Award for Excellence for Short Fiction (Day 3)

08/05/2012 07:42

Fiction 6

Blood Brothers

        There are periods in history when one people from one part of the world and one from another clash. There are some other times when one country comes up against another.  And there was this time when brothers and sisters, mother and fathers from the same country fought against each other.

        The Mola family lived in a little house near Burgos. There were seven in the house but as time went by only two of the children survived, Emilio and José. They were black-haired, gypsy-tanned with big brown eyes. They looked similar but they were not twins. They were frequently mistaken for each other. Sometimes they even pretended to be the other and sometimes they were caught. There were only two things that made them different: their political ideology and their names.

      Like their father before them, both decided to serve the Spanish Republic in the military. As their mother advised them, they got married to respectable woman and had children.  So far their lives were similar but their political ideology made them choose different ways. Emilio was living in Madrid because he got married to a rich young lady and they enjoyed some privileges besides their busy social life. While José got married to their gorgeous neighbour and was humbly living in Burgos.

        Ordinary lives for common people, ordinary lives for troubled times. The atmosphere between the two sides of Spain - the Republican and the Falangist - was hostile. At the time the war started José was fighting for the Republic while Emilio was against it. He was a Falangist General. In one of the battles he disappeared without a trace. The news spread and reached the ears of José who thought that was an excellent opportunity for him to approach the other side, murder some important military men and come back as a hero.

        So he did. He stole a Falangist uniform and wounded himself, arrived at a first-aid station and said he was General Emilio Mola. Due to their similarity everybody believed him. No one said a thing against it, because he said that he lost his memory. Meanwhile Emilio, who was recovering in a little hospital near Madrid, heard the news. He didn’t know who the impostor was, but for sure it was not Emilio Mola. When he recovered he went where he knew the pretender was: The Ministry of Defence.

        “Impostor!!” Emilio scream when he opened the door.

        José raised his head and their eyes met. There he was wearing his uniform, seated in his chair, writing in his table, using his pen, signing his name.

        “José? What? How could you do this? Bastard! Get out of here immediately. My own brother…” he screamed while crying.

       José didn’t say a word. He took his gun and walked to him. Emilio ran at him and punched him. The screams were heard everywhere. A secretary and one of the colonels working there arrived to stop the fight.

        “What is happening here!” the colonel asked.

        “Castro! Thank God! You know me, I’m Emilio. General Mola.” Emilio said.

        “Emilio? You? But Emilio he is. Aren’t you?” Colonel Castro replied.

        “I already told him. This man is mentally-ill, look at him. How can he be a glorious general?” José replied.

        “You bastard!” and he started the fight again.

        The Colonel, a huge man, knocked them both unconscious.

        When they woke up, they were blindfolded, tied, and seated in chairs. The room was big and empty, with brown wooden walls and ceiling. A shiny big crystal chandelier in the middle of the ceiling illuminated the room. There were four big windows covered by thick red curtains. It seemed a very luxurious place; a place where the war never happened. All of a sudden some steps were heard. The light went off. A minute passed, someone open the curtain of the far window a bit.

        “They are so similar,” Castro thought. “I am very serious; you will say your name. NOW! ”

        “My name is….” They said at the same time.

        “Emilio!” Both of them.

        “Stop this now! Or I will kill you both!” the colonel screamed shaking his gun up and down.

        They look each other with anger.

        “Tell the truth, José, don’t lie, you dirty communist pig,” José said to Emilio.

        “How could you betray your own brother?” Emilio replied.

        “That’s enough! I will ask you as you are the one dressed up like a Fanalgist soldier,” Castro said pointing to José. “What is your name?”

        He looked into his brother’s eyes; it was like looking in a mirror. Emilio was dirty, skinny and malnourished. He was the cause and solution of that situation. His eyes…

        “Emilio. My name is Emilio Mola,” José said haltingly.

        “José…,” Emilio said, his tear-filled eyes speaking volumes.

        There was a shot that echoed, scarlet blood on the floor, a corpse and a name: José.


Fiction 7

War of Opinions

        To achieve success in the Empire of Opinions is very difficult. When I was created, Sister Restraint was the first opinion I saw: she told me my life was going to be rather tricky and I was going to have to be rather tricky, too. I remember I just smiled and walked away to a meeting with my coordinator. It was the last time she talked to me. Ever since, she just observed me from a distance, never approaching. I had also other Brothers and Sisters. They had a special power to give an opinion to any creature of our world and of the world down there which was called Earth. I was told that my Sister Restraint, as well as other sisters, was my enemies; they presented the opinions I couldn't accept, that's why I have never approached them unless I had to.

        After the meeting, I realised I would be a pretty important creature if I had to work the very day I was created.  Funny thing was I could do whatever I wanted – I could use whatever tool in whatever way to achieve my goal. I could kill anyone. The surprising thing was I was never going to die. But what my coordinator stressed was my goal, my task. I was created to spread one idea into the universe. Everybody was created for a certain reason. To be play my role well, I first of all had to know all the opinions of my world. Then, I was ready for my task. It was a concrete idea, very specifically defined, but still very hard to carry out. I was going to boil the atmosphere down there, confuse every single mind of those already spoilt creatures living on Earth and beat my sisters.

        I remember every single person that was to become subject to me. When I was ordered to present my opinion, there was no way of turning down my voice in the mind of the person – I was the boss. I was Evil and my angelic sisters were the only ones who could stop me although they knew they couldn't unless their coordinators would tell them to do so. I had leeway to do what I was created for. My opinion was going to grow stronger and rule. That day was going to be The Day. All my people were going to feel the power of my opinion again.

        My secret weapon relied upon the way I put the opinion into their minds; I always dropped by in their hearts. It was exactly the thing no one expected. I did not just put the opinion inside their minds – I used the most powerful driving force of human life – the most dignified feelings whooshing up right from their nest were mixed together with my opinion. Shortly after I did it for the first time, fraternal twins Brother Pride and Sister Pride came to visit me. I felt their impact upon me again. It felt so right. I was wondering whether my influence upon the others felt the same.

        Before I could start the real battle, I had to make my success secure and satisfy my encomiastic essence. I visited my nemesis, Tolerance.

        “Hey, Tolerance, you are going to be dealt a fatal blow today,” I grinned from ear to ear.

        “Ah, is that you again? When will you admit that I am nobler and stronger than you have ever been, my little brother?”

        “Come on! You know I am just waiting for my moment. The time has come. You will see what I am capable of. I have been preparing for this day for centuries; no one will destroy my joy! Do you hear me? No one can stop me! And you, the opinion I hate the most, the opinion which has been thwarting my plans and all efforts forever, you are not going to defeat me again.” I bent over slightly with a threatening face and pointed my forefinger at her in warning: “Never again!”

       She gently smiled, tossed her long golden hair over her shoulders and scurried away. Anger and Abasement came to visit me. They brought red to colour my cheeks. My fists clenched. Oh, how I hate her! I wish she would die today!

        I left my guests behind and set out to find my friend Rectitude to ask her for support in the matter. I trusted her because she helped me although she not always considered it to be right, but she usedn't to think much about things; she just wanted to know what it would bring.

        “I need you as never before,” I greeted her.

        “Oh, really? Did I finally use enough forcible opinion? I'm very glad of it. I haven't witnessed anything radically right in the last few days. Just some brave policemen, some very seriously uttered speeches, some new inventions, a few fulfilled dreams and that's it. But still, you cannot imagine how much fun I have every day with those stupid creatures! I think Sister Courage operates a lot down there. They are willing to do anything just to be happy or to do the right thing. It is hilarious, isn't it? Yesterday, one of them tried to stop a bus by holding on to its windscreen wipers. Were it possible, I would die laughing.” She was bottling up another burst of laughter inside of her. “So,” she patted her thighs. “What have you come for?”

        “I need your support. Give me more of your opinion to rule the world. I have a plan, I have the reasons and explanations for the coordinators but I need you to make it real.”

        “Oh, poor boy, do you really think it will work this time?”

     “Yes, I'm sure. I've made a lot of mistakes in past centuries, but this time, I'll strike unexpectedly, quickly, premeditatedly and faultlessly. Trust me, because I trust you; that's why I have finally come to you.”

        “First, tell me of your intentions, dearest. I need to know what I am supporting. Although we are all the same age, you have less power over the creatures and less experience in knowing your capabilities.”

      “Do you remember those good old days when people didn't think about the reasons to hate each other? When they hated just because of differences in appearance? You know, the times of colonization and slavery?”

        “Of course I do. I had to help my Sister Tolerance a lot to pull through. You did a great job then.”

        “I know, I know. That's exactly what I want to do again. But this time much better. You will be on my side and will help me instead of Tolerance.”  I looked directly into her passionate, reddish eyes and tried to use what the creatures down there call conviction. 

        “Wow, that's very courageous. I wonder whether Courage hasn't given you too much of her opinion.”

       “Help me, please. You know we opinions have to cooperate to have power. I need you now. I'll give you a hand later, when you need me.”

        “You fool, haven't you yet found out no one needs you? You are the opinion which needs the others, no one needs you. You cannot pay me or any other opinion back.”

        “You are lying. That's not true. Just give me the chance to rule and I'll show you what I can do! It is very easy to need somebody powerful, somebody who rules, but were it me who ruled, I'd show you what the real Empire should look like! Give me the chance... Give me a hand!” I literally begged her. It is such a horrible feeling when you have to rely upon somebody.

        The thought whether there existed an Empire of Feelings that could be bribed or persuaded to help me to become more self-confident flashed through my mind, but I rejected it and went on. I had no time to turn from my plan.

        “I won't disappoint you; some of the creatures will be happier living with me, only the minority will suffer to make the majority happier than ever before. Please, call off your daughter Doubt and let me do what's right.” At that moment I felt the opinion of Lie permanently settle in my mind but I still didn't know why. “Maybe I could try it with you...” she started and I smiled.

        My day spent with Doubt yesterday had been worth it. I had tried to persuade Doubt to leave me and choose another permanent target. I’d suggested Rectitude. I needed her to help an evil Brother. She wouldn't do it without Doubt's intervention.

        “I honestly want to see what our cooperation would be like, but... never mind, let's see what you can do with my gift.” She smiled reservedly and breathed her opinion into my mind. I almost felt the specks of the sparkles softly settle down onto the piles of the other opinions, some of them remaining still and some twisting around. 

        I closed my eyes and stood up to leave. “Thank you, Sister.” As I looked at her for the last time before leaving her forever, she sadly smiled and got a slightly mannish look. I wrinkled my brow, but shortly after I left her sitting there alone with her thoughts I forgot the changes on her face and focused.

        My time was approaching. I descended and found the people I had chosen before. I breathed the sparkling specks of opinion into their minds shooting to their hearts at first and smiled again. That day was going to be the stuff of legend. Shortly after I let the first different President of the United States be killed by the inhabitants of his motherland, I attacked all the capitals on the African continent with missiles launched from North Korea. The morning rush hours were unusually hurried and the evening rush hours were going to be even more so. As I watching those funny guys who willingly not only accepted my opinion, but also bettered it, I thought Pride should have come. After few minutes of waiting, I noticed neither Brother nor Sister Pride has come. Only Doubt was bothering me again. I was wondering what happened to Rectitude and her support, but I didn't have time to find out why her specks stopped twisting and tiredly dropped onto the pile of the opinions instead. I had to go on.

        In the afternoon, Third World War broke out. Gypsies were forced to move to one place; I had chosen Germany.  I had hoped people there still highly valued my opinion presented via My Man three centuries ago. The house painter painted the most impressive house I had which spread to the whole world. As night began to fall on the world of creatures, I decided to use the ace up my sleeve. I focused on the isolated parts of the world and countries I had never used that much before. I had to be sure my rule would become entire and compact. My plan involved also Russia. It was a tough nut to crack, but finally, I wagered on their nationhood consciousness. Before, in my previous attempts to rule, I had underestimated Scandinavia, but this time, those countries helped my plan. It was a large area, a great prison for all European Africans. Rational China was my Houyhnhnm land fearing the rest of the world full of strange normal people.  Prejudices emerged from under the surface and the world was going to be Mine very soon!

        The 21st century was amazing. I was strong as never before. I even outstripped the 20th century, because this time I didn't allow time for the Rosa Parkses or Martin Luther Kings to intervene. I knew about the matter more than anyone else. I had all opinions of the others known and rejected, because mine was right. It was right to select the creatures; in the Empire we have to know who is who, who came from which ancestors, which boss is suitable, what hair and eye colour is the most appropriate, what nose shape and width is optimal, which height is normal or abnormal. We have to know how to put opinions in their minds and convince them they are right. Our coordinators supervised us; if what I did wasn't right why would they let me to do it? I believed in Me.

        Now, I'm making friends with Betrayal. He knows me and he thinks as I do. He thinks I was about to win but that Rectitude betrayed me. I will get even with that harlot! Her days are numbered.



Which story do you like better?

Fiction 6 (13)

Fiction 7 (9)

Total votes: 22


Date: 09/05/2012

By: Mistake

Subject: Mistake

Fiction 5 and Fiction 6 have in the Poll different names- Fiction 6 and Fiction 7, who's voting for what? For the first short (5) story which matches with the name Fiction 6 or for the second one which doesn't have the name of the first but is marked like that? :)

Date: 09/05/2012

By: Olivier

Subject: Blood Brothers

I'm going to take the flip side on this one. I liked the idea of the second story very much. However, I was somehow displeased with the narrative and a bit bored to be completely honest, sorry. Besides that, I voted for Blood Brothers because the principles that underlie the whole thing - human stubbornness and stupidity. The introduction of the story was, in my opinion, a bit too lengthy and redundant though.

I liked the stories from the last two days better. These two were somehow not to my taste. Mainly the narrative styles did not suck me in as the previous ones did. Apart from that, I would advise the authors to have their works proofread. There are little mistakes that were forgotten here and there, which spoil the flow of reading and the overall impression thereof.

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