Short Stories | Contos


The first rains finally came on to the city. Climate change was delaying the schedule of the pouring liquid, or moving it to the wrong places. That’s how crazy the world was getting, thought Ralph, not that he wondered much about that kind of subject. Greta Thunberg came a lot to his mind, though. If there were something to lay your eyes upon, it would be that amazing teenager, who mobilized the world for a much better cause than Alexander’s.

Ralph found a spot over the side walk to park. A guy run to him, waving his arms in circles, allegedly to help him out for a damn coin. It would be soothing to run him over. Strangely, killing people was a much present subject in Ralph’s mind than climate change.

He got out of the car and said to the guy he was out of coins.

“Come on, man. I’m all wet here, helping out people.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“If you don’t have a coin, give me a note. I can give change.”

“What exactly am I paying for?”

“I helped you park the car!”

“Did I ask you to?”

“You clearly needed help.”

“How’s that?”

“You’re driving a bathtub into a phone boot.”

“I got to go.” Ralph got away while the man swore at him. All of a sudden, without knowing why, he picked up his cellphone and took a photo of the man. “Don’t you dare touching my car!”, he yelled, and took of as fast as he could, all soaked by cold water and rage.

What was going on with him? That sort of behavior was completely new. He was losing his restraints.

The reunion was to take place in a coffee with a glasshouse outdoor sitting. It was called The Crystal Shores and was mostly frequented by workers from the harbor. Ralph opened the door amidst the large steal columns of the structure to find, next to one glass wall, beyond the crowd, a large group by a set of four joined tables. Everyone was there already.

“What the hell happened?”, asked Laura, the group leader. “We were just getting started without you.”

Ralph picked up a chair from an occupied table without asking for permission and climbed it to stand.

“I am losing it!”, he shouted. “Something is happening. Something is happening to us! We are all losing it and I’m starting to feel it, as others did, as you will!”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m getting violent!”

The all coffee stared at him in silence, while he was taking off his jacket, throwing it to the wet, almost muddy floor.

George rose from his place on the groups table, combing his long white hair with his bonny fingers.

“Who isn’t , these days?”, he retorted, without any surprise in his expression.

“Precisely.”Ralph pointed at him. “Violence is erupting from us and we have no strength to retain it. The stupidity in the world is exhausting us. I am exhausted and violent. I almost ran over a man a few minutes ago and I was enjoying the possibility of making it happen. I want to kill someone.”

“Calm down, Ralph. We’re here to help you. Pull yourself together and sit.”

“I can’t pull myself together! That’s the point!”

“All right”, said George. “I know what’s happening.”


“I gave you the damn placebo by mistake.”


“You’re not having an epiphany. You’re on deprivation from your meds. Sorry about that.”

“The world isn’t mad, then?”

Laura took Ralph’s jacket and helped him sitting down.

“Everything is OK, Ralph. Let’s start the reunion. We are all friends here and no one will get violent.”

George raised his hands.

“The world is a nice place, Ralph. There’s nothing for you to worry about. No one is exhausting you.”

Ralph sat and took a deep breath. He was scared. He was afraid of everyone.

Saturday, October 30th 2021


Por Nuno Neves

Autor, revisor de texto, ilustrador e compositor.

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