Category Archives: Snippets

Hide-and-seek in the Blue House

It was nice morning and the Sun was shining at its best. I dragged the green bathrobe around my bed warm body, shaped a bun out of my hair and made my way in kitchen to brood some coffee for my foggy thinking. The day has no beginning without the morning coffee I always knew.

After putting the kettle on the stove I allowed myself the luxury of enjoying the serene sea view from my window. It had a nice frame made of willows that shook their branches right outside my white window. They had lost most of their leafs, but that didn’t seem to bother me at that point- it was still beautiful.

I heard the water boiling, so I stretched my hand out to get the coffee can from the white shelf. I could feel how life force started coming back in me after few zips of that drink of ecstasy and as usually that also brought an appetite for a bit more solid food, so I pushed the pan on the stove and opened the cupboard under it, took some bread from there without looking and traveled over the floor to also gather some tomatoes and cucumbers. I loved bread with cucumbers, especially when I had made the bread myself yesterday.

I had already finished the breakfast and was about to put the bread back in the cupboard when I suddenly heard an alarming snuggling voice from the same place. I waited for a second to think through all the options of things and animals I might come across when opening the doors, but decided there was no point of pushing it more in the future, opened the doors in one quick move and… screamed as lowed and hard as my lungs allowed.

There was Mathew, his fierce curls shining in all autumn colours, blinking his two huge green eyes.

„Hush! Close that mouth of yours already!” he hissed and dragged the doors closed again.

I fell on the stool next to the table, stunned by that remarkable site. I sat there till I smelled something burning and rushed to save the pan from the stove. I emptied it on the yellow plate.

„Wait!” it suddenly came to me – what on earth was an almost thirty year old man doing in my tiny kitchen case? I pulled the doors open once more.

„Mathew! What are you doing here?” I tried to sound angry when kneeling in front of him.

„Shut up! Girls at your age should already know how to keep quiet!” he growled and tried to close the doors, but I didn’t let him.

„If you don’t come up with a bloody good excuse for being here right now, I swear…” I shouted halfheartedly, but still angry to find him there.

“I’m hiding! Doesn’t it look that way?” he bristled at me and pinced my leg so hard I had to pull it away and the doors fell shut.

I rose without word, smoothing the skin that got hurt. I didn’t bother playing on with the doors, but asked loud so he could hear me through the doors as well. “And why are you hiding in there?”

“Mh?” He couldn’t make out my question well through the white oak, so I repeated it and added on soft voice: “Chastity threw you out or what?”

“Mh? What? No, nothing like that! We’re playing hide-and-seek!” he protested.

I was already shaping my lips to acknowledge him and say “Aaa!” and sincerely laugh, but shut a moment later, appalled by the answer. “Come again?”

“I’m playing hide-and-seek. ”

I thought long and hard about what to answer or ask, because his words gave me shivers. I pulled the doors open one last time and asked as loudly as I could to maintain the angry sound: “And that is why you are hiding here, in my house, in my kitchen case?”

“Well… daaah!”

“Lord, help me…” I sighed and squat down. “Please be so kind and explain me now, from the beginning, why would an almost seven feet tall man try to jam in in my only three feet tall cupboard?” I consciously left out the age as after today I wasn’t sure myself if a man in his late twenties is adult enough to understand the contradiction he created.

“Because we are playing hide-and-seek!” he repeated, hurt now like a little child who’s world view you are not even trying to accept.

“You already told me that, yes.”


“But why in my kitchen case?”

“Because the rules say so!”

I knew we didn’t get far with such pace. “Oh, the rules say so?”

“Yes…” he drawled, not liking what my voice sounded like.

I on the other hand did like how it sound and after stretching myself I announced with fat voice: “If only rules say so, then get out of my closet, now!”

“WHAT? You can’t do that! NO, NO and one more simple no!” he jammed in the walls of the cupboard even more than I thought possible – there was no way to get him out there now.

“Why?” I demanded.

“‘Cause if Bertram gets my shiny ass before lunch, he’ll smack me with the knout!”
The situation just got my flavor all over it. I cocked my ears and took a seat on the stool.

“I’m listening!”

” You do know the basics of the game, don’t you? You seek yourself a good hiding place and sit there till time set in the beginning.” He sounded too excited for my pleasure.

I had to scratch the back of my head, where the scalp starts – did I speak with a grown-up or a child? “Or else the it will knout you?”


“Okay.. And you are in my closet, because…?”

“Because today we’re hiding in your house!” he sounded as innocent as a kitten.

My heart skipped few beats – all of them? In my house? “And you’re doing it, because…?”

“Not following.”

“Why are you doing it in my house?”

“‘Cause the cast set on your house?”

“Cast?” I must of looked very discouraging, because he held back for a second to rethink his next answer.

“Well, so we wouldn’t have to die in boredom, we cast loges, in which house we hide and then we… hide! And then comes meany Berty and smacks anyone he can lay his hands on, with the knout!”

It was freaky to see how his eyes started glowing when he spoke about it. Not to add up with his little play I made myself as indifferent as I could manage and asked slowly: “Am I only one, who doesn’t know about your hide-and-seek?”


“Really?” I could smack myself for the joy I felt – for once I wasn’t the only fool, who wasn’t oblivion about what went around. “Who else don’t know?”

“Addam.” The answer was so brief I thought I heard it wrong.

“Addam?” After curtain happenings I thought Addam knew everything that went on on the island. Thank God I hadn’t put money on it.

“He did come up with the idea,” he explained, “but he doesn’t know we still play it.” He shrugged.

“I’m not sure I understand you…”

“Well, he offered –that’s three years now? – on one very stormy night that we could play hide-and-seek and so we did. And he said, that to make it more interesting, we could do it in different houses and then we did and then Bertram posted that he will not hide in anywhere or anything and then Addam made this knout out of the handkerchief and said that he can be the Knout and that he can smack anyone he can find, but he does it always with such power and it’s painful and so…” he stopped his recall for a moment like he’d heard something, but as nothing followed, he continued: “Addam doesn’t know we still play it when we get bored.”

“How’s that?” I pushed another piece of bread in my mouth – the hunger won over the exciting story.

“We leave his house out from the casting.”

“How lovely!” I announced ironically and closed the doors for him. I took the palte from the table and took it to the sink, where I washed it and was about to dry my hands, when I heard him again snuggling in better position. “How long will you stay there?” I asked.

“Till midday?”

I looked at the clock, it was only minutes after nine.

Then suddenly we heard yelling from the stairs and footsteps as a pack of elephants had found the way in – I had to jump after my lovely yellow vase with dandelions to keep it from shaking.

“Don’t even think about it!” that voice definitely belonged to Bertram. “We are on an island if you haven’t forgotten!! I will get you eventually!”

I suited myself better against the cupboard, showed the hands crossed over my chest and waited him to get to me with his knout.

I didn’t have to wait long, after a minute or so the kitchen door flew open and panting Bertram, in his wonderful new green suit with red flowers stitched on, landed in. It took me one look in his blood thirsty eyes to pull away from his way and jerked downwards the kitchen case.

“Ahaa!” he yelled like a pirate and hit the knout in motion. “Come out, ya punk! Come to daddy!”

The doors of the cupboard opened fast and Mathew, faster then wind, stumbled out, around my table and tried to run away, screaming, begging for mercy, but was rewarded with a smack on his ass.

“Hey, that hurt!” Mathew protested, but was running the next moment for his life.

“Come to daddy and get your candy!” Bertram didn’t give in and I stretched out to catch my white lamp that seemed to be in danger of being knouted off the sealing, but the moment Mathew went, the knout found peace on Bertram’s hands too.

Before going he turned to me and, after a quick look around, smiled openly. He grabbed for my hand, bowed slightly and kissed it.

“Thank you!” and he was gone.

I waited till the sounds disappeared in distance and made my way up the stairs to change my clothing.

“Shoot! What if Mathew wasn’t the last one?” Just in case I made sure to look in the wardrobe too. And bathroom. And all other places that could or could not fit a man in them. To think – all this punch, in my house!



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Arabian coffee

“Small world,” Meredith muttered to herself when she suddenly saw a familiar shape cross the little market place in the middle of Arabian peninsula. She knew the man from her hometown, through an incident she wasn’t ready to confront just yet.

It was her eager ex, who were to blame in dragging her into it and why she was here now, hiding far from the obscure streets of Leeds, in a place she thought she’d finally be able to breathe again. Leeds was big city compared to the town she was staying now, but small enough to get everybody’s attention after a stupid photographer put your image up in the local post. The police had said she’ll have nothing to worry about as his boyfriend and she had been simple bystanders, who were dragged into the drug war incident. But she could never forgive him the way he put her in the middle of it. She couldn’t understand why he did it – you didn’t place people dear to you in such danger, ever. Yet there she was, standing before an empty gun with their guest rolling his eyes in ways she never thought possible.

Her boyfriend had cowardly hid himself before the police arrived and later tried to clean his guilt by repeatedly telling her she caused it herself. After a while she started to think so, too, shady suspicion inside growing that perhaps she indeed flirted with him and gave him the wrong ideas – him being Muslim after all and her dressing in revealing outfits on a daily basis.

It was about a month later, when the man’s father had came from Saudi Arabia that she started to see it differently. They had similar body shapes, but that’s where the similarities ended. She had got a good back-side glimpse while waiting the judge’s ruling, but never saw his face well enough to remember. Even then he was dressed in white thobe as he was right now, when she spotted him in the crowd. He just sat there, next to his son, but never said anything to protect him nor showed any support, only patting his shoulder quietly when the police handcuffed and took him away.

She had seen him up close afterwards, she recalled. It was outside the court, when he spoke to the young woman she thought was the junky’s mother. The woman had seen her and thrown down on her, blaming her for jailing his son. He had pulled the mother away, seeing her even more revealing outfit that she had worn that day. No, it wasn’t her, she told herself then, it wasn’t her outfit that threw him over the edge. But that was the moment the photographer captured and that was the second she could look on the next day’s paper until the hell froze over and the despair in her eyes made her feel guilty for acting as a good, protective for her community person and calling the police. He had only glanced at her, but those eyes were just as anger-filled as were his wife’s.

“Perhaps I heard him mention the town’s name?” She recalled bitterly, coming suddenly back to her reality and for a brief moment she scolded her absentmindedness. She couldn’t remember hearing the name, but when she took out the map and frantically searched a place far enough from her townspeople ugly stares, that name on the middle of Saudi Arabia had ringed in her eyes as if the only place to be right now. She could handle moving to a new city in UK, when she returned from her sudden, but much needed two weeks of vacation.

It had taken almost two months to actually come here. As she had absolutely no wish for company or a male companion to meet her up – not that she even knew anyone here – it had been a tormenting month and rejections came in as if rain had suddenly turned into a storm. After finally receiving the visa, she had to find the suitable dresses and everything else she thought she needed for her stay. She didn’t want anybody know about this either and secrecy is something best done slow as hurrying might have brought in too many mistakes that might reveal her to the entire town once more. But in the end it was all worth it as neither her overconfident boyfriend nor the paparazzi, who had made their permanent camp outside her premises had noticed anything and that had filled her with proud sensation when she finally sat on the plane, on her way here, under the hot Sun.

The first two days had been wonderful, hidden under her own handmade abaya, unknown to anyone but herself. She needed food though and hiding among the safety of her hotel was over for now. Time to come out of her own shell of misery too, she said to herself. Abaya didn’t ask for burqa and as a foreigner, she deeply hoped she didn’t have to use it. That meant she hardly looked up nor spent her time ravishingly staring at the buildings around though she found them absolutely fascinating. She found it was better to hide her grey eyes when all there were around were brown.

There had been nobody in the reception desk while she left and nobody to ask for a male companion to. They had offered for one when she arrived, but back then she didn’t need it and now, when she did, there was no one around to offer it.

She should have waited, she realized ironically, seeing the police sudden interest in her and she knew right there she had stood too long on one place, openly following his casual walk over the marketplace. She lowered her eyes immediately, but didn’t move. It would’ve been unwise to run. Meredith just hoped that in a place, where he had the upper sleeve and a good reason for revenge, he wouldn’t recognize her. At least the police will send her back to hotel and be done with it. She’ll promise to stay in her quarters and not come out without a companion again and the whole nasty incident would have a good solid solution.

But as the police closed in, she sensed another intrigued pair of eyes on her and those made her unforgivably nervous, melting her stoutness into a pile of sand that was whisked away with the rest of the sand on the stones under her shaky feet. She sent him a fast glance and it unnerved her even more, seeing his shocked expression and eyes that could freeze anyone on spot. He recognized her and that made her feel even worse, stomach clutching to her ribs and shoulder slumping.

He stood tall over others, though he didn’t seem so big, but she figured that this came from her tilted perspective. As far as she was concerned, the man was huge, both by power and his physics and trained enough to wear linen that gleamed through and showed his short sleeved t-shirt underneath.

In her dreams, coming to the South East had been far different than what she was against now. She closed her eyes in anticipation and her other senses took hold of her. She felt suddenly nauseated by the smell of their stinking skins of their belts that held their weapons, smokes rising from the food stands and spices too sweet to her taste.

“Madam, where is your chaperon?” a smaller man with goat beards asked her.

She understood, what they asked, but through the man’s heavy Arab accent made it almost impossible. There were five of them now and they kept coming to her way as if she was honey and they were flies. She would have given them her passport hadn’t she heard all the stories of how the passport was taken away and you were practically made into a slave. She froze up instead, horrified by the way they openly stared at her. She had taken extra care to find the abaya cut and fabric that wouldn’t show her curves or anything and there she was – openly ogled by the men as if she’d put up a sign “Come and get me!”

They continued in Arabic and she didn’t understand any of what they were saying, clutching to her purse, praying they would go away. Not that they would.

There was no one she could ask for help and she really regretted coming away from the hotel without a companion. For a second she even thought on turning to him across the market, but she knew he’d have nothing to do with her and after the gloomy thought of what might happen if he actually DID decide to help her, she let the thought go right there.

The smells of the spices mixed with dust the dry wind raised up from the pavement and it was making her even dizzier as it was really difficult to breathe now. She wanted to scream, make them stop, but dared not open her mouth as she knew she’d be held responsible for speaking to a man before asked.

“I’ll faint right here and have them deal with that!” she thought, sick feeling deepening, when suddenly a pair of strong dark hands pushed through the wall of men and six bright colored oranges appeared before her sky blue abaya and a low growl like voice asked in pure English: “Were those the ones you wanted, Meredith?”

She stopped breathing right then and there, staring at the fruits. The men pulled back too, revealing the owner of the two big hands and seeing, who he was, they pulled back all the way, creating something of a half circle around her.

The rest of his physics suited with the hands. For starters, he was tall and it hadn’t been her wickedly distorted eyesight on a hot day as she had assumed. He was older than she expected, with heavily burned face, big nose, chiseled features and a pair of dark very serious, calculative eyes. He was dressed in white thobe as most of the men on the market with the exception of silver clock that showed two times – one in Arab and the other of England.

Her hands trembled as she reached to touch the clock, but caught up with her wish fast enough not to raise suspicion by the police and moved fast to touch the oranges instead. She didn’t take them, only felt the scabrous surface under her doddery fingers. She knew right there that he was just aware of her strange reaction as she was. Of course, she told herself, the shudder must of made the oranges move, too. It took her a while before she managed a polite nod and enough grateful glances up that didn’t include absolute fear she was feeling inside. Her heart was beating hard and had he had his fingers any closer to hers, she was sure he’d feel how the blood was pulsing through her.

He pushed the oranges to her lap, forcing her to step back and turn, but the policeman grabbed her shoulder and pushed her around again. He immediately removed his hand from her shoulder and she felt the breeze of cold air go through between the police and them.

“Can’t I look away even for a second to pay for the oranges without you harassing my guest?”

His guest?

No-no-no! She wanted to protest, ask them to take her back to her hotel. No, this was not what she wanted! She was not his guest! Even ending the whole holiday and being sent back home was much better choice than being “his guest”!

“Madam, do you know this man?” the policeman asked again, with reserved respect that hadn’t been there just seconds ago, avoiding the man’s look.

He didn’t get an answer. She felt miserable and too confused, hands filled with ripe fruit and smells taking the best of her once more. She looked around now, openly searching a way out. She thought of asking them to take her back once more, but saw the look in the men’s eyes a moment later that made her change her mind. There was something odd about those so-called policemen. Something about them didn’t add up. They did have the symbols on them, but the way they moved, hand steadily on the guns, and faces half way covered, eyes gleaming in more than the sunlight.

She took a small step back so she could see their eyes better and submerged the urge to run. She’d fall on her own gown’s drapes and then what would she do? Either one of them would be a bad faith, she just had to decide, which one was worse and make the decision fast before the choice was taken away from her. So far she had never trusted people by looking in their eyes, but she saw no worse or better moment to start. There was nothing she knew about them, nothing about their culture to relate to or body language to follow, so she really had nothing to lose than her turn in a game she hardly even understood.

She had been right. The “police” was eyeing her way too openly than suitable for a Muslim man. Her sudden rescuer at least had a good reason, why he kept staring at her. Leastways she knew him, she added to herself, that itself gave her better chances to get away than from among people, to whom she was nothing more than a big prize. He at least hated her.

She decided fast, promising herself that if anything happened while she was under his care, she could at least apply on his anger and hatred and have a camera proven evidence to go with it. It was ironic how that unfortunate picture that forced her come here might one day save her.

She plunged the sudden gift back to its owner’s open hands and dug in her bag, where she had put her passport. It was slightly twisted, but other ways unharmed and she showed the police her document. It read Meredith Leighton in big capital letters and with visa for another 6 months. Her hands were shaking, but when the smaller man tried to grab the paper from her, she hold on to it tight.

Three rules, she reminded herself, three simple rules to keep every woman alive in Arab world: never give your passports away, always have a male companion and most importantly stay away from men’s path both through dressing code and other ways. In the last quarter of an hour she managed to keep at least one of the rules and that made her feel slightly better.

“Where is she staying? It doesn’t say on the visa!”

“At my house,” he replied with a tone that cut any further inquiry and the police took back as if he’d said some curse on their behalf and left them be, muttering by themselves.

It was odd silence that filled most of the market and she physically sensed all the shocked eyes on her. She didn’t look up, forcing herself to stare the stones in the dirt, but it didn’t matter – it still felt as if they were carving knives to take slices of her pink body home with them. She saw his hand edging towards the direction he wanted her to go and she followed it with stumping heart as she realized the consequences of her foolish decision.

She knew nothing of the man besides the incident back in England! As far as she knew he could be kidnapping her and forcing her to stay in his harem or something till hell freezes over. And she could do absolutely nothing!

She was still holding on to her passport and while he was leading the way she found the perfect moment to hide it under her garment, deep between the layers where she had sewn a little pocket. She didn’t know he was watching her every move though and saw exactly what she did. He found it utterly familiar and annoyingly typical for a foreigner, but he hadn’t explained her yet, why he had done it either.

“Please,” he showed his car. She hesitated, but the cop she saw from the corner of her eye made her move and before she knew it, she was sitting on the back seat of a dark blue Bently, shooting carefully hidden curious looks to her sudden knight in the shining armor. The driver was giving little attention to what went on in the back and so she found herself soon in the position that she had dreaded most, but dared not to let in her head when she planned the trip.

Suddenly she felt her skin growl and she knew he was openly judging her.

He put the oranges down next to him one by one before pealing the last one filling the car with fresh smell of it. The car took from its place and drove off, leaving the muffled sounds of the market behind. One of the oranges ran off his seat and straight to her feet. She automatically picked it up and reached it back to him. He nodded and took it, deliberately avoiding any contact.

He started after a pause, offering her the pealed orange instead, “I apologize for such a rood intrusion.”

She hesitantly took the orange, but she didn’t eat it. He knew the man from somewhere else besides the ugly show back home, she was pretty sure of it now – his posture, his shoulders, the chin. She couldn’t match them up with anybody and it only frustrated her.

He ate his slice in silence while she watched, still playing with hers in her lap.

“H-how do you know my name?”

“My name is Ghalib xxx, I believe you are the woman from Leeds, who called the police on my son.”

Her eyes widened and she stiffened. Straight to the point.

“Oh, please, don’t get upset,” he continued, “I am not angry at you for doing it. He has to pay for his actions, I’m glad you had the courage to do it.”

She listened, but couldn’t believe her ears. Was this man talking seriously? How could he be alright about her sending his son to the jail?

“I was, um…” she tried to intervene, but he continued saying how important it was that she stayed in his house now and how he wished to repay her kindness with his. It was the part about the kindness that flipped her calm and she felt her heart racing way faster than was suitable for sitting in a car that was starting to get freaking hot. “I was meeting someone at the main street’s coffee shop, may I request to be left off there?” Of chores it was a lie, partly, but still a lie, but it was the best one she could manage on her shaky voice.

He immediately stopped and stared at her as if she was insane. “The way you testified against my son, I understood you didn’t know anyone here?” he asked slowly, his voice filled with sudden menace.

She couldn’t get words out at first, mouth dry from even trying, but as it was obvious that without her answer he could only be thinking one way, she answered slowly: “I don’t. I just called on the number of the coffee seller the hotel looked out for me and they told me to meet them at the shop.”

He studied her for a long moment. “So, why are you going around without an escort then?”

She was surprised he didn’t start arguing on the validity of her statements and answered with the same honesty: “There was no one in the front desk at the time I left.”

“That was thoughtless of you.” He marked without hesitation and for some reason she knew he was right.

Like I hadn’t noticed myself, she scolded herself, but it was too late now.

“Alright, then let me introduce you to your situation.” He leaned slightly closer and clasped his hands together. “As you are now officially known to the police as my guest and you decided to come to this small village for your holiday – which I have hell of a time understanding why you even decided that, I suggest you start taking seriously the fact that you are staying in my household for the time being. I will have your things sent over in few hours and for…”

“I do have an appointment with the coffee seller,” she intervened, “he’ll start asking questions if I don’t show up.”

He raised an eyebrow doubting it was the case, but nodded then a slowly and told the driver to turn around and take them to the shop.

She was utterly lost now, not knowing if to thank him or try to run from him. She surely didn’t wish to meet that police again, but at the same time she was hurt inside how matter-of-factly she had played herself into hands of a man, who hardly wanted to be genuinely friendly.

And that hurt.

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I’ll make some tea

Exercise on beginnings.


The weather was so damp of heat it filled my lungs with water. I could feel it bubbling in my lungs and it made me cough.

Typical of me – to catch a cough at midsummer. Maddy looked at me with concerne, but I explained I swallowed a fly. They didn’t have to know the cough hadn’t left me since I had pneumonia in February. It always brings up the ugly topic of returning to doctors, who think it’s psychological rather than physical.

I kept reading my book, knowingly flipping the pages. Perhaps too often, but my mood was ruined. The crickets kept singing and the wheezing sensation in my lungs grew. I knew I had to go inside as soon as possible or I’ll be coughing the whole upcoming week.

“I’ll make some tea,” I searched for an excuse, “you want one?”

“Darling, it’s 37 degrees out here! Who would want hot tea?”

I was already up from my bolstered pillows, eager to leave.

“I would,” I said, “just felt like having one. Black, with lemon.” I sensed cough come up, but forced it down. “And a tint of sugar while I’m at it.”

She laughed like the wind we were missing so much, soft and clear. “In that case, darling, make me a cup, too.”

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Write minute a day


 First fell a mushroom, then a cup. Moment later we heard a bang and all the silver and chandeliers rattled.

“Oh!” my grandmother cheerfully set down her plate with cake. “That’s my neighbor! He weights a ton! I think he’s had a heart attack – how lovely! Perhaps I can have the flat?”


 The UFO puffed and huffed, covered everything in coal dust before landing six feet away behind our dear dead-and-still-a-Mayor’s mausoleum. It should have exploded, now that would be a drama!

I stared after that smoking monstrosity and split my lips into thin line.

We didn’t like changes around here – I didn’t like changes! We even had only one Mayor and he was kept a mayor after his death, because no one could imagine going through that much of a mess in that short of time!

How dared those… those… whoever they were! How dared they come and destroy our perfectly preserved routine!

Others began gathering around. Yes, this was a drama, but imagine us having children – now THAT’s a drama! First you grew bigger for nine months and there was just no time to getting used to it and by the time you accepted so many changes, you got a screaming bundle of six feet that just wouldn’t stop making a mess! And that if you only had ONE kid! Imagine you got two! Then you’d have twelve feet tossing around – if they’d move any faster it would create a halo around your head!

Oh, this was indeed not a good sign!


 Martin scratched his hairline. He had just pulled his deep fridge open and was now staring at his electronic car keys frozen in a plastic box with plenty of water.

“What is my car keys doing in the fridge?” He frowned.

He remember the party had lasted till early hours and most of them were out by five, but he didn’t remember anyone doing this.

His flat mate was however remembered perfectly well and while crunching in his roast, mumbled: “You said – this’ gonna really confuse me tomorrow.” He swallowed the dry bread and took a sip of coffee. “Apparently drunk you plays pranks on hangover you.”

Martin winched, but took out his block of solid ice.

“Next time, tell my drunk me that such pranks cost too much.” After giving it some thought he tossed the brick back in the fridge.

“What happened?”

“You started keeping count of only every even numbered drink you had.” He finished his bread. “Oh, which reminds me – someone switched your cash for Monopoly money after midnight so you couldn’t get any more drinks at the bar.”

“How kind of them.”

“Don’t worry! If it was Cindy, she’ll at least give it back. If it was Mary you’ll never see it again.”


 James Madrid Francisco III was up late in the night in the dormitory in his private high school, when he noticed something odd, when returning from the wash room around midnight. It was twinkle of light, but so odd and wrongly placed, that he felt the need to go and check it over.

He didn’t bother dressing up and only pulled his rain coat over his blue striped pajamas and hid his feet in pair of shoes before sneaking out of the house and heading straight to the old chapel in the middle of the massive green lawn, the pride of the entire school.

There was someone there, lurking around and if there was anything he tolerated less, was some peasant growling in at the late hours to paint some graffiti over their property. And it was his property.

He was not prepared to find instead a young lady, dressed in jeans and light jacket, holding high dusty candleholder and sticking her nose close to one of the old murals decorating the chapel. She had climbed higher to get a closer look.

“I hope you don’t fall, milady?”

That was enough to cause her lose her footing, but she gained it fast, only loosing her candles.

“You startled me!”

“What are you looking for? Here, at such ghastly hour?”

“A painting, nothing more. This particular one here – see? It’s from sixteenth century, yet I know one with the same lady in another chapel that’s century older!”

Her enthusiasm was remarkable. So were the bright white hair that rolled around her neck, when she spoke and so unladylike tossed her hands around. She wasn’t local, definitely not from his class and what more – she wasn’t here to paint some graffiti.

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Capturing body language

“The noise of the plain was unbearable when it turned its nose towards Washington. Mathew had never liked flying and today was no exception. He usually crunched somewhere in front seats and prayed his way through it. But he still hated the sound, that painstakingly shallow hauling that raked havoc in his head, pulling extra lines in his already frowning forehead.

Today it was worse, he had landed too close to the engines and it made his fingers clung in fists. The heavy vibration only added to the agony, when it run through the seats and through his fist, turning his skin into unpleasant wobbly waves. He pulled his hands away, sickened by the feeling and pushed them under his arms, fixing them so they couldn’t perform this repelling dance anymore.

He immediately looked up, searching if anyone had noticed his unpleasant reaction; no one hadn’t even raised their heads.

Except one bored young lady, who was staring right at him. He frowned in resentment, but she simply turned her eyes away and yawned. Just as fast his eyebrows fell, they shoot back up.

Her fingers began drumming on the plastic table and her eyes kept looking around in haze. Suddenly they stopped. Her fingers crawled forward and quietly, but defiantly dig into the front seat.

An older man, startled by the sudden finger in his seat, pushed up and searched the sudden motion from the behind, before frowning harsh – receiving only innocent smile and questioning eyes – turned back.

Moment later the finger landed back in the foam and disappeared almost completely in it. Then it froze together with the rest of the lady and waited what the front seat man would do. Nothing followed, so her face lightened up. He swore he saw little red horns grow through her blond locks. She sure grew tiny tip of tongue from the corner of her lips and constantly checking the old man, she sweetened her lips and dug deeper with the one finger.

After about ten minutes of digging, she thrust her other finger in it and searched around under the fabric, frowning on her own. She then pulled the fingers out and revealed small capsule between her green nails. It wasn’t big, only an inch long.

She looked puzzled, too surprised to be the one, who put it in there.
“Open it!” he shouted in his head. “Show what’s inside!” His hands fell and he dig fingers in his knees to stop himself from marching over. But he wanted to go over and see the thing between her fingers. His heart started pounding and he grabbed his chest, trying to ease it.

She did open it at last. It made barely audible popping sound and revealed an SD card in it.

She stared at it for a moment before shooting her eyes up and taking quick look around. Her eyes stopped in his. He felt hot and thought he lost all the color from his face, when she suddenly broke off the eye contact, jumped up from her seat and came right over.

“Do you have a laptop, sir?”
He stared at her with wide eyes and before his brain managed to form proper, thought through response, he heard his lips mumble: “No, but  I have a camera – SD will fit right in it.”

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