Pilot Program - The Spiteful Playwright

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Stories, we all have them. As humans, we’re all social creatures, no matter how much we don’t like to admit it. That’s why we sometimes act out, that’s why being rejected hurts us and why being lonely is depressing and frustrating. And stories, are the one thing that we all like. We all tell each other stories, whether we think them, tell them or write them, we always tell stories. Big, small, happy, tragic, stories are what bind us, helps us understand each other.”

The phone rang, it was her again, I picked up more out of a sense of shame for denying them once too many times. Hello? She didn’t wait for me to finish the greeting as she went on her tirade. Hey, you finally picked up, look… Here’s the deal, I’m with a theater troupe at a coffee right now. I know one of the actresses here and the guy that runs this whole deal. So, as the conversation progressed, I asked them what they were performing and doing in town and stuff like that, right? Yeah, so listen here, they told me that they want to try something new, something different, right? So guess who I thought about? Yeah, Mr. Author, it’s you. I thought about you and your books. I remember that you once told me that you’d want your books turned into a theater piece and that you’d want it as an audio book but you’d need a theater group. So guess what? I told them about your books, what you’d like to do and what you’re about and how you approach things and what your outlook on the world is and they’d want to talk to you about it. What do you say? Isn’t that amazing? You’ll have to treat me to something, of course I’ll bring my mon cher with me and you, your girl. She sometimes talks like a Shinkansen and you feel like that train hit you and shattered your brains to pieces. This is the motherly awesome Kris, she awesome, but erratic. Anyway, here’s the guy I was telling you about that runs this whole troupe, his name is Andrew by the way. Here… Hey, guy. I’m Andrew, I heard a lot about you from Kris. So you wrote a book? Usually when people ask me that, they either want to clarify things or they’re curious how I’ll respond. Hey, nice to meet you, I wrote like four that are in that style and could be easily turned into plays. I am really curious what he has in mind. Look, we can’t pay you much, but if you want we can give you like a 10% if you’re interested, just so we get this out of the way. And you can even direct it yourself, if you feel like it. That was really odd. So, you don’t want to read them or anything like that? He started laughing. Kris here convinced me, so if you want, we can meet tomorrow if you’re free and discuss the details and what you’d like and what we can offer. Well, they can’t pay me, cause of course they can’t, no one really gives a shit about this, unless you’re a big shot. Fuck it, why not. Yeah, tomorrow sounds great. See you at the statue downtown, next to the bell then. He responded with a sure and that ended the phone call. Well, that’s not how I imagined this would go today. But I’m going to have some fun with this.

This is the fifth of the short stories for the Pilot Program. How does it work? You read the short stories within the pilot program, you re-read them, share them, like them, comment if you like them, force your friends to read them and then maybe this will become the short story series for 2020.

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Attropolis XVIII

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Olanus grew tired as the night went on, Alicaria was still hurting, yet they didn’t give up. At his wits end, he reached out to someone he knew had experience in the domain, a friend of his that was a little on the sociopathic side due to his intelligence, Homes. He entered limping a bit, not even waiting for them to ask what happened to him, he told them how he was trying an experiment, so he’d jumped from the roof of a house to see if it would really kill someone. With one look he had Alicaria all figured out, with one listen to the story they had told him, he already knew who the culprit was. He was never wrong, which is why no one doubted him and his skills.

From what you told me there were four men, right? But… here’s my question, why four? Why not more? That’s my question… I wonder, honestly. I mean, it’s clear that this isn’t the whole story, whoever did this… This isn’t their first time. And not the last that’s for sure. I know it, in fact. He stopped for a second, Olanus opened his mouth trying to speak, but… You know, I don’t know why you chose these four, but you might be a genius. Because I think, that the culprit is one of those four. Without any luck… Look, you’re a friend and you’ve helped me tons before, with stuff. He said looking at her, but with his arm on his shoulder.

Let me tell you why I think what I think and how I came to the conclusion I came to, okay? The first man, the oldest of them all, cute, serene but intelligent, which might be dangerous. Never underestimate the intelligence of a man or base yourself on the appearance of one. Trust me, I’m never wrong. Until now, let’s see… The second one is weird, I don’t like him for some reason, he creeps me out, even from this neighboring room. He is too clean for his own good, he might be hiding something behind all that, dangerous. The third one is innocent, no doubt about it. The fourth one is… The most dangerous of them all. She was shocked to hear that. But there is no doubt he has something to do with this.

Olanus frustrated, angry and tired screamed “ENOUGH” at Homes, telling him to get to the point. Flustered but not shaken, Homes continued. Okay, fine. Between the second guy and the fourth one, probably. The second one is hiding something, that’s for sure and you should look into him, because this might have been a mistake on his part. The fourth one is s simpleton with enough power to kill, especially a poor child, so he might have not meant it. If you want to know my take, it’s the fourth one. She jumped out and up of the chair saying that it can’t be true. Olanus intervened telling her to calm down and trust him, because he was never wrong. He continued telling her that they have to put forth an example in the memory of Julius, because he deserved justice. She started crying on the floor as she agreed to it.

Thus they entered the room with the four religious people were waiting. Angry Olanus with the sword pulled, knowing that the fourth one might actually put up a good fight, ran towards him sword up, hitting the neck of the fourth guy over and over and over again. As his thick neck and strong spinal cord weren’t giving in. Blood squirting everywhere as the guy was screaming and as Olanus was hitting his neck over and over and over again, until it slashed through his vertebrae taking his head clean off his neck. Ending the nightmare of the day they’ve been having.

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Attropolis XVII

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Hippos with a baffled look on his face, in the arms of this giant with blue eyes, he almost forgot about the death of his parents. She didn’t even think to try and stop him or hold onto him, for once she was scared. He look at Hippos and asked what the deal with him was, someone told him about what just happened and why he was here, to which he smiled, look at him and said that he’s going to take the boy with him. She started panicking, so she pulled on the giant. With a stern look he looked down upon her, the little girl kept gesturing at him and at herself, but wasn’t able to speak properly. He didn’t know how to respond, so he turned to leave, and so she started crying and relieving herself. Seeing that, Hippos pushed him and jumped down from his arms, running to her, holding her in his arms and whispering something to her. Her crying stopped, he turned around and went back to the giant. She waved at him, he waved back at her and went on different paths.

The soldiers confused asked him why he took the kids, he with a laugh answered that he simply recognized something in the boy’s eyes, something he hasn’t seen in years, maybe reminding him of a younger version of someone he once knew. Hippos was listening carefully to what the men were talking, trying to pick up on clues and gain any advantage, but with no luck, he was under the care of a giant that always smiled when looking at Hippos. This scared him, it was unsettling, seeing someone with such a scar on his face smiling towards a child like he was. Nothing about him seemed gentle, the hands of the giant had calluses, blisters on his feet, mud everywhere on him, a bloody sword and a deep voice that could shatter the earth and his ears.

They each went their way, Hippos was now on the way to his new home, it was quieter now that it was just the two of them. He still didn’t understand why this giant would care for him or take him, now having doubts about what was next for him and his future. Parent-less, lover-less on his way to the unknown with a someone that looked like he fell out of the side of a mountain. This was the first night Hippos spent awake, the adrenaline started to wear off, he was getting sleepy. The man took Hippos in his arms, as the sun was coloring the skies orange, yellow and all shades of blue and purple, they arrived at his house. A modest little house at the edge of the city, on a bit of a hill from which you could see the roof of every house in Creetus and at the end, the sea. What a long day comes to an end with both of them falling asleep the moment they enter the house and sit on the bed. All muddy, dirty and still wet from the thunderstorm…

And in Rome

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Attropolis XVI

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CAUTION: ATTROPOLIS CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE, SEXUAL CONTENT, DISTURBING IMAGES AND IMMORAL GROTESQUE BEHAVIOR. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Man 3: The third man finally stood up on his one good foot… Teeth and gums rotten just like his other leg. He smelled like the intestines of a cow, he looked worse than a half eaten cat. Yet, he too, was soft spoken. A man of few words, Olanus was already tired of having to deal with these religious men, yet he was calm, the devotion he had for justice was almost incomparable in the empire. So, he continued interrogating the man. Barely moving his right eye, he looked at him and answered his questions as well as he could, being deaf in one ear at his age was impeding him.

The door opened, Alicaria entered the room, to his surprise, went close to the four men, took a good look at them, then made her way towards a chair next to him. As she sat, Olanus moved onto the fourth man.

Man 4: A younger rounder man, black between the toes of his feet. A few black highlights spread over his head, thinking he might trick people into thinking that he has hair. He was fidgety, swearing like it was raining indoors, yet his speech was dragging and slow. Spitting left and right as he was trying to put thought to word through his fat cheeks and fatter lips. As the interrogation went on, the more and more Olanus had the urge to strangle him and rip his throat through his asshole. Having her there helped him get through it all…

He had the men held up in that room, as they went outside to discuss the situation and debrief her into the information he gathered from them. Yet there was no news about the fifth men, which only fueled his anger and frustration. Thus he started relying the information, saying: The first man seems a bit too old and scrawny in my opinion. Then there’s the fact that he said he taking care of his animals all day, feeding them, stalking up and getting ready for the congregation. Helping those that can’t feed themselves… He looked at her and asked if she knew him. She shook her head, signaling no. Thinking that he may not tell her about him, he moved on: The second one was odd, he looks like he is impervious to everything and anything. A bit too holy, a bit too suspicious. He said he went through there, but not your place specifically, as he had some errands to run and had talked to some folk on the streets. He again looked at her and asked if she knew him… She surprised like being woken from a dream, nods and tells him about seeing him two or thrice a day around, in the rare days she spends her time at home morning to evening.

The third man is disgusting, and looks like someone that could harm people. Said Olanus scratching his head, as he was walking frustrated around the room. She responded by saying that he rarely saw the man around, but he did see him. She also heard about his story, The man behind the legends, supposedly he was known to have fought the boar infestation twenty years prior, thus leading to the poor state he was in now. Olanus was shocked, as he too heard those stories about that man when he was but a boy.

Then there’s this forth man… Olanus said frustrated, exclaiming He is too stupid to have done anything. She couldn’t help herself but laugh at him and his outburst. I know him, she said. We’re roughly the same age, grew up together, he was always this way. He comes by once in a while to chat and to talk to me. Nothing more, he’s like a little brother. They were nowhere closer to solving the mystery of what happened to poor Juliusegos de la Capital… And so, his tragedy lives on…

In Creetus….

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Pilot Program - I Write Sins Not Tragedies

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Dreams, the type of stuff that keeps you up all night. The thing that keeps your mind active even when you want to rest, cause your head feels like it’s about to explode due to it being overworked. What a fantastic way to get traumatized sometimes, you simply dream of the unexplainable and the unreasonable when you can’t move your body willingly, unless you wake up, of course. Like that one time…

Inside a big living room, everything seem shrouded in darkness outside the life that the flickering fire was providing in the fireplace. The walls were red with gold wavy linings, it all looked expensive and exquisite. The brown hardwood floor had a shining polish, a big fluffy rug on the floor, upon it a small coffee table. Everything so clean, no speck of dust seemed to live anywhere around that room. Long burgundy drapes, flowing from along side the giant windows, it was a clear skies night outside. The big dark brown door opened. With fluffy black socks, skinny legs, in a black panties with a white t-shirt on, she entered the room. Black straight hair a bit under her shoulder blades, long natural red nails, some black eyeliner, monolid eye shape and some gorgeous brown eyes, she smiled as she entered the room. I was on a brown leather couch, unable to get up. She seemed entertained by it all, giggling and looking like she just won the biggest jackpot. She signals me to get closer with a gesture of her hand and one finger. I feel pulled out from the couch by a mysterious force which I can’t control. I fly into her arms, she stars laughing as she grabs me in her arms and says: “Oh, I am so lucky to have you here, with me." I’m confused, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know her, I don’t know how I got there or how she is doing any of this. But here I am…

What can I do? What could I have done? As confused as I am, as good it feels to be held by her, a warm embrace filled with love. At peace, I give in, I hug her back. Yet something still doesn’t feel right, or at least that’s what I was thinking. A small push from her, I fly back onto the couch, on my back, I can’t move again. Slowly moving towards me, a big smile on her face she playfully winks at me. I start to get nervous, excited, I felt like I was shaking, though I couldn’t move. Once she got to me, she started touching my chest. I was wearing a white shirt, no tie and some black suit pants. She started kissing me passionately, I couldn’t stop her, nor did I want to at that point, somehow her spell wore off enough to the point where I could move my arms again…

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This is the forth of the Pilot Program short stories.n If you want to read more, like it, share it, read and re-read it and comment. And that way you’ll decide which of the short stories in the Pilot Program gets a 52 week run in 2020.

Attropolis XV

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Caution: Attropolis contains strong language, sexual content, disturbing images and immoral grotesque behavior. You have been warned.

The wailing in the house had stopped, she finally stood up on her feet, slowly, gently she got up. Wiped the tears from here face, step by step, slowly moved towards the door. On her way she grabbed a small rusty pole she had in the house by the fire place. As she reached the door, she grabbed onto Olanus’s hand, pulling him to the side, so she could step beside him. The murmur of the crowd grew thinner, between her dirty locks her voice cracked like a whip towards the crowd. And with her voice she swung to the right, to the left, the echoes were like thunder to lightning. Accusing people of envying her, of wanting to hurt her, because she turned them down, because they thought she was an abnormality, with no redeeming qualities. A monster in the disguise of a woman with charms. They were pointing at her legs, her dress, one woman even pulling her by the hair. That was the point where Olanus intervened, slapping the woman’s hand away, and shushing the crowd. He had questioned the crowd about men of faith, specifically if there are some that usually visit this part of Rome. After a few minutes he had a list of a few good men of the faith, he gave the list to his soldiers, to gather them at the court. Olanus invited her back into the carriage, the people stopped making any fuss out of fear.

Once they arrived at the court, Olanus was briefed on the fact that they could find only four out of the five men, this only enraged him, sending a few of his men out the look for him. The rest were interrogated by Olanus on his own, as she was sent to be bathed and taken care of.

MAN 1: An old scrawny man, there wasn’t one spot on his skin that wasn’t wrinkly, yet despite all that he smelled like a field of freshly grown flowers. Serene blue eyes, a gentle smile, rotten splinters where there used to be teeth.

Whilst interrogating the man, he responded nicely, with a soft voice. Listening to it, you could easily fall asleep. The clarity in his eyes, had Olanus disheartened for a moment, thinking they might have brought such a sweet old man in for such a horrible deed. Yet the man, with a look, made him understand that it was okay, he understood that he was only doing his job. When asked about the woman and the child, he simply told him that he would only leave some food outside their window, since he felt pity for the poor things. This, melted his heart, so he moved on…

MAN 2: An older man, but not as old as the first one, with a long silver beard and hair to match. He had all his white teeth, like he had never used them, his breath like that of a minty piss. Bespoke like none of them there, dust seemed to want to run away from him and dirt feared him. When Olanus interrogated him, his voice when responding was like those of muses singing. His eyes shinning like a star, no speck of vein on the whites of his eyes either. All his answers to the questions were clear as pure water, no hesitation, nor did he break eye contact with Olanus.

But then…

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Attropolis XIV

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Caution: Attropolis contains strong language, sexual content, disturbing images and immoral grotesque behavior. You have been warned.

Olanus had ordered his soldiers to gather the neighbors, trying to find out if they saw something, if they knew something or if they did something. All while the soldiers that were supposed to patrol the streets finally reached the rape and murder scene. In a rage he went towards them, they were visibly nervous and distracted. With one swing of his hand, he floored the four to the ground, his voice like a thunder, shaking the street. His voice hurried the neighbors to gather around, all of them knew what happened, since a carriage wouldn’t spend so much time in front of that house, it usually just dropped her off. Each of them had theories, before the soldiers had even reached them. The four soldiers picked themselves up and started throwing blame from one to the other to the next to the last one and then again from the beginning mixing their orders. That was until the second one blamed the forth one for the fact that he brought with him a flask with Dacian wine for everyone, since he had a cousin that had some ties there and got some really good Merlot. To which the forth soldier replied by screaming that he wasn’t supposed to tell him. In turn the second one pulled his sword and gutted the forth soldier. But due to such an aggressive behavior Olanus entwined the second soldier’s head. The old folk suddenly felt revitalized, the young terrified, their parents not bored anymore. Alicaria was still crying, she had gotten up on her feet… The child that once was smiling and being a rambunctious sweetheart, suddenly gone. She barely walked towards towards his cold corpse, wobbling from the pain she had in her legs, as her flower was still dripping, a thin crust of blood was forming around her wound. Trembling she reached out with her bloody hand, as she touched his skin and felt the cold coming from her body, she went into a frenzy, screaming her pain out, not that it helped. Screaming, with tears rolling down her face, she kept trying to clean the dry foam from his mouth, after which she took his corpse in her arms… Whispering something. The neighbors outside, were trying to look inside, so they could get a better look and understanding of what was happening. Olanus, being the big figure he was, blocked the entrance and started interrogating them… The first question was if they knew what has happened, to which all responded that they had a general idea of what, but didn’t know exactly what. One of them speculated that she was punished for bewitching the emperor’s court, another was saying that she was being raped and humiliated, which is why they were summoned there. Only a few understood what was happening. After a few minutes of absolute nonsense, Olanus told the plebeians that there was a robbery and that one of the two thieves killed the other. So, he started asking to see if someone had approached the house, if it was any of them or if any of them saw someone. One old woman told him that she saw someone in black clerical clothing enter the house. This only started a ruckus between the neighbors, as they started accusing her of being a witch and a wench too. Another woman accused her of holding a grudge against the church since they had condemned his son. This was just a first step into a bigger, more complicated case.

And then….

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Attropolis XIII

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Caution: Attropolis contains strong language, sexual content, disturbing images and immoral grotesque behavior. You have been warned.

Embraced together, the two stood still in the darkness of the night as he was crying, she became his rock, the one that grounded him and drained him of pain, sorrow or irrationality. In a sense she was more powerful then he could ever be, since he couldn’t control himself, the way she could and the way she dealt with problems and tragedies. The rain had stopped and both Greek soldiers and Roman legionnaires started patrolling the streets, helping those in need and trying to find survivors in the badly afflicted places. People were crying, screaming, some trapped under rubble either partially or completely. As the soldiers were roaming the city, healthy and capable citizens banded together too in order to help those befallen to this terrible disaster. As rain water was flowing down the muddy streets of Creetus, so was the blood of those that had their bodies crushed under the heavy stones and logs of wood. A few of them heard a scream, started taking the rubble and digging down towards the scream. Boulder after boulder the scream was getting fainter and fainter, when they finally got to him, they discovered a young man not older than twenty, burn to a crisp from the waist down, legs were ash all except bone, guts somehow still inside him intact, a miracle that he had survived for as long as he did or that he didn’t get crushed by anything above his waist. The poor young man, smile when he saw his neighbors then blissfully passed away. After taking him out of the rubble and leaving him on the street, they decided to investigate the next house, where they found Hippos and her hugging, with his parents tender burnt bodies on the floor next to them. One man came in a hurry to inform the people that there was a riot inciting in the middle of the town and that they should hurry there… The children were once again left on their own. The fight in the town center started after the governor was found dead and the Roman legionnaires suspected towns people taking advantage of the mess and had him assassinated. Yet there was no proof for any of that, so now the tensions were rising, blood was pumping, everyone was on edge. Suddenly a tall figure rose from the crowd, his presence had silenced everyone, the crowd fell to a hush, before they started killing each other like mad men for no reason. It didn’t take much for the Roman legionnaires to dampen the killing mood of the people of Creetus. Yet the Greek soldiers weren’t pleased with that, so they slaughtered the legionnaires and got independence back for Creetus, even if they had to pretend that their soldiers are part of the Roman Empire and had a governor. They were at least lead by one of their own. A man with a scar across his face that looked like a slingshot, tall like a mountain, blue eyes like they were frozen ice glistening. The towns people gathered all the afflicted children and he went to tend to them, suddenly he stops in his tracks as he sees one child that is familiar to him, slowly goes closer and closer to him and then picks up Hippos…

And then in Rome…

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