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Nothing

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I run and run and run.

But no matter how much I run, I still feel the crunch behind me. The entity persecutes me, it persecutes and harasses me and barely lets me breathe.

He’s going to catch me, I know. There he comes, I can hear him on the other side of the door, now that I’ve entered the cabin. It comes, it comes.

But what is it? Who? What does he want?

(…)

My profession was never an end, but a means.

On a daily basis, I only see the following: a narrow work room. So much so that my hands caress the walls every time I form a Christ with my arms. The office is a windowless mousetrap. A mousetrap, if it weren’t for the clarity that filters the skylight, up there, way up, way out, as high as the moon. only the skylight tells me if it is still daylight, or if it is already dark.



(Epic Andorra)

When I’m in that grave, and it’s like that for eight hours a day, then silence invades me. And that’s why I can hear my breathing as I type, as I rummage through the files, one after the other, looking for errors in the system, the way to reward my clients. Who likes to live like this, opening and closing files, ruining the poor?

I am a gray man.

But it turns out they pay well.

They pay so well that I can afford my passions: my bookstore. Bufff, my bookstore.

There is nothing more beautiful, more accommodating, than a shelf full of books, don’t you think? Hundreds of books stacked by color, by subject, by author. Hundreds of books next to each other, spread out on a wide shelf three meters high and seven meters long and crowned by a sliding staircase.

A sliding ladder, gentlemen!

A sliding ladder that projects me to the highest shelves and allows me to reach each and every one of my books.



Aaaaah, my books.

My books.

My books.


I save so much that I allow myself the luxury of renting a place in the forest ”

The office allows me to pay for the books. And the contemplation of the books brings me happiness. I bless my nights, each and every one of them: the time I turn to the bookshelf and hold out my arms and smell the paper and talk to the characters in my books. The hour when I can feel them, and love them.

Just a moment. Wait a minute, let’s not stray.

Something is missing. My book is missing. The book that I myself wish to write. My book, my longing, the ultimate reason for this whole story.

After all, why do I spend my days locked in the mousetrap, tickling the poor? Why do I try to save every month? Why am I taking the lunch box to the office, the tuna salad, the warm water and the apple for dessert?

Well, I do it for the ultimate reason. My book.

And how do I plan to write it?

Aha, reader.

I will give you the answer. I save a lot. I save so much that I allow myself the luxury of renting a place in the forest. A place to take refuge for weeks, perhaps months, with food and a computer. There, alone, I will write my book.




Because it will come, I know that inspiration will come ”

The journey has been long. Four hours flight to the cold lands of the north, and then three hours by bus, from the capital to the cabin in the forest. Who cares if my seat was wide, more or less comfortable? I will only tell you that the lights of the vehicle ripped through the darkness of the forest like a knife cuts bread. That at some point a deer appeared on the road, a curious deer, prepared to lose himself in the undergrowth. And that I was pleased: how I longed for that retreat, only with my thoughts, delivered to inspiration.

Because it will come, I know that inspiration will come.

The cabin is light, very spacious. It occupies a clearing in the forest. Light, spacious and quiet. I can hear the sound of a nearby stream, and sometimes the breeze blows through the brush. The breeze caresses the leaves, which rub against each other and sigh.

I’ve spent an hour spreading the groceries on the shelves, and then I’ve sat in the rocking chair on the porch.

Tenants have been generous. They left a bottle of wine, some beers, some bread and the rocking chair.

I rock in the rocking chair and wait.



Because it will come, I know that inspiration will come.


What is this man talking about? The virus? What virus? What story? ”

Rocking in the rocking chair, waiting for inspiration, I spend hours. And then the days.

A few days have passed, I do not know how many, but time is moving slowly and nothing comes.

Nothing comes, and neither does inspiration, and in the end only that dry guy comes that morning, or was it in the afternoon? At the wheel of a van. The guy seems scared. From the window, he calls me out:

“You have to come with me, get in now!”

No one warned me of his visit, much less told me to accompany him in case of an emergency, and so I walked slowly towards him, suspicious, not quite knowing what to expect:

-And why should I go with you?

-The virus … don’t be alone here.

What is this man talking about? The virus? What virus? What story?

I say no with my head. I wave my arm, ask him to leave. The guy looks at me for a moment. He urges me again and then he curses me. He shrugs, starts the engine, and drives off the way he came. The roar is lost in the distance, it is lost and tempered, until it finally fades.



-Leave me alone! –Voice in the forest clearing.

Leave me alone!

A dream remains of that brief adventure. The dream in which I plunge at last, rocking in the rocking chair, blessed companion.


Nothing and no one answers me, so I jump off the porch and dive into the clearing. “

Crrrrc.

At night, something creaks in the forest clearing. Something creaks and comes, and that’s why I shout and ask:

-Who!?

I jump out of the rocking chair, enter the cabin, and look for the flashlight. ‘Where had I kept it?’ I ask myself as I grope in the dark. I run my hands over the dresser. I have it at last, ‘I have the flashlight!’, I shout, and with it in my hands I burst onto the porch, illuminating the darkness.

-Who who!?

Nothing and no one answers me, so I jump off the porch and dive into the clearing.

Crrrrc.

It has sounded behind me. I return the beam.

Nothing.

Crrrc.

This has sounded very close. I don’t like this anymore. I turn around. I turn to the porch: I can see it in the background, in the moonlight. I don’t know why, but I think about the skylight in my office.

Crrrrc.

I have it on me.

(…)


The entity persecutes me, it persecutes me and it harasses me and it hardly lets me breathe ”




I run and run and run.

But no matter how much I run, I still feel the crunch behind me. The entity persecutes me, it persecutes and harasses me and barely lets me breathe.

He’s going to catch me, I know. There he comes, I can hear him on the other side of the door, now that I’ve entered the cabin. It comes, it comes.

But what is it? Who? What does he want?

(…)

Hours have passed, I do not know how many because it never dawns in these northern lands, and silence has returned. I open the doors, at first timidly, looking to one side and the other, and finally I go outside.

I leave the porch behind and walk through the darkness, following the groove opened by the flashlight beam. I advance and cross the clearing, listening to the breeze that shakes the leaves. I penetrate into the thicket. I go on and on and soon the flashlight sighs and goes off.

There is no turning back.

Where was the cabin?

It’s cold.

It’s cold.

Cold.

The darkness takes over me.

The darkness, the silence, the nothingness surround me.

I’ve already written my book.


Other stories

Each with his cup. Carlos Zanón

The reckless. Julià Guillamon

The little plane. Gemma Sardà

Domestic rituals. Sònia Hernández

Chet Baker at the Guinardó. Miquel Molina

I want to go out. Màrius Serra

Confinement… have it
, there. Raúl Montilla

The tropical corner. Magí Camps

The curse of the castaway. J. A. Masoliver Ródenas

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