Chapter 2 Page 1 The Fifth Book

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Waking up cold and damp, feeling like he slept on a field of grass as the morning dew had set on him. Oscar gets up from the bed, as he puts a blanket over his shoulders and slowly scuttles over to the gas cooker to brew himself some coffee. A quick rinse of the small kettle, a few spoons of ground coffee, cold water and the fire of the gas cooker were good enough for him to make some coffee and warm himself up, as winter is approaching and the weather is getting colder. Until the coffee brews, Oscar goes to the window by the bed, to check how things look outside. Through the crack of the window that was taped with scotch tape, the sun is shining through the yellow leaves of the tree that was in front of his small parental home. I don’t know why people take this life so seriously, it is far too important, he thought to himself after witnessing a neighbor arguing with his spouse in front of his house at 7 AM. The kettle starts boiling, he slowly goes to turn the gas cooker off, then waits for a few more minutes for the coffee to settle at the bottom as he ponders about college. Trying to figure out whether he should finish it or apply for a better one. I just want to be safe, he thinks, deciding that it is better for him to first finish this college before doing anything dramatic. At least this way I have some insurance, he thinks to himself whilst warming up some milk to add to his coffee. The phone rings, he makes his way to answer it. Good morning, Mr. Oscar, I call on the behalf of the funeral company. We’d like to ask if you want the funeral with the caskets closed or opened. He sits there for a moment pondering and telling them that closed is better. They oblige and thank him for his time before ending the call. I feel like I was careless, he says, continuing his morning ritual. Coffee in hand, sifting through his notes, he tries to find the number of the college professors he has classes with today, to remind them that he won’t be able to attend. Unable to find them, he starts looking for his pants, a shirt, some shoes and some socks, to dress himself up, run to the college and talk to the professors before the funeral. He finds a pair of wrinkly black pants, a white shirt with a yellow stain on the lower left side. After finding a decent pair of shoes, he  looks for some socks, pair after pair each with holes at the back or  at the front, he finally finds a pair that only has holes at the sole, he puts them on, shoes too afterwards and taking his father old big overcoat he leaves quickly.

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Chapter 1 Page 1 The Fifth Book

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Somewhere between this and going back, I prefer to be alone. She thought to herself as she was shuffling through her underwear, yet she couldn’t find any one clean pair. As she had forgotten to take her tighty-whities together with the rest of the dirty clothing from the chair to the clothes basket. Like the teenage years had never left her, when all the hormones were creating her problems and frustrations, now it turned to existence itself. Why is there so much shit? I don’t want to clean all this up… I thought living without a roommate would be easier. I miss mom. She said, curled up in her bed between clothes and wrappers. Her phone rang, she hesitantly picked it up. The voice started talking Hey, girl. Where you at? Annoyed Kayla told Danielle that she’s at home, not feeling in the mood. Bullshit, was her response, telling her to get her ass up moving to the shelter, the soup kitchen wasn’t gonna run itself. Begrudgingly she got up, dressed up and left. Whoever thought that volunteering at a soup kitchen on a damn Saturday was a good idea, really didn’t think it through… Oh wait, it was my idea. She thought to herself while putting on a fresh pair of jeans from the laundry pile. Something stinks here, I need to clean this place up sometime. Another thought that she repeated to herself for now a few weeks. The door closed behind her, a cold winter air hit her as she got out of the apartment building, making her way towards the shelter, with a pair of old headphones in her ears, in a phone that now only served as a music player. The grey around her tuned out, all the faces and voices turned into scenery, anything blue and black into pavement and eyes into bricks in the walls, voices into winds, thus the street became empty. It was just a ten minute leisurely walk, yet it sometimes felt like an eternity, other times it felt like a blink of an eye. Music soothes the wounds sometimes, she thought to herself, breathing the heavy air. Painfully scared for today, tomorrow and everything that is around her. Betsy, how you doing? Surprised, she takes her headphones out, her scared look turns into a smile. Who you calling Betsy? Do I look like a cow or what now? The man, stopped for a second before laughing. You know I mean no harm, girl. You going to the kitchen, right? She just nodded as he continued talking. How’s your daddy? Haven’t seem him in a while. Her smile turned into a frown as she answered his question.

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Page 1 of The Fifth Book

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Jimbo, my friend. Wait just a second, he said while trotting towards him. Listen, he continued distressed, we don’t know what’s in there, and we have no idea how it even got here. This might turn out to be a disaster. Perplexed, Jim looks at Daniel, takes a deep breath and says… You know, this isn’t the first time we’re doing this, right? The sarcophagus won’t harm anyone. Daniel promptly interrupts him… I know, but this thing is 25 tones, you can’t just think that this is normal, it’s a black granite block. Jim puts his hand on Daniel’s shoulder and says… You know what? It doesn’t really matter, because we’re either going down in history or this is just unexceptional. So why get so antsy about all this? Daniel with a confused look just turns around, scratches his head, like he had forgotten something really important. The black block of granite was raised from the ground.

The troops gathered around. The excitement was palpable, their faces varied. Those that were more pessimistic were continuously praying to their gods, trying to prevent a curse or disaster. They had found this thing nine days ago, six feet deep in a three acre excursion. And they finally got the green to unearth it and open it after the 9 days of careful analysis and documentation. This being one of the most exciting parts of their jobs, the part they only show in movies.        

With gentle care they put the wires through and right under the lid, as it was extremely heavy. The media and local people surrounded and swarmed the place since it was a mysterious discovery, which also peaked the internet’ interest too. As it had gone viral and people were trying to imagine all sorts of funny stuff and challenges. Coming up with theories of what it could be, where would be its origins or what could be inside. As the crane started pulling the lid, the earth shook a little underneath the sarcophagus. As it finally unhinged and the sarcophagus dropped and the lid was now on the crane, a foul stench started filling the air. Daniel started screaming, like he just woke up from a nightmare, to the crane operator to drop the lid back on the sarcophagus, he remembered what he had forgotten. None of them were wearing any masks or protective gear, something that can be very dangerous.

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Trapped: Summer Official Release

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Welcome everyone, nice to have you here today. No, this isn’t a livestream, nor is it a video or a live presentation, it’s just a post this time. I’ve been busy, writing, content creating, learning, exciting stuff. We’re finally officially here, Trapped: Summer launch day, I am so happy to be finally done with this book, with this series, and especially with Summer. This book drove me into a severe depression that was followed by panic attacks and anxiety. Things that I have yet to fully recover from.

Thinking about this book, I would really just want to cry and cry and cry. Because it is finally done and it feels like a curse has been lifted. Though, I still feel trapped, somehow the chains feel less heavy now than when I first started writing this series. And what a journey it has been, I’ve learned a lot and improved as a writer and this can be seen through the second editions of Autumn and Spring and then through Winter and now Summer. I am proud of what I achieved here, and I am happy that I got to write this series, it really meant a lot to me.

When I first started writing this forth book, I thought that writing the story I always wanted to write in some sense, would be fitting, especially to end it on another personal note, since it started with an autobiographical story of mine, felt fitting to end it on a similar note. Yet here is the thing that got tricky… When you go into a larger period of your personal life, especially when it deals with traumatic events. Sometimes you don’t recognize the amount of regrets or mistakes you made, until you do something like this and dive deep into what you remember.

So when I started writing Trapped: Summer all these things came back up, I thought it would be cathartic, going through such an experience. Yet I realized that I wanted to tell some people things I didn’t have the guts to tell them the first time, at the right time. The more I thought about this and the more I wrote the book, the deeper I had to dig, and the deeper I had to dig, the more questions I had about my own self and my decisions and thought processes. The realization of certain things, broke me.

When I came up with the ideas for Winter and Summer, the process was more complicated and I explained it when I launched Winter. But this whole idea of walking into your own past, is terrifying now to me, and I really can’t wait for you all to read this book, to see, to ask and to feel what I felt in some capacity writing Trapped: Summer. That’s all I can really say about the story of how Trapped: Summer was written, how it became and what it meant to me.

Hope you all enjoy it,

Raul F. O.

You can buy Trapped: Summer here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SRT48XL

New Book Announcement

Summer, what a beauty of a season. Short warm nights, with lovely winds that feel like an embrace. Light that feels you with joy and heat that smothers you with its hotness. And this is the last of them, the last season in the Trapped: Seasons saga. The forth book in three years, another one, but this is bigger, and just so much more. You have no idea how much joy is in my heart announcing this book and finally putting it out there in the world for everyone. This series has been a certain something to me. While these are my first steps into literature, they’re also something very special, something very traumatic. And I think that’s why there’s a certain happiness with the release of Trapped: Summer, honestly.

Trapped: Summer picks up not much later after Trapped: Winter ends, with Richard and Al still loitering around, chasing a mad dream of revenge whilst running away from something. And somewhere else, Vile, a 29 year old man, struggling with his current relationship and career, finds himself walking 11 years into his own past. That’s the synopsis in a few sentences. This last chapter too, is autobiographical fiction, being based on some of what I remember to be the most crucial parts in my past relationships. Or perhaps the most traumatic ones, what stuck with me through the years.

Trapped: Summer is the longest book and project I have ever worked on. Through a grueling process that took over a year, it is definitely the biggest of all four books. The sheer immense amount of work that went into this, from re-writings to restructuring and reworking the book in such a way that it brings an epic finale to this wonderful series, it’s all been absolutely a terrifying work. But I am proud to present to you Trapped: Summer, the end of an epic four years of learning, and hard work.

You can pre-order the book here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SRT48XL

Thank you and see you soon.

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Trapped: Winter - An excerpt about things

Maybe a disruption helps from time to time from the average days of the mundane, the ordinary and the plain.

It might get your brain rattled, shaken for something interesting to find or think.

Or just simply distracted from all one wants to avoid… Isn’t that right?

Of course it is, nothing works better than distractions. Or changes for the sake of just changing anything, so one can be busy, have an excuse to procrastinate on the things that really matter. Well, that’s if you choose to make them matter.

Otherwise it’s pointless. Isn’t it? To choose anything or have any sort of say or need for freedom of choice… When you don’t want to choose or do anything, really.

But then again, so is trying to find your purpose in life and starting to do something with what you have been gifted.

There are simpler ways to deal with that… Just chuck the responsibility on some entity and say it’s in their will. Whether it’s Karma or whatever god you can come up with… And you’re have no more responsibility to be or do anything, because you know you already have your place reserved and you’ll be forgiven once you pass onto the next life, whatever for it may be, if there is one.

So, if it’s in his will, why should one have the choice to choose what they do with their life? If it’s in his will… Your life doesn’t belong to you, does it? It’s either his or yours, it can’t be both.

Not that it really matters, because when it comes down to it all, there’s nothing really that matters, if you don’t want it to matter. Is there?

No, not be default, only by designation…

Just like choosing who we are with.

Choosing is used loosely in this context, isn’t it?

To choose means you knew all options and chose the best one for you. Yet if you do not know yourself, id you do not know what you want… If you don’t have all options… What exactly are you choosing?

Whatever is left… And you’re happy with that, aren’t you? You’re happy with what you’re getting and nothing else. Isn’t that right?

That’s not choosing, is it? When you’re forced by circumstance to choose between bad and bad-ish, between okay and okay-ish. To have to choose something that is not up to your standards…

Or…

Or worse… Choose something that doesn’t even satisfy you after a while. Something that is becoming a nagging thing you can’t escape from, but you’re not willing to risk it, because it’s better with the lesser evil than alone, or worse… With someone that is worst that she is…

Things, they’re all things that are here and there and everywhere…

So you settle… You aren’t willing to go for better, because you might never get the better, since the better already found the better of you in someone else. So, now you sulk at the thought… A regret for no reason, as it didn’t happen, yet, you’re not willing to risk it. To get out of this box of misery you live in. But nor can you tell all this to the person you are, because you just might hurt their feelings. You might just insult them unwillingly, about a truth we all know, yet don’t we don’t speak of. When we have the tools to find those that we want or need, we shut our mouths and close ourselves off, because trying to find those we want or need, might end up in disappointment. So we settle, for worse, never for better, always for worse.

Always for worse than you can do, I can do, anyone can do. Because there’s nothing else that matters, as long as you don’t die alone, suffering and crying.

Right? Wasting away, what a self-inflicted tragedy that no one will mourn. Because no one should mourn someone like that, a monster that love its own misery to the extent you do. And then you wonder why no one wants you, when you can’t even love the thing you are.

Things, that’s all we are, things that pass. Everything is a thing of a thing of a thing. And no one can change that, no one… Because you’re either no one or some thing that does a thing that has its thing of a purpose that helps things.

And everyone loves a good thing, don’t they?

So I heard.

An Artist's Manifesto

Hi, I honestly didn’t think I would do this… But here I am.

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What do you think when you hear the word artist? Probably a musician, a painter, photographer, dancer… More in the audio-visual department I suppose. Why? Looking the question what type of artists there are you get a long list: “Some different types of art are animation, architecture, assemblage, calligraphy, ceramics, computer, Christian or religious, conceptual, artistic design, drawing, folk, graffiti, graphic, illuminated manuscript, illustration, mosaic, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, stained glass, tapestry, and video.” This is just to kind of give you an idea of why I am talking about this. It bothers me, I don’t like this… I really don’t. Each of those mentioned above have an industry attached to their name, this will make sense a bit later, yet, they are still considered art. The same goes for movies, right? Movies are mainstream, making billions upon billions of dollars, they are also art, more some than others, and the people involved in them are artists, right? Here’s a tweet that kind of tipped the scales in my decision to write this manifesto.:

https://twitter.com/Brandonwoelfel/status/1082087400099274754

Now… My question is as follows, when did writers/authors fall out of this category of artists? Why is writing not an art? Why is the writer not an artists? Are we taking books for granted? Are we taking writers for granted? Let me walk you through this a bit. There were multiple strikes by the screenwriter’s guild, with another one just barely avoided this past few years. My question is why? How can those that put the skeleton of a project together be treated in such a way that even to this day they are underpaid and overworked? Behind these masterpieces and these countless hours of entertainment you get every single day. From the writers in a TV station behind a show you’re watching cause you have nothing better to do, those that writer for YouTube channels, to writers that rip your heart out with some of the best TV/Movies/plays out there… To those that writer short stories and finally those that write books, the authors. Which 98% of them couldn’t live on the money they make from their sales books, because they the house they signed with ripped them off, scammed them, or simply wouldn’t pay them or tricked them into a horrible deal. To those that self-published and don’t usually get a chance. But all these people write and create some of your favorite stories… Those that are either talented or worked their asses off to become the wordsmiths they are in order to blow your mind. Those people that can create whole worlds that have endless interpretations, those people aren’t worth being called artists? How can people deny the fact that there’s an art in discourse, in writing, creating, thinking, imagining and mustering the power of putting all those feelings and thoughts into words isn’t an art and that writers aren’t artists themselves? Writing is as much a visual art as anything else. But we never really do consider them artists, do we? They are their own breed… Either amateurs or intellectuals… But never the artist… We have to change that. It’s unacceptable. We have sites that promote artistry but leave out writers and writings, poetry and plays. We auction paintings and photos, yet no one is auctioning for books. Authors have to sell their books for pennies or a dime, when we ask for 12-15 dollars a book, we look at the author like he is a fucking madman, because he is not well known, we don’t think of the hours put behind that work, the people that contributed to it, like an editor, proofreader, beta-readers, printing, publishing, those that designed the covers or paintings withing the book itself. Authors have to sacrifice 80 to 90% of the “income” from a single book, in order to pay others first, before getting anything for all that work. Playwrights spend countless days writing pieces, and don’t get paid until the play really becomes profitable or maybe never. Yet we don’t take any of that into consideration, because they’re not artists, they’re writers, they’re intellectuals or another species… And that their industry is full of snobs and if they’re intellectuals, they'‘re smart enough to find a way to make money (See? Told you it would make sense later). Unless you’re stupid lucky or dead, literature doesn’t really pay, neither in respect nor monetary. If you really want to become a successful writer, you must be a brilliant marketer and seller first, something no one really tells you. There are so many stories of author being rejected 20-40-100 times on their brilliant works or being accepted when they’re old and jaded, and have developed a mental illness that it becomes depressing, not really a success story.

One last thought… If the boundary delimition between something that is art and something that is not is the same across painters, photographers, musicians and writers, then writer and their writing is an art too. You can’t refer to photographers as artists and as writers as non-artists, because the only difference is the “value” and “importance” their work has. The medium is very much irrelevant.

Writers are artists and I want to push that forward, because there is no real argument against writers and their works not being seen as art. So let’s start doing that from now on. Thank you.

Trapped: Winter - Another Excerpt about people.

There’s a reason, it must be. When someone leaves, disappears, lies, goes away for no apparent reason.

There must be a reason behind this lack of crimson. When someone leaves nothing remains to be. They’re gone, no reason to look, no reason to exist.

Thought the temptation is hard to resist. When there’s a reason to look for someone.

Yet we go on like there was once no one. But where’s the sense if there’s a reason, it should make sense…

When you save a soul, you sacrifice another… An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth… From two people for two people, yet no truth.

No one’s blind, but all are hurt, no one’s whole, they all are gone.

What is tougher but to suffer? To choose when, why or for whom to do it.

Does that make any sense?

We choose to choose when to suffer and the reason behind it all. When we could end it all…

Suffering, pain, disappointment, and all…

I wish… I wish I could, I wish I would…

But I care, too much, too little, sometimes I don’t even know what I am feeling.

Everything gets so confusing, all I know is that I can end it all…

Turning a blind eye, can do miracles…

Simply feigning ignorance, staying out of it all, it’s a blessing not a curse. Knowing that all those voices are dying in a void, because there’s no one there to give a helping hand… Echoing the same thing over and over again to no avail…

Pointless, wonderful and pointless.

No one really cares, because this way everyone has a purpose, everyone gets to have their lie.

If you take it all away… What’s there left for them to do? Put some actual effort into what they… Think? Do? Say?

This way they can drag us down with them, can’t they? Cruel, fowl beats… No cure for you… I’m taking you to hell with me, if I have to have no place or purpose give in this world, thou shalt not live in it either.

Letting yourself rot in a hole, due to your pride… Keeping suffering alive, because you can’t fathom reality… They, they are the real monsters when they stand in front of greatness.

New Book Announcement

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I think, at some point we all asked ourselves: “What if?” Just that, just those two small tiny words. Which were the inspiration for this third chapter too… A classic question everyone had to think about at some point, just like we all wished we had started working on something earlier, or if we’d been more driven to succeed at a younger age. Or simply dealing with the anxiousness that is life. That is the base level of the story of Trapped: Winter, the third chapter of the Trapped: Seasons series, complete with a new setting, created by your mind. New characters in a new world that feels old. Because what is dead may never bleed, what is dead may never bleed, what is dead may never bleed.

Trapped: Winter is the something else of my works. With each chapter written in this series, the more I got to discover myself and create something rather unique. The story of an old man, Richard, running away from something strange, something dangerous which he can’t control. And Mark, this adult chasing something, anything for the sake of it. We have here an interesting parallel between someone that is being chased and someone that is chasing. The apparent disconnection between the two situations makes us draw lines, just so we can compare them to one another. But still, to any story I write there’s something more, due to the need to try and portray a better, more concise look, having a batter grasp on the story, the characters. We also have the weird, the mysterious, the out of place yet it makes sense. After writing this series for two years, with the progression of time, it changed. And this can be seen through the characters and their dialogue. As with the previous two Trapped: Seasons books, this one has a similar style. A Shakespearean style play, put as a novel and filtered through today’s eye in order to try and create something more. Keep an eye on the blog for more news, cover reveal, a full synopsis and more details about the book launch.

The book Trapped: Winter will have its launch on Saturday January the 12th and will be available for pre-order as an ebook soon.

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