Emerald

Now tell me. What happened?
I don’t really remember any of the details. It’s all over the place.

It’s okay. Just tell me what you remember. We’ll piece it together later.
I don’t know if we can. But okay. I remember that I was running through this forest with my navigator. I don’t remember who she was but I do remember that she was really good at what she did. She found the path and took me through it really quickly. I didn’t know if anybody was ahead of us. I just followed her. Tunnels, jumping pedestals. I remember crossing a river. Then there was another body of water which we had to cross and she found this tree, cut it down and put it over the water. We ran on it carried it for crossing other stream as well. As I said, she was good. I regret that I can’t tell you her name. I just don’t remember.

Okay. What happened after that?
We came across a jumping pedestal we used earlier. I thought we were going in circles but I was wrong. There was a path ahead I didn’t see before. I guess it was inaccessible from the other side. We ran through it to find this pyramid like structure. I realized that we were kind of late when I saw that some guys were climbing the structure. She told me to get to the top as fast as possible. I did. I couldn’t believe how I fast I was. She was giving me instructions through an earpiece as I was climbing. The building was very old. The roof had multiple sections and a few guys were already running around searching for the emerald. I was standing on a section of the roof scanning the area. I couldn’t find it. She was asking me to look for it more. I ran to the edge of the roof and started running towards the middle. I stopped when I got to the center. I looked around a bit more and realized that I was standing right on top of it. I reached down to grab it and so did another guy. He touched the emerald as I did, but I managed to get it out of the holder first. It was round and looked like a cat eye. It wasn’t very shiny as I expected. And then just like that the competition was over.

So you won?
Sort of. They claimed that we were joint winners. We got down from the building and walked towards the entrance.

Was your navigator there?
She wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened to her. I didn’t hear her over the earpiece either. I guess I should’ve looked around for her but it didn’t occur to me at that time. I don’t really remember how I got in to the building. Maybe I looked for her or talked to her at that time? I don’t know.

It’s okay. Carry on.
So we went into this ritual chamber. It was all gold inside. Magnificent sculptures. Paintings. There was a gold lion in the middle with crystal teeth.

Just tell me what happened. Decorations don’t matter.
We were asked to walk through this ornate floor. I was careful not to step on the glittering carpet. We arrived at a large table. A crowd was gathered around it. We walked up to the table and waited there.

Who do you refer to as ‘we’?
The other winner and myself.

Then what happened?
The then head priest arrived. He greeted us and I gave him the emerald. He said that it didn’t have much of a value since it didn’t contain any data. But it was very old and I assume it was the significance. Our details were given to the priest and he saved our details on two glass cards. We had to submit our DNA samples afterwards. I didn’t really hesitate when they took the samples. They put some chemical on my tongue that tasted of metal and my card was locked with my DNA and my fingerprint. The other winner was a bit hesitant but in the end he had to do it anyway. He didn’t look very happy.

I think I know about this process. Please continue.
I saw two files been thrown on the table. I clearly saw my name on one so I realized that they were files containing our identities. I was supposed to take it with me but apparently I forgot about it.

Why did you forget that?
I don’t know. That part is not clear.

Don’t worry about it. Just focus on what you remember.
So I was back at my camp. It was night time and I was looking at the mountains in the distance. I didn’t see anyone around me. Not even my navigator. What happened to her? Why can’t I remember what happened to her? I remember her turning around and smiling at me as we went through the jungle… She was really good at it.

Please focus. Tell me what happened next.
Okay, okay. I was standing in the moonlight, enjoying the breeze. It felt like a normal night but it was too quiet. I didn’t pay attention to it and just decided to calm myself. That’s when it started.

What started?
The attack. They came from the hill above the camp. Hundreds of attackers with the faces covered in black masks. Someone got to the alarm as it started, fortunately, and everybody was awake in an instant. Fires broke out in the storage areas and most of my people were fighting back. They were attacking us with blades. Not guns. I thought it was peculiar but I didn’t give much thought to it.

I was at the control center when Damien, one of my closest friends at the camp came running to me. “You have to get out of here as soon as possible” he told me. I don’t know why he said that because he was aware of the rules. I tried to tell him that I couldn’t do that. But just as I opened my mouth an attacker jumped on him. They started wrestling as I stood there. The attacker managed to overpower him and Damien was on the floor. As he was struggling the attacker pulled out a black knife. I remember the following events only as a dream and I don’t know why that is. I should’ve been helping Damien. Slitting the attackers throat or something. But I was just standing there. I was dazed. I couldn’t move. Damien’s eyes were filled with fear as he looked at me. He wanted me to leave. “You have to go!” he yelled. Then the attacker stabbed him. In the eye. In his right eye.

The knife went through his eye as if there was nothing there. You wouldn’t believe how bloodcurdling his scream was. Utter agony. It didn’t get better. The attacker oscillated the knife and his screams got worse.

You couldn’t do anything?
Don’t ask me why I didn’t do anything. I was mad with fury and I wanted to crush that bastards eyes and break his neck. But I couldn’t move. I could see everything, but I couldn’t do anything.

Continue.
The attacker pressed his knee against Damien’s chest and rotate the knife inside his eye socket. Then his scream stopped. I assume he passed out. The attacker got up and turned towards me. I know I couldn’t moved so I was expecting the worst. But it didn’t happen. Giant came running towards the control centre and tackled the bastard to the ground. Giant was too powerful for the attacker and after about four punches from Giant’s fist and a control center display through his head, he was on the floor. Giant walked towards me and asked if I was okay. I think I nodded. Then he went to check up on Damien. I saw he was awake my now. He was removing the knife in his eye by himself. There was blood all around his head. Giant took the attacker to Damien and he proceeded to strangle him while telling something to Giant.

Giant urged me to leave at once. I didn’t know why they were insisting but I figured there had to be a good reason. So I took the secret exit from the control center and went towards the gate. Jerry was waiting for me there. He knew about my identity report. “Come quickly. We have to get the report and get out of here. My report is also there” he said. I trusted Jerry. He was loyal. Just like Damien and Giant. I got on his bike and we went towards the old building where the emerald was hidden. It was already a war zone when we got there. Hundreds of bodies were on the grounds. The building was also on fire. Jerry maneuvered the bike through the maze of corpses and stopped near the entrance. “Hurry up!”

I got down from the bike and ran through the entrance. I got to the ritual chamber and it was already on fire. I ran to the table I saw before and it was empty. I turned around to ask Jerry what we should do. But he wasn’t there.

Then?
That’s it. That’s all I remember. Then I woke up here.

I see. Are you certain that it’s all you remember?
Yeah. There are lots of blanks in my memory still but I remember these somewhat clearly.

You said ‘your people’ were fighting back?
Yes I did.

Would it be safe to assume then that you were the leader in your camp?
I believe so. I was the one who acquired the emerald. I even knew about the secret exits in the camp.

Good. I think that will be all then.
Okay (sighs) Now what happens? Will I get my memory back?

It will take some time to answer that. But now you should get some sleep. We have a few tests to run on your brain to find out what’s wrong.
That’s good to hear. I know you are doing everything you can. Thank you for that.

Don’t worry about it. You are most certainly welcome. This is one of the top medical centers in the world. We do this everyday.
…and with that everything went black.

The man walked through the high security door. Someone was waiting outside. He greeted the man with a salute.

“Great work, Jerry”.

“Just doing my job sir.”

The man smiled at him and kept on walking. He walked past a few prison cells, checking a checkbox on his tablet calendar. He noticed a woman in one of the cells. She had her face pressed against the bars and was crying as tears streamed down her face.

“Jerry you bastard…”

Based on a dream I saw this morning.

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The Knife Rain

It was raining knives. No, seriously. It was an actual rain of knives. Large knives, small knives, medium knives. They all had one thing in common. They were all really sharp.

Why was it raining knives? I don’t know. Maybe it was a glitch in the matrix. Maybe it was an act of god. Maybe an aircraft carrying knives exploded mid-air. Whatever it was no one could believe that they were experiencing a rain of knives.

Why was the rain of knives so significant? That would be a very stupid question. It’s a fucking rain of KNIVES! Actual knives made of metal. Did I mention that they were sharp?

I guess I don’t have to tell you that no one expected the rain of knives. Because when was the last time the weatherman said “you should be expecting some outbreaks of knife rains in the evening and it’s expected that it will continue through the night!”

I think the worst rains would unexpected rains. Worst yet would be unexpected knife rains. It someone actually reported that there would be knife rains in the evening everybody would be home under the safety of their roofs. (I do have a feeling that a mere roof wouldn’t actually help in a situation like that.)

I was walking towards my favorite ice cream shop when the it started. I felt a sharp pain on my shoulder and I looked at it to find a deep cut there. I was very confused as the blood turned my white t-shirt to red. The second one knife was a small one and it got lodged in my hand. I looked around to see people running and crawling on the ground. A man walking in front of me collapsed with a knife in his head. I knew I had to find shelter.

The ice cream shop was nearby so I ran as fast as I could. It had a decent roof so I didn’t have to worry about knives penetrating it. The people inside were terrified as you would expect. The news broadcast on the TV was already reporting the about the rain. About time.

The rain last for about half an hour. Hundreds of people were on the road. Some clutching at their punctures and some silent and still. Because they were dead. Duh. My favorite hot dog vendor was also dead. His cloth roof didn’t give him any protection. Of course, he didn’t expect a knife to go through the roof and get lodged in his skull.

I was still bleeding from my wounds. I walked towards my house, my shoes red with all the blood on the streets. People were crying as you would expect. A few large knives had gone through my car. I wasn’t very happy to see that.

My asshole neighbor was also lying on the ground. A very large and expensive knife punctured his chest. I can’t say if I was happy or sad about his death. I’ve had annoying neighbors but he was in a class of his own. I wasn’t happy nor sad.

Okay, fine. I was a little happy. I always wanted a knife like that.

Don’t look at me like that. It was a beautiful knife.

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I am a bird.

Then I flew through the window. A shower of glass shards followed me. As I hurtled down with the wind in my hair, I wondered about what it means to die. The humiliation was just too much to bare. Sure, you would say a hall full of people laughing at you would not be a reason to kill yourself. But you don’t know me. I have a sensitive heart and it doesn’t like humiliation. At all. I probably should’ve seen a shrink but who has the time for that? Running around the world, giving lectures and meeting strangers, sleeping on a new bed every two three days. I don’t even have time to call my publisher and my best friend Jerome.

“Garry, it’s London next week. Pack your bags son because they are paying bags of cash for you!” He would tell me. A few more days and I find myself in the all too familliar aircraft, cruising to London.

But that was sometime ago. This was Sydney. The fast approaching ground was a street in Sydney. I could see cars and taxis crawling in the evening traffic. People rushing to their homes or pubs or whatever on foot. Oh god I hope I don’t crush a poor soul to death. What a mess that would be. Pieces of bones and our blood mixed together in a gory soup of death! The people who would be called to clean that up would curse at me. Not to mention the family of the crushed. I certainly don’t want to be that guy.

I was almost at the end now. I saw a few birds flying by as I was on my death run. I saw my own reflection on another building. I thought I saw my terrified face.

To my great relief, the ground was empty when I hit it. The man who was at that location had moved so I didn’t have to worry about killing him. My face was crushed on the concrete panels, spilling blood all over the place. My neck cracked. My arms changed their original position and went flying backwards. I’m pretty sure that my pelvis was shattered to a million pieces. A woman was screaming. Some men came running. Most of the people looked terrified. But there was one guy that looked familliar. I’m pretty sure he was at my lecture moments ago because he was actually laughing and yelling at his friend. “Dude! That’s the guy who peed on himself!”

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A Laptop

I remember the first time I saw a proper laptop. It was at an IT exhibition at my school in Kandy. I walked into the main hall and the floor was filled with various tech related exhibition stalls. I walked over to one of the stalls and there they had a few laptops on display. As I remember, they were running Windows XP. (I was using 98 at that time.) I was fascinated with the thing. The screen looked bright and dreamy and I touched the touchpad and saw the cursor move. It felt warm and I was happy. I pressed a few keys and then walked away.

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Dentists and drills.

Did you know that jewelers use dental drills for high precision drilling work? No? Okay. I just read it on Wikipedia.

Why the sudden fascination with drills? Probably because I went under a dental drill last week. I wish that was that. But oh no. I have to go back. Probably twice. How fun is that?

Yawning cheetahAll this began with a shooting pain in my mouth. Cold water, hot water, normal water. Everything was contributing to this pain and it was not pleasant. At all.

Being the self-diagnostician I am, I assumed that this was an ordinary case of ol’ sensitive tooth. Mad brushing, swimming in mouthwash and various other ‘patches’ did not help the situation. It kept getting worse.

It was time to see the dentist. Believe you me, I was very reluctant. But my gut was telling me to “stfu and go”. So I did.

After a decade. Here I was. The dentist. The clean, shiny room. The modern dental engine and chair in the middle of it. How exciting! Wait. Exciting is not the right word. Terrifying. That’s it.

After being judged by the dentist, there I was on the chair. The dude examined everything and claimed that I was wrong. (Surprising? Hell no.)

It wasn’t a simple case of sensitive teeth. Nor was it the tooth I thought it was! A damn cavity. Then, everything started making sense. Old phantom toothaches, inability of biting stuff. They weren’t caused by that tooth I blamed! It was this bastard premolar. I’m sorry, wrongfully accused molar. I really am.

The last time I had a drill in my mouth was at the school dental clinic 7.6 million years ago and when the dentist dude turned it on, memories came rushing in. The sensation of the drill cutting through you teeth, the awful taste, the noise. Oh god, the noise. Then the cleaning up. Shooting water. The pain. Regret. Hate. A cocktail of feelings and emotions.

After I got a temporary filling (to calm the nerve? That’s what I read) I went home 5x happier. Mixed with the taste of clove oil, there was no pain! Not even a bit. I had some water after a few hours and I beaming like a crazy kid! What a feeling, man!

All this followed by a generous amount of time Googling on dental procedures and I’m already freaking out about the next appointment. Wish me luck!

Before I leave: don’t forget your dentist appointments and keep your teeth nice and clean! Good luck to you all.

P.S.: I still think that human teeth are one of the worse designed elements in the human body. I mean seriously, it’s not even funny!

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