All Posts Filed in ‘bad luck

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Bad luck

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garzaSomething that always makes me smile is look at the new-born animals. So I took my camera today hoping to take pictures of some ducklings in the park for the weekly photo challenge.

It was the first mild day in this cold spring. The park was full of young parents with their kids and other people watching the animals, down in the ancient castle’s moats. There are swans, ducks, turkeys, peacocks, geese, cocks, pheasants and many more species. And there are also deer and hinds but there are not fawns yet.

When I was trying to take some pictures of the new ducklings, suddenly a big Grey Heron, came of nowhere and went down like an arrow, trapped a duckling with its beak and went up to a tree with its prey to have its meal. The little kids began to cry and ask to their parents that was going to happen to the duckling. Some began to tell fantastic stories about how the big bird only wanted to play with the little. Others, more realistic began to explain them in simple words how the nature works. So, no smile at the sight of the ducklings so vulnerable with the grey heron perched up, looking down, threatening…
ducklin

Smile

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NOTICE TO MY READERS AND FOLLOWERS

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Probably you already noticed I’ve been silent since late May. Due to family matters that require all my time and attention, I won’t be able to update this blog for a while. I hope things will get back to normal soon. Till then, good luck to everybody.

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Chaos

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Yesterday morning, the wind opened violently a window, and the curtain swept everything  that was on the table. A vase with flowers, two photos, a bottle with soda and a glass. Sharp pieces of glass were everywhere,  the pictures ruined by the water, papers soaked, the floor sticky because of the spilling soda… a total chaos.

Later, the fruit rack collapsed and I had quite a situation in the kitchen, with the oranges,  apples, apricots and peaches rolling on the floor.

Finally, when I was transferring  my mom from her bed to her wheelchair, the brakes failed and she fell down to the floor. We were alone. She got between the bed and the wheelchair. I had managed to grab her with all my strength to avoid a hard hit, but she was in an impossible position and I had no strength to lift her up. So I had to go to ask for help to my neighbours. Luckily, I found at home the two sons of my neighbour Julia, who are like two towers. They came immediately, lifted up my mom, and placed her in her wheelchair. Thank God, other than some pain in her legs from being too much time on the floor, she was OK. But… what a day!

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In the forest

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You have 20 minutes to write a post that includes the words mailbox, bluejay, plate, syrup, and ink. And one more detail… the story must include a dog named Bob

Last time I spotted a blue jay was sixteen years ago when I was living in the US. It was during a hiking with my friends. The day was promising. Good weather, a beautiful place. We had had a great breakfast at home, with a plate of scrambled eggs and pancakes with syrup before starting our outing. When we arrived to the forest in a natural park, we left our data in the mailbox that was at the start of the route we chose. We filled the sheet with our hiking plan and our names and ages in red ink, because that was my pen colour. I had never done that. Over here you go to the mountain and don’t fill forms. Nobody, except your family, knows you’re out there. I found it an excessive precaution, but I learned that day that it was a good idea.
It was an eventful day. We had had a good walk and had spotted many birds and animals. We had unloaded our backpacks to have a nice lunch in a beautiful spot. But in the afternoon, when we were in the middle of nowhere, one of my friends fell and broke her leg. We didn’t have a mobile phone and we had no strength to move her. Luckily another group of hikers was coming our way and they stopped to help us. They couldn’t do much, but they promised to go in search of a rescue team. The rescuers arrived preceded by a dog called Bob. A nice golden retriever. He found us first. The rescuers were calling my injured friend’s name “Janet!, Janet! We answered. Over here! The dog guided them. They came with a portable stretcher and all what they needed immobilize the broken leg. Once everything set, they took Janet out of the forest to the ambulance that was waiting in the road. My friend Kathy went with them. I stayed alone with the mission to go back to the place where we had left the car and drive to the hospital. Once left alone, I didn’t pay attention to the blue jays and other animals only an hour before were so interesting to me. I was worried. I don’t have good orientation sense so I was afraid to get lost in the forest. It was getting late. I had to hurry and follow carefully the path and the marks I passed so distractedly that morning. I prayed to my Guardian Angel. It worked. Before dusk I was in our car sound and safe.

A Dog Named Bob.

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Ready, Set, Done! Looking good

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Our ten-minute free-write is back for another round! Tap away on whatever comes to mind, no filters attached.

My city is famous for many things and one of them is its changing weather. Today I decided to go to the hair dresser because I wanted to look good in a picture for my press card. It will be my presentation card for the next five years, so the image is important, I thought. I’m not too conceited, but I’m no longer young and pretty and I need some external help to look presentable.

It was a sunny morning. I went to one salon that advertised that there was no need of concerting an appointment, only to find out that when I arrived, all the personal were too busy to wash, comb and style my hair. They told me to come back in two hours. No problem, I thought. The inconveniences of going without an appointment. So I went to do some errands and to have a quiet walk through the streets of my neighbourhood enjoying the sunny and fresh morning before coming back to the hair dresser.

And this time all went smoothly. I arrived and I didn’t have to wait a second. It was fast, because I wanted something simple and natural for the picture.
I paid the bill and went out half an hour later and… it was raining! And I had gone out without umbrella. Of course, my hair got ruined in no time while I rushed to get to the photographer shop. And when I arrived I found it closed. He had hanged a sign saying: “gone to lunch”.

Ready, Set, Done!.

 

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My uncle

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What’s your earliest memory involving another person? Recreate the scene — from the other person’s perspective.

“So this is my niece. Cute. I hope she’ll be quiet. I’m here to spend as much time as possible with my sister, not to entertain children. It’s been so long since we were together last time! Years. We have a lot of things to talk about. With all this kids around, here in the park, it’s not easy. We’ll have time later at home, I hope.”

My first memory involving another person is being in a park with my uncle Tom. He was holding me with his strong arms and we were watching a beautiful landscape from a balcony over a valley. Later I learned that he came to visit my mom after years of absence. They were very close and loved each other very much. But life had separated them. He was young (36) and handsome. He was married but had no children yet. One day he said to his wife: let’s go to see my sister. And without more explanations, he hit the road and traveled all the way to Pamplona. They stayed with us three days, and then they said good-by and went back to their city. two days later we received a telegram with the news that he had died of a heart attack while sleeping. The next memory I have is my mom’s sorrow. I had never seen my mom so sad, crying, all dressed in black. Maybe this is why I remember that moment with my Uncle Tom in spite I was so small.

 

Reverse Shot.

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Unintended message

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It happens: sometimes that filter in our head bursts and we say too much of what we’re thinking and someone gets hurt. Tell us about a time you or someone you know said something that they immediately regretted.

Years ago we had in our newsroom a computer system with which you could sent a message to all the computers in the room. You only had to type “me” (from message) and then the text. With that the message would appear in all the screens with the sender’s signature. I was fighting secretly against depression and exhausted. One of that awful days I arrived discouraged to the newsroom, turned on my computer and typed in Spanish, without thinking,  what was on my mind: “me muero” (I’m dying). So immediately all my coworkers received a message that said “muero” (I die) signed by me.

“What’s the matter?” “Are you all right?” “Can I help you?” Dozens of messages began to pour into my computer. Even my boss saw my message. Imagine my embarrassment. Some friends came to my desk to ask me if I needed something. Yes, I needed something impossible: to disappear. But I couldn’t because I had an interview to write for that day’s edition.  I only wanted to be alone, do my work and go home as soon as possible.  But I had to spend a lot of time giving explanations about my mistake with the “me” word and about why I had written such a pessimistic message. I was tired that was all, I said to them. Now I can laugh at what happened, but back then it was an awkward situation.

Daily Prompt: Careless Whisper.
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Beautiful Bermeo

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Tell us about a situation where you’d hoped against all hope, where the odds were completely stacked against you, yet you triumphed. Be sure to describe your situation in full detail. Tell us all about your triumph in all its glory.

My life is so normal and my memory so short! I can’t remember such a situation. No big triumphs with a flair of glory. Only little achievements unnoticed.

Against all odds I write every day hoping something worthy to tell will come up. But my stories are so negative and so sad that I get discouraged.

Usually when I’m going against all odds I end in frustration.  They say I’m jinxed. When I was in my first year as a reporter (I think I was 17 or 18) my boss in Bilbao sent me to do a report about the tuna fishermen in Bermeo, a beautiful town near Bilbao. It was a saturday and he told me to go there to do some interviews and write a full page for that same day.

I went to Bermeo, in a glorious day, full of hopes to do a great report, only to find out that all the fishermen were on the high seas, so there were nobody to talk with for my interviews, only some women who talked in basque so fast there was no way to understand them. I went to look for the mayor and other authorities as an alternative, and I found out that all of them had traveled precisely to Bilbao, because there was a big demonstration organised by their political party.

I had to come back to Bilbao defeated, empty handed, to face an angry boss who had an empty page waiting for me. I did something with what the women had told me and some big pictures of the beautiful port, and saved the day, but without glory.

I had had previous problems with that same boss who had sent me to do impossible reports more than once. My visit to Bermeo to interview fishermen when the whole fishing fleet was on the high seas was the last. When the editor knew about it, decided to assign me to another boss. That was my little triumph.

Daily Prompt: Against All Odds.
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No money

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If you’re like most of us, you need to earn money by working for a living. Describe your ultimate job. If you’re in your dream job, tell us all about it — what is it that you love? What fulfills you? If you’re not in your dream job, describe for us what your ultimate job would be.

Today I met my old coworkers. They were in a demonstration to protest because the company wants to cut them their salary to a half (the wonders of the crisis). I went to support them. Because of my health problems I can’t work any more. I had to quit a year ago. Now my friends are in the brink of a colapse. It’s so sad. Money for nothing? There is no money. Period.

I’ve worked in all kind of jobs during my life. We were immigrants. My father was a University teacher. No much money at home. As so many people, I had to work when I was a student. I worked as a maid, as a telephonist, as a shop clerk, as a music teacher, as an office clerk… I can’t remember all the things I did to earn money to help at home before I finally began my career as a journalist. I’m not demanding. So what would be my ultimate job? Nowadays probably whatever they would offer me in a solvent company that would be fair with its workers.

I liked my job. I’m so sad I had to quit because of my health. Working in a newsroom is stressful but very interesting. I miss my coworkers. I miss the excitement of coming with breaking news, the rush of the deadlines. I miss hitting the streets to report about whatever I had assigned. I miss spending time investigating some interesting news.
And all this although being a journalist wasn’t my first choice. My dream as a kid was to become a marine biologist. I adore the Ocean and the nature and its living beings. So the perspective of spend my life sailing and studying marine creatures was the best I could imagine. But I studied journalism instead and I don’t regret it. I’ve had a very interesting life. I’ve witnessed historical facts. I’ve known wonderful people. I’ve interviewed very interesting people. I’ve traveled. What else can I ask for?

Daily Prompt: Money for Nothing.
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The train

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When was the last time you were embarrassed? How do you react to embarrassment? 

I boarded the train with my ticket for a long distance trip and I searched for my seat. It was occupied by a woman who claimed it was hers. I politely showed her my ticket to prove my right to that seat. She wasn’t very friendly. Refused to show me her ticket. She said something about rude young people. Everybody were looking at us and listening.

That was my seat according to my ticket and the car was full so I finally demanded her to show me her ticket. Then she, very angry with me, produced the ticket and I discovered that she was right! It was for the same seat! I got speechless. It must be a mistake, I said to her, and asked her to forgive me. I wanted to disappear. But I didn’t have where to go. The train was already speeding.

We waited for the ticket collector. Me, standing, holding my bags. She comfortably seated, still angry at me, mumbling things about how rude I was. Then an uneasy silence.

When the ticket collector arrived and checked our tickets, he discovered that mine was wrongly done. For some reason the ticket had the right day (july 15) but the wrong weekly day (wednesday instead of tuesday). I didn’t notice that when I purchased it. I had to retreat with my bags, embarrassed, while the woman was looking at me triumphant. I followed the ticket collector that found for me an uncomfortable seat in the baggage department, until one passenger left free a regular seat in the next stop.

What a trip!

Daily Prompt: Isn’t Your Face Red.
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Disconnected

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Due to a big storm I lost my connection to the Internet last Sunday. And here I am, writing this nonsense at the time I use to do the Daily Prompt just to don’t lost contact with you. Or create the illusion that I’m still in contact with all of you. I don’t know when or if this post will be published. I don’t know why I’m doing this. I have tons of things to do with my time. Somehow I need your company. This is why I try to answer to the prompts even when I’m not inspired.
It’s amazing how attached can I get to something like my connection to the Internet. I got so used to have the news at my fingertips whenever I need them, to send and receive messages anytime… I took all that for granted and when fails I feel a little isolated. Surrounded by people, people I love so much, but somehow cut off from the rest of the world.
I feel guilty complaining about this little nuisance with so many people suffering real problems. So what if I can’t work and communicate for a couple of days? I’m lucky. I have extra free time for other things. I just miss you. I’m trying to send this via my phone.

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“Quiniela”

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Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?

When I was little I was a soccer fan. My dad taught me the rules and we followed the matches by TV together. We had no money so my dad played sometimes to what they call in Spain “Quiniela”. A very popular game. A kind of lottery but not by choosing numbers but by guessing the results of the matches of the week in the First League. You had to try to predict the results of the weekend, fill in a coupon, pay a modest sum (then was less than a dollar) and if you get 13 or 14 results right, you can win a lot of money. The equivalent to thousands of dollars.
Once I took a coupon and made my prediction. I filled in the results and went to the store. But once there I found out that I didn’t have enough money to send my “Quiniela”. So I returned home with my worthless coupon. When the weekend was over I discovered I have guessed 13 results! So if I had had a few more cents to place my bid I had won thousands of dollars. I was so close. Only a few cents away.
What happened next? I didn’t know if it would be a good idea to say something to dad or not. Finally I decided to tell him as I always did with everything. I wasn’t sure of his reaction, but he laughed and told me to ask him for money next time I wanted to do a “Quiniela”. Or better, help him with his “Quiniela” from that moment on. So we had fun making predictions together.
We never won a “Quiniela” nor a lottery. Now is impossible I win a “Quiniela”, because we quit playing long, long ago.

Daily Prompt: But No Cigar.
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The debate

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Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

A pacifist association organised a panel with a debate about terrorism and media. They called me to talk representing my newspaper. I was a simple writer so I asked why me. They told me they had asked others before me and they declined. I asked my boss why. He told me it was too polemic. There had been some attacks against our offices recently. I said I thought we had to go because all the other media were sending a representative to the panel of speakers. Our absence would be noticed. The he told me: “go if you want under your own responsibility”. “But, I said, I’m  going representing our newspaper”. He said OK.

So I went alone and I found, as my boss predicted, a hostile audience. Only ten friendly faces and all the rest against me. I said what I thought about the terrorism and the media, and mentioned the recent attacks against our offices and other media offices. They boo me, called me fascist, and things like that. I had some tense exchanges of questions and answers with some of them. I talked against violence. I stressed the point that is better solve things talking than fighting. But they didn’t listen. All the debate focused on me and my newspaper. Exhausting.

The room had two doors to exit. In one of them my opponents were gathering. My friends told me to use the other door to avoid them. But I thought it would be worst. So I went directly to the door where all of them were, told them very politely – “Good evening, thank you for coming” – and passed through them in my way out. They said nothing.

Daily Prompt: Sink or Swim.
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Scary

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You have a secret superpower: the ability to appear and disappear at will. When and where will you use this new superpower? Tell us a story.

A superpower again? I find very difficult to imagine a superpower working on me.

The other’s ability to appear and disappear scares me:

Once I made a report about a trial. The defendant was a very dangerous and violent criminal. He intimidated some key witnesses and at the end, despite the prosecutor’s efforts, was found not guilty and set free. He left our city. A year after the trial I had to go to the Court House to talk to some of my sources for another report and to attend another trial and suddenly I saw him. He was back in town. He was right there smiling menacingly at me. I knew he was not precisely happy with my reports.

I finished my interview and there he was waiting. His searching eyes and his scary smile glued on me. I went to a Court Room to attend a trial and there he was behind me. Watching me. The trial finished and he followed me outside the room. Always six feet behind me watching and smiling. Saying nothing. I was talking with my colleagues from other media as we were exiting the building and he continued behind us. Watching. Smiling. When I had to left my colleagues and go to a nearby parking lot I decided to face him. I said aloud: “someone is following us” and turned around to ask him what he wanted. And he suddenly disappeared! Nobody suspicious behind us. The others thought I was crazy.

Then I get really scared. Not knowing where he was, having to go alone to the parking lot I didn’t know what to do. By the time I reached my car I have looked every minute behind me out of fear to see him appear again being alone with no one to help me around. I locked de car’s doors and drove looking constantly at the rear view mirror. When I arrived to the newsroom I called to his lawyer to ask her why he was in town. She said “no idea” and she sounded more scared than me. He had his ways to let us know he was following us. Finally my boss advised me to call the police for protection.

Daily Prompt: Now You See Me.
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No secrets

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Tell us about a conversation you couldn’t help but overhear and wish you hadn’t.

I don’t listen to other people private conversations. I’m a private person and I try to do to others as I would have them do to me. Besides I’m too absentminded to pay attention.

I heard a lot of noises from my neighbours. I remember when I was living in an apartment on top of a busy coffee bar. As a journalist I used to work late and arrive home after midnight. But the people at the coffee bar arrived at 5 am each morning when I was fast asleep and used to turn on the radio very loud to listen the same news I was working on the night before. What a nightmare! I try to negotiate with them but was no use. No matter how late I worked, the wake up called at 5 am with the news. Of course I looked for a new apartment.

I only remember once I overheard a conversation between two of my bosses talking about one of my coworkers, because the door was open and I was waiting outside the office. I immediately made a noise to signal my presence. They called me in for my meeting making no reference to the previous conversation. But that was the exception.

I usually have had the opposite problem. People keeping secrets from me or unwanted people knowing too much about me, all related with my job.

It happened a long time ago and then was very hard to me but I don’t care any more. I was covering a political corruption scandal as a Journalist in my city. High profile. I followed and investigated the news for a year. A lot of stress. Obstacles in the way. All the politician, lawyers, judges, prosecutors, knew me. And then, when the case was going to go to trial I fell sick with a severe depression and I had to left. Disappear from the scene. So all of them got the news that I had depression. I got confused, afraid, ashamed. At that moment I hadn’t accepted my illness. I couldn’t stand so many people knowing about it. It was so public, so embarrassing I thought I would never be back again facing them. Fortunately I was wrong. With time and treatment I learned to accept my illness, I got better and went back to work.

Daily Prompt: Hear No Evil.
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The bishop

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Tell us about a time you found out after the fact that you’d been mistaken and you had to eat a serving of humble pie.

Because of my dyslexia I made a mistake once writing a note with a press release about a bishop. A big mistake. I’m not going to reproduce it here, but it was about the initials of an association I misspelled. Next day the bishop was in the newsroom convinced I did it in purpose to compromise him. I was summoned to the editor office. With my dyslexia I couldn’t see the mistake and I proudly defended myself saying I was right. I’m an observant roman catholic. The bishop was so angry that if I wouldn’t know the church’s laws I’ll thought I was going to be excommunicated. Only the third time, when they pointed to me where was my mistake I saw it and I began to apologise. But I had no excuse. It was all my fault. I only could ask for forgiveness and, of course, promise to write a new note putting things right and explaining it was my mistake. So I did. Later on I interviewed the bishop more than once and we were on very good terms.

Daily Prompt: Humble Pie.

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The plumber

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Think about something that drives you crazy. Now, think about something that makes you happy. Does it change your perspective?

It’s cold outside. Today is snowing, and our boiler has broken. We are without heating and without heat water. The plumber says he doesn’t have a special valve he needs to repair the boiler so here we are already three days waiting for it. And I have my mother sick and paralysed at home, shivering under a pile of blankets. It drives me crazy. Now I’ll think about what makes me happy: have my mom happy and comfortable in her situation. OK.  My perspective doesn’t change but for my frustration’s intensity. And think about the plumber’s bill doesn’t help.

Daily Prompt: Perspective.

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A good story

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Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.

I was 18 and my boss decided to send me to report about a meeting at the City Hall. I’m pretty old so the democracy in Spain was pretty young. The meeting was at night. It started at eight PM. I was excited because it was my first day, it was a big assignment and I wanted to impress my boss with a good story.

Too much excitement. When I arrived at the City Hall I already had a beginning of a migraine. The meeting was highly polemic. Violent demonstration in front of the building. The police charging against the demonstrators. Inside heated discussions. People insulting the King. The Mayor suspending the session. A lot of things to report about. We all trapped in the building because of the violence outside. And my migraine going worse and worse.

Finally I decided to go out alone no matter the violence, because the meeting was over and I couldn’t resist any more the pain. It was raining. A storm. The streets empty but for groups of demonstrators screaming here and there and the police going after them. I began to walk weakly as a zombie passing by slowly while people and police where running around me. I don’t know how I arrived to the newsroom my clothes completely wet, water dripping from my hair. Only to say to my boss I had a good story but I was unable to write a word about all what happened because I was dying in pain from my migraine. I had no strength left in me. I almost fainted. A complete disaster. I certainly impressed him but not the way I wanted.

Daily Prompt: First!.
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No willpower

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Tell us about the harshest, most difficult to hear — but accurate — criticism you’e ever gotten. Does it still apply?

You have no willpower, a friend told me once. I got so angry I was unable to answer. I just left crying. I thought I showed a lot of determination and persistence in my life to prove her wrong. My job, having to deal with a lot of difficulties, my taking care of my family… all that required a lot of willpower.

A year after that conversation I was diagnosed with a severe depression. She was right. She didn’t know but I was already sick. I wouldn’t admit it. Nor when she told me, neither when the doctor diagnosed me. That couldn’t happen to me. I was strong. I always have been strong. A lot of time of denying the harsh reality worsened my situation. It was difficult to help me because I couldn’t admit I was sick. Even today, when there is no doubt  it’s  not easy. Oh! how difficult it is living with this invisible disease, looking as if nothing is wrong with you when everything inside is so dark and hard. I’m sorry. The prompt asked for harsh times.

Daily Prompt: Sad But True.

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His fist and my nose

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Tell us about a time when everything seemed to be going wrong — and then, suddenly, you knew it would be alright.

The trial was routine  At least I thought so. A question about drug trafficking. Three defendants. I had to report about the trial for my newspaper. I have done it before. But this time one of the defendants was from a known family and when they saw me taking notes began to harass me. They  didn’t want the name of their son and brother on the paper. I told them It wasn’t my fault he was trafficking with drugs and that I only was going to report about the trial.

When we were exiting the court room the mother was hysterical yelling at me. Her husband and her other son were assisting her. Everybody was looking at us. I decided soon it was no use to try to calm her and the best thing I could do was to leave.

I was in the exit corridor when I heard people running and screaming at my back. I turned and I saw a fist coming against my face. I closed my eyes and mentally prepared for the punch. Never came.

I opened my eyes and saw the fist still there frozen, unable to reach me, at an inch from my nose. A police officer intercepted the defendant’s father at just the right second.

Finally the police and the lawyers succeeded calming down the family and we all could left the Court House safely.

Daily Prompt: Exhale.

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The Family Book

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What’s the most dreadful (or wonderful) experience you’ve ever had as a customer?

When my dad passed away I had to do a lot of paperwork for my mom. Among them all related to her pension as a widow. I went to the Social Security office with all the documentation required, at least all the documentation I had. But I crashed against a rock.

– “The Family Book, please”, said the official

The Family Book is a document the Spanish authorities give you when you start a family, but because my parents got married in Croatia, the Spanish authorities at that time didn’t give them that book.

– “We don’t have a Family Book I already gave you my parent’s marriage certificate. That proves my mother is my father’s widow and has right to her pension.”

– “Without the Family Book your parents are not legally married here in Spain, so she doesn’t have right to the pension”

– “But you have the marriage certificate and your people didn’t gave them the Family Book because they got married before they came here.”

– “That’s not my problem. I need the Family Book.”

No way to convince that woman my parents were legally married and were legally recognized as a married couple in Spain despite they never had the damned Family Book. So I had nothing to do but go home and look for new ways to prove my parents marriage. I did coming back with the birth certificates of all of us where mom and dad appeared as our parents legally married, but the clerk was not satisfied.

– “I need the Family Book”.

I looked at her in disbelief. I was desperate, sad, angry, hopeless. Another clerk who was following my case saw my despair and called me a said. A window of hope opened. But then she said in a whisper.

– “I see what’s your problem. I’ll give you a phone number.” – she was writing it in a post-it – “Call here. Is a Red Cross social worker, they are doing a very good job looking for identities for people like your family”

Then I exploded

– “Look, my Mother has the Spanish nationality since before you were born. She has for children born in Spain. We have lived here legally for decades without a problem and now you are telling me to go to the Red Cross to ask for a new identity as if we just arrived yesterday illegally in a boat?. I don’t need a new identity. I have my legal identity before you were born. This has to have another solution”.

Because we were mourning my dad I didn’t explain to my mom the problems I was having with the paperwork. I didn’t want  her to worry about. But at that point I had to tell her because I needed her help. She began to look for old documents and found a certificate about the ownership of her apartment in Zagreb. The document had all the communist paraphernalia of the old Yugoslavia: the red star, the sickle and hammer, cyrillic characters, and the names of my father and my mother in it.

– “Try with this,” she said.

I had nothing to lose so I did

– “Here I have another document about my parents marriage issued by the city council of Zagreb, the city were they got married”, I said trying to sound convinced.

When the officer saw the strange characters, the red star, the sickle and hammer and all that, without understanding a word of the document, except the names of my parents, she said immediately:

– “This will work”

And it did. The application went on and my mother had her pension.

Daily Prompt: Are you being served?.

More customer stories in the next page:

Post

No, thank you

9 comments

Walking down the street, you encounter a folded piece of paper on the sidewalk. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed. Describe this experience.

“You can find the job of your dreams. Come to see us at Slalom’s at 10:00 am. No references needed. We already know all about you”.

Strange. But what the… I need a job. And I have nothing to do this morning. I probably will end alone sipping a coffee, victim of a practical joke. I’ll take a chance. Slalom’s is around the corner and they have a good espresso.

I enter the place looking around and decide to ask for the owner. Maybe he is the one needing help. But why leaving such a strange message?

Suddenly somebody come from my back and says:

– Good morning Jane, Thanks for coming in such a short notice. We were waiting for you. We already ordered an espresso for you.

– How do you know my name? I ask turning to see who is talking to me. He is a tall dark-haired smiling middle-aged man. He is informally dressed and with him there is a younger man very serious observing us.

– We already know all about you, remember?

– Yeah, but how?

– You are a reporter, you tell us.

– CIA, NSA?

– Very funny.

– What do you want from me, to become a spy?.

– You are talking too loud and  to plainly.

– I’m a reporter.

– We need good and loyal analysts.

– No wonder. As I said I’m not interested.

– Think about all the information you will be able to manage.

– Think about the normal life I’m enjoying and I’m about to lose.

– Without a job?

– Did you have something to do with me losing my job?

– Please….!

– Please, leave me alone.

– Only with one condition.

– Whatever.

– You never found a note. We never met. Remember, we are watching you and we know everything about you.

– Done. CIA, NSA?

– Very funny.

Daily Prompt: Everything Changes.

Post

My first memory: Disaster in a Park

6 comments
Moyan Brenn CreativeCommons

Moyan Brenn CreativeCommons

We are in a park with my older sister. My brother is crying. We were playing near an iron gate. He slipped his head through the bars and now he can’t remove it. He trapped himself. I don’t understand why. If his head fits one way through the bars I can’t see why suddenly doesn’t fit the opposite way. My sister is trying to help my brother. She’s calling for help. Men, women and kids approach. Everybody is talking and making suggestions, but nothing works.

I wonder around alone and I fall and hurt myself. My knee is bleeding. I’m crying. But my sister is too busy with my brother and his head to notice me. I feel miserably and alone. I think my brother is going to die so I cry in distress. A woman says she will take care of me. I’m afraid of her. I don’t want her to take care of me. I want my sister. I want my mom.

Finally a police officer comes and frees my brother I don’t know how. Then my sister comes with my brother free, but still crying, scared. She notices me and my knee and frees me from the scary woman. She says nothing. She takes my hand. I stop crying. We are safe. We are going home.

Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember.

Post

No discussions, please

1 comment

When was the last time your walked away from a discussion, only to think of The Perfect Comeback hours later? Recreate the scene for us, and use your winning line.

file0002142617802I avoid discussions. I can’t stand them. At the moment the conversation becomes a discussion I feel I’m going to burst in tears. It’s sure because of my depression. To avoid the embarrassment and knowing I can’t make a point in that condition I walk away always. I prefer to come back when all is quiet and you can talk without stress, or write an answer, because I express myself better writing than talking.

I remember though once, after a meeting with my coworkers in which we were talking about salaries. Somebody went to my boss and told him I said that we all should have the same salary, something It wasn’t accurate, and they presented me as a sort of communist infiltrated in the company. He call me to his office immediately and began to yell at me. I told him what I really said during the meeting, but he wouldn’t listen. I asked the help of God and he must helped me, because I didn’t cry in front of him, but I told him very calmly that if he was willing to believe the account of the other person better than mine about my own words I couldn’t do anything more. Then I asked also very calmly if he was firing me. He said a furious NO!

The moment I left the office I burst in tears and I couldn’t stop, as always. But I saved my job and my dignity that day, thanks God.

Daily Prompt: Drawing a Blank.

Post

The Bull and Mom

5 comments
The running of the bulls in Pamplona

The running of the bulls in Pamplona

It have been raining. The floor was slippery and that was dangerous. The street, packed with people watching the running of the bulls. It was Sunday.

Javier was a young man but a veteran runner. He didn’t like to run on Sundays because of the amount of people who make the run more difficult. Is almost impossible to find a place near the bulls to run and is dangerous because is easy to stumble and fall.

But that year he had no other chance because he had a job in Madrid and couldn’t come to Pamplona any other day. So he decided to run.

And there he was in Estafeta Street like always, waiting for the bulls, adrenalin boiling in his body as the beasts approached. And he jumped into the center of the street to situate himself in front of the horns.

When he decided it was enough to retire, he counted and realized one bull was missing so he tried to jump behind the barricades to avoid another run. But there were so many people that they didn’t make room for him.

The theory says that if you lay still like a sand bag, the bull will ignore you. So Javier, rejected by the people, unable to reach the safety of the barricade, decided to lay on the floor glued to the wall of stone of one of the houses and wait to the bull to pass, but with the bad luck that the bull slipped and fell looking at him. He felt the breathing of the bull and thought: Javier, you are history.

The bull charged against him, lifted him and throw him once. Javier, trapped between the bull and the wall,  acted as a sand bag and fell like a dead weight. the bull charged another time, and another, and another, and Javier acted according to the theory…until the eight time. Then the theory was enough for him and he began to fight kicking the nose of the bull until the beast moved its huge head and Javier saw a little space to escape running.

Everybody in the Hospital emergency room was waiting for him thinking in the worst possibilities.

– Leave me alone! I want to go home!, was the only thing he was saying at the arrival at the hospital. He looked surprisingly well.

His friend Francisco, From Madrid, with Javier’s sneakers on his hands, in the waiting room was the one who looked really sick. He was so impressed by what happened he needed assistance.

Half an hour after he enter the hospital Javier was able to go home. He was OK! Only some bruises by the sides of the horns and the blows against the wall and the floor, nothing more.

He went home in bad shape. His white shirt torn up, his clothes dirty and walking with the help of his friend Francisco. He rang the door’s bell. And when his mother opened the door and saw him said:

– And the loaf of bread? Didn’t I tell you to buy the loaf of bread before you come back home? You always having fun out there and the only thing I ask you to do for me, you forget.

– But Mom…

– And where have you been? How are you so dirty? surly drinking with your friends. Who knows what….

– Mom, you didn’t watch the running of the bulls at TV this morning did you?

——

PS. This story is real. It happened many years ago. I Asked Javier if he would run again and he answered that being charged by a bull eight times and not wounded by the horns is a miracle, a miracle by San Fermín. He said miracles don’t happen often so he probably wouldn’t. Javier’s mom wouldn’t watch the video so impressed she was when they told her the story of his son and the bull charging against him eight times without wounding him.

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Best Medicine.

Post

I would die in a month

9 comments

If the world worked on a barter system, how would you fare? Would you have services to barter? Would you be successful, or would you struggle?

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I would die in a month or so. Who would give me some food in exchange for news about the world, being most of them not so good? Above all in these days of news for free in the Internet!

– Would you give me a new auto for a world-wide exclusive?

– Would you give me groceries for an update of the Snowden asylum situation?

– A chocolate tablet if I give you the top news headlines by memory?

I could offer some memories for food but I don’t think I would succeed.

– Would you give me that dress for a story about my life as a foreign correspondent?

– Pay my monthly rent for the story “the terrorist and me”?

– Pay my phone bill for the “stories about the running of the bulls”?

I could try to exchange some of my bad paintings, another looser idea.

– Would you give me a book for a bad amateur watercolor?

I don’t thing so.

– Maybe I would try bartering with one embroidery. I said one because I only have one finished. It takes a lot of work during many days to finish another one. And by the moment I had another ready for bartering I would be starving.

So, no. As much as I hate money, I don’t think I would survive in a barter system with my limited and useless skills.

Daily Prompt: Barter System.

Other barterings:

  1. Daily Prompt: Skill | Postcards from
  2. Barter System | Geek Ergo Sum
  3. 8 july Daily Prompt: Barter System | family photos food & craft
  4. Daily Prompt: Skill | Books, Music and Movies : my best friends
  5. Daily Post – Barter System | Kate Murray
  6. Daily Prompt: Barter System | Under the Monkey Tree
  7. Daily Prompt: Barter System « Mama Bear Musings
  8. Daily Prompt: Barter System – show us SKILL. | masadiso79’s Blog
  9. Daily Prompt: Jack Of All Trades | Mindful Splatter
  10. Give and Let Give. | ayimas
  11. Could I Pay My Electric Bill With A Short Story? | The Jittery Goat
  12. I will trade | Pink Woods
  13. Bartering to live | Nanuschka’s Blog
  14. If You ‘Like’ This Post, I’ll Check Out Your Blog | downtownnokomis
  15. Daily Prompt: What Will You Gimme? | One Starving Activist
  16. Drafting… | Haiku By Ku
  17. Even Trades [Daily Prompt: Barter System] | unknowinglee
  18. Runs good– or can be planted | Relax…
  19. skills for trade | thematticuskingdom
  20. Peter the Sailmaker | The Life NomadikThe Life Nomadik
  21. Barter System: Or Feudal System? | Khana’s Web
  22. Barter Systems: Will Write for Hypnosis | BLUE BEAD PUBLICATIONS
  23. Living by a barter system… the dream  of | I Didn’t Just Wake Up This Morning with a Craving
  24. Barter System | bheehappy
  25. Daily Prompt: Barter System – Chicomallorca’s Blog
  26. Seriously? | A Day in the Life
  27. What Can I Offer You? | The Cutter Rambles
  28. Barter « Getting Rid Of Boredom
  29. Health, Wealth and Wisdom | windandlaughter
  30. Daily Prompt: Barter System | reyoflight
  31. We are an interdependent world | Notes from a gay mentalist
  32. Daily Prompt: Barter System | Prateek Bhatia
  33. Trade for your life!!! | Rob’s Surf Report
  34. Daily Prompt : Barter System | Pilgrim of Cognition
  35. My Default Barter System | Spiritual Lives Of Women
  36. Barting Time | The Nameless One
  37. Daily Prompt: Barter System | Vagabond
  38. Bartering Time | The Nameless One
  39. Will Barter for Food | mobibrad
  40. How the barter system would give me an early death | Ugly Nikki
  41. For What It’s Worth | clarior e tenebris
  42. Sure would be nice not having to worry about my 401k | djgarcia94
  43. I’ll Gladly Pay You Tuesday For A Hamburger Today | Backslash Awesome Writings & Pics
  44. Capitalism, bartering, and the status quo. | The Drowning Octopus
  45. Daily Prompt: Barter System | To Breathe is to Write
  46. What can I do for you? | Things I See and Know
Post

Fear on the bridge

15 comments

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I’m squeezing my mind trying to find something mysterious about me and can’t come up with anything. I’m a very common and boring person, I guess.

I would like to have more sense of humor and tell you a wonderful secret story about myself, but maybe because of my journalism background I have a tendency to stick to the facts, and the only fact I can think about me that nobody knows is that I’m afraid of bridges.

I don’t know why, but the truth is that every time I’m on a bridge I think it can collapse or I can fall or something bad will happen.

And then, after so many years with this silly fear something really happened.

I was driving coming back from the Court House where I was reporting about a very controversial trial. It was dark at night. No traffic. I entered the bridge and another car behind me. The other car passed me and suddenly the driver began to do strange things: going by my side, slowly if I was driving slow, fast if I was going faster, laughing looking at me with a very scaring expression in his face, then passing me, then letting me pass him, then passing me and finally blocking the bridge with his car and making me stop.

I locked my car and waited alarmed. (It was before the cell phone era). Because he wasn’t moving, only looking at me and laughing, I tried – and succeeded – to pass him very slowly through the narrow space available between his car and the barrier. I stepped on the gas to fly from there but he came after me. And then he crashed his car against mine from my left side to throw me down from the bridge!

I managed to control my car and stop against the barrier shocked but safe. Thank God, at that moment another car arrived and my unknown enemy fled. The other car stopped to help me.  I never knew why that man attacked me. I never knew if was a random attack or of it was something related to my work. It remains a mystery to me.

Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Engima.

Mysterious bloggers:

  1. Waiting for the flight to Halifax | Musings from a practical mystic
  2. A Mystery Wrapped in an Engima – I’m a criminal | Geek Ergo Sum
  3. Daily Prompt: Mysterious | Books, Music and Movies : my best friends
  4. The Facade | The Magic Black Book
  5. I, the Replacement | Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Engima | likereadingontrains
  6. What a Yank! | Becoming Aussie
  7. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma | ThisCornerOfTheWoods
  8. The Phone Call from Russia | The Happy Hermit
  9. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in Engima | Faraziyya
  10. What To Do With My Free Time: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma | To Pursue Happiness
  11. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Girl | Mindful Splatter
  12. Mysterious | thoughtsofrkh
  13. Jacob’s Secret (short fiction) | The Jittery Goat
  14. Ode to the Fountain Pen… | The Rider
  15. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped… | Under the Monkey Tree
  16. My Little Secret | Tony’s Texts
  17. Crunch, Slap, Sploosh | downtownnokomis
  18. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Engima | hometogo232
  19. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped In An Enigma | suzie81’s Blog
  20. Wild thang | Relax…
  21. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Engima | George and Nigel
  22. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Engima | Postcards from
  23. The insolvent graduate | A couple of dollars
  24. A Regular Michaelangelo [Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Engima] | unknowinglee
  25. Apparently, I should not admit this in public . . . | burnedbutternut
  26. Catherine B.’s Blog | I’m A Mystery | Daily Prompt | A Mystery Wraped in an Enigma
  27. The Enigmatic Mystery of the Real Cie | The Cheese Whines
  28. Shhh!: Daily Prompt | BLUE BEAD PUBLICATIONS
  29. Pay Me No Mind . . . | meanderedwanderings
  30. The Key to My Secret | Iam Who Iam
  31. Big bad George | Thin spiral notebook
  32. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  33. Is There Something in Those Layers? | floatingsheep
  34. A Secret… | Haiku By Ku
  35. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Engima | unknowinglee
  36. The creature of mystery, fantasy and ultimate beauty! | My Tiny Thoughts
  37. Daily Prompt: A Purple Haze of Mystery | Slam on the Brakes, Pull Over, Take the Picture
  38. Daily Prompt: Full-blooded American Dane | cinnwriterblog
  39. Chef Mental Rollercoaster | mentalrollercoaster
  40. A Mystery Wrapped In An Enigma | bheehappy
  41. No More Mysteries | clarior e tenebris
  42. Nobody is Perfect | Lewis Cave
  43. Ведем ежедневник: Тайна, окутанная мраком. | Впечатанные Мысли
  44. Daily Prompt: A Mystery To Solve? | My Daily Prompt Blog
  45. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Engima « Mama Bear Musings
  46. The Daily Prompt: Criminal Psychology and Me | theconsciouswriter
  47. Daily Prompt: I’m Really an Introvert | Cytherean Dreams
  48. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma | Let There be Peace on Earth
  49. A Mystery Wrapped in an Engima: The Early Days | Khana’s Web
  50. Jeckyll and Hyde | I really just pretend to know stuff
  51. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma – Who is she? | SERENDIPITY
  52. One thing you might not know about me? I’m filled with ‘rage’ | Curious Jac
  53. A WAR NEVER WON | hastywords
  54. Mysterious me | Spunky Wayfarer
  55. The Thin Line Seperating Madness and Creativity | Spontaneous Ditties
  56. What You Don’t Know About Me | Pieces of the Puzzle
  57. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma | Quirky Brunette
  58. Why Would I? | ayimas
  59. Writing Fiction: Mystery and Enigma | Dog Leader Mysteries
  60. Limerick for Denise | clarior e tenebris
  61. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma | Script Under Construction
  62. the UNCATEGORISED … | the TRASH BASH
  63. No Mystery – I am a Fan of the Twilight Zone | No Facilities
  64. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Engima | mommy&everything
  65. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma | The corner of my imagination
  66. I Was At Disney Senior Night (or Not) | Sam’s Online Journal
  67. Daily Prompt: Mysterious | Hamburg und Mee(h)r
  68. The Healing Place « Overcoming to Becoming
  69. Summer! | Journey Called Life …
  70. My dog is a mystic “pack leader” |
  71. Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma | prettywitgla33es
  72. Who Knew? | A Day in the Life
  73. Mysterious Friendships | Vampire Maman
Post

A jail without windows

11 comments

file000845471725

Dear enemy,

I would like to watch you leave for ever from my life, but I have to live with you fighting every day, every moment, as a prisoner in a jail. Yes, you’re my jail. A jail plenty of darkness and lies and chains and locks. A jail without windows, without light from the outside world.

You put chains in my wrists and my legs so it’s very difficult to get up in the morning and say hello to a new day.

You are telling lies to me about the life all the time . You say life is a complete disaster for me and I am a complete disaster for life. That I don’t deserve anything from anyone. That I’m a burden for my loved ones. You are telling me to avoid the company of other people, be alone. I know there are all lies but I can’t help myself. You make me sad, so sad I can’t move out of sadness.

I have to gather a lot of strength to face each moment, each day and win battles against you to keep living. And sometimes I can’t. You win. Sometimes I manage to sneak out and see if there is some light out of your jail. Sometimes I think I’m learning to live with you, my enemy, my depression. But I know, the fall will come again, you will open the jail’s door to push me inside and I will not have the strength to resist until the next time I put out a fight against you, my everyday enemy.

Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out.

Check this posts:

 

  1. Everyone Shape Up or Ship Out | Geek Ergo Sum
  2. Dear Insecurity | Taking time, making time
  3. To the Unknown Cheerleader | Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | likereadingontrains
  4. Daily Prompt: Ugly | Postcards from
  5. Everything is going to be okay… | Hope* the happy hugger
  6. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out – show us UGLY. | masadiso79’s Blog
  7. Shape up or ship out sugar cravings | Now Have At It!
  8. Dear Mr. Fearful [Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out] | unknowinglee
  9. Who’s In Charge Here??? | Spirit Lights The Way
  10. A Letter To An Indecisive Employee | The Jittery Goat
  11. These Words for YOU | floatingsheep
  12. The Toothpaste Again | Lewis Cave
  13. Daily Prompt: Shape Up Or Ship Out, Mr. Anger | Creative Mysteries
  14. Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you | I Didn’t Just Wake Up This Morning with a Craving
  15. Daily Prompt; Shape Up or Ship Out | terry1954
  16. Daily Prompt: Ugly | Books, Music and Movies : my best friends
  17. Shape Up or Ship Out | The Nameless One
  18. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out « Mama Bear Musings
  19. Daily Prompt: There’s the door, now leave! | Thriving Pessimist…
  20. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | Musings&Rants
  21. Daily Prompt: Just Ship Out! | Musings&Rants
  22. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | writinglikeastoner
  23. Dear Depression | Random Obsession
  24. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | Exploring Utah with MS and Apples
  25. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | The Educated Illiterates
  26. a letter to myself (in a way) | thematticuskingdom
  27. It’s better to feel pain. | BORNTOBEAFAN
  28. Catherine B.’s Blog | Dear Doubt | Daily Prompt | Shape up or Ship Out
  29. Daily Prompt: Dear John Letter | My Daily Prompt Blog
  30. Mugshots are ugly |
  31. An End to Needless Worry | Required Writing
  32. Anxiety… | Haiku By Ku
  33. Shape up or ship out | Nanuschka’s Blog
  34. A Letter To My Inner Critic | Self-Help for Creatively Deprived
  35. Dear Mr.Impulsive | Everyday Adventures
  36. “What??” | Relax…
  37. It’s time to say farewell my friend Intensity | tornin2’s Blog
  38. Who is that? | That Socially Anxious Atheist Paranoid Gay
  39. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  40. Me, Ugly | clarior e tenebris
  41. Dear Laziness | Random, Assorted and Miscellaneous Thoughts
  42. Daily Prompt: Letter to CLIG (Can’t Let It Go) | Iam Who Iam
  43. When I freestyle, I lose … confidence (There’s a picture of New York) | Random Encounters of an Inquisitive Mind
  44. Internal memorandum to fear | A beetle with earrings
  45. Daily Prompt: Dear Impatience… | One Starving Activist
  46. Shape Up or Ship Out: Who Are We Today Then? | Khana’s Web
  47. Phonophobia, pick up all ready, will you?
  48. Letter to Stubborness (A Daily Post Response) | Maggie’s Writing
  49. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | I Work for a Jerk
  50. Act 3, Scene 1: Scent | Romance Without Words
  51. A jail without windows | Vivir, que no es poco
  52. The DAILY POST daily prompt: Temper, temper | a seriously writing woman
  53. Devil | The Optimist
  54. The Summer Ninjas are Coming, Little Lupie! | It’s a wonderful F’N life
  55. Sorry, I couldn’t understand… | Seven Lines
  56. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | Lines by Linda
  57. Dear Anxiety | mobibrad
  58. Quiet Little Voices | a former clarity
  59. Dear Laziness. « kiyudesu
  60. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship out | BLUE BEAD PUBLICATIONS
  61. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | The corner of my imagination
  62. Dear Vain Pain | meanderedwanderings
  63. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | Taking One Day At A Time
  64. Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out | New Lease–Same Hope

 

Dear insecurity

Everything is going to be OK

Who’s in charge here???

Shape up or ship out, Mr Anger

There’s the door, now leave!

Dear depression