domingo, 19 de marzo de 2017

"Sister Zero"

Tati, this is the only interesting thing that came of the six months I spent working as a temp in Marianne's firm.

It was a horrible, lonely job, though I was physically close to others for the entire time. I was squeezed into a hallway lined with outdated computers and sentenced to draft inane e-mails alongside nine other interns. I was one of two girls in this group. The other girl was strange, not in an attractive way, she just came off as mentally unbalanced. For some reason she was really obsessed with traveling to Israel. Whatever.

Most of my fellow interns took this job seriously and answered directly to a number of important men. It was amazing how their tone would shift between gross, sexual jokes and shameless dick-sucking. At the end of the hall there was a telephone from the eighties so that anyone who wanted something from us--usually a whim--could tell us. Twice a day I would take the elevator down to the courtyard and smoke a cigarette, vacantly staring. Usually when I returned, someone would be considerate enough to tell me that the boss had called for me.

I didn't even try to be friendly in Marianne's firm; I wasn't going to last there and I knew it, and so did they. Many thought I was a lesbian, because I showed no interest in the boys. One of them was more sensitive and, let's say, "trying to be alternative," and I think he wanted to establish a friendship. But every moment spent there was hell, Tati. I wasn't in the mood to be nice to anyone.

At 1:00 p.m. sharp I was gone. We had an hour-and-a-half lunch break. The building is located in the financial district, in fact just two blocks away from Central Finance. Most of the other interns would take this time to get sushi or haircuts in the nearby Swissotel. I was spending three-fourths of my meager salary on gas to get to work in the first place, and the other fourth on video games. I ate in the Mall.

When I talk about the Mall I talk about the Mall back in 1998. Two years later that Mall was demolished, and replaced with the one we know now. The old Mall was a curiosity. Despite the great location, it never really worked out, I think because of some issue in the lease contracts for stores. Most of them closed down. In the end you had a four-story labyrinth where the vast majority of stores was shuttered. Open locales were not inspiring: old toy shops, geriatic wear, a pharmacy, "The World of Towels." Like B. would say, you could smell the money being laundered through them.

But that's not all. The Mall was a place worth exploring. The ground floor had two basements under it, and the deeper you went, the more eerie it became. Electric stairways remained frozen, lights flickered or didn't work at all, and the décor retrated further back into the past. The bottom floor contained nothing but a mural that looked like it was painted in the sixties (with images of Bengal tigers and multi-racial hand-holding), and an exit to the park that passes by an ATM. This was where I met the Sisters, and I felt so lucky.

Tati, can you imagine meeting two nuns in the bottom floor of an abandoned mall? And on top of that, they were standing under a fluorescent light. I felt like I was in a video game, I had just come to a new town, and these two characters were going to tell me where to go next. It's obvious that I felt lost and desperate in those days. I sat eating a slippery microwave-cooked lunch, alone, mostly in the dark. To me this was a blessing, even though I've never been religiously-inclined.

I would come to know the Sisters as Tomasa (the plump, husky, black one) and Giovanna (the tall, bird-like, white one). They were the kind of pair you would see on a newspaper comic strip, with such exaggerated features and contrasting personalities. We made smalltalk almost immediately; they looked as relieved to find me as I was to find them.

The conversation was stilted at first, but they were happy to talk. I told them that I worked nearby and they told me that they sold truffles. I think it's typical for convents to bake and sell goods, as I remember Mom would buy chocolates from a group of nuns when I was a kid. They went around the neighborhood offering boxes and took a moment to rest from the heat in the Mall. My comments and replies were very banal. "I couldn't imagine walking around in the heat like that." But somehow the conversation was always refreshing. They did most of the work; I just sat there nodding.

(Tati, the truffles they sold were delicious. I'm sorry I never brought you any, but you might still forgive me if you keep reading.)

This went on for several days, on and off, over a couple weeks. On days when I didn't run into the Sisters I usually ended up eating lunch alone. A couple times I went to Stephany's apartment. She was living alone at that point, her parents were abroad. But we were never really that close, so I mostly smoked cigarettes on her balcony until it was time to go. I remember being so jealous that she was living alone, in an apartment, in the nicest part of town. Six years later I found myself in the same situation and I was miserable! This sounds like a stupid "ironic" thing that a stupid girl would post on Facebook.

Anyway, back to the story. With each of these encounters I grew closer to the Sisters, and I discovered more about them. They were from St. Francis, which was really obvious when I think about it. St. Francis is the convent located next to St. Francis' church. And St. Francis' church is right in front of the Mall. Not many people know that there is also a convent there; it's a very low-profile building, it looks kind of like the administrative offices of the church. Both Sisters looked about middle-aged; Tomasa possibly older. Tomasa was loud and loved to guffaw; she was jovial and gossipy. Giovanna was more proper. It seemed like sometimes her partner's behavior irked her, but it was never apparent.

Giovanna also talked a lot about punishment. She was very much from the old school of nunship, I think. Being married to Jesus was not just devotion and silence, it was also active suffering. And it was clear that she didn't think of me or anyone else as pure. She would sometimes go on tangents about blood and epiphanies. Usually Tomasa and I glossed over them and changed the subject. But she was always courteous and smiling. I regarded her more like a kooky aunt than a person to be feared. They always seemed like ultimately likable women.

26 comentarios:

  1. Very happy to see this blog active again! And quite happy to get to read this story, too. I've been curious about Sister Zero (besides several of the other mentioned events)for quite a while now.

    BTW, as I remember for the Record Store entry, this scene takes place in the summer of 1997, but the mention of Facebook reveals that the register of it is fairly recent.

  2. Alsooo, no more LB comments about the context of the findings, or his conclussions? I Miss those :p

  3. Words can't express how happy I am that you're back. I've been checking this blog for years, rereading my favorite stories every time I shared this link with a new friend who wanted to read something interesting and creepy. Thank you for updating. I'm so happy that you've come back. I seriously just returned last week to reread this series so I could answer questions for a friend who'd just started it and BOOM. A 2017 updates. Thank you. Please keep going. Please tell us more about Tati and Stephany and the Clan. Please continue, LE!

  4. I love this blog so much, something about the subtle horror really grips my imagination like no other. Please keep updating, LB! I need to read more!!!

  5. I'm so happy you're back! You're a talented story teller and I love reading about your world. I check this blog every few months; glad to see another update this time around!

  6. More please! Your writing is always so engaging! It's been years since I first read your entries and I still go back and read through them often, always checking for anything new. You are missed!

  7. Thank you so much for updating this, I thought you had forgotten about this entirely, please keep up the updates! This is definently one of my favorite series ever. I do miss LBs commentary and analysis at the end of each entry

  8. Nội dung bài viết thật tuyệt vời. Mình cũng muốn giới thiệu về một Công ty dịch thuật uy tín - Công ty dịch thuật miền trung - MIDtrans trụ sở chính chính tại địa chỉ 02 Hoàng Diệu, TP Đồng Hới, tỉnh Quảng Bình có Giấy phép kinh doanh số 3101023866 cấp ngày 9/12/2016 là đơn vị chuyên cung cấp dịch vụ dịch thuật, phiên dịch dành các cá nhân. Hệ thống thương hiệu và các Công ty dịch thuật con trực thuộc: dịch thuật bình dương - dịch thuật miền trung tại địa 123 Lê Trọng Tấn, Dĩ An, Bình Dương là địa chỉ chuyên cung cấp dịch vụ dịch thuật chuyên nghiệp tại Bình Dương và các khu vực lân cận ; dịch thuật chuyên ngành tại sài gòn địa chỉ 47 Điện Biên Phủ, Phường Đakao, Quận 1 TP HCM, dịch thuật công chứng kon tum : địa 101 Trần Hưng Đạo, TP Kon Tum là nhà cung ứng dịch vụ dịch thuật uy tín hàng đầu tại Kon Tum; Công ty dịch thuật Viettrans và dịc vụ binh duong translation: dịch vụ dịch thuật tại Bình Dương cho người nước ngoài có nhu cầu, giao diện tiếng Anh dễ sử dụng; dịch thuật tiếng Ý (italia) tại sài gòn: nhà cung ứng dịch vụ dịch vụ dịch thuật phiên dịch hàng đầu tại TP Hồ Chí Minh; dịch thuật tiếng Anh tại Đà Nẵng : Địa chỉ 54 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Quận Hải Châu, TP Đà Nẵng chuyên cung cấp dịch vụ dịch thuật công chứng, dịch thuật đa ngôn ngữ, đa chuyên ngành tại Đà Nẵng; Viettrans 43 Điện Biên Phủ, Quận 1 Sài Gòn: chuyên cung cấp dịch vụ dịch thuật đa chuyên ngành toàn quốc; Công ty dịch thuật Hà Nội MIDtrans chuyên cung cấp dịch vụ dịch thuật tại an giang : địa chỉ 55 Lê Thánh Tông, TP Long Xuyên là nhà cung ứng dịch vụ biên dịch, phiên dịch chuyên nghiệp tại địa bàn An Giang. Ngoài ra, Chúng tôi cũng cung cấp các dịch vụ biên dịch và phiên dịch, dịch thuật công chứng chất lượng cao hơn 50 ngôn ngữ khác nhau như tiếng Anh, Nhật, Hàn, Trung, Pháp, Đức, Nga, .vv... Dịch thuật MIDtrans tự hào với đội ngũ lãnh đạo với niềm đam mê, khát khao vươn tầm cao trong lĩnh vực dịch thuật, đội ngũ nhân sự cống hiến và luôn sẵn sàng cháy hết mình. Chúng tôi phục vụ từ sự tậm tâm và cố gắng từ trái tim những người dịch giả.Tự hào là công ty cung cấp dịch thuật chuyên ngành hàng đầu với các đối tác lớn tại Việt nam trong các chuyên ngành hẹp như: vietnamese tourist tại 46 Trần Cao Vân, TP Huế chuyên trang về thông tin du lịch và các tour đặc sắc tại Việt Nam, y dược (bao gồm bệnh lý), xây dựng (kiến trúc), hóa chất, thủy nhiệt điện, ngân hàng, tài chính, kế toán. Các dự án đã triển khai của Công ty dịch thuật chuyên nghiệp MIDtrans đều được Khách hàng đánh giá cao và đạt được sự tín nhiệm về chất lượng biên phiên dịch. Đó là kết quả của một hệ thống quản lý chất lượng dịch thuật chuyên nghiệp, những tâm huyết và kinh nghiệm biên phiên dịch nhiều năm của đội ngũ dịch giả của chúng tôi. Hotline: 0947688883. email: . Các bạn ghé thăm site ủng hộ nhé.

  9. okay but dude, ive been more or less reading this for a DECADE now, and you are a gift to the universe. the fact that you wrote this all out in chronological rollercoaster form is staggering. youre a genius, and i hope whatever else youre writing is making you millions, but PLEASE consider finish this just so i can die fulfilled. if you had a patreon i would gladly contribute weekly also!

  10. E D E N P O K E R . X Y Z mau memberikan info sedikit nih , di edenpoker ingin memberikan BONUS NEWMEMBER sebesar 10.000 ribu
    yuk langsung saja kunjungi Customer Service kami dan segera daftar kan diri anda !!!
    Agen Bandar Poker Terpercaya
    Bandar Poker IDN
    Poker IDN Terbaik
    Agen Judi Uang Asli
    Agen Judi Terbaik Di Indonesia
    Agen Judi Deposit Murah
    Info Poker IDN Terbaik

  11. This blog was a Fun read. It is a Shame You probably never end, I am curious about the Clan and all else, I could actually see these things happening in my hometown and other places like It.

  12. I liked your literary and musical taste, btw...

  13. i was surprised to see people still commenting on this even in 2019, as i had all but forgotten about it since i read it first years ago while waiting at the dentist one time. it's always been a thought at the back of my mind: is this real? i would love to think it is, that things like these really do happen and that it only takes a bit of searching to find them. but then again, i would probably rest easier knowing they aren't. either way, this collection is brilliant and i would love to hear more of them, no matter how long i have to wait for the next update.
    on a different note, i love the sole concept of this: finding a mystery (per se) from the past and recounting it to the present. it's given me ideas for new projects of my own to work on and i can't thank you enough for that. not to mention a serious nostalgia for the times before this one.
    above all else, i would absolutely love to see an update on this, even if it is two years of silence later. even so much as scanning the notebooks and uploading them to the public would be interesting (that is, if they are real ;) ) and could give someone else the opportunity to take the burden of translating totally from your shoulders. though i'm a bit lacking in spanish (or whatever language they're written in, the language of the website just gave me that hint), i would be willing to take a crack at them myself. all else aside, this is a fantastic project and i would love to see what's coming next.

  14. Just another commentator mentioning how much they miss this blog. I too am surprised to see people still commenting, c.c.a.i.n.o.e., but it makes me happy knowing there's a small but dedicated fan base to this work of art. The writing style is amazing, the story is mysterious and intriguing. I agree that if L.B were to make a patreon I would be one of the first to donate. I wonder if it ever gets more attention, maybe an ending would be more likely? I was introduced to this story through the creepypasta wiki, but aside from there I haven't seen it mentioned on the web. In any case I'm itching for more, there's so many questions I have about the clan, the dog killer, the record shops, etc.

  15. Discovered this through the creepypasta wiki; love this blog so much

  16. I cannot describe how much I love and miss this blog. Every entry manages to hit me in my very core and cause these feelings of nostalgia, dread, comfort, joy and a sort of loving sadness. It makes me think of the adventures I had with my friends, the ones I didn't, and ones I wish I did. It makes me realise how big and strange the world really is and how that's okay, actually.
    I'm sorry for a somewhat emotional comment, this blog just means a lot to me. I'd love to read more, at whatever pace is comfortable for you, LB. I don't think anyone here minds waiting, we just hope you're okay and that you'll come back soon.