During the 2017 Solar Eclipse, a thick-skinned female police officer must prevent millennial Shadows from returning from the depths of the Earth to dominate humanity.
You can also read it in my blog (no advertising, no annoyances, no bullshit).
- As before, this is not my first language. All criticism is extra welcomed
- I included the previous content - the prelude - just because it's so small
@cfabbro, here's the ping you requested! Love to know what you think of it!
Before time was time, nights were dreamless. No one narrated the hunts, and death was just a cessation of the body. Births were joyful but meaningless. Statements were nothing more than intentions among roaring, shouts, and racket. Sometimes two sounds came together in funny ways, but meaning was still far away from our primitive cogitations.
In these times of monotony, the Shadows entertained the primitive men. With no timbre or elocution, they came from the deepest layers of Earth’s mantle to tell stories under the moonlight. They lived in harmony, feeding on each other. The Shadows came to life with the laughter and the souls of the Men, and the Men lost the fear of the night with the histories told by the Shadows in a primitive symbiosis.
One day, a man died after eating a tasty looking fruit. Hunting was a gamble, and eventually, men needed to eat potentially dangerous elements. Another, more intelligent man, noted that the juice from his mouth indelibly marked the rock with a pattern that was pleasant to the eyes. He collected more of that fruit, avoiding to put it in contact with sensible areas. This man did not have a proper name. None of them did. They just knew that there was “The Boss”, “The Hunter”, “The Large” and “The Delicate”.
Some men had soft lumps in their chests and above the thighs. Eventually, their bellies got big and other men came out from them. “The Delicate”, who discovered painting, was of this kind. In secret, he drew their hunts in the cave. He made everything bigger and more menacing than it was: the spears, the beast, the joy, the moon, and the flames, that reached the sky.
It took some gestures and vocalizations for The Delicate to make The Hunter understand that that set of traces was him and that the thick line with a pointing end penetrating The Beast was his spear. But soon they understood and had great silence. Followed by a great laugh.
The Hunter imitated the muffled sound of the Beast’s steps and learned to use this sound to talk about the Beast even when it wasn't there. War shouts, death songs, the cutting of the meat, the crackle of the fire, the crickets, the frogs and all animals soon had their sounds, their own “words”.
Men stories gained life by their own making.
The Shadows never came back.
Weakened, they returned to the depths. And, in the emptiness of their soulless existence, felt profound pain.
Worn books on the balcony: The Physics of the Light, Introduction to Modern Physics and Modern Optics, paid with greasy notes. Stumbles on a rock, knock the books on the sidewalk. On a dark tunnel, fluorescent light flicker irregularly. Hands in his knees, catch his breath and run with the rest of his lungs.
The front is completely black of smut. Turns the key with difficulty. The stairway creaks under his feet. A stack of old newspapers behind the door. Turns on a weak desk lamp. A crack of light comes from the sheets. Closes it with tremble hands and throws himself in the armchair. A thick cloud of smoke leaves Ernesto's relieved self.
The curtain drops with a thud. Behind him, a dark silhouette smiles.
The badge for the "Civilian Police of the State of São Paulo" swing above the toilet. In the ground, two pregnancy tests. Two lines in each. In the holster, a Taurus 38. Impeccable blue jeans. Mariana pees in the third test and waits. Two lines. She's fucking pregnant.
Ernesto's suit seems expensive twenty-year ago. He looks like a bum that made an effort. He holds a thick notebook with paper falling from the edges and a paper folder that seems to be about to explode. Dries his eyes constantly, and there are black spots bellow his armpits. In the edge of the table, it reads: "Mariana Diniz – Commissioner of Police" Ernesto gives her his card: "Eye of Horus - Paranormal Investigations". Below, a stylized eye with Egyptian inspirations. And a landline.
— I don't trust cellphones.
Smiles uncomfortably, trying to hide the nervous tic that makes his head swing like a salamander.
– It may not look, but I'm a busy woman.
Gives her two 15x20 pictures. The first is completely out of focus. The second shows an oddly slim, dark silhouette on a sewer canal. Ernesto sweats like an amphibian having a panic attack.
— For millennia, these creatures have been confined in the interior of the earth. Suffering the monotony of an incomplete existence. Waiting for a chance to come back.
– You don't believe.
Puts the card in her wallet.
– You got my number.
The long hills do not affect Mariana. Sumptuous homes, beautiful landscaping, mutilation, and infanticide. They're all part of the same world.
In a deserted square, eight hood teenagers assemble in a circle. Metal-heads and RPG players never caused her any trouble, but, as commissioner of that town, she has the duty of investigating anything out of the normal. She takes care to not flaunt the weapon.
They ignore her. The kids emit no sound, make no gesture. They're not injured, and their dark eyes are probably contact lenses. They have an ironic smile in their faces. No drug would generate such severe catatonia on a group that size, and there was no law against looking spooky on public premises. Sent two patrol cars to watch the group and went home.
The basic Chevrolet goes through the carefully constructed path, with exotic plants on both sides. Between two neoclassic towers, a slightly lower white house. In the living room, Eliza, short-exquisite-hair, beautiful and androgynous, stare at the TV with thick frame glasses. Notices Mariana's gun.
— Comes with the job.
In slow motion, a voluptuous Marilyn Monroe impersonator pours milk on a bowl of cereal.
A plate brakes in the kitchen. To the left of the sink, dozens of cups organized by color, size, and format. To the other, plastic utensils organized by function and material. Scapular in the neck, Sofia é very white. She wraps the glass in paper, writes "GLASS" in wide letters and ties everything in a thick, transparent plastic bag.
– Your kitchen was too… Illogical.
– Of course.
Mariana notices a red spot below Sofia's long sleeve. She holds the arm of her friend: bruises.
— They're old, diz Sofia.
— Doesn't look like.
Takes the car keys. The pregnancy tests are in the same pocket. Mariana takes a deep breath and looks at the stairways.
Law books on the shelf, almost all sealed. Bruno is on the computer. It's hard to get why they're still married. Mariana has always been stubborn. He's on the computer most of the time. At 40, Mariana has silky black, perfumed hair. Tells good stories in a welcoming way. Mariana loves what the does. She's hit on constantly, by both sexes. And has a way to politely decline that doesn't make anyone uncomfortable.
There's a month since they had sex.
— I'm pregnant.
— Are you sure?
The tests in the keyboard.
— They're from a pharmacy.
— Yep. Three.
She pulls the plug from the computer. Bruno looks at her. His eyes are black.