The best place

– I have been in many places around the world, but this one is really nice!

We were waiting in front of the standing desk of the maître to have our table assigned. I didn’t know where to go with her, so I spontaneously decided to try that fancy new place in town, Le Creuset. Being a local it is not easy to impress me with the setup, since this city is getting most of its business from tourism and almost everything was tried before to attract public. After entering, the only thought that crossed my mind was “it’s bigger on the inside”.

– Could the happy couple come with me, s’il vous plait?

We walk after him. The path crosses the dining room, direction to the imperial stairs at the end of the hall. I look around surprised. The place is really heterogeneous, filled with tables of different sizes, for four diners, six, or twelve. Some of the tables had funny shapes, like L-shaped, semicircular, and so on. Light comes from chandeliers of different sizes, candles, and some kind of shinny mushrooms… probably to create this so called organic feeling.

– Is it your first time in Le Creuset, messieur, madame? – We are still walking, apparently we go upstairs. I answer our waiter, that seems to be waiting for a feedback.

Oui. Although I’m a local. I simply heard that this new place was kind of out-of-options if you come uninvited or without a reservation. But I’m this kind of guy that doesn’t believe what people say…

– I can smell that – was the odd answer of our guide. – So you don’t know how this thing work. Magnifique! First I need you to tell us what are your expectations.

– Expectations? – She says. I do expect to have sex with her tonight, I refrain myself to say.

– Expectations, Erwartungen, les attentes. If I don’t know what you expect, how can I please you? – He smiles. His mouth is oddly big, and at one point I seem to see more teeth than what I could expect one to have. Again, he stops. We are halfway up the stairs. I look back, to the hall we crossed. The mix of differently shaped tables seems to want to tell me something…that I don’t manage to interpret.

– I just want to have a nice fish. This is a fish restaurant, right?

– We do are a fish restaurant, mlady. In fact, this is the place to come if you are a fish. – Again this weird smile with a mouth more filled with teeth than usual. And they really look sharp, I observe. I will never understand these new XXI century fashion trends, with those hipsters, trappers, and so on. I’m too old for that shit.

– I’m going to say I want also a nice ambient. A quiet table. In a terrace, if you have any.

– We do have terraces. You will love ours. Par ici. – The second floor extend deeper into the building. The chandeliers are almost gone here.  I look at the tables and the bar. Yes, this one looks better than downstairs. To my left and right, I see terraces opening, but we seem to walk straight. At the end, a big balcony seems to be guarded by two thugs. I grab her hand and we enter the balcony just to find out it ends on stairs…that go down to some sort of beach. An hologram, probably. The effect is amazing, there’s breeze and sea smells. There are also two empty tables. The waiter walks us to one.

– Please sit down, and I will send you someone to take note of your order. In the meantime, enjoy these caipirinhas by the house. We love to make new friends! Adieu…

We wave our hands in a stupid way to the leaving waiter. He smiles. What a big amount of teeth. I wonder if he can eat as usual with them. Probably I’ll never know.

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Unfinished lines

Due to the nature of my ideas I’m not really good on finishing my stories. They come from my dreams, which means they are blurry and most of the time unfinished. I decided to write here some summaries of the ones I’d like to finish, with a link to the first chapter. It’s not only for you, but also to remind me that, at one point, I have a lot of lines to work on. So here you have them, not on a special order. Consider it a repost 😉

  • Coinreruf. Welcome to the origin of mankind. It’s a wild time, and the values as we know them remain yet to be written. The Kingdom of Pecunia sent hist best man to find a special girl that has in her hands a secret able to change the future of all. Are they going to be brave enough as to reveal it? Or are they going to fail on shaping the civilization so that it doesn’t pass down the current black days?
  • The Water Wedding. In the future, Utopia is a forgotten concept. The known Earth is divided into two blocks, the System and the Empire. Hakim is a privileged server of the Emperor and has been invited by him to the biggest event known on the Lands, one of a lifetime, the Water Wedding. Welcome to a wild road trip that will bring him and his lover to Fountain City and …to find themselves.
  • Star Hotel 2050. Your work is really appreciated. To the point that you are invited to visit the result of if, on space. The Star Hotel is the most ambitious project a private company has built so far, but you don’t want to go there alone. You bring your family to shelter you. Because who’s better than your family to find out what’s wrong on leaving Earth, and all its commodities, to move to another planet? Or is it that your family is really as particular as it looks like for you?
  • Brondignach. Humans are being brought here, to this land, by an unknown force. But this land is already inhabited. And the natives, although humans, are enormous, and don’t seem to see humans as little people. They chase them, the play with them, they use them as toys. Communication, even written, seem to be impossible. Follow one of the visitors of Brondignach on his search of the Paradise, the human land, away from the giants. A search that is also a path of discoveries.
  • The Yellow Earth. The Fall took mankind by surprise. Nobody knows what it is, nobody knows where they are now. There are theories, of course, but most of the people just keep on going, without caring about the ancient ruins mixed up with the city, without asking themselves about the green moon now floating over. Anyway, people keep coming, and the news about what happened back on Earth are not encouraging anybody to come back.

There are more. I’m very messy, I’m sorry. One day I’ll make order. I need to. And you will hear about it. Thanks for being there!

The water wedding (XXX)

-Long live the Empire! – Somebody shouts. We choir. – Long live the Empire!

The parade is reaching its climax. The diverse vehicles that were composing it seem to dismantle themselves, and their pieces float around, driven by invisible strings, to rearrange immediately to create an impressive scene of several stores height. The water towers around, the pillars of our roofless temple, diminish, and some fountain start to shine with a deep blue, that a memory pushed in my conscious mind tells me it’s due to neutrino radiation. Suddenly, the fall, the Fall that is the sea flowing inland, seems to surround us, its flow diverted in a way we are in the centre of an inmensive water crater. Now, music. From where it is coming from? The scene? the walls? Meanwhile, I keep hearing the heils to the Empire, but getting softer, and softer, mixed up with soft drums and sweet, repeating, flute tones. The mixture is intoxicating. And there he/she is.

I was not expecting anything less impressive. Our Emperor comes floating above us, like ten meters over us, its silhouette amplified in the space around, like if you see several times the same person, the bigger the image, the more diffuse. Maybe he/she fell from the sky. I count up to seven holographic levels, seven mirror images like shells, surrounding him/her, the latest and more diffuse reaching the floor level. Seven. Does it mean anything? I try to focus on what’s in the centre. I can’t tell you if the Emperor is dressed or not, their contours are blurry, like when you look at somebody right after waking up or after looking at the sun with your bare eyes. But his/her face smiles. And his/her smile shines for us. When he/she looks at me, I freeze.

– Dear Court – The loud voice is not coming from an specific source. Definitely, it’s not coming from him/her. It seems to come from the water walls that are now surrounding us. – I am very GRATEFUL you decided to join us on this moment of time. Because this moment of time is of vital importance for us, therefore it is of vital importance for the EMPIRE. – Some words seem to make the ground shake, so vibrating they are. The Emperor drifts to the place where the fall was originally, where the scene was built up with the pieces of the vehicles on parade. When he/she is there, blossoming holograms cover it all, even the air around us. They resemble flowers are in all tones of blue. Or serpents. Then, they’re gone. – Amongst YOU, there is one that will unite me, will become ONE with me, and together, we will RULE the Empire, we will RULE the world. – I feel like I’m going to faint. The revelation is too much for my peasant brain. I misunderstood it all! The Emperor is going to marry here, today, right, but he/she doesn’t know his/her broom/bride! – We shall START the WEDDING.

Where’s Hakim? I can’t cope with this alone! I look around, and the other guests, like, for example, the Ministry of Something that was hitting on me, are as petrified as I am. So if they knew about this, they don’t seem to be able to show it. Hakim is lost, nowhere around. What a moment he chose to go to the toilet, I think. But why I’m not petrified? Is it the nanobots? And how about his/her servants? The ones in the parade? Are they all robots, or something like that? My voice doesn’t tell me, and I’m too scared to ask.

The water wedding (XXIX)

I’m definitely not anymore completely myself at this moment, the colourful drinks and the information overflow is making me dizzy. After our arrival, magically fountains of alcohol popped out of the tables, and invisible servants placed everywhere big trays with exotic food. Or exotic for me. Giant Mussels with funny shapes. Transparent colourful little spheres, fish eggs I believe. Fried insects looking like still alive, with their open wings. Mushrooms, truffles, berries, and very delicate moon-shaped breads. Super tasty little sausages. I ate and drunk like there was no finale, while following Hakim as a cat does, looking for his approval but silent. Beautiful and smart, I hope.

Oddly enough the hall seemed to adjust itself on size according to the people coming. Now it’s as big as a football field, not that I play football, but I have the concept of that size in the way I know the Moon is not a eye in the sky that is staring at us, but a satellite. Fun fact, I seem to remember also that there were humans landing on it. I stare at one of the water spikes that act as trees on the field, partially covering a group of tables with a changing filtered sunlight. I think everything must be controlled by fields. The same fields that the Shadows are using to hide, maybe. Then, where’s the energy source? Is it the cascade itself? Yes, a waterfall can generate energy. But how they pipe it this way?

– Hakim. – He looks at me. He’s certainly sad. Maybe he was forced to live outside the Court, or maybe this celebration is bringing him back to his past. He sips from a gorgeous glass and smiles me back, waiting for my question. So I ask. – What are we going to do after this is over? – His face contorts with sadness first, then with rage, I believe.

– What do you mean after it’s over? After all that I’ve given you! Of course we’re going to come back and continue our lives. Or maybe you are not coming back… – his eyes suddenly show a dark light that I never saw before on hom. Or did I? – maybe you will choose one of these… puppets…instead of me. Do you have the guts to do something like that?

– Stop Hakim, you’re hurting me! – His grip relaxes somehow. He grabbed me at the end of his last sentence, and for a moment, I thought he was going to throw me to the floor. But he didn’t. People around us (isn’t that the Ministry of Cultural Affairs?) seem to show interest of how our fight is developing, and my lover seems to realize it.

– Sorry Kris. – He grabs another glass of something blueish, and in a second the liquid is gone down his throat. He suppresses a burp, but I see it. I know him. Or I think I know. He hesitates for a couple of seconds just to take after yet another drink, as I was expecting. – I think I’m drinking too much. I hope you will understand why later. And I’m not able to clean my system without help as before… so… will you come with me to help me to release some liquids? Or will you stay here with Mr. Important Ministry of Something? – The alluded ministry, that was following our fight with puppy eyes from the closest table, suddenly seems to be offended and leaves the table making some muffled sounds and murmuring. And I’m happy he’s gone.

– No, of course I accompany you. I wouldn’t be here without you, and you know it.

At that precise moment, instead of running one over the other, we need to turn our heads. The wedding procession starts to arrive to the hall, and the hall itself expands, it changes, tables sliding out of the central part that seems to be slowly growing up, devoid of people. We were, at this moment, two groups, one to the left, one to the right. In the middle, a wide water passage, like a low catwalk, is forming. We are very close to border of it, so good news is that I will manage to be very close to Him/Her, to our God, to our Leader, to our Emperor. I wonder if I will survive it.

The water wedding (XXVIII)

– I want to introduce you to the Court. – I look around while I’m being driven from where we stand to the closest cluster. Where are the guards? Are they all in Shadow mode? I wonder if I can detect them. I wonder how can I detect them.

– Hakim…are we safe here?

– Why do you ask? – His face looks funny to me for a few seconds. Was it an effect of the light or was it having some concerns about it? – You know they can hide. – He continues speaking, after the first odd reaction. – You know you will not know they are there, unless you scan them. And you will not do that, will you? – He winks while saying that. I know he refers to our enhanced abilities. Last time I remember he winked is when we discussed about the peasant girl across the road. I saw them together, and I thought he cheated me. But the wink here has no context. What does it mean here and now? – Yes, you’re a good boy. You will not break the protocol. I know you don’t. Even if you don’t know it. But basically, the people you see in this “room”, if I can call it this way, are the rulers of our world, and right now, this must be one of the safest places on Earth to be. – Hakim smiles, but I see his lips twisted a little, a sign I learned to understand as a sign that either he’s lying or he is not sure about what he says. I take the first.

– I will not question further. You told me you wanted to introduce me to some people?

I’m not sure I can distinguish one from the other. But we go from table to table introducing ourselves. I don’t know why we do this, but the other guests seem to enjoy our visit, and sometimes, we get pieces of intel. Like that the System is very active the last days, maybe they heard about the Wedding, Like the image of the Empire. I didn’t actually know we had so many: one image of it is that of father that tells you what you need to do to achieve your goals. The other one is of a failed scientific experiment.

The water wedding (XXVII)

– You didn’t expect it to be so magnificent, did you?

After leaving the Tailor’s house, it took us not so long to reach the bottom of the crater. At the bottom, a road was leading us to something that, from the distance, resembled a mirage, some kind of building apparently actively vibrating and shining. Like a figment of my imagination. We parked where we see other vehicles (is that a tank?) and continued by walk: Hakim seems to know what to do but he doesn’t care to explain it to me, he just gives orders. I cannot avoid frowning.

– The Ceremonial Hall at the Fountain is not always visible, due to its nature. It can’t be there all the time, all around the year. Reasons are obvious. – I smile. He sees me and continues with the history lesson. –  No, I don’t know who built it. And yes, I was here before. The last time, it was for the dead of the father of him/her… that was…fifty years ago, I believe. Gosh, time flies!

The Ceremonial Hall is built on water. The water, as it flows from the cascade into the crater, is being channeled by crystal pipes in a fashion that on its gravitational thrust, it creates intricately designed walls and rooms. The main wall, where we just entered, is looking like a roofless temple guarded by big columns, columns that are empty inside. Their size is enormous. And they must be to create the illusion. Delicate spikes fluctuate over the columns, water feeded by Archimedes principle or similar fluid laws. There is no door, just a missing wall, or a passageway, that we take in.

From inside it’s even more spectacular. What I see now, to the left and the right of the road, is a group of approximately a hundred people clustered in random groups around circular tables, the tables filled with all kind of bottles, and topped with fountains. The general sensation is that we are open air, but in a castle. Over the hall, or around it, beyond the columns, there are colourful grandstands. I don’t see them all: they appear blurry through the water curtain. Any single person in sight around has a characteristic feature: a ridiculously long tophat, a hairdo in the shape of a still fountain, or visible breasts. How about that! Is the man over there naked and painted in silver? And is that one blinking us, blinking me?

– No I didn’t expect it to be the half of this spectacular. And it’s so big and fragile… but at least you don’t have pirates! – Hakim seems to be amused by my expression.

– Just for the record, this is my first Wedding. – I know it is convenient to fill up some kind of memento to say you and your couple are together. I know that the best is to do it in front of a priest, or somebody else with similar power. Even so, live is (was) so brief, and we were (are?) so poor that the wedding is not usually on our list of important milestones.

The water wedding (XXVI)

The Tailor happened to be a very silent man. Or so I thought until I found out he was missing the tongue…I guess he lost it due to knowing too many secrets. Even so, he and Hakim seemed to be old friends, and our transaction was fast: we walked easily across the Tailor’s amazing workshop to his wardrobe and then we started to try some.

– You look simply gorgeous, my dear. – Hakim was already dressed, but I was hesitant about the model. I do not have cultural baggage, since I know the Empire is not my birthplace. The problem is, I know nothing else than the Empire’s culture. Hakim has chosen a chang kben on silver, grey and blue, topped with a dark green tuxedo over a black t-shirt. Now he’s fiddling with a box of skin colors, while carrying on his hand several hairpins and an extension for his bun. I have chosen a white and blue churidar, aquatic colors seem the appropriate choice for the event, but I have my doubts. How quickly can I pee with this? What if I need to run?

– C’mon, choose something! – My mate is now admiring the result of his painting work over one of the standing mirrors of the changing room. The mirror, edged by a golden frame, has an enormous crack on it to the right, like if somebody punched it. But Hakim doesn’t seem to care about. On the contrary, he seems to take pleasure observing how his arm seems to be detached and attached again to his body due to the crack.

– I told you you are beautiful, no matter what you dress. So please do it, I don’t want to meet his new customers – says him pointing to the Tailor. He doesn’t seem to take it. – Take this. – He hands me a set of a beautiful capri pants and a jacket. I grab them, enjoying the silk and golden tones. They seem to complement perfectly Hakim’s outfit on a weird way, like if we were the negative one of the other.

– Maybe I should have given up on searching for something. You definitely are the man of the couple! – I say. He gives me one of his brilliant smiles. Also the Tailor, which is weird.

– Go there and try it out! – He points to one of the spaces behind the colourful and ancient sandalwood folding screens, where we can sit and dress while the person outside can guess what we do inside. A changing room. The expression comes to me in a natural way, but it’s not a natural one. I doubt for the moment I have my nanos under control. But I have, they seem to tell me. I will try to believe it.

– You see? That’s the one! Now, we need to choose some makeup…

– No, no makeup for me, please. – Something is telling me the makeup is not going to be compulsory. – Just come here and comb my hair, as you do at home. Please?

Hakim comes to me and kisses me. The Tailor sees what’s going on and leaves us alone.