Jasmine


[pdf: CW39.Jasmine]

This moment was everything Jasmine had wished for.
The light scent of spring flowers was no longer detectable. They approached the station, and the smell of exhaust fumes took over. It was a very loud and unpleasant place. A small square invariably busy with bulky coaches, people running around with suitcases, hastily looking for their bus.
‘All right then, I’ll have to go.’
‘Of course’, she smiled.
Obviously, smiling was far from enough. She felt like singing and dancing and jumping, but she had to wait another ten or fifteen minutes before she could freely express her feelings, and there were so many. Overwhelming excitement, paralysing shyness and also a little bit of sheer joy, all mixed in her head.
It doesn’t happen all too often that your life becomes just what you’ve always wished it to be. So when it finally does, you’re overcome with all kinds of feelings, most of them positive, but sometimes you get this notion that it all might just be a dream. Dreams have their limits too, however. And this was so far beyond any limits.
‘Remember to listen to the music I’ve sent you!’
‘I will, I will.’

Zach got on the bus and looked at Jasmine through the window. She was smiling at him widely and as their eyes met, she raised her hand and waved shyly. He returned the gesture and smiled too. A nice girl, that Jasmine. She’s probably in love with him, judging by the way she’s been acting.
Zach sighed heavily. How does he tell her about… about everything?
He closed his eyes as the bus moved on the bumpy road. He was almost asleep when he remembered: he promised to listen to Jasmine’s music! He pulled out his earphones and plugged them in. He opened the email app in order to see what it was that she sent him. No internet connection. Well then, he’ll listen to it later.

Thank God traffic wasn’t too bad that day and two bumpy hours later Zach opened the door to his house.
‘Hi there!’, he shouted as he put his jacket on the coat rack. The hall was filled with the warm smell of slow-cooked pork. ‘Wow, I’m so hungry!’
‘You’re just in time then,’ his mum replied happily. ‘Dinner’s served.’
‘Awesome.’
‘I’m really happy that you come home every weekend, Zach,’ said his mum, smiling. ‘It’s not a common thing, I know, but it’s nice that you still do.’
‘Yeah’, Zach nodded in response. As if he had any other choice than to return here every couple of days, he thought. He had so many more interesting things to do, going out with his friends or seeing Jasmine to start with. He’d rather have coffee with her in some cozy café than come here again and again, that’s for sure. No one was interested in his preferences though.
Or, more precisely – the king wasn’t.
‘Is everything alright?’
‘Oh, yes, yes, it is, mum. I’m just tired. I’ll go and have a nap. Thanks for the dinner.’
‘Sure.’

Zach entered his room and headed straight for his desk. He turned on the computer and listened to its quiet humming, waiting for it to boot. The blueish light of the screen made the furniture cast weird shadows on the walls. Zach rubbed his eyes and sighed.
Installing updates: one out of twenty-three. Do not turn off your computer.
Nice.
Zach checked the time. It was almost half past six, so he still had some time left. Hopefully the updates are installed before seven because he needs to have the music playing by then.
Installing updates: thirteen out of twenty-three. Do not turn off your computer.
He’s going to make it, thank God.
Too many long minutes later the computer was finally ready to work. Good. Zach tried to keep calm, but the time passed quickly and now it was almost five to seven. His hands trembled and it didn’t help.
Just open the browser… type the address… pick any album… loop it… and turn the volume up a notch.
No sooner than he clicked on the ‘play’ button, it was exactly seven o’clock.
Zach looked at the chest next to his bed and waited. It should light up any time now.
First it seemed almost as if the light of the computer screen danced on it, but with every next second the glow became more intense and it was obvious that the chest was emitting it. Soon the whole room was lit up and Zach had to cover his eyes.
His hand trembling, Zach reached for the chest and opened its lid. The light was so intense that covering his eyes didn’t help much anymore. Pressing his hand against his eyelids and turning his head away, trying to protect his sight from the beam, he stretched his arm and grasped the stone that was inside the chest. Immediately the light stopped being painfully intense. Zach opened his eyes and looked around. He wasn’t in his room anymore, but he still could hear the music playing from his computer. It was very important that he could hear it at all times. It was the only thing that would make his return possible later.
In the earthly world, the light was so strong that his eyes hurt even though he did everything not to look directly at its source. Now he could stare at the stone for minutes and he found it funny how its delicate silvery glow didn’t even make his fingers look orange. Zach slipped the stone into his pocket and the light disappeared.
This place was weird.

‘Welcome back, Zachary.’
It seemed as if the voice came from all directions as it echoed against the rocks around Zach. Everything was in the colour of dark blue here, the ground, the rocks and the sky. Well, if there was any sky. Zach couldn’t say for sure, everything was in the exact same colour. He could only tell the soil from the rocky walls judging by their surface and temperature. This world produced no sounds and no scents. Everything Zach could hear in the background was the music playing in his room. Anything else that he could hear or smell in this world was there for some specific reason.
‘Hail to the king,’ said Zach loudly, kneeling and bowing his head. ‘For he is the only true king.’
‘Stand up, Zachary.’
Zach jumped to his feet obediently as the voice echoed, reached into his pocket and produced the glowing stone. He presented it on an outstretched palm and stared into it nervously, waiting for the king to speak again.
‘You will not fulfill your destiny today, Zachary.’
Zach dared not move or sigh, but he felt his stomach form a tight knot. Again, he thought. How many years was it already? He’d lost count. He was only wasting his time. He knew that he had to deliver the stone somewhere, but the king wouldn’t let him try for some reason, and Zach had no idea why.
‘You may now leave, Zachary.’
‘Hail to the king,’ said Zach and closed his eyes, preparing to cover them from the unbearable light of the stone he was holding. He focused on the music in the background, following every single note of the song that was playing. The glow of the stone grew more and more intense; so intense that covering his eyes didn’t help much anymore. Zach fell to his knees, but he didn’t hit the hard ground – he was back in his room, at home, kneeling on the soft carpet. His head turned away and his eyes covered, he hastily threw the stone back into its chest and shut its lid. The light weakened and disappeared in a couple of seconds. Zach hid his face in his hands and cried. The situation has been beyond his control for such a long time, and he felt that he was nowhere near the solution.
Some time later, Zach stood up and turned off the music. Another album off the list. He had this notion that music was somehow important when it came to his quest, but he didn’t know how exactly. He still tried changing his choice every time he visited the kingdom, but his choices were blind each time. All he knew was that he needed to loop the album so that – in case the king allows him to do what he’s meant to – he’s got a chance of coming back.

* * *

Jasmine walked with him to the station again, clearly delighted with his presence. Of course, Zach did like her as well. He just felt that he shouldn’t really get into a relationship if he can’t ever promise anyone that the next week he’ll still be around. He could die in the kingdom any time and he couldn’t tell what the blue darkness was hiding from him.
‘So, did you like the album I’ve sent you?’
The music.
He’d completely forgotten.
Shit.
‘Oh jeez, Jasmine, I forgot about it! I’m so sorry.’
Zach could see that her eyes sunk a little, but she didn’t stop smiling.
‘Promise I’ll check it out tonight.’

When Zach reached home, it was almost quarter to seven.
‘I’ll eat later!’, he shouted as he rushed upstairs. He threw his bag on the floor and turned on his computer. Thank God, no updates this Friday. With his trembling fingers, he opened the browser and started typing the address when he remembered Jasmine’s email. He could give her music a shot, why not. It should load by nineteen hundred. Zach opened his inbox and saw the email Jasmine had sent him a week ago. It had no subject, just the link. He followed it and quickly set the album to play on the loop. Its beginning was rather weird, sounded as if… it was the middle of a song? Zach didn’t give it too much thought because the chest started glowing and he had to cover his eyes quickly.

‘Welcome back, Zachary.’
Zach kneeled and bowed his head as the voice echoed in the blue darkness.
Hail to the king, for he is the only true king.’
‘Stand up, Zachary.’
Zach jumped to his feet obediently as the voice echoed, reached into his pocket and produced the glowing stone. He presented it on an outstretched palm and stared into it nervously, waiting for the king to speak again.
The king didn’t speak for a long time, but Zach kept focusing on the stone. Its shimmery light made the surroundings look lively, as if everything was made out of water. Zach knew that it was just an impression, and that this dark blue world was entirely solid. Well, at least so was everything he’d seen here so far. The music was flowing smoothly. This album was different from all the music Zach had known. It seemed as if it was one complete work rather than a collection of songs. Jasmine had clearly said that it was an album, there was no doubt about that, but also undoubtedly this one wasn’t usual.
‘Today is the day, Zachary.’
The voice sent shivers down Zach’s spine. Today is the day!
‘H-hail to the king,’ he answered, his voice trembling with anxiety and excitement.
‘Follow the stone, Zachary.’
Zach focused his gaze on the stone even more intensely and he felt as if some force dragged him forward. He made one cautious step, then another one, and soon he was marching forward at quite a pace.
He lost his sense of time and space. There was no beginning and no end to the music that was playing, as there was no beginning and no end to the blue. Nothing was changing, even the rocks around him looked all the same. The force was invariably pushing him forward, the silvery stone was invariably glistening, and the world around was invariably dark blue.
It could have been an hour, it could have been a day, it could have been a week. All Zach could tell was that he felt exhausted. His muscles were sore, his body was weak. He couldn’t walk anymore. He fell to his knees and crawled forward, moving slower and slower. Was that how it was going to end? Was he going to just die there in this realm?
‘H-hail… to… the king…’ he muttered and passed out, only hearing the endless music flowing.

* * *

‘Stand up, Zachary.’
The voice seemed to come from all directions as it echoed around Zach. This time however it sounded smoother, as if the rocks that reflected it were polished. Music in the background seemed smoother here too.
‘Stand up, Zachary.’
Zach opened his eyes, lifted himself up on his elbows and looked around. He was in a vast room whose floor, walls and ceiling were made out of marble of all colours – all except for blue. Tiny pieces of marble created detailed compositions of beautiful geometrical patterns, all of them forming perfect nonagons. The chamber itself was in the shape of a nonagon as well.
‘Stand up, Zachary.’
Zach jumped to his feet and reached into his pocket, only to find that the stone wasn’t there. He raised his eyes, scared, and noticed a majestic figure right in front of him. The man was holding the stone in his hand, the silvery light making him look royal. Zach fell to his knees immediately and bowed his head.
‘Hail to the king, for he is the only true king!’
‘Hail to you, Zachary,’ said the king, ‘for you are the one who brought the glistening stone to me. We may now destroy it.’
Zach raised his head and jumped forward. He covered the stone with his hands.
‘No!’
The king looked at Zach carefully.
‘You must want answers, Zachary,’ he said, nodding slowly. ‘I might owe you some.’
Zach glared at the king, feeling confident suddenly, anger building up inside him. His life has been guided by this weird quest for so many years!
‘I am King Gizzard,’ said the majestic man. ‘I am the guardian of infinity. I have no beginning and no end, and there is no beginning and no end to my kingdom. I have protected life from falling into infinite loops. It is only thanks to me that time passes, people change and every life will end one day. I am responsible for the balance between life, space and time.’
‘Years ago,’ said King Gizzard, ‘a wizard appeared out of the blue and entered my realm, and he persuaded me to grant him one loop of infinity. Oh, what a mistake I had made then. It was the Lizard Wizard. He tricked me into agreeing that lizards can grow their tails back if they have it cut off. Nothing special, one could say, but my one moment of weakness caused years of my suffering. The only infinite thing in the universe is the number of wizards, and they all decided to come and ask me to grant their one wish. I could not do it and I had to hide in this finite chamber, and it is a prison to my mind.’
King Gizzard closed his eyes and sighed heavily.
Zach had mixed feelings about this story. He figured that King Gizzard’s powers were essential to maintain the right balance in the world, but he also did force Zach into a particularly uncomfortable situation, and kept him in the dark for years.
‘Time and space were meant to be infinite, but as long as I am imprisoned here, they cannot expand,’ the king continued. ‘And one day life will run out of its time and space, and the universe will collapse forever. The only solution for me was to create one more infinite loop and place it in the world, because I knew that one day the loop will become its right shape, and bring an end to all this. And this time I was not mistaken. You have made it, Zachary. You have brought the glistening stone to me, and the answer is inside it. You have shaped the loop of your life in a way which let you enter the infinite realm tonight. For that thank you, Zachary. For everything else I apologise. I plead your forgiveness, Zachary.’
King Gizzard’s voice echoed in the perfectly shaped chamber. Zach looked into the king’s eyes and saw deep sorrow in them.
‘Can we now destroy the stone, Zachary?’
Zach nodded, stepping back. King Gizzard raised the stone up above his head and threw it on the floor with his full force. With a piercing sound resembling shattered glass, the stone smashed into tiny pieces which covered the entire floor. They weren’t glowing anymore. The only source of light was now something that lied at the king’s feet.
As Zach carefully moved forward, King Gizzard slowly reached for the shimmering item.
‘This is it,’ the king whispered in amazement. ‘This is it.’
King Gizzard was holding a tiny quill, a grin of satisfaction on his face.
‘A quill?’ Zach said, puzzled.
King Gizzard didn’t answer. He rushed to the other side of the nonagonal chamber. Zach followed, suddenly noticing a huge old volume sitting on a bulky desk across the room. The volume emitted this familiar silvery light. As Zach approached it, he could see that letters were appearing on the volume’s pages, and when a page was fully covered in writing, it would turn, and letters started appearing on the next page. King Gizzard reached the old volume and hesitated for a moment.
‘No,’ he said. ‘You should do it, Zachary.’
‘Do what?’
‘Bring an end to this, Zachary. Put a full stop at the end of a sentence. Free me from my curse, I beg you.’
King Gizzard turned to Zach and stretched his hand, presenting the quill to him. Zach hesitated, but he grasped it. He leaned over the volume and tried to follow the appearing words.
‘You must put the full stop exactly at the end of a sentence, Zachary. It is of highest importance.’
…the king found his saviour the time and space started expanding again the balance was restored and the world was saved forever
‘NOW,’ shouted King Gizzard, and Zachary lowered his hand quickly, touching the paper with the glistening quill. The nonagonal chamber trembled but Zach held the quill firmly.
‘Hail to you, Zachary, for you have fulfilled your destiny,’ said the king. He placed his hand on Zach’s back and closed the volume. ‘Thank you forever. You may now leave, Zachary.’
King Gizzard smiled at Zach. The chamber was trembling stronger and stronger, and Zach knew it was going to fall apart. He closed his eyes and focused on the music, following every note if the infinite loop it created. The light of the quill grew more and more intense, and Zach had to turn his face away from the intense silvery glow. He fell to his knees, but they didn’t hit the cold marble.
Zach collapsed onto his soft carpet, back in his room at home. He spent some time staring at the ceiling, listening to the music that was still playing in the background.
The music, what was it?
Zach jumped to his feet and reached for his computer. The blueish light of the screen made the furniture cast weird shadows on the walls.
Zach looked at the author and the title of this mysterious infinite album, and he felt a rush of blood to his head.
The band was called King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.
The album’s title was Nonagon Infinity.
Zach closed his eyes and focused. Please, please let Jasmine be real.

Joanna Burkiewicz

Reklamy

The Chimney Sweeper

[pdf: CW38.The_Chimney_Sweeper]

Do not go into the light
They said
Do not give up
They said
They didn’t know what light is
Light is life
Light is freedom
Light is the smell of rotten corpses at dawn
Hollow eyes of bipedal animals
Screams curses calls shrieks quarrels
The sounds of so alive
So dead
It’s vanity they said
It’s rubbish they said
And they were right although they didn’t know what they were saying
They didn’t know about stuffiness four walls a voice resembling gaggling of a goose
Everlasting journey into the light
Hope
And soot

Magdalena Kowalska

Pride and Logic

[pdf: CW37.Pride_and_Logic]

The world rumbled, contracted, then spasmed.
And there he was. Pride looked thoroughly at himself for the first time. Green seemed to permeate his fur, leaving only few pink spots to be seen in an ocean of green. Just one limb, jointed in four places and a disfigured head, enabling him to see all that happened around him.
He currently floated on an island amid nothingness, one made from stone and grass and earth and Stability.
Odd, he thought, that I should exist. He raised his paw. It had three fingers ending with pointed claws, and another one, dull but filled with beautiful, beautiful memories.
With emptiness around him offering little in terms of interest, Pride focused on memories contained inside of his finger.
There weren’t many. Most of them provided only sounds, coming from outside the boundary of Stability. Only the most recent ones, now being born by the second, brought innovation. White. So much white. And also … red? What was that crimson expanse on the bottom, always accompanying eyes?
He did not know.
“I hereby announce,” a voice pierced the quiet. “that the field of red beneath us is our body!” The statement surprised Pride, but he found himself muttering approval for the revelation. Who said these words? His head only now caught a shape rising behind him.
An island had appeared from the void when he was so absorbed with memories. Similarly to his piece of land, it had a creature perched upon its peak. But the beast differed from Pride. It was larger, better built, fancier coloured even. In place of green-pink fur, a body in various shades of grey shined with its lack of hair.
“I hereby announce, that I am Logic!” the creature shouted. Pride looked around himself once again. Was he the only recipient of these words?
No. There were other islands rising from the void.
Amidst such a crowd, it’d do me well to have someone loud by my side.
He could not explain how, but with these thoughts in mind his land moved, floating to the vicinity of Logic.
Pride watched carefully how the situation unfolded. Other creatures joined them one by one, their islands settling in after achieving appropriate height.
They were … colourful. Extraordinary. But most importantly, different.
Each of them had purpose.
Each of them had meaning.
Each of them would help achieve Stability.
What a wond–
“I hereby proclaim,” a voice interrupted his reverie. “that we ARE.”
This time a loud chorus of cheers followed the statement, and even Pride’s own heart was moved.
If we ARE, if our body is as well … doesn’t existence imply importance? And as only we exist … aren’t we one most wondrous creature of the most grand significance?
He felt a part of his reasoning reverberate within his being, growing stronger and stronger, until it shook both him and his isle.
WE ARE ONE.
It claimed, insistent on being heard. But Pride was too meek, too quiet to pass it onwards. It dwelled inside his rock and refused to stop existing. And Pride, knowing the plight of those that exist, thought of Logic, a perfect vessel for the message.
And his island moved, touching briefly the grey giant’s habitat. That was enough. The vibrating passed. It climbed into Logic’s throat and shot out of it, propelled by his booming voice.
“I … WE ARE ONE,” he spoke.
Pride could feel the truth of these words reach the others. They were confused at first, then happy, then elated. Pride was content as well.
And angry, that the rest of his words did not have such power. He glanced at Logic. Maybe–
The ground shifted. Islands, the beacons of Stability, prodded shouts of surprise as they went on their own and started pushing into each other. The impacts were negligible, as Pride almost couldn’t feel as his home rammed into other rocks, but brought islands together.
Now joined, the grouped rocks continued to move and connect with their neighbours, growing in size but shrinking in number.
It didn’t take long for the final result to appear.
Land. Firm ground which connected all of them, from the smallest beast to the largest.
Some were quiet at this event’s outcome.
Some expressed their feelings as loud as they could muster, but few were powerful enough to influence others.
Who takes command now becomes king.
Pride knew what he had to do. He wanted to be heard, to show the rest what they truly were. There was one way to make them listen. Led by his instincts, Pride stretched his limb across the ground, pulling himself forward bit by bit. He could still see and hear confusion from all sides, his brethren unsure of what to do.
All the while he crawled forward, nearing the grey mountain of flesh sitting immobile in front.
Logic did not move in the slightest since the islands had joined. Was something wrong? He couldn’t use him in that case. But he had to try.
Pride clasped his hand around Logic’s leg and pulled himself closer. And closer. And closer yet. He entered the powerful body, throwing himself into the vortex of Logic’s being. Their essences merged and became one. He encountered no resistance.
I’ll take it from here, friend.
Ambition tested the many limbs of his new body and marvelled at its prowess and beauty. A worthy tool. Then, he spoke:
“Brothers and sisters,” heads turned at his now dominant voice. As they should. “I bring you the truth. We are tasked with maintaining Stability, with protecting our body. And as we and our body ARE, aren’t we the most important thing in the world?”
The creatures cheered, although admittedly less than before.
No matter. I have them.
Ambition took a big breath and gave an order.
“Let’s shout, shout for we deserve to eat, eat and live!”

 

***

The little one started crying again. She held him closer to her chest and rocked him a little.
“What’s wrong, baby?” she asked her weeping miracle.
“He’s hungry,” her husband said. She smiled at him.
“An appetite like his father’s,” she commented while undressing. A thought came to her as she stared into these cute eyes.
“Just look at him. Isn’t he the most innocent creature in the whole wide world?”
“Yes, yes he is.”

Filip Samek

Spotkanie 19 stycznia 2018

Tym razem omówiliśmy cztery teksty prozatorskie, w tym jeden po polsku. Wybrane na to spotkanie ołówkowe tematy wyraźnie pokierowały autorów w stronę konwencji baśniowo-onirycznych; pojawiła się i alternatywna mitologia, i legendy arturiańskie, i Baśnie tysiąca i jednej nocy, i… opowieści o pracy w biurze, która czasem też jest odrealniona. Część tekstów sami zresztą znajdziecie tutaj w najbliższych dniach.

Podczas spotkania mieliśmy też okazję obejrzeć nową książkę w biblioteczce KNA: wydany bardzo pięknie i dawno esej Czego nas uczy Anglja? Romana Dyboskiego.

Następne spotkanie

Czas jest do ustalenia – jak ustalimy, to pojawi się informacja w sekcji NASTĘPNYM RAZEM. W zakładce Jak działamy opisany jest sposób nadsyłania prac.

Proponowane tematy

Skradzione, zgubione lub zepsute pisaki bądź inne przyrządy do pisania.

Godło

Symbole Wielkiej Brytanii.

Untruth

[pdf: CW34.Untruth]

Shut it.
All lights. All traditional feelings.
How.
How.
Feelings can be.
    Each. Repeating. Damn. Time.
        THE SAME
Like anyone could plan it.
We are trying to live.
        No.
    We are
Trying to lie.

To lie our life before one another.
Things exist only in other people’s lives.

You.
How are you?

You is a thing.
        One of many.

And what humanity will do with you?

    Will pack it in colorful paper designed with Santa Clauses
    And put in under the Christmas tree.

Forgetting to scrap off the price.
For somebody who will pass it further next year.

    Each. Repeating. Damn. Time.
        THE SAME
Shut it.

Author: Marta Kazanecka

The Alien

[pdf: CW32.The_Alien]

In a part of the universe that is so visible to the human eye, the dawn started early with a pink glow and soon the half-disc of an ancient star emerged on a light-blue surface that was still partially covered with the darkness of a hot subtropical night. The shine mirrored on the calm depth of the inky water. Laziness was in the air. The star lazily clambered the sky. The darkness lazily yielded to the light. The creatures of the sea swam lazily straight into open nets. The view was so peaceful, so quiet that even the rippling waves stayed as mute as a humble servant that is bound not to disturb the sleeping master, yet stay by his side until eventide.
In the silence, like in an invisible shed, a strange man was hiding.

*

It was the first time for Karol to sleep on a beach. He was not a person of this kind, not at all. When a terrible headache finally woke him up, at first he could not believe his eyes. A crystal clear sea spread up to the horizon. The sun shone with all his strength, high in the sky. Around him there was just white sand, not much different than snow, even its warmth seemed cold at first touch. And in the back there was a forest of tall palm trees tempting with a shadowy shelter from the heat.
“What on earth…?!” he murmured to himself in disbelief.
He didn’t know how he got here, not at all. The last thing he remembered was the goodbye-party at the hotel bar. It happened quickly, as always. Stupid Portuguese and their wine. Unfortunately, his mind preserved some unwanted images, a figure of a young, blond hostess that smiled at him at the back of the smoking room, and then some other dirty secrets that followed, as for example that her underwear was pink. He could recall the smell of her cheap yet nice perfume that soaked deeply into the structure of her curls. So many details, so many stories… But as for how he got here, none.
While checking his pockets, the man noticed that his greyish tuxedo, worth probably more than his own life, was entirely ruined, all covered with a thick layer of dry sea salt. With both sleeves ripped off, tattered legs and only one shoe on he must have looked like a savage or a castaway or a madman and a drunkard, and except for the last one, of which he wasn’t sure, he would never call himself any of those names.
He took off the blazer, or at least what was left of it, just to discover some small blood stains on his once white shirt. His chest was fine, though, so he soon deduced that the blood must have dropped from his face. When he touched his upper lip, he found it swollen and itchy and covered with scab. As for the pockets, they were empty as in brand new. No clues whatsoever. He lost his ID, his keys, his wallet, not only with a credit card inside but also with some serious cash.
But did he remember who he was? Oh, of course he did. Mr. Karol Brzozowsky, age 39, son of Barbara and Zbigniew, husband of Phoebe, father of two. Working at OpenAll Industries, currently on a business trip to Porto. A trip of paramount importance for his future carrier.Apparently, it was all shattered now. But no, he won’t panic. Not yet.
Now he remembered,a security worker yelled at him that it’s a private party when he tried to enter the bar through the back door. His ID was lost already then. Before any of his colleagues noticed his absence, let alone the inconvenient situation he got in, the bodyguard had kicked him out of the bar. Maybe that’s when he got wounded? But he did not remember being hit. That must have happened later.
After being thrown out of the party he definitely wanted to get in by the front entrance. But when he entered the hotel’s atrium, another bodyguard asked him for his ID. Karol tried to show him keys to his apartment but no, the keys were already gone as well. So was the rest of his belongings. It all seemed clear now.The pretty hostess was a sneaky little thief.
Cleaned out of all his documents, deprived of any contact with his co-workers, he saw a last ray of hope in the person of the receptionist. He rushed to the desk and gasped out:
“You! You must remember me, my dear! Could you please tell this gentleman here that I’m a guest at your hotel? Oh, please! I can give you the name. Just check it. Karol Brzozowsky. Number 305.”
The bodyguard grabbed his arm and gave the receptionist an expectant look. The woman, a young Portuguese with full lips of the color of blood, lingered her eyes on Karol with an expression of fake puzzlement. Indeed, she remembered him very well. It’s hard to forget a man who starts to offer you suggestions the exact same moment he enters the room. She saw how he treated the luggage boy when he dropped one of his packages. Finally, she witnessed a conversation between two women that arrived at the hotel with him and his other co-workers. What she heard didn’t put the man in a positive light, obviously.
“Ekhm, I’m sorry, sir.” she replied with a slight accent.“We have so many guests, I’m afraid I can’t remember them all. Could you repeat your name, please?”
She was a vengeful creature, he knew it. A fierce southern girl. Just the kind he likes. Now he regretted it. He repeated his name slowly, feeling first signs of irritation, but still smiling as if nothing happened.
“Hm, let me see…” mumbled the Portuguese while pretending she’s checking something in the register. “Oh! I’m afraid there is no one of that name, sir. You must have mistaken the hotels,” she said with pity in her voice.
“Okay, I will spell it for you.” Karol started to lose his patience.“B-R-Z-O…”
“That’s enough.” snapped the bodyguard. “You sir are drunk”.
“What? Stop! Don’t touch me! My agent will know about this!”
And before he moved his finger, he felt the thick, night air bursting into his nostrils. The door closed with a loud clunk. He spat on the ground angrily.
Still not discouraged, actually even more motivated than before, Karol jumped out of the short staircase and turned straight to the bar’s door. He was almost sure that someone from his delegation will see him and tell the security worker to let him in.
Tu outra vez não!” shouted the tall man as soon as he saw him approaching.
“I’m sorry friend. You’re doing your job, I know. But hey, just ask anybody. Hey! HEY! George? Hey, Walter? Is that you?” Karol started calling out down the corridor but no one responded, it was too loud. Finally he saw a woman in the hall.
“Thank God I see you here, Miranda!”
Actually, he wasn’t so glad. The black-haired beauty that turned her head to his voice was the last person he hoped to see. It was the second year he was promising her he’s divorcing Phoebe. Before it could happen, Miranda dumped him because she caught him kissing their boss’s secretary in the storeroom… The wound was still fresh. He called her name at the top of his lungs but she just glared at him in response and vanished in the darkness of the corridor.
That was enough.
Karol gave the bodyguard a hard elbow and ran down the hall straight to the sound-proof door. He grabbed the handle, pulled it and jumped inside the bar. The loud music, the sudden warmth and the smell of sweat hit him as a wall.
And that was all, that was all he remembered.

And so, lost in his thoughts, he never noticed the other man that was with him on the beach, lying in a hammock of ruffled cords that was attached to two palm trees. Not until the man himself decided to give away his presence by a hoarse chuckle.
Karol jumped on his legs, scared of the sudden laughter that came seemingly out of nowhere. He looked around twice and finally noticed a darkskinned Jamaican with long dreadlocks and milky-white teeth that shined in a smile. The man wasn’t looking at him. His warm eyes were fixed on the view, on the sun and the ocean.
“I’m sorry,” stuttered Karol. “You scared me to death.”
“Nah, ya seem quite alive to meh,” replied the man and turned his head. “But ya kinda lucky in that aspect, ya know, Mr…?”
“Brzozowsky. Why am I lucky?”
“Dats a weird name. Whereya from?”
“From Poland. Why am I lucky?” Karol was impatient to know. He got a feeling that the man can give him answers he needed. But the Jamaican suddenly started speaking Russian.
“I said Poland, not Russia.”
Ganz egal. Yo just ay white man from Europe fo me. For ya I’m just a n*gger, anyway.”
Karol wanted to object but after a while he just shrugged his arms. The truth has been spoken and he had no time for arguing.
“So, what about the lucky stuff.”
The Jamaican said nothing. He grabbed a rolled newspaper and threw it to Karol’s chest. The title on the front page said:
Plane Catastrophe on Atlantic Ocean. No Survivors Found.
Even though there was unbearable heat in the air, he felt as if his blood turned to ice. Shivers went down his spine as he learnt more details about the accident. An American company’s private plane back from a delegation in Porto. No survivors found. No survivors found.
“Me. I’m a survivor,” Karol said to himself in low voice then turned to the strange man. “It was you. You saved me.”
The Jamaican laughed even louder than before.
“Stupid white man,” he said slowly and carefully, serious as a hangman.“It ain’t me who saved ya. It was the ocean.” And again he set his eyes on the blue.
After a long period of silence and shock, suddenly Karol’s mouth opened and he started laughing uncontrollably. Now he was them all: a savage, a castaway, a madman and a drunkard. With tears in his eyes he started recalling his life, every woman he had hurt, his children he never cared about, his parents he hadn’t seen in years, all his clients he deceived, every stupid mistake he did after binge drinking for days. How stupid he was never to see it before! And now? Look at all the possibilities! He must have died on that plane and get resurrected as a new man.
And to the Jamaican’s amusement, Karol stood up, grinned triumphantly and cried out:
“Oh I never wanted to f*ck this much as now in my whole life! Show me the way to the nearest town, my friend. I could use a bottle of rum as well. A new life,” he laughed maniacally. “Oh yes, I can leave all of that behind. My stupid family, I’m sure they’re so happy right now that they’ll finally put their hands on my insurance. And that bloody job of mine, those fools will DIE without me, oh no, haha, they are already dead!”
And as he hobbled into the forest, his laughter got quieter and quieter until you couldn’t tell it apart from the tender swoosh of the waves, the calm rustle of the trees and the creaking of the hammock.
“Sum people don’t deserve ay second chance, ya know,” said the strange man.
The ocean responded by breathing out another warm tide, gently covering the shore.The planet turned slowly at its own cosmic pace. The darkness of the night was about to visit this part of the globe again.

Observatory

[pdf: CW33.Observatory]

It’s completely different
when you go to church on a holiday.

Mrs Smith has got a new fur. Can they afford it,
a teachers’ couple. The Millers
have lost their children in the crowd (they’ve always been strange).
Sophie Roberts is pregnant
and there’s no trace of any father! But he might be waiting
in the long line to the confessional.
That grey-haired man confesses only
once a year, and that lady
twice a week.
A few people farther, there’s a short, young boy:
the one who left the detention office lately. Well, well.
Some years ago he would smoke weed and sell drugs.
Generally,
many new faces can be seen
some are visitors and the rest
has just remembered that they believe.

I saw Mrs Smith in the parking lot,
she got into Mr Holgrove’s Bentley.
There she is!

It’s completely different
when you go to church on a holiday.

Author: Joanna Burkiewicz