15 de abril de 2015

Palavras do Hierofante


O blog passou nos últimos dias por uma reestruturação. Modifiquei o layout, esquema de cores, fontes, disposição de conteúdo e outras coisas mais. Talvez a maior mudança tenha sido a exclusão das ilustrações inseridas em alguns contos. Dei preferência à leveza em detrimento do luxo, por assim dizer (hahaha), então acredito que ficou melhor assim.

Aproveito o momento também para divulgar outros projetos em andamento:

O Sertanista: um blog muito parecido com este em proposta, com uma única diferença: a temática é unicamente voltada para a construção do gênero neosertanista. Portanto, aqueles que ainda se lembram de A Balada de Floriano que postei aqui alguns anos atrás poderão encontrar histórias bastante similares por lá. O neosertanismo mereceu um espaço à parte, restando a'O Hierofante explorar todo o resto.

A Random Heroes Saga: nascido de uma aventura de Dungeons & Dragons 5E, o blog se dedica a romantizar partidas de RPG onde os personagens foram criados a partir de números aleatórios. É escrito em inglês.

Por enquanto, é isso. Agora em maio será o mês de aniversário deste blog, comemorando 10 anos de publicação. Foi, e está sendo, uma longa jornada, mas não prometo muito mais atualizações, especialmente com o surgimento dos blogs irmãos. Mas surpresas podem vir, quem sabe?

Até a próxima,


14 de fevereiro de 2014


I woke up next to her.

In the past two days I had the longest trip of my life. I wondered if the pilots slowed down just to spite me, if the wait in between flights were pregnant of more and more hours, being born repeatedly right in front of me. I could not bear to wait anymore.

I was coming home.

I arrived right into her arms. Soft, warm, tight. We kissed and cried a little, out of emotion, out of everything we were holding back all this time. We had just completed our contracts as long-distance relationshippers, we graduated from being in different spaces, we traveled in time and now we were under the same stars. We were gods.

That night, I made her promise we would sleep in the same bed. We had to. Just being there, sleeping in each other arms. No words. Only peace. And realization. And love.

I did not dream that night. It felt just as if all this time I was already dreaming, roaming endlessly through days and months waiting to be united with her once and for all.

And then, finally, I woke up. Right next to her. And I felt like our lives were always like that. Like we had never said goodbyes. I kissed her lightly on the forehead and she opened her eyes. She smiled. There was something magic, something wild, and my heart pumped harder.

"Is this real life?", I asked.

Her smile widened.

"It is, my boy."

17 de agosto de 2013

Season of Shade

There was a shout outside and a bang in the doors.

"Let me in", someone said. "My daughter's sick, she needs help!"

No one replied. They were too scared thinking this would be another ruse from whatever lied beyond the walls of the city. Those days were dark and terrifying, and the season of shades would not pass for another two revolutions of the moon.

The outside man insisted for hours, and only silence welcomed him. He started to cry in several moments, only to become angrier and scream more and more in revolt.

"I'm of your kind, don't you see!?"

But much like any others who tried the same, his voice faded and succumbed also to the darkness. His last words were more of a resigned whisper.

"They've taken her. They've taken her..."

In the the town no one spoke about the shade. It was the unsaid rule, the slow and sure piece of advice everyone would follow without the need of speech. The everyday intown activities took place and there was nothing else to do about it.

The crops were halted during that season. There was no point in cultivating anything in the season of shades. The whole day seemed long and tedious, in spite of the hanging sense of despair that lingered softly in every corner. People would pass by, apparently busy with their own business, but Aidan knew better than that.

She was sick of all that. She wanted to leave. She wanted to dive into the unknown.

Whether that was a sense of mindless selfishness or some kind of madness driven by the shade she would not know. She did know, however, that her future did no belong to that place. Not at all.

Her mother had passed at her birth and her father raised her as a boy. Of course, many knew she was a girl long before she realized it herself, but she did not care anymore. In her heart it did not matter. With time and labor in the carpentry she decided that what her father did was for the best, and left it as it is.

On that day, while tending to the polishing of wood, she had decided. Sudden like a storm, the resolution came and took roots. She packed her things without telling anyone and went for the town gates. Aside from the watchers no one else guarded the towers. She took a deep breath and opened the gates before anyone got a hint of what she was doing.

Slowly the people became aware and started calling her name in confusion. But it was already too late and she had already left through the small crack she held open for her passage. Behind her someone kept shouting "crazy bitch", but she did not recognize the voice. Maybe one of the watchers.

The road was terrible and not well taken care of, as it was expected in that time of the year. With herself she only had a pair of plain clothes, a travel sack and enough provisions to last for three or four days, or maybe a week, if she fastened the belt. There was a bit of regret in her chest, but it was too late. No one would open the gates for her, not until the end of the season. So she kept going.

The day was filled with a sour soundless tone, and the eyes were hindered by some sort of obscurity that covered the shapes of things. Vegetation would no grow, and the one that existed had already withered beyond salvation.

The ashes of the pavement and the ragged nature did little to upturn her mood for most of the walk. Now that she was outside she did not know what to do. She wished she was as sure as before, and now was angry with her foolishness, not because of the decision she had made, but for the uncertainty that followed.

The night came unnoticed and she got a place under a very old and dead oak trunk beside the road. She could not risk a fire, so she ate gloomily piece of cheese that tasted like toe nails. The sleep followed, dreamless and undisturbed.

When she woke up, there were shadows all around her.

She stood up quickly and grabbed a hard piece of stick that lied nearby, fencing it towards the creatures. They were a dozen pale dark misty-like beings in the shape of animals: a raccoon, a squirrel, two bulls and a big dog. Their lines were twisted and magnified, as if seen by a very dirty and odd shard of glass. They kept looking at her, muted by their own thoughts.

Aidan stopped moving the stick around. "Hello?", she half asked.

"You don't belong here", twitched the squirrel. It was thrice the size of a common specimen, much like the others.

"Humans perish under the Shade, mister", thwarted one of the bulls. "They don't last long, no they don't."

When the others started to mumble, the husky dog talked. His baritone voice was more human than anything she imagined, and was filled with also unimagined sorrow.

"Girl, you too shall perish. In one way or another your humanity is forfeit. Now you have to survive with whatever is left."

It startled her that she was addressed as "a girl" by the dog. She did not understand what could happen to her and why those animal shadows were there. For all she knew everyone who left town during the season never returned. The people that came by and asked for help were never attended, for fear that they were ghosts in disguise, or something worse. No one understood why the season of shades existed and since when or anything. There was only the unknown.

"What should I do?", she finally asked.

The shadows were quiet. The dog spoke.

"You can do many things, girl. One of them is to survive."

"But how can I survive under the shade? We've never seen anyone to return from it!"

"Yes, it is true. It is impossible to thrive under the shade. That is why you have to survive in it. Like we do."

She then looked to the blurred grayness produced by their vaporous bodies and a sudden glimpse of understanding enlightened her face when she realized their true nature.

They cast human shadows.

"Now I see you understand. Come with me, if you will. The shade has already started to take its toll", said the dog, motioning the group to leave.

Aidan bowed and look around herself. The twilight world was starting to make sense.

And she followed.

Days later her father left the town to look for her. He searched for three days, until he found her beside a river bank. Changed.

He ran back to town, astonished and terrified. He was in rags and banged the doors.

"Let me in!", he shouted. "My daughter's sick, she needs help!"

27 de maio de 2012

The Gatekeepers

It was just another night of May.

The weather was strangely damp, in spite of the season. Broderick hid himself under the blankets and thought about the following days. His father had decided to move to a better job, in a better company in another place, far away from there. The prospective of living in a bigger city scared him, but not as much as dwelling in a urban jungle of grayness and cold floors. "You'll do good, Rick. You'll do just fine" said his father. Rick was not that sure.

He loved that town. Ballburg was nearly a village, and even as time passed it did not grew nor diminished. It felt like it would be eternal and forever like it always was. Rick loved how the stars could be seen at night, how the willows grew in the sidewalks, when it rained and it washed all the way through St. Antonia Street; the smell of new made bread from Big Al's family bakery, the secret hideout he built by himself near the woods, where he kept his comics and some cookies and other provisions, just in case of an incoming end of times.

However, he had to follow his father and it seemed definitive. The day before he had avoided saying goodbye to his friends and spent the whole day in his bedroom, peeking throught the window to see if anyone would come to talk to him. Big Al came once, but did not insist, and left soon afterwards. Rick felt a little bit upset and disappointed. Maybe Big Al should have insisted more. No one came for him, though he was certain that their departure from that small town would have been news heard anywhere. Maybe even noticed in the newspapers that day, he wondered.

He could not sleep, at any rate. The blankets felt too warm and he felt his skin clamp with sweat. He threw them aside and opened his window. Outside the night was rather muffled. The neighborhood seemed quiet, except for some cats that querreled once in a while in a roof somewhere. The wind was not blowing, the trees were static and the stars seemed painted in the sky, pale and faint. Beyond the limits of Ballburg he saw the only road that crossed the town silent without cars nor trucks. 

But then, Rick noticed the slightest trace of gold crossing somewhere near the woods. He realized that that happened oddly near his private hideout and found that queer. Perhaps he should check that out? It would be his last night there anyway. Once, he tried to sleep over in the hideout without his father knowing, though he was quite unsuccessful. Amidst his not so comfortable sleep in a bed of leaves, he heard someone shouting his name in the woods. Afraid of being discovered, he simply ran back home, where his father was waiting, in disbelief and anger. Rick was grounded for two weeks after the incident, but at least his hideout was not found.

Grabbing his backpack and flashlight, he sneaked out still wearing his pajamas, though he had the care to put his sneakers on and to stuff his towel inside one of his pack pockets. He crept carefully until he reached the front door, and then he was gone.

Rick knew every single street that existed in Ballburg, mostly because of his walks and plays with Big Al and Alan and Fra. Everybody would know that they were playing, not because of the noise or anything, but because they used to use the whole town as playground for their games. It could represent both the smallness of Ballburg - often called Smallburg, for all that mattered - or the grandiousness of the children's play, which seemed much more accurate, since the town were not that small either. Should he know his way, he would remember very clearly about each time he had first found them, as Jacko The Pirate or Eddie Dane the Gunslinger or Sir Plume of Roundhill, and so on. 

Lurking behind the barber shop and following the alley that led to the gas post of Mr. George, he found no one. Blessing his luck, he even stopped moving so slowly and started to walk swiftly and more unworried. The road beside the gas post was flanked by high grass, and in a sharp turn to the left where the "Welcome To SmBallburg" stood he strode.

Walking past the grass and shrubs that hindered his movement was not a challenge for him, he had done that so many times before. Soon the unseen path followed towards the woods, which lied tall but compact in the far borders of town. Rick would soon find the right rocks and figure the way to his hideout. He was searching for anything that would seem to be the source of that golden light, but he did not see anything out of usual. The trees were broad and had sharp leaves, hiding the night sky from him as he entered deeper in their grounds. The earth was moist as if it had rained, but Rick did not know if the rain had happened at tall. He held his flashlight tight and decided that that would be the right time to light it up. Turning on the cranky switch took a while, but he finally did it and pointed the mechanic light towards the dark under the leaves.

There it was, his private bunker. Cleverly built in the middle of three particularly big oaktrees that grew too close to each other, he fixed the wooden roof with some scraps from the carpentry and did some personal decoration in its insides. Up the den he had spread many leaves and some mud as camoufflage, and at its sides he nailed the sheets of some sort of rough plastic used in tents. It was more a hole in the ground than a lodge, but it seemed to work as hideout just fine.

Rick crawled inside and saw his comics, half buried in soil and wrinkled by humidity. He cursed for having forgotten to put them in the plastic bag the last time he had been there, but nothing could be done then. He put them in the bag anyway, with a taint of annoyance in his face, and checked for the survival package he had hidden there. Food, water, a tiny medical kit, one battery, scissor, knife, a pair of clothes and socks, and that was it. Rick was especially proud of his insight of managing to think of a pair of socks, since it would be terrible if he had to keep living in a post-apocaliptic Ballburg wearing the same dirty ones.

As there was nothing unusual in the hideout, Rick crawled outside and began his search for the golden phenomenon. He had no idea of what that could be, though he expected very secretly that that would be the unrebukable evidence of life beyond Earth. Maybe he would ran into a couple UFOs and palaver with alien ambassadors from Venus, but he could not be sure. Once he saw this TV program lecturing that people should be skeptical and scientific, yet he had only the faintest clue of what that meant.

Striding in the woods, he held his flashlight and walked over the same places without finding anything different or extraterrestrial. But then he glimpsed a quick brightness right where the trees would end and the wide crops of corn would soon start to be visible, should the sun rise again in the next day. His pajamas were already soiled with black earth, but he did not care. He kept following invisible tracks among the oaktrees and then he divised a tiny golden streak gleaming in the night.

In the other side of the woods the air was much cleaner and fresher. The rambling of the breeze was soft, and the trees moved their leaves without much noise. However, Rick stared in pure bewilderment to a golden streak that crossed the nocturne darkness, crossing star and clouds in a perfect line. The streak would run again through the same route to form a square made bright. To Rick it seemed like a door being drawn with golden ink by God's hand. It was huge.

The light lines shone in the dark without going away. Its radiance grew stronger, and then it opened from the inside. Silently, a door made of the night and of the stars simply appeared out of thin air. Behind it, there was a light that overhelmed everything. Rick could only protect his eyes with the back of his hand, but after a while he was able to see what was coming from that door of wonders.

A shadow was standing. The shade of a giant, with limbs and head and body that resembled much those of a human, yet much bigger and strange. Its shapes were round and long, its features concealed in the shadows cast by the tempest of lights behind it. It just stood there for a long while.

And Rick just stared at him. He believed in every single detail of that mad appearance: it was there and it was truest than anything he had ever saw or heard or felt. Tears poured from his eyes, but he did not feel until his mouth tasted their unexpected saltyness.

"Who...who are you, mister?", a tiny voice claimed.

Rick woke up from his bewilderment and searched for the child that had spoken, only to notice that he was the one. He was speaking to the shadow giant under the threshold of light.

The shade did not move, but inside what was supposed to be his head a white globe opened and shone opaque. Rick felt his gaze upon him as if the weight of many ages were put over his back. He felt tired and weary and old. He wanted to scream, but he had no mouth, and no one to speak with. He was alone, yet everything happened in front of him, and behind him. He was supposed to be there and could not leave unless many weird and bizarre things would happen to everything and everyone. He was prisoner of the Door. He could not leave, never.

But he was leaving.


Spoke the shadow giant. His voice was higher than heaven, deeper than hell; it spoke to grandest things and tiniest things, to the oldest things and newest ones, spoke to Rick and went deep to his heart and soul. 

And then he was gone.

Rick blinked many times, astonished with the vision of the door being left open, the golden lines fading in the twilight that preceded the sunrise and dawn. He felt a sudden emptiness in his chest, a sense of sadness and relief. Something that was always there had left forever, and all he could do was to look for something to fulfil that hole again.

He felt dizzy and sat under the branches of a silver fir that stood nearby. He scratched his eyes in a way that only children might fashion, and stared to the corn field that now could be seen in the rising sun light. If he focused for some seconds, he would see the faintest gilded lines still shining. Rick was amazed.

"I do believe it, yes I do" he said, in a half murmur.

"Hey-lo, yo'd betta believ', me-boy!" a voice behind him spoke. Rick turned horrified, just to see that the tree was moving its branches with almost a happy tone. It was dancing

"You! You talk!"
"Hell-ya, I do, I do ver' much! If thes' trees coul' talk, they say? Well-o, they'r now!"

And all around him the trees started to dance and chant with awkward voices that soon became choirs. Here and there stones would grow legs and walk as they wished. Butterflies soon appeared with tiny humanoid bodies, roaming randomly around the woods. From the corn field ahead, Rick saw wolves made of earth and mud sniffle the air, snarl at the trees and pack together to go some place else. Far in the horizon, clouds gathered together in the shape of enormously fluffy statues, soon to clash thunder and storm among themselves. Rick was overwhelmed. 

The Gatekeepers were really gone.

22 de maio de 2012

All The King's Horses

The walls of the city approached in deep silence, passing by the windows of the car like flies in a frenzy. Everything seemed helpless, beyond despair or self-pity. A dark feeling broomed over his shoulders, the hair in the back of his head in unsuccessful attempt to escape from the scalp. There was nothing to do there. There never was. There would never be. Yet he drove in the night, into the realms of ancient solitude. The city rotted alone.

A sudden shadow passed, then a bump and the sound of a violent brake. The car skidded and nearly overturned. Silence followed. The man left the car, closed the door. He was wary. In his hand a knife shone, reflecting glimpses of the few lights that had not yet faded away. Urbane lights.

He walked towards a black mass, maybe a body, who could know? His vision felt blurry with the drops of sweat that flowed from his forehead. He weaved them away with a sleeve.

But the black thing was not there to be seen.

The man got nervous. His knife loosened in his fingers. He checked the car, the door left open. Nothing moved in there. He could devise nothing but the faintest blue in the nightfall beyond. Stepping back towards his vehicle, he heard something droping, something liquid. Water? Oil? His eyes widened and his pupil dilated. He stopped for a moment to listen very carefully. It had stopped. Spasms of fear started to take over his body in each heartbeat. He ran.

Soon he was inside his car, driving madly by the streets of the city. The man wondered what had happened there, until he could no more. His imagination faded away as the days went by, but somehow he knew that he should not have stopped. He should have never left the car, the safety of speed and steel. As the vehicle crossed downtown, he promised himself he would never do such thing again. He would survive.

After half an hour he had to stop. He had to cross through a broken highway. Probably an earthquake or a bombshell, no one could know for sure. Yet there it lied, uncrossable. Scattered here and there were the carcasses of buses and other cars, trucks half hanging in the blink of the fall. The night could almost be touched, the air filled with a morose, greasy feeling. His skin was damp, his armspit swam in sweat and he did not care about whipping his wet forehead anymore. The man's face shone, touched by the dim lights of the car panel. A streak of despair started to roam in the deep of his eyes.

The man made his way back. He had to find another road to the other side.

The city held many streets, many ways, many bridges and many tunnels. The man followed one of them, fearing for what he could find. Or for what could find him. The tunnel had no indication whatsoever. It seemed half buried by dust, grey and dry. He drove slow but steady, and could not help to notice dark marks in the walls, along with white crosses that spreaded infinitely. Some written words, unintelligible. Yet, near the end of that underway he read one that could not be too old.

"All the king's horses and all the king's men", it said.

And then he left. Ahead, the concrete made twists and turns in itself, distorted by nothing the man could slightly understand at the time. Where once lied foundations and cement there were holes and ashes lingering stubbornly, even though the wind would blow harsh and strong. There were no people.

From there the car refused to work. The ignition would not turn. The panel lights were gone before he could know where exactly he was. But then, he had already understood. The man was close. He took his knife and strapped it to his hand with a strand of leather. He was trembling so much. It was cold outside, but even colder inside. He had not even realized that his sweat was crystallizing over his skin, frozen by an unannounced winter. Tears hung like diamond trinkets in his eyelashes. His beard was turning snow white.

He walked through the distorted skycrapers and overturned columns. The street were covered by shattered glass, and here and there flocks of snow started to pack together. A few steps and the man saw shadows lurking in the alleys. He could not truly see them, for they were nothing but vanished faces. He knew they were touched by the hunger of the shades, and that they were ruined. He was afraid he would turn into them, like many more did before him.

The man rushed and held his knife dearly to his chest. The road followed slowly uphill. By then, the buildings were bending over it like tunneled trees, moving slowly to the chant of the weather. The cold winds were rising. In the broken windows he saw pale children with gleaming eyes, starving to death but clutching each other tight. He could not see the sky anymore.

At some point he stopped hearing anything: the silence finally broke into his hears like a battering ram, swift but unnoticed. He did not feel the blood streaming over his neck. The man's hair froze and pulverized with each gust of wind. The path was covered with snow, the whitest snow that ever was. A tiny rose red bloomed whenever a drop of his blood would touch the ground. The roses sang, but he could not hear.

The man did not remember how long had he walked, for the path seemed much longer than he had expected. The heavy blanket of snowflakes only made it worse. The inward city was there before him, but it kept twisting and bending, as if reducing themselves by some sort of spiral gravity. Then he saw that he himself was walking with his spine bent gradually to the left, and that he could not change it anymore. He was bent like a tree whipped too long by the ocean breeze. But he felt no pain at all. He felt numb.

At last the path came to an end, it seemed. The knife in his hand had become his hand, his beard had grown long like glacial stalactites, he walked twisted to the side and felt blue and purple and gray and red and old. But he was there, he could feel it. There was a door, and there was a golden knob, and he pulled it and it opened.

"My dear, oh, my dear, oh, so long!"

A voice echoed. The man entered in a room, lavish and antique, furnished with the most luxurious itens. Everything good, but everything in bad shape and broken, spoiled by mold, darkened by smoke, decorative jars and frames shattered or hanging in pity. The back wall had been teared down. From there he could see a vivid electric-blue horizon peeking at him over the spreaded body of the city. It was huge, but the man was in its heart. Behind him, someone touched his ears with both hands.

"You have come to meet me, have you not?"

The man could hear the voice. He was surprised, but made no movement.

"Oh dear, you can talk to me. You must!"

"Yes. I came to talk to you." His voice was raspy cold. Bits of his beard splintered.

"Why, you have just talked, did you not?"

"No, not yet. I didn't come to talk with words"

A flush of shadows, a rush of dust, a sudden whirlwind surrounded the room. In its center a vulture appeared. Her skin was black and ashen. Plastic ripe. She had no hair, she had not eyebrows, she held no lights. Her lips were dark cyan, her eyes dark sapphires. Everything about her was dark, as if covered by layers of contempt, shame and decay. She hid behind her darkness and her shadow concealed her from others. Her cloth smoldered in smudge, a silk of dark sludge. She had wires in place of veins. She had a twister for a heart.

She was tall and reached the ceiling, and grew more and broke through it and the whole building went apart. Yet there the man stood, a small, dismayed figure, bent, frail and weary. The night sky reigned over them, filled with constellations, absent and distant. The electric feel of the horizon was there to be felt, a slim line of blue and thunder.

"You fool! I saw you when you touched me with your filthy wheels. You were never brave, never bright! I sought to speak to you, but your fear was so pitiful, so ridicule, shaking like a child. And yet here you are, the most foolish of them all!", boasted her, her voice deep and grave. The snow storm swirled around then in madness.

"You let it be, we all know it. We mourn you for what you were and curse you for what you have become", said the man.

Then he held his knife-hand high and yelled, a shout so powerful it shattered all the ice that covered him and unbent his spine. He was afraid, and he knew it. But for that he tamed fear.

The man ran to face the shadow of the city.

Spirals of blackness swirled, shades were cast and rebound. The clash of man and giant spelled quakes that made the city tremble. She was hurt, but so was he, for though he fought with blade she fought with her bare, black hands, which moved swiftly and fierce. Her sapphire eyes radiated contempt and pride, anger and loss. An obscure grease covered her skin as she moved and danced in the tune of the battle. She seemed to orchestrate a thousand chants of urbane colors and smells, traffic lights wandering in the waning night. All sparkle that was left in the city faded away.

"You could not be saved. And now you must be undone" yelled the man. And with a single blow he cut through her backbone and spine, descending from top to bottom in a flash of steel. She screamed and cried and cursed with words that dripped oil and asphalt, melting all around her.

A timid sunrise started to show its luminous limbs in the dark sky. Here and there scraps of metal and glass shone and blinked in the midst of the ruins. There was no movement, no breath, no life. The city was gone. But the man was there.
He was still there.

12 de fevereiro de 2009

Caçadores de Tempestade

A imensidão do deserto arrepiou os curtos fios de cabelo da nuca de Ember. Em todas as direções que se voltasse o olhar, a terra era árida e pálida, e um tremor que subia dela podia ser visto em quase todos os lugares. O calor era nauseante, mas suportável. Estranhamente, o céu estava muito nublado, mas metade dele estava limpo e livre para a invasão dos raios solares.

O Chevrolet Chevette preto e modificado ia a duzentos quilômetros por hora na única estrada de asfalto que cortava aquelas terras desoladas. De meia em meia hora, Ember notava grandes placas verdes em armações de aço sobre a pista, indicando que cada vez mais se aproximavam de Malcolm Hills, Fonte Bridget e outras cidades mais. Mas nenhuma parecia chegar, e por mais rápido que fossem, a distância parecia ser encurtada minimamente. "Paciência", pensara Ember.

Ao seu lado, dirigindo o veículo, estava Haroldo Bastos, um velho vigoroso, de mãos fortes e tatuagens ferozes pelos dois musculosos braços. Era calvo, e os cabelos cinzentos ficavam muito lisos por causa do vento incessante que entrava pela janela. Seu olhar, na maior parte das horas, se dirigia sempre ao horizonte, na expectativa de que surgisse algo ou alguma coisa, expectativa que ele tentava conter com os muitos cigarros que fumava e com a música que saía do antigo aparelho de som do carro. Nesse instante, ecoava no ar "Heat Dies Down" do Kaiser Chiefs em um volume próximo do estridente; mas ele não se importava. Embers não gostava muito dessas músicas antigas. Mas o velho insistia. "Música boa é música velha, não o barulho de hoje, filho". Lá fora, a paisagem monótona parecia imutável: apesar das muitas nuvens, nada chovia, e mesmo o sol estava estranho. De alguma forma. O braço direito de Ember balançava preguiçosamente pela janela, ao sabor do vento forte, que rugia. Usava uma jaqueta e calça de couro vermelhas que destoavam da atmosfera do interior do Chevette 78, muito sóbrio e discreto.

- Emby, pela última vez, tire a porra do braço da janela. - Rosnou o velho Haroldo, sem desviar os olhos da pista.
- Dodô, pela última vez, pare de me chamar de Emby, maldição. - Devolveu Ember, obedecendo imediatamente o que lhe foi pedido, apesar do mau-humor.
- Foda-se. - Grasnou o velho, rindo alto. Parou abruptamente: - Chame Dodô e arranco sua língua com minhas próprias unhas roídas, seu verme. - E deu uma risada esquisita, meio tosse meio sorriso.
- Perdão, Sr. Bastos. - Desculpou-se Ember, de modo não muito convincente, e encostou-se mais na poltrona. Aquele deserto era sem fim.

- Não se canse antes da hora, moleque. Sinto que está perto. Muito perto. - Consolou Sr. Bastos, dando uma piscadela com o olho e fungando com força. Pareceu cômico vê-lo abrir as narinas de tal forma que parecia querer cheirar todo o ar do mundo, mas essa era uma das habilidades mais admiráveis em Haroldo Bastos: ele sabia farejar como nenhum outro os Corcéis. Ember não resistiu, e começou a gargalhar estrondosamente, até seus óculos escuros espelhados caírem no seu colo. O Sr. Bastos pareceu não entender, e continuou fungando, enquanto lágrimas escorriam pelo rosto de Ember, que se contorcia e sufocava com o riso entalado na garganta.

De repente, o velho se virou bruscamente para a estrada, com um olhar completamente diferente: olhos de caçador à espreita. Suas feições se enrijeceram e sua barba branca pareceu imune ao vento. Ember logo parou de rir, e ainda afagando o estômago, colocou novamente os óculos e aguçou os sentidos. De fato, um cheiro de chuva, leve e inebriante, levitava pelas lufadas de vento, vindas de não se sabia de onde, mensageiro de tempestade. Algo que parecia surreal e impossível no meio do deserto, mas que estava lá. A fragrância do orvalho, não só da manhã, mas da tarde e da noite, um orvalho que nunca secava e que resplandecia mesmo na mais escura das madrugadas de inverno. O que ali poderia ter apenas um significado.

- Veja Ember. Veja com esses malditos olhos jovens. - Disse o Sr. Bastos, fascinado.

E Ember viu, tirando os óculos espelhados logo após colocá-los. As nuvens que cobriam metade dos céus agora entravam em choque e gritavam muitos trovões sobre eles, e pingos de chuva esparsos começavam a cair, mas não passariam disso. Em um ponto à esquerda da pista de asfalto um vento escuro e nebuloso descia dos céus, confluindo em forma de cone de pó, uma espiral enlouquecida cinzenta com bilhões de tonalidades de azul, e fios de eletricidade esporádicos surgindo e sumindo ao seu redor. Quando finalmente atingiu o chão, o tornado mostrou-se em sua onipotência e majestade, exalando em sua ventania suprema faíscas brilhantes sobre o deserto e expelindo poeira infinita. De seu centro, surgia lépido um corcel vibrante e grandioso, cujas cores se indefiniam entre o cinzento chuvoso e o prateado estelar, que galopava como os próprios trovões nos céus de tempestade. Ou talvez fosse ele próprio que corresse veloz por sobre as nuvens e provocasse terremotos no ar, que o povo na terra acostumou-se a chamar de trovões, em sua ignorância inerte.

Tremores fizeram o carro balançar levemente, e logo o velho Bastos já ia a toda velocidade de encontro ao local da gênese do tornado, olhando obcecado para o cavalo que acabara de aparecer. Um botão escondido no painel do veículo foi acionado, e logo o carro quase voava, cuspindo pelo cano de escape um vapor límpido e trêmulo, ao invés da comum fuligem negra. Ember ia colocando os óculos lentamente, e degustava com prazer e medo a injeção de adrenalina que recebia naquele instante. "Que absurdo, capturar a própria tempestade", pensara. Tarde demais.

12 de maio de 2008


Terrivelmente cinzento. Era como se as cinzas de todos os mortos de todas as gerações estivessem perambulando sem rumo ao gosto melancólico dos ventos. Lá estavam os troncos desnudados, grotescos, esturricados pelo frio do outono, não tão agressivo quanto os gélidos sopros invernais, mas mais sorrateiro, perscrutador, que invade silenciosamente, vagarosamente, e leva consigo o calor até que se note que se deseja mais o sol do que qualquer outra coisa. E talvez aí já seja tarde demais.

Era um banco negro, de uma madeira escuríssima e maltratada, isolado no meio do nada, num clarão aberto sem qualquer sentido em meio às àrvores negras, em existência latente e sem folhas. Galhos secos e farfalhantes talvez fossem o único soar que houvesse, não fosse um sensibilíssimo respirar, um fôlego de leveza extraordinária, vindo de uma jovem garota no limiar último de sua infância, vestida de breu talhado e esculpido em sedas nodosas das teias da própria noite. Seus pequeninos pés mal tocavam no chão, embalados em sapatilhas tão escuras, mas estranhamente reluzentes. Olhava sempre para baixo, tendo em suas mãos um livro do tamanho de suas palmas, de modo que não era possível observar sua capa. Concentrada e imperturbável, seus olhos negros devoravam cada página do livro, ferozes, atentos. Um grande chapéu, de aba exageradamente grande na frente, e curvada para os lados, combinava com perfeição aos seus demais adereços, com exceção dos bordados complexos e labirínticos que o decoravam na extremidade das abas.

Desse modo, intocável, não via passar ao seu redor as profecias dos minutos, o cavalgar dos ponteiros, as fronteiras das estações ou a vidas e mortes dos homens: apenas estava lá. Se sentia desespero ou rancor, ódio ou indiferença, ninguém sabia. Elá sequer se movia, a não ser pelos pezinhos que balançavam mais ou menos frenéticos, e os olhares velozes por sobre as linhas de seu livro misterioso. As cinzas dos mortos de todas as eras deixavam-se carregar pelo ar mormente, alguns tocando o rosto e as vestes da menina, mas ela não se importava. Logo ela terminaria o livro, para recomeçá-lo em seguida, em uma sucessão de leituras repetidas sem qualquer descanso.

Talvez, e apenas talvez, a garotinha fosse a própria representação do fim dos tempos, lendo e relendo a história do mundo do início ao fim, até que logo o relia, mesmo sabendo do final, e do início, e das entrelinhas, enquanto os resquícios de todos os mortais que já respiraram por sobre esta terra se dispersavam e passavam à sua frente, e nunca paravam, tantos eram os mortos, e tantos eram os vivos que ainda estavam para morrer...

Diz-se que uma vez chamaram-na por um nome, que ela atendeu, mas isso foi há muito, muito tempo atrás, e talvez suas vestes ainda fossem brancas. Conta-se que enegreceram pela cinzas...Será? Há quem diga que ela apenas se levantará de lá quando a última migalha dos restos mortais do último homem passar, e então ela fechará o livro e se levantará, e será o dia que alçará o patamar de jovem mulher, a nova donzela, e terá atravessado o portão dos jardins pueris, e ter-se-á enfadado do livro e logo sairá, em busca de outro que lhe pareça mais interessante, seguindo na direção para onde os ventos derradeiros do outono uivam.

1 de março de 2008

A Passagem

Carregava consigo suas próprias trevas, a observar lá do alto, quieto, constante, plácido. Resoluto. Observava o movimento dos astros, as nuvens esparsas; fitava a nebulosa dança dos céus, misteriosa, irrequieta, abundante em sua riqueza de significados, vasta imensidão que enternecia seus olhos irrequietos. Pássaros traçavam retas ascendentes ao marear das sombras crepusculares, quando o anil se atava ao rubro em bruxuleios desinibidos, voluntariosos e perdidos na repetição de seu ritmo milenar e gracioso. Não haveria melhor lugar para se estar nesta Terra.

De lá, relutava em imaginar qual dos abismos lhe parecia mais profundo, se o que se deparava à sua frente, o vertiginoso penhasco de concreto, ou aquele que havia dentro de si, inescapável buraco negro de suas angústias e paixões. Preferia absorver aquele instante de contemplação, do mundo que o trouxera à vida.

À vida.

O turbilhão de devaneios indistintos confundia-se com o turbilhão de ventos a fustigar-lhe a pele, e não mais sabia onde ele próprio terminava, ou onde começava o mundo lá fora. Não havia mais fronteiras, com exceção daquela que conseguia distinguir tão bem no limite de sua visão: o horizonte, separando o céu da terra.

Espanto foi, ao olhar os arredores e ver que aquela linha fora traçada toda ao redor de si. Sentia-se o centro do universo. Seu universo, único e excepcional.

Era possível enxergar, ainda que meio vagos, os contornos dos carros que passavam e passavam, contínuos, lá embaixo. Um território que para ele agora era distante demais. Distante até para ver, e os olhos não conseguiam se manter precisos por muito tempo às linhas múltiplas formadas pelas ruas e vielas.

E nos pontos minúsculos, pessoas. Ele era uma delas, mas ao mesmo tempo não era. Era um universo particular, assim como todos os bilhões de outros, condensados em fragmentos de si, todos emaranhados em universos cada vez maiores, mais complexos, até uma proporção que já não poderia ser mais compreendida pela limitação dos ínfimos universos inferiores, fadados ao profundo desconhecer. Agarrado à grade que lhe tocava as costas, com o coração palpitante e suor varrendo-lhe a pele, percebeu que aquele passo seria o maior, pois o elevaria ao próximo universo a ser desvendado, àquele cujo conteúdo e existência poderiam ser apenas especulados.

Naquela hora, não pensava mais em reprovação, em dúvida, em remorso, em julgamento. Acreditava na libertação para uma verdade pura que se elucidava diante de sua própria consciência.

Um único instante de compreensão permanecia entre ele e o seu fim, entre o fim e o início, entre o início e o infinito indecifrável. Onde a aurora se fundia ao crepúsculo, e não mais poderia se distinguir a origem do término. Sorriu, indisfarçadamente, um sorriso diserto, genuíno, apenas para si. Era nesse exato momento em que se sentia um legítimo exemplar de si mesmo. Desapegado do álter, desprendido do ego, e lá estava ele, do jeito que realmente era. Ria-se, pois se desconcertava com a extrema pequeneza de si próprio, com as camadas e camadas de coisas que em verdade não eram ele, descobertas e desmascaradas pelos ventos da subliminar sensação de epifania inesperada.

E no segundo mais crucial, naquele em que os limiares da vida e da morte se cortejam e se afagam, uma última visão do meio sol que despontava no fim do dia o revelou em seus propósitos, e assim deu um passo a mais, como se desejasse vagar na translucidez quase etérea do ar que o circundava. Uma parte de si sentiu a gravidade inexorável, sugando-o, implacável, em sua queda, enquanto a outra, extasiada de súbito, também caiu, mas para cima, e para o alto, e para longe.

Para além.

Uma queda maior que qualquer outra, e mais divina. O vôo mais inesperado e extraordinário de todos, o último, e o que leva para mais longe, para depois da própria compreensão. O mais ansiado, o mais odiado, o mais querido, o mais inevitável, a decolagem perfeita, que esmigalha as ilusões, que brande novos sonhos como mártires de uma batalha pelo direito de prosseguir do próprio ser. Uma janela palpitante que se abre repentinamente para um limbo de trevas e luzes em constante explosão, furor, acionando todos os gatilhos do tempo e do espaço em uma única dobra aparentemente sideral.

Como a última folha que cai do plátano, a queda redentora, revelando todos os disfarces de sua existência transitória, desprendendo-se, derradeira, de seu galho, no final do outono. Cai, porém, orgulhosa, pois crê que reviverá na próxima primavera através daqueles que germinarão sobre suas cinzas, e que logo sentirá novamente o acalentar do vento sobre sua superfície...O mesmo que a carrega para distâncias que então ignora. Cai, pois crê que logo irá subir, irá voar mais uma vez, para longe, muito longe. O pleno desconhecido: o verdadeiro refúgio das almas libertárias.

6 de novembro de 2007


As horas passavam indistintamente, como um fluido vagar de bolhas sobre o oceano...talvez fosse apenas uma sensação sem sentido, ou uma fissura no tempo. A rua da metrópole, os leves passos, as luzes fantasmagóricas ressoando, reluzindo, desfocando-se sobre o tumulto leve do fim da noite. Possivelmente eram quase 12 horas.

O apartamento era o 1808. Subiu sem urgência as escadas, escuras de muitas solas caminhantes. Estreitas, claustrofóbicas. Centenas delas. Em seu andar, tirou a chave, ouviu o tilintar do molho, o eco nas trevas do corredor. A porta abriu-se, mas não ligou a luz. A penumbra trazia algo de familiar aos seus olhos, invocava uma vontade subconsciente de se engolfar na escuridão sem muitas perguntas. A televisão permanecera ligada, fora do ar, cuspindo na sala apenas faíscas metálicas de luzes confusas. Deixou-se jogar no sofá verde musgo que já descascava, sentindo o odor abafado, obscuro, com um leve fragmento de mistério que não havia percebido antes. A janela estivera aberta todo este tempo, e uma brisa gélida se arrastava levemente.

"Estranho" - Pensou. Decerto não lembrava de tê-la deixado aberta. De qualquer forma, confortava-lhe saber que daquele andar a probabilidade de invadirem o apartamento pela janela era vaga e distante. Seria o trinco, quebrado?

Minutos se alongaram, e permaneceu estirado no sofá, mal respirava. Cansava-lhe os músculos, e seus pés tinham calos horríveis. A brisa ainda entrava, faíscas reberveravam nas paredes, fugazes. Levantou-se, foi até a janela. Não era a melhor das paisagens, talvez? De frente a outro prédio, mas de certo ângulo era possível enxergar uma parte da cidade. Acendeu um cigarro, e aproximou-se da janela. Desistiu. "Esse vento vai apagar", resolveu.

Foi à cozinha, dividida da sala apenas por uma meia parede. A geladeira era ruidosa, abriu com estrépito. O mofo cobria as paredes internas, e restos de alimentos se amontoavam uns sobre os outros, advindos de dias passados, mas não muito longínquos. Colocou água em um copo de vidro, e logo voltou ao sofá. Sem sapatos, passou os dedos em seus cabelos, sentindo a oleosidade, colocando-os atrás de suas orelhas. Pôs o cigarro na água, esperou alguns segundos. Bebeu-a. Capturou o cigarro com os dentes, e mastigou-o. Certa vez perguntaram-lhe que tipo de hobby era esse. "Anti-stress", dissera. "Pulmão 100%. Cáries morrem".

Não era comum sentar-se assim após um dia tão cansativo, geralmente dormia rapidamente. Mas gostava de observar as formas nas faíscas da televisão fora do ar, arriscar identificar uma ou duas imagens, existentes ou não, aparentes ou não. Com o hábito, conseguiu prever o padrão dos riscos e imaginar programas tão extraordinários quanto sem sentido. Pura perda de tempo, como ele próprio julgava. Contudo, no fundo acreditava em vultos subliminares..."Diz-se de um estímulo que não é suficientemente intenso para que o indivíduo tome consciência dele, mas que, repetido, atua no sentido de alcançar um efeito desejado", lembrou-se do ginásio. Enxergava sua própria vida (e há grandes chances que a dos outros também) como o grande exemplo de subliminar. Viver, cada dia, sem consciência, ou mínima dela, em doses homeopáticas...até o momento do grand finale, "sublime", como se satisfaz em pensar: o fim de tudo, e a hora da grande perspectiva, o último olhar do alto para enxergar tudo de forma complexa e panorâmica, para dizer "É, foi isso mesmo". Fantástico.

Amargou o gosto da nicotina. Cuspiu no copo. A janela ainda permanecia aberta, e a brisa entrava sem cessar. Estranho. Nunca tinha visto vaga-lumes nesta cidade gigantesca. Dois ou três pareciam indecisos, sem saber se entravam ou não, e um vento mais forte carregou-os para dentro. Talvez tenham se sentido confortáveis: as faíscas da TV pareciam mais simétricas.

Era a hora: fechar a janela, ou a hipotermia. Névoa transparecia em sua respiração, e sua sala já adquiria uma neblina desconfortável. Foi até a janela e observou o prédio em frente. Nenhum vestígio de luz. Apenas pontinhos cintilantes. Então deu-se conta, e viu que não eram apenas pontinhos, mas milhares de milhares de vaga-lumes perambulando da decadência noturna, enquanto brumas espessas cobriam as ruas lá embaixo. Apoiou-se na borda da janela, observando o espetáculo mais bizarro daquele dia. Passaram-se alguns segundos, e ele, estático, apreciava. "Essa terra também tem suas próprias constelações", pensava.

Após um tempo que não soube explicar, sentiu uma gota cair em seus ombros. Seria o orvalho? Estaria tão frio? Notou as unhas arroxeadas, e os cabelos meio duros com lascas de gelo encrustando-se entre os fios. Espantado, tocou a região entre a boca e as narinas, e sentiu uma crosta gélida se formando de sua respiração. Suas articulações estavam muito enrijecidas, teve dificuldade em despregar suas mãos da janela. Os vaga-lumes pareciam incontáveis, irresistíveis, desconfortáveis, luminosidade esquizofrênica, zumbindo, subindo, vagando em todas as direções, criando rastros tal qual néon desgovernado pelos ares da metrópole. Não poderia resistir mais que isso: precisava fechar a janela.

Olhou para trás, e já haviam centenas invadido sua sala. As sombras resvalavam na luz nas paredes, criando uma atmosfera de bioluminescência e insanidade avassaladora, e vultos relampeavam incansáveis, anômalos contra as faíscas enlouquecidas da TV, chiando, exasperando-se, jorrando nas paredes um frenesi eletrônico descomunal, tempestade de furiosas investidas das luzes, sombras, espasmos.

O extremo frio já congelava seus pulmões, e lagrimas cristalizavam-se em seus olhos. No derradeiro momento em que, com esforço colossal, arrastava a metade direita da janela para fechá-la, olhou de relance para o céu, e permaneceu estagnado.

A lua cheia desfazia-se em pedaços, quebrando-se ao meio, e fragmentando-se, diluindo-se no firmamento escuro, proliferando suas partículas luminosas em um pó excêntrico, vertiginoso, espalhado aos ventos obscuros, empestando o ar com arremedo de estrelas fosforecentes, doentias, inescapáveis. Partículas que tomavam uma forma peculiar, em vaga-lumes múltiplos, desastrosos, apocalípticos. Faziam brotar no ar a luz decadente do fim.

E de longe, via-se uma janela entreaberta no décimo oitavo ou décimo nono andar de um prédio sem nome. De lá se ouvia, em meio a chiados, uma música que saía de uma televisão, que alguém, por descuido, deixara ligada durante a noite.

"Firefly, firefly...on your glowing wings I'll ride..."

21 de abril de 2007

Conhaque, Vira-me!

E foi assim que aqui vim parar. Dispersado ferozmente pela multidão lasciva, estontearam-me de tanta gente que havia. Fui praticamente escorraçado dali, e bendito seja o Criador por ter permitido resguardar um tico de minha vida! Bando de inúteis! Todo esse movimento por conta de um reles empregote de desobstruidor público. Não, Joseph, não te confundas! Mas antes de explicar-te o porquê, faça o favor de encher este copinho mais uma vez, pois foi para isto que vim aqui.

Pois bem, como eu disse, não te confundas com o nome pomposo, e nem na garbosidade dos que o carregam. Desentalar bueiros e desafogar tráfegos de esgoto, isto que é! Falta-me verba até para a comida diária (mas não para mais este copinho, Joseph, garanto!). Posto, então, que fui lá me candidatar a esse trabalhinho lúgubre. Ô gente esfarrapada, que tipinhos imundos! Dei a me perguntar o que estava eu fazendo ali de repente, não fosse os roncos estomacais a me lembrarem dos motivos, até demais. Tinha até alguns ainda de cuecas, Joseph, tamanha era a voracidade pelo cargo, tão de surpresa que foram pegos pelo anúncio! Onde se esconderam os guardiões dos excelentes costumes? O auto-falante da prefeitura começou a convocar, e em um minuto e meio já estava o caos pandemônico.

Ah, se não fosse este copinho santo, de cujo conteúdo mais sacro ainda! Esquenta-me a alma e lava-me a paciência. Quando o oficial da prefeitura, um moço de rosto esburacado, nariz grande e olhos muito miúdos começou a citar o nome dos selecionados - e veja só Joseph, em minutos já haviam até escolhidos os novos trabalhadores! - aí é que o tumulto alcançou níveis infernais! Logo o frio que faz aqui na cidade esmoreceu e o calor tomou o seu lugar. Muitos demandavam justiça, pois haviam aqueles que madrugaram no local cedíssimo, como que adivinhando o anúncio de emprego, acomodando-se nas calçadas e meio-fios. E, apesar disso, anunciaram o dito cujo já com as listas prontas! Que pensam que somos nós? Bufões urbanos?

A confusão foi tamanha que os bondes elétricos não puderam mais trafegar sossegadamente, e os automóveis quase atropelavam os transeuntes. Nos prédios vi gente olhando pela janela, com feições de surpresa, e por que não, asco. Quase uma revolução em frangalhos, Joseph! Daí que derrubaram o pobre moço do palanque em que estava empoleirado fragilmente, e decerto que terminou pisoteado, pois segundos depois vi que alguns mendigos brigavam por um uniforme da prefeitura, e os cachorros desses maltrapilhos decidiam intestinos e pâncreas.

Com a multidão em frenesi, fecharam as portas do escritório da prefeitura rapidamente, contudo os revoltados não cessaram sua confusão. Sabes muito bem, Joseph, que uma barafunda muito bem feita não é incomum de se ver nos dias de hoje, mais prolífica que fumaça preta nas nossas caras. Desemprego carcome a tudo e a todos, tu bem sabes, não é? Mas sabes de uma coisa? Os indignados tão dóceis ficaram de repente que estranhei. Quando percebi, estava chovendo bananas e outras frutas em nossas cabeças. Tratei logo de me abrigar sob um dossel por ali, e sorte foi a minha, pois as criaturas já estavam jogando até melancias e abacaxis. Muitos foram os que ficaram cegos, pois que na curiosidade de olhar para o alto e identificar o que diabos estava acontecendo, surpreendia-se com uma coroada de abaxi na fronte. Vários estatelaram-se com melões na testa, mas de resto, todos se dispersaram, refestelados que estavam pela refeição do dia que chovia para eles. Homens, mulheres, crianças, cachorros, velhos, ratos, baratas, moscas vieram logo depois para aproveitar a ceia. As crianças eram ágeis o suficiente para escapar de balaçoes frutíferos, e as mulheres logo colhiam os restos do chão com os vestidos. Cessada a tempestade alimentar, a rua tomou-se completamente! Qual formigas no torrão de açúcar! Não faltava quem lambia o asfalto vorazmente, com a mais profunda das gulas. Do caroço à casca, tudo se acolhia. Alguns mais espertos, que já fastiosos e satisfeitos, danavam-se a comerciar as frutas mais ou menos intactas que conseguiram apanhar.

Estranho me pareceu, Joseph, que já havia alguns moradores saindo dos prédios, decerto para readquirir o que jogaram. Mas veja lá, os espertalhões vendiam as benditas até pelo quíntuplo do preço de feira! Uma comédia a cara dos prediais!

Felizmente ainda possuo noções de elegância, e dispenso certas posturas impróprias. Prefiro quedar de inanição a submeter-me a tal degredo. Por isso tratei logo de afastar-me dali. Se o emprego já não valia, comida já não havia, motivo não tinha para permanecer.

Pois é, caro Joseph...Quero ver se este copinho aqui pode enganar a fome brutal que sinto. Pois é hoje que não hei de virá-lo, mas o conhaque, este sim, virar-me-á!