Three times three

Submitted into Contest #101 in response to: Write a story in which the same line recurs three times.... view prompt

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The only thing I  remembered the moment I opened my eyes, is that all the light flashes and dot covering my eyes, and a clear conclusion hitting my head:

-         I  am  in heaven. I died – while  listening to   angelic voices originated in my dreams and   rebounding  in  my  confusing  ears.

In the middle of the dots,  think I saw somebody opening an unexpected door , slowly opening and fastly  closing.

An unrecognizable voice echoed in my thoughts.

It was young and sweet, like the voice of an angel.

-         It is time for your medicine – that voice said to me,  injecting something that I could not identify,  into a plastic bag,  hanging somewhere I could not see.

I stood up my head, longing to see something that could guide my understanding of the situation.

-         Where the hell am I ? – I asked myself, seeing the young lady closing the door of the greenish room I was in, trying to prove, anyhow,   that I was still alive.

Why ?

Suddenly,  flashes of some remembrances came to my mind.



A dark cave.

-         The torture ! – I exclaimed, recalling  that I had been beaten, severely, due to  the pain I was feeling in my body.

-         So, probably an angel or maybe the police found my agonizing body and took me to this place, that I think it is a hospital. smelling cheap disinfectant that made me snooze twice , and filled  my eyes  with stubborn tears wanting to roll down my cheeks, that I could not wipe, as tubes and wires were getting in and out of my right arm, limiting my movements well-monitorized by oxygen outlets and unreachable sheets that could not wipe my frankly commotioned - I exclaimed, trying to reach the table close to my bed, where my glasses and some paper handkerchiefs should be .

-         Damn, damn and damn again ! This is a waste of time – trying to get one of my arms rid from a tube connected to a transparent bag.

Using my free hand, I tried to wipe my tears with the bed sheets, in vvain.

With my eyes set on that green wall in front of me.

-         This wall has monitors, oxygen outlets, and an emergency car.

Let me get out of here!- I shouted, thinking that maybe a nurse would help me.

Nonetheless, I just heard a bark coming from the outside.

-         Is anyone there ? – I asked in a loud voice.

Waited, and waited. 

And no one came to see me .

-         I am not going to stay any longer.

So, I started to pull the tubes, and get them out of my arms.

-         Time to run – I said to myself.

On my left, there was a huge window . 

-         What if I want to jump out the window , and fly free as a bird ?

That was not a bad idea.

After all, I was being followed because of my political inclinations against the government. 

Well, as far as I remember, they are looking for me, dead  or  alive.

They may find me, but not surrendered.

So, I sharpened my ears.

-         There is no one coming - I concluded.

Thereafter, I took my glasses from the night table beside my bed,  sipping the glass of water over  it.

-         Now, I am ready to be free – I said, vibrating with the real meaning of that word.

But, suddenly, I felt such a strong push in all my body, dominating every cell of my body, caressing my senses that began to transcend over the shadows, lighting the room, spilling the softness of the liberty hymn echoing in all its dimensions, breaking down the imposed barriers. .

-         What if there are torturers out there, waiting for me with a gun in their hands

And arrest me without proofs or notice ? I will die, no matter when or how.

 I climbed, anyway, leaving behind those fears and tubes of the starless ceiling of that green room, was so insipid, so cruelly indifferent, exactly when I was bedridden, ill, disabled.

 But that solely fact did not prevent the flying on the wings of the fear I was feeling with the solely thought of being caught, and be tortured again, getting out of my mind, crossing the ocean then clum all the mountains in the world, in order to escape from the claws of my own tyranny, the memory one.

In accordance with it, my heart exploded, freeing my anima, as well as kissing stars and bathing with the smile of the moon.

 Wandered alongside the sound.

 Plunged into the void that each one of those experiences brought to me as a part of a forgetting the past process, so I could deny the loathing present.

 And thus fragile, I began to move my fingers first, slowly, feeling the mud under my barefoot , and the heat of the movement, insecure by definition.

 After enjoying that moment, I began to move my hand, which was withdrawing itself, doing cartwheels.

 And the arms, which were free, showed me the immensity of space and the distance between me "the patient" and me "the person with identity", hidden in the forgetful past 

-         Well, I guess I have to go back to the same cave, my hiding place. I do not think they  will look for me there again.

 I had to do it, facing the pain - not physical, but that pain in the soul that shrinks every reaction to its minimal expression.

Anyway, everything was so strange that I put my head down while walking.

.Trying not to think about anything.

-         In a sudden, I stepped on a box of cigarettes.

-         Lucky day! – I exclaimed, looking for a match or maybe a lighter.

And I found a lighter, not so far from the box.

-         Two times lucky is a celestial sign. The angels from above must be helping me – I joked, lighting the cigarette, unlit because of the winding weather.

I raised my head, and saw many clouds gathering together.

-         Is it a good or bad omen ?

 As the rain started to fall, I enjoyed my cigarrete under a tree, at the entrance of the forest.

-         Is my loyal friend still around ? – looking for the dog, who seemed to have disappeared because of the rain.

The lime lights did not fear me.

-         In an hour, and I will be there ! – I said, after listening to the church bell ringing. 

During the walk, I saw people around me, talking, laughing, living.

I saw dogs barking and, one of them, looked at me.

And sniffed my shoe, while the others kept barking at me.

But they stopped, synchronized with the traffic light and cars parking.

I stopped there, in the traffic light, as I realized that people passed through my arms and body, and I could not feel it.

-         I am sure I am dead, now. Even the dog pees feet, and I don’t feel it.

Nevertheless, the kept beside me.

Looking at me with the smile of an angel.

-         Did you save me ? – I asked the street dog who kept silent as the fallen night.

Despite my worries, I saw the forest in front of me, a meter ahead.

On seeing the majesty of the flowerish tree top – 

, I decided to get in.

I got in, together with the dog, my guardian angel..

I tossed my cigarette butt into a pool of water  right at my dried feet.

-          Yes - I said - the rain has already gone, and I'd better go back to the cave behind those two trees.

 That intensity did not last long, because at that very moment I heard the branches of the trees sway. "It must be the wind," I thought without realizing that only the trees were moving.

 I came out from under that tree.

  Above me, the sky seemed to be clean, starry and serene.

 I turned my gaze to the other trees: some flowery, others curdled with apples, oranges, loquats, and many others that I did not know their 


As far as I can remember, only some leaf-trees were moving.

 -Was it a cat or maybe .., and raised my head to look at the surroundings.

 - I see nothing. I better go up to see exactly what it is.

 And it went about twenty or thirty centimeters upper the trunk , but there was only a bird   flying, no wind either - I observed with more attention, and this time opening my eyes better, looking to all sides.

 At first I could not see anything, the branches blocked my vision. I climbed more about twenty centimeters and between the branches of that leafy tree, I realized that it was still moving.

 - Could a cat make such a fuss?

 My curiosity made me stop smoking, and I even put my glasses on to see better and sharpen my hearing.

 Cats don’t wear a backpack and  they  surely hear  speak

 My soul froze.

 Is it them? I asked myself, looking for a last cigarette in my pocket, the one I never found.

 I climbed onto a trunk of the tree that sheltered me.

 I couldn't see anyone.

 It's them – I recognized immediately, so, my heart started to shoot blood all over my nervous and gastric system

 They would be close, moving the branches, as I continued to feel the warmth of the afternoon.

 It was a group of  tall and strong men dressed in green clothes with military spots going into the jungle, walking in the mud, jumping over fallen leaves, covering their heads with their hands.

 It was them, the police looking for me, as the nurse of the hospital had have noticed my escaping.

 - What are you doing here armed? Will they want to hunt me? he thought, his breathing ragged.

 My stomach twisted inside of me, dripping that   suspicions that could only annoys me, shaking the rest of spirit I could have in that moment..

 I was sweating cold, just thinking that they could catch me.

 Staying in the tree was like hunting birds, with one shot it kills him. And I am the bird- so I immediately came down from the tree. And I went into the thicket.

 Between two trees I saw the entrance to the grotto.

 I immediately lowered the forty-centimeter climbed and on the tip of my bare feet I went to the grotto, stepping on stones and muddy up to my knee.

 I dodged the branches, and covered the entrance again with branches .

 It was not a very large cave, yet I could see through a hole in the techno that would allow the passage of it, that there were some bats, a wild mouse and many spiders.

  In that moment, I heard voices getting closer and closer.

 -How much will they pay us?, Asked the peasant with the wet hat, looking away from a drop of rain that dripped in front of him towards the corner of his eye, blocking his vision.

 -When we catch him, replied the chief, better accommodating the blue plastic backpack that he had on his back, stepping with his face to continue among the molles that was ahead.

 Each of them cut the strained lianas from the trees with machetes, opening the way and stirring each fallen tree leaf with their eyes, sniffing like dogs and silently to find my footprints in the mud.

 The men looked at each other.

 I saw him fix his hat, step by step. 

He cleaned the head front with the brown sleeve of his shirt that I imagine one day was white that fell off, the chief's eyes passed over a stone that concealed an entrance tilted by two trees.

 The chief looked at the entrance: there were traces of fallen tree leaves, and the many branches that I put in the entrance, to hide it.

 --There are many branches, he said, observing the tidy arrangement of the leaves, that no nature could do it.

 He threw a stone at the rest of the group of strong men,  who immediately turned back.

 They looked at the leader, who was  using his machine gun to point  the entrance of that dark cave.

The idea was to surround the trees and the stone. .

And the mud was covering my feet and theirs, slowing any movement. 

 The leader took a flashlight out of his backpack, covering it so as not to make a noise.

 He turned it on.

 At first, his flashlight only illuminated the cracked walls, covered by cobwebs and some bats hanging  hidden in the ceiling woke up, flying away.

 My hands did not want to detach from the walls.

 He was getting closer and closer. 

I was petrified, wanting  to turn to stone right away.

 Until the flashlight hit a shadow.

My shadow?

-         No, no, no ! – I  denied to myself, while   the soles of my feet  were  stinging.

-         What is it, now ?

And I took a glance trying to guess what it was.

I almost jumped and shouted when saw : it was a rat, trying to lick my  blood-smelling shoes.

It went up my blood-smelling leg.

-         Oh ! No! – and I started to shake my leg , and so the rest of my body,  so I could make it fall.

It fell, distracting the leader, who carried the lantern in his right  arm and leaned against the wall of the grotto, shook his head in the direction of the rat-falling noise.

  The rest of the group of that strong but ugly men, were  nodding affirmatively, dispersed inside the grotto, one going to the left and the other two to the right, while the leader silently drew a pistol from his backpack, putting the flashlight in his mouth.

-          We are armed, and there are four of us. Do you give up or do you prefer to be hunted? asked the leader.

 I started to break out in a cold sweat.

 I  was  forty , chubby  and a  bald head gleaming  my fleeing  eyes drowned in  death fearing.

 My  jaws were tightly closed.

 The stiff legs did not allow me to move my step to get out from behind the fence where my body was compressed and sweating until my tongue seemed stuck in my teeth.

 My glasses were slipping from my nose, "I'm going to lose them,"  I thought.

 The leader, upon hearing the noise of the fall, realized that my glasses were right at his feet, reaching out with his hairy arm to lift it up.

-          Is this cap yours?

 The leader approached them to me, as if to give them back.

 And instinctively, I reached out to receive the cap.

 Well. So come pick it up, he told me with a sarcastic smile on his face.

 And he brought her down, trampling and destroying the cap, now buried in the mud and shit.

 Not even shitting he was going to put it on me like that

 I left it.

 The leader whistled.

 It was the signal to catch me.

 The other members came out of the shadows and without much work, they grabbed me.

 At that very moment, I felt a blow near my head.

 Instinctively, I put my foot between the man's feet.

 And I made it fall.

 The leader came ahead of me, a pistol in his hand.

 He couldn't throw me at the gun.

 He would kill me like that.

 So I looked at the floor.

 There were vipers

 With my foot, I threw it at his face.

 The leader, for an instant put his hand to avoid the vipers.

 And I took the opportunity to take the gun from him, falling on him.

 The gun fell to the floor, too.

 Overpowered, and I was punching him in the face, his stomach.

 I managed to grab the dropped gun.

 I put it on his forehead.

 The he had a knife hidden in his stocking.

 And he pulled it out.

 He was going to nail it to my back.

  I pulled the trigger.

But I remember feeling a kind of stabbing in my back.

- Now, I am dead ! , looking at some scared vipers running away from the steps of that men.

- What is that? – the leader asked.

 - Barking vipers ! Thousands of barking vipers! – one of them answered, with the typical frozen smile of the cowards.

And  the group run away, together with the vipers.

July 05, 2021 20:17

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1 comment

Elaine St. Anne
19:48 Jul 15, 2021

I had a hard time following this story. The writing is strong


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