tales by the unexpected

My story, my tales, my life

Categorie: unexpected-tales

Unexpected tales: Jackson

Everybody knew Jackson, I tell you. Bit of a weird kid. From the first time he opened his eyes, till the time came that he had to close them. Jackson. Everybody here in town will always remember that name.

I remember the year of his birth. it had been a very starry night. All the stars were shining bright. I still see his parents hurry to the car to get to the delivery room. Her water had broken a few seconds before midnight. They had to kill him during delivery. Would have saved our community a lot of trouble.

He became a huge kid. 2 m 15 when he was 18, at his last birthday. He would never see himself become 19. Nobody would. Bit of a weirdo. Nobody liked him very much. Me neither. Set my cat on fire one day, laughing while he did it. Wanted to make my cat go “woof” he told me. Not funny at all. That was the first time I called the cops for him. Wouldn’t be the last time either. He once egged my place. It stunk weirse than a skunk’s arsehole. He had saved a carton of eggs under his bed for a few weeks, his statement to the police was, before he egged my house with them. My punishment for calling the cops on him all the time. First time he was put into a cell, although it was for one night.

The boy was up to no good. I don’t think he was very bright either. Never saw him reading a book or something. I don’t think he could read either. His parents gave him a cellphone, hoping that he would be reachable all the time, so he would stay out of trouble. I heard his parents yell at him a couple of times because he kept losing the damn thing.

I felt sorry for him though. He got beaten a lot. By his dad, especially. His mother and his father argued all the time, while he was sent to his bedroom. When his parents divorced, his stepfather took up the abusive role. Although I didn’t see his stepdad all that often. He would greet me the first few months, and although his car was there all the time, he was never to be seen. His mother also was more drawn into the house. The house became quieter as well. Less noise. I saw him leave and get back from school every day though. That was the only thing he was good at, being on time. Always had his nice little routine. What do they call it? Assburger’s syndrome? Does it include intelligence? No, that can’t be it then. Must’ve been something else then.

People went looking for his parents after a few months. Never found. He never confessed where he hid them either. His father had left guns in the house. His mom had asked for them, to protect herself, while she was a woman alone with a kid. She probably never thought that she better had defended herself from her son. She was found eventually. Chopped up in the freezer. Two bullets, right in the head. She had gotten no chance. His fait was worse though, the stepfather. His skull was bashed in. Probably with a hammer, although that one never was found. While watching tv, Jackson confessed during the trial, if you give me a second I can still dig up the newspaper articles.

He never was a big talker, Jackson. If he did, maybe people could’ve helped him. Could’ve pulled him away from his abusive situation. He probably wouldn’t have turned out like this. He was very influencable in school as well, the newspaper said. His “friends” have been talking him into doing it. Doing what he had done. Challenging him to do it. They never thought he would do it.

He must’ve prepared everything at night. They never saw him come into school that morning, nor had anyone seen him during the day. At noon, he shouted from the top of the school, eyewitness accounts had said. He started yelling the names of the people that had challenged him. He was standing there, in his dad’s old army parachute, with music playing at the background. I believe the paper said it was “I believe I can fly”. He jumped.

Off course, the roof of the school was to low. He dove of the roof. The only thing they heard was a crack. Nothing could save him anymore. Nothing could save Jackson.

Unexpected tales: Mary

It was a chance. Mary loved taking chances. Although you wouldn’t give it to her, if you saw her shopping. Mary was a very neat women. Everything in her home had a place. When you saw her shopping for example, everything on the counter needed to be in it’s right place, also her book collection at home. No book would ever be set in the wrong place. The only way she mixed things up was in the way of sorting her books. Her clothes also went in the same place. Now she was mixing things up. She was different the last few months. Friends asked her what changed. She had been such a clean cut lady.

It had been in the stars, she said. Mary was not a spiritual woman. Mary would be one of the most rational women you would ever know in your life, if you knew Mary in real life. She didn’t like to take chances, although, the old Mary didn’t like to take chances. Old Mary liked to schedule out things, week in advance. Old Mary would have told her friends that she couldn’t come because she had planned something. New Mary would ring up her friends herself, any time, to do something. New Mary was nothing in comparison to old Mary. It seemed old Mary was gone.

Books. Books can change people. Books can turn bookish old Maries into vibrant, outgoing new Mary’s. Mary had found such a book. Mary wanted change. Mary wanted more fun in her life. Mary had always been the one silent in class, always taking notes, not looking at the boys. She wanted not to be involved with the boys, because it could affect her grades, but it actually deeply affected her life. She was still single, and virgin, at 30. It had to change, and change it did.

Thanks to the book she was reading, she decided to travel. She only lived once. “Live once” was the title of the book she was reading. “How to live once and enjoy every step of the way” had been the tag title. She was hooked on the book the moment she saw it. She was rebranding herself. She had been to the hairsalon after chapter one, to signify that she was changing. Done with the long hair. Done with the old Mary. In the mirror she would say her affirmations: “I’m worthy of change. I need change.”

On her journey to Egypt, the first time she went out of the country, she met Geoffrey, an Englishman. She loved his accent. He had traveled around the globe, almost. He had told her. He had loved her hairstyle. She talked about how she decided to make a change. To take things into her own hands. She told him, after a few wines, about the book. He saw that Mary wasn’t used to drinking. Geoffrey was very intrigued. Mary had something. Mary liked Geoffrey. She didn’t know if it was his smile or his blue eyes and dark hair that charmed her, but something in her began stirring. She leaned in for a kiss, but Geoffrey declined politely. “Maybe you will regret this when you sober up.” He walked her back to her room and gave her his number. “Call me when you want to meet again. If you want to meet again.”

It wasn’t because she was drunk, but she felt a kind of magnetism. He had something special. Something she didn’t see in the American men back home. American men were obsessed with guns and politics. This man loved something else. What she didn’t know, but he was softer, more in tune with himself. What she loved most was that he didn’t take advantage of her drunk state. She called her girlfriends. “I want to meet a guy like that.” one of her girlfriends said. “Such a gentleman” declared another.

He had left an imprint on her. Even when she visited the pyramids, her mind kept wondering back to his smile. His class. His eyes. What was it about him that kept her so captivated?

She wanted to meet him one more time before she it was time to go back home. She rang his number. “Yes?” he picked up. “Hello? It’s Mary. From the bar?” she said. “Hello Mary. Sobered up?” She felt herself blush. “Yes.” Maybe she stressed the s a little to long. “Is there a snake with you as well?” She couldn’t help but laugh. “Want to meet again later.” She nodded on the phone and forgot to answer. “What about 8 o’clock?” She confirmed the date and put down the phone. Never had she dreamed of doing things like this, like calling up a guy. Being asked out.

Never had she been kissed, but the kiss with him was something most women dream of. No groping of bodyparts. A special tingle when his lips met hers. Something that surged through her whole body. How he gently bit her lip and how she wanted more, but he didn’t make the first move. If she wanted more she had to make the first move, did she dare?

Unexpected tales: 14732

(Every cube is one paragraph)

He was on the plane back home. He didn’t like sitting in close proximity next to somebody, but here he had no choice. He loved to be free, and here he was confined to a small space. He didn’t like the single-serving thing either. He didn’t talk to the people next to him, because he didn’t like the single-serving friend thing. He liked to make lasting contacts, in an open space, like a business center, making real lasting contacts. It was true. His wife had told him that “you never know whom you might sit next to”, but what did they have for an IT-guy like him?

He was on his way back home, from fishing, with is dad. He didn’t like to fish, but that was the only way that he could stand his dad. Not talking much, while trying to catch a fish. His dad was more tolerable this way as well. They only talked about things that mattered. His father had asked him: “Thomas, how are the kids these days?” and he had to confess that he didn’t know. He hadn’t seen his kids in quite a while. After the divorce he had lost contact. Not because he didn’t want to see the kids, but because he wasn’t allowed. By her.

Every morning, when he went to his office, he had to pass by a fountain. A nice fountain. He would pass it today as well, when he got of the plane. He was thinking about the work he still had to do, before the meeting. He had to take the clients file, read up what he had to do, and find out what needed to be done, so he could discuss an action plan with the client. His secretary, whom his wife thought he had an affair with, a very nice 25 year old, had made the file in his abscence, so he only needed to brush up on it, before the meeting. His office was in a nice victorian brownstone, with large rooms. The meeting room was with sofa’s before the fireplace, so the clients got a nice comfortable feeling while they were talking.

He was calculating. He had 30 minutes of flight-time left, bagage pick-up lasted a while as well. Waiting for a cab. It all added up and he only had less then 2 hours left before the client would come. Thomas really hoped that he would be on time. He was sweating a bit. He was more of a field guy. He loved social engineering, but didn’t like the taking on clients bit, that what’s the secretary was for. That was her job. She would welcome the clients, ask them about their problem, see what needed to be done and compile that into a file, so the only thing Thomas still needed to do, was only establish the steps that would be taken (always the same, but adapted a bit to the building and staff). He would ask the client to not tell anybody and have him sign a confidentiality agreement that he would sign as well, so it was binding. There would be nothing leaked about the security of the company.

He didn’t like putting on a mask. He didn’t like to pretend that he was more sociable than he actually was. Only for social engineering he liked acting, because he defined his roles, not the other way around. Now he had to play the suave businessleader, while he wasn’t suave, he didn’t have the skills to be a great businessleader. He was just very, very good at his job. When he was younger, he used to ride the bus for free, because he had asked the right set of questions from the busdriver. He had memorized the grid of the bus he had needed to take, had found empty buspasses in the garbage at the busdepot and had bought a printer that was the same make and model as they used in the busses themselves, so he always printed up a one way ticket for both ways and he could ride the bus for free.

In his office he went over the things that he wanted to say. The things that he needed to address were put on his to address list, that he would take with him while seeing the client, with arrows, so he certainly didn’t forget them. He really needed to make certain points. He wouldn’t ask for certain personel files, like his colleagues sometimes did, so he didn’t have a clue whom would work there or how he would get in. He wouldn’t ask for clothing or a badge from the company. He would go in completely blank. He loved the challenge, the thrill. He would get in, but as his contract said, he didn’t know how long it would take him, and would put everything in a diary, so the client could follow day by day for what they were paying him.

The file was neatly put in front of his desk chair on his desk. He didn’t like to know which company, so his secretary, Maddy, only put on a number. 14732. She also e-mailed the number to the client, so he would know how to introduce himself. Thomas had the pleasant talk to get to know the company. He didn’t know squat. He knew certain things from the files. He knew how big the company was, so he knew what he could ask. His price depended on the size of the company. Big companies could afford more, so they paid more. Small businesses only had a small budget, so they paid less, but got the same product as the bigger companies. It was a fair system, and he always got the fee he wanted. He didn’t have a website, although he was in IT. He worked on referrals only. He never was without a job. This file seemed interesting. He had the front of the building, but normally it had a logo, this one didn’t. It was a big white office building. It could probably hold 2000 or more employees. He saw one door, a few windows but didn’t see the signs of a production company. It seemed like a challenge.

He had a ritual everytime he met a client. He would order a new lock. A lock he had never heard of before (or his secretary would write to a lock producing company to ask them for one of their most secure locks. Off course, in return they would get the time it took Thomas to pick it.) He always timed himself. He loved the dexterity of the picking. No lock was ever the same, always needed a different touch somewhere in the lock. Like a woman, no lock was ever the same and needed to be cared for differently, but eventually, like all women, it would open up to him. This one, seemed old, like it used to hang outside a graveyard. Big key. Rusted. His usual tactic of going in with a bobby pin didn’t work. He had to use other tools. Something distracted him. Something reminded him of home. A faint smell. The smell brought back how he had met his wife. She was a secretary of one of the businesses he had to get in to. He had put on his nices suit, took his fake porshe carkeys and his fake file. Rubber ducky in his pocket. His standard tool to get into the computers. She looked right through him, from the beginning. It had never happened to him. So he had to confess and told her all about the contract, as he was obliged to do, otherwise the cops would be there pretty quick. She also was obliged not to tell anyone. He had asked her out, she said yes. She must have been intrigued by what she saw. Something in him. But it was her perfume that he smelled now. She quit working for that company after his gig. They married approximately 2 years later. It was fast. He usually took things slower, courted his girlfriends a bit, took them on amazing outings, free cinema, free restaurants, just by talking his way into them. After a few of those outings, he would show them whom he really was, most of them bailed. They coudln’t stand the real him, but his ex-wife had seen the real him from the beginning. She told him that something gave him away, gave away a much gentler guy than he had tried to show her at the desk. He loved her eyes. Big. Greenish with yellow spots, if you looked close enough. The doorbell rang.

A big guy stood in front of him. “14732” the man said. “Come in”.

Rory’s story cubes

Because I love writing stories and I seem to have a gift of telling stories, my friend recently gave me a set of Rory’s story cubes. I heard about it thanks to a friend whom is a writer and wants to use them to spark his creativity. My friend asked me why I didn’t do the same for my stories, and behind my back, ordered me a set of the Rory story cubes (and a mix up set with Clues, because he knew I was writing a detective story).

It would seem like a great exercise to write stories with it, and publish them on this blog, as a bit of a short story muscle to be trained. So I will try to post at least in regular intervals (I can’t promise a specific time, because I don’t write well under pressure, if I tell you every week, I will skip certain weeks, because I feel pressured in doing them. Now I write several posts in one day, while maybe doing nothing for a whole week, most posts here, are written in advance).

The story cubes themselves are packaged in a neat little box, with magnetic clip to close it. The mix cubes are packaged per three cubes, thematically. So you can mix and match.

The way you can use them is up to you. You pick a certain cube and roll it to spark your creativity, you can use 9 cubes to setup a story arc,… It’s really up to you. There is a small booklet included that gives you ideas to do with the cube, and I will list a few of them, in how I use them every time I write my stories. I will use new ways to use them, or try to use a new way, every time I write a story. I don’t know if it will be with connected stories or just stories that stand on their own. I will see while I write them. You can find them under the category: unexpected tales.

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