Red.

homelessness-ignor

Saint Amaro Avenue, 1300.

A scruffy man standing in front of a closed car dealership, takes notice of two glimmering red promotional balls tied to the door.

A police officer steps down from his car, looking at all sides he observes a suspect standing in front of a dealership. The suspect is poorly dressed and barefoot.

A lady sitting on a blue seat inside the bus that has stopped at the bus stop on that avenue, comments with the girl sitting beside her, that there is a dirty beggar standing in front of a closed car dealership.

A man passes by a very dirty man, he holds reaches for his pocket and forms a grip around his wallet, he begins to power walk. Once noticing the parked police vehicle ahead, he feels safe, easing his steps.

A young man attempts to dodge behind the bus that has stopped, the cop he sees ahead brings him discomfort, after all his car is full of drugs that will be sold in the college where he studies.

The shabbily dressed man decides to act, he takes three steps forward, raises his hands and grabs two promotional red balls, he is too quickly fulfilled with the thought that selling these balls will empty his stomach full of air.

A girl alerted the lady beside her on the bus, calling the attention of several passengers to the man who, according to her, is a beggar, and says loudly that he has just stolen something at the dealership.

A young man with the car full of drugs to sell at his college notices the barefoot man running with two red promotional balls, he reverses his car as he sees the police officer coming his way.

The policeman runs and reaches for the scruffy man and slams the gun cable on his head several times. The man who’d been named a beggar by the passengers in the bus fall to the ground, and in front of him the two red promotional balls roll on to the pavement.

The bus driver, who drives the same root for the past eight years, tries to maintain the bus stopped to see the police officer assault the badly dressed man who is lying on the sidewalk with kicks and punches, but the traffic has turned green so he goes through bursting two red promotional balls that laid on the street.

By: Moara Prado

Advertisements

One cup of memory, please.

grandpa hands

He laid still in bed, in a kind of torture, because while the rest of world was fast asleep, he was wide awake all alone. His mind buzzed with every thought in the universe, pondering if he had made the right decision. He closed his eyes and the memories came flowing back to him, the smell of rain and wet earth, fresh mowed grass and coffee, sweet taste of sugar canes and nectarines. His thoughts reached a standstill and his mind went blank. He became more aware of the silence, and it was during this moment that he realised the consequences of his actions. Things would never be the same again. He brushed his hand across his unshaven face, and stood up making his way to the night stand. He searched through the drawers, only to find a handkerchief wrapped around some dirt. He gripped it tightly and walked outside. Seeing nothing but concrete, his heart ached. He spotted a small gap between two tiles, where workers would have labelled it as a mistake, but he saw it as hope. He unwrapped the handkerchief, and it was right then that he planted his very last coffee tree.

***

The mud that laid scattered over the concrete floor in uneven patches stole my thoughts and carried me somewhere I had not been in years. I barely closed my eyes and immediately there they were, lined up like soldiers, seven thousand coffee trees. Posing like divine fingerprints, curving and changing, no two branches ever the same. In all the world I remember this view to be unique, the dip and sway of the land, the shifting wind and as consequence dancing clouds. Somehow the aroma of sweet coffee had invaded my thoughts and just as I filled my lungs with imaginary scent, I felt his fingers entwine with mine. Time had rewind, I looked up and glanced at his young face, in my mind, we both smiled. We sat on a white hammock that hung from one orange tree to another. As the words came out of his mouth in perfect rhythm, so did the fireflies that gave light to the night. ‘Take them’, he said. ‘Hide them away inside you and wherever you miss me, let them fly’.

***

He sometimes stood at the same place for hours, with a blank stare, his worn out fingers now shook in an unstoppable frequency when he sipped his coffee.  He sat outside, he looked uncomfortable, but he didn’t say a word. The chair was new and fine, but it didn’t feel like his and he didn’t know why. She held his hand in between her own and he gazed at her confused. She brushed her hands on his unshaven face and smiled. He looked at the coffee tree that stood up strong and tall, everything went quiet for a minute and then she heard him say, ‘Hmm, I wonder who would have thought to plant a tree in between two tiles’, they sat there both in disbelieve. Inside her head she could almost see the fireflies filling up the air. She then began to tell him a story.

By: Moara Prado

Poison

poison

Her fingers danced between one string to the next making no sound as she gracefully pulled up her black fishnet stockings. It wasn’t the first time she’d worn them that day, or the first time she’d gotten redressed that hour. She reached over and searched for her half empty packet of Dunhill cigarettes, they were camouflaged under her bed between a wet towel and a stack of gold dollar bills. As she filled her skinny cheeks with smoke she glanced at herself in the mirror, tilting her head so her long, bright red hair fell like curtains hiding her freckles. She freed her breathe and watched as he locked the door behind him as he left. The feeling of satisfaction hadn’t quite caught up to her yet. Meaningless, dirty sex, to him, perhaps. She had other intentions.

It was a big house with many rooms, all decorated with red walls. There was an unchanging scent that lingered there, the sweet touch of cherry-blossom and peaches with a hidden trace of methylated spirits. The nights were long, but the days felt even longer. Battling the heat of three pm sun glaze poking through badly shut curtains, with brains mushed that swayed from side to side like a paper boat through a creek, they could ever barely stand to open their eyes. Like clock work their bodies ticked for another hit, another dollar. Her body ticked slower and sometimes not at all. She had a far bigger demand than they did.

After a while she too, stood up and locked the door behind her, she made her way down the stairs and into the kitchen. As she glanced around the light of her eyes dimmed through each girl. She was polite but never sociable, she didn’t agree with what the girls did there, even though a part of herself was undeniably scripted in those walls and in those girls. She woke up with dried lips and a parched tongue, and both her and them clenched that thirst with daily pills. She suffered from terribly vivid nightmares that kept her awake and aware of her present loneliness, her anxiety sent cold shivers down her spine, not far from the truth of the other girls who lived through consistent paranoia and sleep paralysis, you could say they were all fuelled by anger and deception, all stuck in a vicious cycle of lust and ecstasy, but she didn’t live there for money, she got her high from taking what was once stolen from her. She got her high by taking lives.

By the time she had finished swallowing her pill, she was met with a tall, handsome man who wore a gold banner on his finger, she smiled as she had the pleasing thought that soon his lips will taste the poison just like hers. And slowly she would spread what was once given to her by a guy like him who cheated on her with a girl who smoked Dunhills and collected gold dollar bills.

By: Moara Prado