The Frog And The Princess

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Once upon a time, beyond the seven seas, there lived a princess who badly wanted to marry a prince. One day, when she was walking in the garden, she saw a frog. Without thinking twice (because she remembered the stories her mom read her for goodnight), she took the frog in her arms.

My dear prince – she said to it – your cruel fate is coming to an end. My love will save you.

And she carried the frog to her castle. She kissed it and… nothing happened.

But the courageous princess didn’t lose heart.

Honey – she said showering the frog with kisses – what a cruel witch put such a strong spell on you? You’re ugly as hell but I see beauty in your eyes. I will always love you!

Nothing happened.

But the princess was determined and wasn’t going to give up. “No surrender” that was her life motto.

I know what I will do – said the princess – I will give you an ultimate proof of my love.

And the princess stripped naked and did a fine belly dance before the perplexed frog.

Still the frog remained a frog.

You scoundrel! – cried the princess and in her fury she threw the frog against the wall.

You fool – moaned the frog as it was giving its last breath – Can’t you see I’m just a fucking frog?

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Into the Dark

When it feels its end approaching, it builds a nest with the finest aromatic woods, sets it on fire, and is consumed by the flames. From the pile of ashes, a new Phoenix arises, young and powerful. It then embalms the ashes of its predecessor in an egg of myrrh, and flies to the city of the Sun, Heliopolis, where it deposits the egg on the altar of the Sun God.

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Shh honey. Everything is all right. He woke up shaking and drenched in sweat again. The same disturbing dream over and over again. He can’t swim, never been swimming, always afraid of water. Perhaps, this is why… He’s there, swimming with his wife, in a lake and suddenly something, he doesn’t know what, drags him down to the bottom of the lake, holding him down in an iron grasp. He’s struggling to free himself but in vain. Trying to call his wife but not a word can escape his mouth. That horrible feeling, suffocating, fighting for breath and then… all becomes dark.
*   *   *
I’m sure you’ll get this job. You deserve all the best. I’m so proud of you. He loved Elen. She always reassured him. Now, sitting in the company hall, he was trying to forget his nervousness. There were mirrors on both sides of the hall. Crazy. The boss is watching you, always. Mr Morris, please come in. What a pretty secretary Sir Richardson had. Long blonde hair, abundant breasts and a warm smile. And her legs…
*   *   *
Sir Richardson was explaining the details of the company in the most pedantic and boring manner and Mark was pretending to listen. He was in a too euphoric state to even try to focus on the boss’ monologue. So he did it. His dream became true. HR Manager, Phoenix Tobacco Company – that sounded really cool. This photo? It’s my grandfather. He built this little empire. And Sir Richardson began a long rant about the rather turbulent life of his grandpa, how he was selling cigarettes, went bankrupt during the Great Depression but he managed to get up and started selling cigarettes again. Excuse me? You will understand in time. Many of those smart-asses committed suicide but my grandfather never gave up. They thought they buried him in debts but he outsmarted them all. He was that sophisticated. He had this spark in him that couldn’t be extinguished. So he reinvented himself. The truly immortal men never die.
*   *   *
Are you staying late at work again? And she smiled cunningly, her long blonde hair tickling him as she bent down to kiss him. At least, this is what my wife thinks. And he laughed. Then, they drove to the same cosy motel and made love furiously. No no, he loved his wife. They’d been married for fifteen years. Enough for the routine to break into their lives. He would die for her, nevertheless, and for his daughter. The family was everything to him, honor and duty, but this… with Jane, it was just sex, an adventure, easy done, easy gone. How can I be sure you aren’t doing it with Sir Richardson? Her skin was white and soft like velvet. Don’t be stupid, she laughed, that old fat asshole sickens me, the mere look of him.
*   *   *
It’s time to initiate you into the heart of our business and Sir Richardson led him to the lift at the back of the building. They went a couple of storeys down into what looked like a large basement. The large iron doors opened and Mark saw a dimly lit small room decorated with draped dark blue material. A few of his colleagues were sitting behind the table covered with blue velvet cloth. Don’t worry, ladies and gentlemen, Mark knows you don’t talk about an elephant in the room. And even if you do, nobody sane will believe you. And they all started laughing.
*   *   *
He became more and more frustrated with his job. He worked his ass off for the company but the boss seemed to appreciate his secretary more than him. She got a reward after a reward, a bonus after a bonus. He was damn sure she slept with the boss. They broke up with each other, no more passionate nights at the motel. He’d been feeling bad about it anyway. He was sure his wife didn’t suspect anything but he felt pangs of remorse. And he felt bad about being a part of a swindle and a… criminal. How the hell will he wriggle out of it now? Go to the police? They won’t believe him. No evidence. Another disgruntled former employee trying to shit-talk his boss, they will think. And, most important thing of all, won’t they be seeking revenge?
*   *   *
I’m not lying. I’m telling you. They eliminate competition. If smear campaign doesn’t help, they just kill these people, make it look like an accident or a suicide. It’s all decided in the basement, all draped in blue. They gather there and decide whom to, as they put it, pluck. We’ve already been there, Mr Morris. It’s a normal basement, no blue curtains, they store tobacco there. You don’t understand. I was there with them, took part in it, they cleaned up after themselves. I don’t know what to think of it, Mr Morris, we’ll look into it once again and give you protection just in case. But it won’t harm if you… Have you thought about talking to the psychiatrist?
*   *   *
Mark opened the door and heard sobbing. Honey what’s up? He asked as he took off his coat. The sobbing came from upstairs. He rushed upstairs, the door to their bedroom was left ajar. He opened it and gasped. He and Jane, naked at the motel… their photos… all over the walls. Ho… ho… honey… I…I…I will will explain. It’s not what you think. Elen please… How could you? She was sitting on their bed and sobbing. Who is this woman? How could you? How could you do this to me and our daughter?
*   *  *
It was snowing, beautiful winter  and Sir Richardson’s children were sitting round the Christmas tree, opening their presents when the workers found Mark’s body on the dumping ground. Suicide. He was fired from the job, his wife and daughter left him. He had nothing to live for. Poor chap.
*   *   *
All right. I finished. The written assignment for my doctor is ready. Poor woman is trying to get into the depths of my crazy mind and examine all the dark monsters there. She’s trying to sort it out, guess the reason for my self-loathing. Let her read it if she can make heads and tails of it. Each paragraph is a revelation, all *** of them. Let the bitch do the math. Yeah I know what you think, dear readers. You wonder how much of it is true, if anything. Keep wrapping your head around it.

Like a Puppet

Good morning said the dog walking a kid on a leash. Good morning I answered politely but couldn’t help chuckling. Yeah, it was the dog walking the kid, not the other way round. That damn dog was bigger than her, an eleven-year-old daughter of my neighbors who have just moved in. Totally irresponsible people. They should have bought a smaller dog. This one was too big. It was pulling the child behind itself. But why should I care? Not my business.

I returned to reading the newspaper. It was a beautiful sunny morning, just perfect for sitting on a bench in the park. It was just a bit too noisy for my taste though. Plenty of children running around and playing, neurotic parents calling and shouting at their kids. Total craziness.

Rex! Rex! Come back here! Rex! Rex! Come back! Come back! I looked around. The dog was running around the park with the leash hanging loose and the child was chasing it. Rex! Rex! Rex! Come back! Rex!

Those people are really funny, those who think they can walk the Beast on a leash. Sooner or later, the blessed day comes when the Beast gets out of hand. This is when it becomes beautiful. Chaos unbound, pure evil uncontrolled by anyone. It’s so amusing to see confusion and helplessness on their faces, or even anger, when it dawns on them they are no longer in control, when they see everything fall apart. They wish then they wouldn’t have started playing with fire. They wish they could turn the clock back but it’s too late…

Rex! Come back, Rex! Mommy! Mommy! Rex ran away! Mommy! And the child started crying. Like a puppet on the strings, I thought. It’s too late, my darling, too late…

Don’t worry she said and unzipped his trousers. James doesn’t know anything. Too stupid. He thinks I’m staying late at work. The loser can’t even find a job. I’m wasting my life with him. She was sitting on him and delicately caressing his breast with her tongue. You know how to satisfy your tigress. And she laughed and kept laughing louder and louder and louder…

I put my fingers in my ears but her laughter reverberated all round the room. I let the photos fall on the floor, the photos made by the private detective. She had been cheating on me for two years, fucking her colleague in a cheap motel. The nasty visions were passing rapidly through my mind. I must put myself together. Soon it will be over. I prepared myself for this for quite a long time. Everything will be all right. The doorbell rang.

Oh the dinner is ready! Oh James, how romantic! I took her coat and lighted the candles.

I watched her breathing while she was laying beside me. So peaceful and serene. I had put enough of sedatives in her drink. She looked self-confident as usual, even now, when she was sleeping, blissfully unaware of what was going to happen. I pressed the pillow against her face. I waited and watched how her life was slowly leaving her body…

She was always on top of me when we were making love. Always dominating at work, at home and in bed. Now there she was, submissive and obedient, bending unconditionally to my will.

Like a puppet on the strings, I whispered after I got off on her inert body.

It’s too late, honey. It’s too late.

Mirror Mirror

“You said you were a fairy princess
You said you were a shooting star
You said we’d go to Bora Bora
Now look at where the fuck we are”

Please, come in Mr Smith, said the doorman taking my coat and hat, Sit down and make yourself comfortable. Miss LaVie will see you in a moment. I looked around the shabby room bewildered. The golden chandeliers and Persian carpets, this is how it looked like in the advertisement. Dreamland. Let your dreams fly on wings. They must be fucking kidding me…

Thank you, I’d rather stand. I began pacing round the room. When she calls me in, I’ll be ready. Excuse me, when is Miss LaVie going to call me in? I asked the doorman after an hour passed. I have no idea, sir. Could you ask her? Of course, sir. He came back in a minute. Miss LaVie will see you in a moment, Mr Smith. Meanwhile, please make yourself comfortable. I was sitting in an armchair while the clock on the wall was counting hours. Its sound was getting louder and louder. Finally, I rushed into her room infuriated…

Oh Mr Smith. Welcome Mr smith! Here you are at last. I was waiting for you, thought you changed your mind, she said smiling. I… I… I…I’ve been here all the time, I stuttered confused. Never mind, I have a brilliant offer for you. Let me see… and she began searching through the papers on her desk. Fuck! Where did I put it? She looked in her drawer. No, not here, perhaps on the shelves… Finally, she came back to her desk. Mr Smith, I don’t know how to say it. So damn awkward. There’s been terrible misunderstanding. I’m so sorry, but but but…. I don’t have anything for you. Perhaps, if you dropped in next month…

You fucking stupid bitch.

I’m sitting alone in my quiet empty bedroom. My grey face is looking at me from the mirror. Once again the king is naked. I wanted you to tell me how great I am. I hoped you would comfort me and say I’m someone special, better than anyone else. You shut the door on me, you cruel life. You called me an average Joe, gave me an ordinary job, ordinary friends and common pastimes. You made me look like anyone else. I worked so hard; studies and three part-time jobs only to see my dreams shattered. Mirror mirror on the wall, how can I even look at you now?

The easiest way to escape from oneself is to become someone else…

Bravo! Bravo! Bravo for our star! People are clapping their hands, cheering and throwing confetti. My Mistress is whispering praises to my ear. I’m everybody. I’m everything. I’m special. No gain without pain. I had to pay. The price was well… reasonable.