovering in the air, he walked around the building to get a view of the open sea but it was too misty and everything was covered by a dense heavy curtain of fog. As he strolled back to the ballroom he heard a familiar laughter coming from near by and he thought he recognised it, yes, it was the maid’s voice, Silvia. He walked towards the voice hoping to get a little bit of company. But Silvia was already with someone, hushing the laughter of her companion, who softly asked:

-did you miss me?

-Yes, Laura so much…

      Silvia replied, while she bent over to kiss the uncovered face that wore the green-golden dress.




11th of Decembre 2009


      Jacque kept on walking, faster and faster while his heart was thrumming and his heart panting like the heart of a helpless animal who knows it is being hunted. The forest was thick and damp surrounded by the noises of wild birds and monkeys, and the sound of a gushing cascade not far in the distance made Jacque feel even more trapped. As he precipitated his walk the thick dried foliage made a louder crushing sound beneath his feet. Jacque wanted to hide, whatever it was that was after him, it was coming close behind. His gun and rifle were his only defense against any predators. Still, he felt helpless; after all, he had never used them before. And this was the reason why he was there. The reason why he had come to the Congo: to kill.


      Jacque had been a coward for too long, and he felt it under his white almost translucent skin. He was a man in his thirties, married to a rich woman that did not respect him because she thought he was too weak, too soft and too gentle. Jacque was a delicate man indeed. Yes, he thought, I am a delicate man, but I will be strong enough to divorce her after this trip. She might think I have come here to study plants and bugs while she is free. She thinks I will not divorce her because I need her.


      Jacque was a popular artist in Paris, not wealthy but popular. He combined in his paintings the study of the human anatomy and the study of organic elements and features. His style had become well valued among the Parisian elites, and Cossette wanted this. She wanted to have a share of this popularity. What was the use of having money if she could not be seen in the best parties, or share her say in the best tableau vivants de Paris. No, she did not love him. The infatuation that had drawn them together three years ago had past. They were living almost separate lives now. Cossette had never understood his art. She regarded it as too difficult, too green and with too many curves. That was her description of his art. But she knew he would not divorce her. He needed her money to continue his social ascendants. But the humiliation had gone too far, to deep in his skin to permit it any more. He was beginning to feel something vile creeping in his heart that he could not stand any longer. It was this feeling that was killing him inside now as he ran toward the river. He knew that many animals would be too scared to go into the water to chase him. Jacque could hear the grunt of an animal close behind now, and as he approached the river he made a run for it, swimming for the opposite edge with all his strength. As he reached land again he looked at the other side of the river and saw, standing at the edge a mighty creature, gorilla like with some remarkable human features. She was tall and stout, she was covered in white fur and she had a baby hanging from her breast. Suddenly, Jacque felt trapped and a sharp pain in his head. And that was all he felt for many hours until he woke up again.


      The next thing he felt was a horrid headache and that he was moving, carried by two men on a stretcher made of wood and soft leaves. But he dared not to move or speak. He could hear voices, strange sounds being muttered behind his head. Jacque did not move for a long time. Soon the two men put him down and he began to open his eyes. A man was standing in front of him, a dark and half naked man, with strange looking eyes, like the eyes of an animal, deep and dark. The man smiled at Jacque and he understood this as a friendly gesture, the man introduced himself in French. His name was Bienvenu, and he explained that this name was given to him by a French troop in Congo. They had taught to each other their mutual language, and after a few years in the jungle the troop left for another place. Jacque thought then he had been lucky. He had escaped almost miraculously from a wild creature and now he could receive help from this Bienvenu who resembled one of his créatures of his exotic paintings.


      Jacque was shown around the village; it was a lovely village, surrounded by homes made of mud and straw. Around the village there were crops and men working on the small fields. Other men were coming from other places, with small animals hanging from their shoulders, their kill from the day. Then, Jacque remembered what he had gone there for.


      Binevenu had been staring at Jacque for a long time, and he said. “You must be hungry Mahidi.” He had called him that because he said his spirit was to be commended, and that was the meaning of Mahidi. Jack assented with his head and Bienvenu and the other men brought him into a big place were they sat. Then two other men brought them food and drink. A Few children were running around, boys from the age of nine onwards but not younger. After they had eaten they began to ask Jacque a few questions about were he came from and what was he doing in Congo.

“I have come here to hunt.” He said, and Bienvenu calmly retorted.

“What do you want to kill Mahidi?” Jacque explained that before he had been found by his tribe a wild animal had been chasing him, a strange creature with female features. Bienvenu looked at his companion and both kept silent, but Jacque continued.

“She had a baby hanging from her breast but she was vicious and wanted to kill me, so I will get her first.” Bienvenu told him that the next day he would show him the savanna where he would be able to find a good kill, and Jacque assented.


      That night when they went to bed Jacque could not stop thinking about the creature, about her strange looking features and her white fur, and the way she looked at him from across the river before he past out. He could not sleep, so he got up from the bed and went out of the straw-house to walk about. It was damp and foggy outside and there was no moon in the sky. He walked lost in thought, confused on what he was to do before he went back to Paris, he thought of the creature again and of Cossette and he saw both as his enemies. That was why he had come to Congo, to kill that thing, he reasoned. That thing, that was inside of him. He began to walk slowly towards the edge of the village, when in a hill in the distance, he saw the flickering light of a fire and Jacque felt curious to see what was in there in the night. As he approached the hill he heard no noise, only a breathing sound.

“Are you not tired Mahidi?” asked a voice that came out of the darkness. A man accompanied by Bienvenu had stopped him.

“I am not used to the heat and sounds of the jungle, I feel sleepless.”

“Come, come, you will be well in the morning,” he said. Both men took Jack bacque into the straw-house, and now Jacque remained in his bed lost in thought until he felt sleep. But that night he had the strangest dream about the creature. She was chasing him again but this time she had caught him, and she possessed him.


      Jacque woke up that morning covered in sweat. He was feeling extremely hot, ill and frightened. He felt madness in his spirit. The desire to kill had become stronger and by now Jacque had decided that he wanted to kill her and nothing else. He was sure about that, but he thought that the natives, for some reason, did not want him to go near the creature. Jacque decided to play along, going to the savanna that day to find his kill as Bienvenu had proposed.


      Jacque stepped out of his straw-house and joined the men that were eating breakfast over some giant leaves. Some men were serving, other men were working on the fields and the hunting party was eating. The community was strangely organized because Jacque, for the first time noticed that there were no women around.


      Soon all the men rose to go hunting, they were all exited and they began to dance and jump around, singing ritual songs in mad growls that made Jacque feel that thing again, that thing he could not name even to himself. After a while the party began to move. Bienvenu was in front of the men, and his companion, the one who had stopped him the night before walked beside him, a very thick man with a constant frown in his forehead. He looked more like an ape than a man. In fact, they all resembled apes but were undoubtedly human. The frown-man kept looking at Jacque and Jacque felt very aggravated. Bienvenu has happy, he went near Jacque and began to talk about his greatest kills since he was a young man and how he had confronted a fearful lion and many other animals. And as he talked, Jacque got the courage to ask…

“What do you know about those female creatures that look like gorillas? Like the one that wanted to attack me?” Bienvenu without hesitation, answered.

“Mahidi, they are nothing, simply nothing, they have no worth and they have only one function.”

“Mahidi, here is a price for you!” suddenly, a beautiful striped animal had sprung near them while others began to follow. The zebras had begun to trot fast as they had spotted the group of men and their flanks were swollen with the excitement of the race. The men had already decided for one of them, and they all began to encompass the ritual of the killing. Meanwhile Jacque had been staring perplex at the agility of the men in killing, all he had to do was to get his rifle ready and aim it to one of those animals. But Bienvenu told him he had something better for him to kill. While the rest of the group stayed behind to skin the zebra, Bienvenu and Jacque walked on to a different part of the savanna.

“I have a more beautiful animal for you to kill with this rifle.” He said.

      They approached an open space by a lake where a beautiful leopard stared defiantly with menace. But Jacque felt no desire to kill it, only that thing invaded him again, and the thought of the beast he had encountered a day before. But Jacque took the rifle in his two cold hands, looking carefully through it to shoot. One, twice, three times, five times he shot at the leopard, but the animal escaped, leaving only a trace of dust behind. Jacque felt desolated, because even though he had no desire to kill the animal at first, having failed to do so, filled his heart with a profound sense of failure and pain, it seemed to him that that thing! That thing that was eating him inside had won again. And he declared to himself that no beast would ever have the best of him anymore.


      The men joined Bienvenu and Jacque, and they all embraced. It seemed to Jacque that their closeness was somehow peculiar and Jacque began to feel uneasy. The men hugged him too and he felt very uncomfortable around them. After a while they all went back to the village where the men who had stayed behind had cooked a meal. They all ate and drank until they were satisfied, and then the men retired to the straw-houses together. And this time Jacque saw what was happening.


      Jacque stayed in his small straw-house meditating, covered in that thing he hated, until it was well past midnight. Finally Jacque gathered enough courage to walk out the straw-house carrying his rifle and gun. The sky was full of stars and a chill wind filled the air, Jacque was shivering like a leave. No one was outside, he could hear no sound except of the men sleeping in the houses close by, and he felt safe to walk away. As he began to move toward the direction he had come two days before, he saw in the hill, in the distance, the lighted fire again; slowly he began to go towards it, hiding in the trees until he was close enough to see.


      A group of naked men were dancing upon the female creatures; some of them stood apart holding babies. Jacque saw the white furred female creature who had chased him before. She began to move towards him; she was holding no baby now. Jacque felt his heart throbbing with fear as the creature creeped behind him getting hold of him, while Jacque hesitating, gathered enough strength to take his gun. His hands were trembling, but before she could near her lips to his mouth, Jacque shot her, a clean, single shot in her heart.  


An echoing silence swept over the jungle. Then the men without a word took the young male children that were to go with them that night and left. Jacque stared at the female corpse he had taken the life from, and for the first time in his life Jacque felt no fear. The night gathered peaceful now. And Mahidi went back to the straw-house, and he slept.




21th December 2009


      Ruth was having a good time; she had finally got rid of that stupid sickening woman who was always telling her what to do. She was free at last, free of her and her stinking dog. She looked at Martha and she delighted in her sadness, her innocence irritated her, her pleasant manners, her persisting goodness, her constant insistence in doing always the right thing. She had known her too long and she felt good about telling her what was going to happen to her. She knew she could control her.


       Martha was annoyed with herself how did I get myself into this mess! She thought. She had known Ruth before and she knew how selfish she was. Martha decided to resolve the situation as fast and as effectively as she could. But she wanted revenge. She looked at Ruth in the distance and she thought she looked content, even satisfied with herself, and she felt a strange repulsion foaming into her brain like a hot unsupportable headache. She noticed the cigarette hanging of Ruth’s hand and the smoke hovering around her like fog from hell, and she saw clearly what she had to do: Martha picked up the phone, and called 999, to report and accident...




18th of January 2010


      Even at a short age I used to watch the woman next door, carrying baskets of clothes to the attic and hanging them quickly, while her little child clung at her leg bowling crying, afterwards she would rush to the kitchen to prepare diner for her husband, and finally she would rush off to work.


      I began to see her as a slave, a slave of life just like those who used to work on the fields no more than a century ago, the only difference between her and them was that she had better working conditions and she was not abused, although I learned later on in life that some women got abused as well as used.


      I realized then that freedom could only come in three shapes: in the shape of time, in the shape of space, and in the shape of money. And I became determined to get it, to gain freedom from poverty, from stress and from the confinement of my home. But then I hadn’t realized yet, that there was a third element that must unfold the three: The freedom within yourself, which had to be conquered, the freedom of your mind and soul, freedom from guilt and sorrow, freedom from anger, anxious love, despair, incomprehension and loneliness.




23rd of April 2010


       What is a name? I wonder; mine, was given to me at birth with a purpose in mind by the women who brought my body and soul into this world. She had imagined a sweet little girl, a compassionate an understanding little being who would comply with all her wishes and demands, ugly and undesirable as they might have been, but mingled in purity.


      It all began in that womb or better still in that vagina that was being penetrated two days after marriage, both, scared still of the lust contained in his veins for seven years of long relationship. She only felt that what she was doing was necessary and had to be done within a marriage and it remained supportable until she realised, she was pregnant. Until then she had not known much about it, then she began to hate it. 


      Dark. The room is dark and silent, and my lungs are tired of the panting of the crying, my little face all wet from tears and knots sliding down from my nose into my face. I remain in the room all alone until dreams capture me in my sleep, hugged at the hope of death. Awake I wish to have the strength to jump out of the window, and the image of my skull smashed five floor underneath, rises to my mind and fear or cowardice comes to my rescue while I crawl to my desk, put on my headphones to listen ‘In to the Groove’ and close my eyes thinking of how to run away, how I wish someone rescued me: an institution, a parent someone out there. –Here! I am here, Take me as I am.    


 When my breast began to grow, she stared, she stared at my pretty face of fifteen and I know she wished to poor acid into it, to deform the pretty face she no longer had

–I was prettier than you are. She shouted,

–I had more men willing to marry me than you will ever have; men only want to fuck you.

Madonna became my refuge, men, drugs. Help me father, I have sinned.




22nd July 2010


      When the music reached her heart she knew she was ill, that she needed to get out to find some place to rest her eager soul that never found peace. Every note filled her with anxiety and brought an empty feeling to her stomach. Her mind going around and round like if it was full of drink, drunk it felt with pain, anguish and pleasure of the kind that would make her heart tremble. She was eager of a kind of thing she never experienced but it was there claiming her, pleading her to do something with her life.




22nd July 2010


 Which is the thing that makes a soul and feeds the spirit that embraces my mind and helps me in the walk to life?


I for once I have got the feeling I do little to control it. 

There is a God above who guides my path,

who makes me torn, who forces me to climb and run, who doesn’t allow me to lay down to rest or stroll along through life.

I am a little boat at sea,

sailing further and further away from shore at every new journey.

sometimes I am a bit sidetracked, sometimes I’m sailing straight to port but never quiet reaching there, not yet, not just yet.

The little boat keeps straight deep into the sea, there is no turning back. Someday I will reach to the other side where I am going.  I will set anchor.


The relationships that have come undone, the love that once seemed so strong, so indispensable so reliable; I can not trust myself anymore.  So confident I seemed, perhaps I’m too afraid and maybe not so sure of myself.

I take on a new life again into my embrace,

to be coddled at night to delude to love.

It is easier to be alone and I had chosen to be this way, I had lost interest,

but somehow things are coming my way without little of my application,

 and if I have a Guiding Angel,

tell him that I am grateful for giving me the knowledge to chose rightfully,

if I fail again I will not doubt to learn from it.


Things are coming my way and I chose to keep walking,

 on this path to self improvement and development.

I am lucky for having those who are giving me love,

I am lucky for the attention I do receive.

It is hard sometimes to be worth of such love.


When I am alone I hear the whispers of the angels,

When I am sleep I see the guiding light, the flowing stream,

Dreams I receive are the prophecies to my existence,

Read I cannot but my own lines, as I step in to the refuge of my own concord.


There are times when my heart breaks,

and I find it difficult to see the sun light.

the yelling scream for freedom has me enthralled,

as I look around the things I have done, and proud I feel not. 

Those angels I brought into this earth-ground I ought to leave aside. 

I am not a conventional mind, but I need those angels I left behind.


I am running with the river flow, I am perhaps the narrow stream,

the rush of the waterfall seeking within the water of an open Lagoon,

where to quarrel and grow strong.


I am a wondering eagle,

the unborn lion, the feline scared, the step of the horse,

the unbreakable mountain, the burning lava, the exhorted child,

the innocent adult, the steaming heart of the youth.

An incomprehensive stare I carry in my eyes full of knowledge from the past,

empty of what I yet ignore, so great I am scared of what I will never know.


I die everyday some more,

at every new day I have one less left.

What have I achieved?  A mature heart, a stronger mind, and unbreakable site,

A colder approach, an insensitive walk,

I have a definite cut.



Macuma’s Baby




      She is impregnated, raped in the hospital were she is ill with high fever, half unconscious by a white Portuguese. The man leaves. She finds out she is pregnant after a couple of months. She will believe she was conceived by the Holy Spirit, like Virgin Mary, when the child is born. He/she is white, white like the moon and she names the child Lunasun, white like the moon, bright like the sun. She is proud of her child, no husband but proud. One day the man returns to apologise and help her, she then begins to hate herself and the baby. She sees herself like the virgin no more. Dirty and ashamed and the child pale and white with bits of red hear like a fin. She hates him, one day she decides to abandon the child by the moonlight while she walks on to join her crowd/tribe and as she walks on she sees the little thing moving and crying in the distance and she weeps. She thinks he/she will be the next saviour from God/ he will be collected by a nuns/ he will be saved by a white women named Mary/…/ (not clear about the end)



The Premonition



      A woman can foresee the future. She foresees that her neighbour is going to be killed in an accident and she does not know if to tell her or not. She begins to observe her and follow her; finally it is herself who will kill her. Run over a car? Smashed/ smacked against a wall.


      She begins to hunt her; she becomes quite obsessed with the premonition. She had other premonitions about herself before but never about other people, and the she thinks that it is good that her psychic powers are increasing. In the premonition there is a man as well, she thinks that he is the one who is going to kill her but in fact is the one who will witness everything.  A post any man with a suit. The woman could have a secret, a lover, a policeman, married; he will be the main misleading suspect. She will spend the whole story observing the two of them in search for clues and full of suspicion.   





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