Besides of being a journalist, I have written stories since I can remember. Here you will find some of my examples, and any similarity with reality is a mere coincidence.

They had told him about that place. A poorly lit street in the suburbs, some narrow and humid steps and a nameless door which gave access to a seedy bar. A dark den in a basement, no windows. It could have had regular customers and, in that case, the ones who frequented it could have told that 3B was the name of that den, even if wasn’t written anywhere. But that was not the case. No one in that place would have come back if they had been given the opportunity.

To inexperienced eyes, it could have seemed like any other den, but a passport to a no-return trip is what it really was. The 3B offered to tortured souls the relief they awaited for so long. At the highest price.

It could be heard in the whispers of some vagabonds by the fire at the end of an alley; in the sommering of some drunk guy in a bar about to close; in the sobbing of an old lady branded as a lunatic. Something strange happened in the 3B. Mere rumors, some would say. And they would be right, since the only ones able to confirm that the 3B was not a common bar were forever lost.

Lost in a haze of erased memories, of feathers that tear up bereaved cries, of pains that tear the soul and disturb the mind. Lost among clocks turning counterclockwise. And that was exactly what the 3B offered to its devastated clients: The power of going backwards, of making up who they once were, of blurring their pain in time. A time that, for this tortured souls, never really passes. Not anymore. For them, life starts winding back.

But not until a special moment, no. The 3B is not a time machine. But, according to rumors, it allows its clients to stop getting older; it gives them the opportunity to go backwards, slowly, as a balm applied to a wound.

The first swallow to the first drink in the 3B signs a sentence. The time for tortured souls stops, to make these people younger with every second, for the pain that pierces their chest and scratches their guts gets gently lost in their recovered youth. But there’s a fine print: There is no cancellation clause. The sentence is irrevocable.

And if we could ask to the barman who serves that first drink, or to those going through that door looking for some solace, what a swallow in the 3B tastes like, the answer would be clear. It tastes like the relief they could have just obtained from jumping from that ledge if they had had the guts. It tastes like dirt, like chewed pain. It tastes like cheap whisky. But, in the end, it doesn’t matter. They will have forgotten about it tomorrow. As about everything else.

 

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