Just a Few Lines.

Before yesterday I tracked Fernão with my camera while riding a smooth downhill with a beautiful lens and amazing sunset.

Yesterday I managed to fall on my bike – again – and broke my front breaks.

Today Lila – my sister – managed to use a whatsapp audio message I sent her as proof she could retrieve some documents at the university where I studied.

I’ve been more times to the movie theater in the past two weeks than I did in the entire last year.


What’s up ladies and gentleman? Tito Ferradans here for a very easy – but useful – chop shop episode. This time we’ll be making a flare filter for less than ten bucks. Our magical ingredients are the cheapest UV filter you can find, fishing line, tape, and scissors if you don’t have super teeth that can cut fishing line. I know this is a common trick, but the way it works is a much less common explanation. Let’s get this thing going and I’ll explain over the process.

First, remove the glass of the UV filter. You can simply unscrew it or break it. The one I’m using is 77mm because it’s big and should cover all my lenses. You can make several, don’t worry about it.

After removing the glass, cut a piece of fishing line that’s just a little larger than the diameter of the ring. Tape it to the ring. Boom, done! Now that I thought about it, a Circular Polarizer would be better since you can adjust the direction of the wire. Scratch that UV I mentioned before, go with a CPL. When putting this in front of your lenses, you have to align it VERTICALLY, so your flares are horizontal.

Ok, a few notes on that: first, the diameter of the line affects the flare. The thinner it is, the subtler is the effect (subtler, does that work exist?). There is a huge number of different diameters for fishing lines, choose your favorite. I got three here, 0.2mm, 0.28mm and 0.41mm. You’ll see the difference in the tests.

Another option, if you don’t care about getting a little tape on your lenses is completely ignoring the CPL filter. Tape the line directly to the lens. The downside is you have to do it for every lens instead of simply swapping the filter.

Some people like doing this with several lines across, instead of just one in the middle, which causes stronger flares based also on the spacing between the lines. You can also tint the wire with markers so you have colored flares, as easy as that! Using regular wires will get you flares with the color of the light source.

Now for the bad side of using such trick. The most noticeable one is that you’ll get a line in your bokeh, or several lines if you used a whole bunch of them. It can start to show on any kind of highlights as well, since the lines are actually blocking light to reach the sensor.

And how the heck does this work? Why can’t I simply use regular threads instead of fishing line? Because fishing line is transparent and is denser than air. So when the light changes mediums from air to inside the line, it refracts. Some beams of will get in at a very magical angle and literally be trapped inside the wire unable to get out until it reaches either the cut at the top or the bottom. If you notice, the flare is always perpendicular to the wire AND always start at the light source. That happens because the light coming straight from that source will hit the wire. Some beams will go inside of it, and will not appear on the resulting image. The ones that DON’T get in are the ones causing the flare.

From optics, the Law of Reflection states that a beam will be reflected at the same angle which it hits the barrier. The barrier being the wire, the light can only reflect horizontally and THAT is what causes the streak flare. I hope this made any sense. If not, comment below and I’ll try to come up with better wording or visual examples!

Now that this is done, it’s time for you to try it out and enjoy this cheap trick. For me, I guess I should start a career in fishing, for I have over 500m of line here and each filter uses less than 10cm… Tito Ferradans, going fishing, see you next week!

I’ll Be Right Back.

I’ve been a little absent here lately. Blame it on Vancouver International Film Festival. I’m watching tons of different films – almost two every day since it has started -, besides all the writing/shooting/editing of test videos for anamorphics and the likes of that – I have seven new episodes in the making. I’m picking up the pace again soon and should be back here by the end of next week. Lots of new subjects and ideas to write about but really lacking the time to do it with the depth I want.

Hold on Tight…

This ride is a wild one.

Now don’t lose your fight, kid,
It only takes a little push to pull on through,
With so much left to do;
You’ll be missing out, and we’ll be missing you.

Why Fix It?

“Oh, damn, my phone stopped working, I need a new one!”

“That Spiderman movie sucked, how about we make a new one with a different cast and the same story!”

“Sorry, I dropped one of your cups.” “Don’t worry, they cost $0.50 at Dollarama.”

“My computer is acting up. Well, it’s already one and a half years old, I think it’s time to replace it.”

We don’t live in an environment that values fixing things, material or not. I’m going to switch to first person here. Culture around me doesn’t value fixing things. Jury rigging something shows you’re cheap, using a cracked screen phone tells people you can’t afford a new one, in the end, what all these situations and readings imply is “if something is broken, it’s faster to replace it. You’ll get used to the new one too”. The sad part is that this kind of thinking crosses over to any other situation – “I’m having trouble with my roomate, I guess it’s easier to kick him out” – and so we start thinking people and relationships are just as replaceable as a cracked plate.

With our increasing need of happiness immediately, as soon as something starts to go wrong, we give it up and move on. It’s not on purpose, we don’t mean to be mean or to ignore the issues, we just keep postponing it indefinitely until the other person gives up. As I was reading an article this morning, people don’t even break anymore, they just stop replying to text messages and it’s up to the other person to read that lack of response as “I’m not into you anymore”. How shitty, yet ubiquitous is that? I’m not proud, yet I acted like that before, I still act that way sometimes and it’s never because I dislike you or anything, it’s because… you know… you probably did the same thing to someone else just yesterday. That never-read message on facebook, the muted whatsapp conversation, all the ignored skype calls at inappropriate times that you never return, the email that has already dragged a bed and books into your inbox since you’ll never get to actually reply.

These are all examples of us not caring about other people. It’s like leaving a book out in the rain and expect it to miraculously survive on its own. The single most important thing I learned in these recent times is that problems won’t solve themselves if I don’t actively do something about them. It’s hard to analyze if it’s worth the effort. I have a few things of late that I look back and think “why did I persist on that, when simply jumping out and starting from scratch would be faster, easier and (almost) painless?”, but then, how could I give it up something that’s so important, something that’s a part of me, something that truly represents myself, just like that, without any second thought?

I like fixing things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but the process always leaves me with all kinds of memories. I get some weird/confusing pride by trying. That doesn’t mean I like breaking things, just to be clear. It took me years to not cry whenever I accidentally broke a cup, glass or plate, no matter how cheap it was. I still don’t understand it clearly, I have the feeling that I killed that object ahead of time, that I prevented it to achieve its life goal, its reason for existing. Hence, if I break something I’m gonna try hard to mend it until it’s fully restored, maybe with a few dings here and there, but sort of improved – or unique – when compared to the original, or until I reckon it’s beyond my ability to recover its essence and it’s time to let it go or transform into something else entirely.

Crap, I don’t remember why I started writing this post. And no, I won’t try to fix it. If you got something from it, good, if you didn’t, well, maybe try reading the one below?

Now, If You Just Wait…

Yesterday I graduated from VFS for the second time, out of two classes in a row. This was the official graduation, when I got my diploma, while the first one was more important as a ceremony, being up there with the people which I worked side by side for almost the entire year. Each one of them was a different experience, different feelings both outside and inside.

One of the faculty speakers chosen by 3D112 was Francois, our modeling instructor for the first three terms. His speech was unusual, very brief words followed by a long poem by Dr. Seuss, entitled “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”. It’s really long, I’m not gonna put it all in here, but I will highlight one bit that was particularly meaningful for me. Long poem short, it tells us about how this is just the start of our journeys through the world, about our good choices and success and how there are wonderful things out there and all the amazing things we’ll get to do because we’re fit for it. Then it takes a dark turn and goes about how sometimes things get messed up and we’re all alone to deal with them, and we try to run, and choose, and fight, and it looks bad either to stay or to go, but we’ll move and eventually “toward a most useless place./ The Waiting Place…”

“…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.”

“Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.”

That’s not for you!”

I guess I don’t need to tell you how much I could relate to this poem, like being on the verge of tears. Then Francois finished his talking and we moved on with the ceremony, but the poem was kept alive in me. Rumbling, twitching, jumping and screaming for attention so, by the time I went to bed I decided to take another quick look at it and I think by now I can almost tie each verse to specific events that took place this last year. And, man, the Waiting Place…

I’ve been there, I’ve practically redecorated the place for the amount of time spent waiting. Waiting for things to get better, waiting for the Sun to shine, waiting for my appetite to come back, waiting on other people’s help, waiting on a work permit, waiting on a job offer, waiting to know what I was gonna do with my life after VFS, waiting to see if it was ever gonna be like before, all of that and then some.

I think I stopped waiting when I went home. I couldn’t fucking wait any more, and so I started doing things. Not to meet deadlines, not to please someone else, but things I wanted to get done for myself. I got back to reading a lot, I started shooting my own videos and coming up with different ideas without having to wait on anyone’s approval. I have this habit with writing, whenever I think I have a good subject for a post, I try and wait for it to come out. Yeah, you guessed right, fuck that. I just started writing more and more. Some work out well, some don’t, and I’m fine with it.

When I got back to Vancouver, I also got back together with my bike. Our relationship had been broken sometime during the winter, when I couldn’t keep up with the weather simply because I didn’t have any food inside. I remember talking with my parents about this, about stop using the bike and start taking the bus. For this entire time I kept all the bus passes I used. I didn’t know what they were meant for, but I kept them on my desk. I still have the stack here, over a hundred bus tickets. It’ll eventually be put to good use.

Another thing I resumed was photography. I was running out of content for Instagram, and taking new pictures has replenished my stock. It also made me work on new strategies to carry my camera around – whenever I put it in my backpack I never actually reach for it, and using the strap is terribly uncomfortable after some time – as well as experimenting with new lenses and continuing my personal projects and studies in this field. It made me get back to seeing light, really paying attention to it, knowing when the sun rises and sets, what places look good at what times and that kind of thing.

This whole series of changes made me realize it’s very easy for us to just sit down and wait. Wait for divine providence, wait for that dream job offer when we need it – hell, wait for ANY reply at all regarding jobs! -, wait for that video to go viral. And Dr. Seuss couldn’t be more precise on his words, it is “a most useless place” and in my personal experience, 98 and 3/4 percent of the times nothing good comes from it. Unfortunately for us, sometimes it’s damn hard to see we’re there, and it’s a least twice as hard to push the door and leave because we can’t know what’s expecting on the other side, but we have to do it despite not knowing, we have to do it otherwise we’re just letting life slip through our fingers and that does feel pretty useless.

I’m very grateful to all of those close to me that supported me through these times – and if you’re reading this you be sure you’re in the special thanks list -, be it with pointless conversations, stupid jokes, boat riding (!), obsessing about lenses, talking about bikes, riding along the seawall, sharing a special meal, suggesting me something to read (or listen, or watch), climbing mountains (!), making plans, or even things as simple as a kind (or crazy) good morning/good evening, you made the load bearable, you gave me strength to go on, you helped me find direction, you guided me out of the waiting place.

Thank you Francois, for a speech that didn’t end there and then. This one stays with me for the long haul.

At last, but not least, thank you 3D111 for being my brothers, sisters, moms, dads and even children sometimes. It was an honor to be a part of you. I also thank you, 3D112, for the warm and welcoming embrace on such short notice and this brief little time we had working together.

Bullshit Translator.

How the fuck do I take out those squiggly lines?

If you ever worked with me – specially as a cinematographer, and that goes mainly for projects I developed in Brazil – there’s a HUGE chance I lied to you. I apologize now, and before you hate me straight on, I ask you to read the remainder of this post! I didn’t lie with the intention of misleading you, I didn’t lie about my intentions, it’s more like “I made things sound a little more professional than I was thinking” and guess what? You were never disappointed, because I sold that with compelling arguments that made sense in the project’s overall concept.

I believe lying is part of the job (what a contradiction!), and I’m gonna stop using the word “lie” and start using “technical terms”. If you still don’t trust me on that, I’ll write a few examples below and explain what they meant inside my head. Most of the times it’s something that affects budget directly. I don’t like being responsible for extra costs mainly because I NEVER HAD A DECENT BUDGET. That means I’ve always adopted a guerrilla-approach for the cinematography guidelines, even when the project was not guerrilla at all – except for the budget. I have a big rant about how movies are made, but this isn’t the post for it.

“For this project we’re gonna have a very small team, just director, cinematographer, production sound, producer and cast, since that way we don’t have to feed too many people and everyone is always working for the duration of the set. We’re also using natural light because we can’t afford to run power from somewhere else and can’t afford people to keep an eye and adjust and carry the lights.”

At first, it was hard to justify these things in a way teachers and supervisors didn’t question our reasons – “you can’t shoot without an assistant director! you can’t shoot without slates! you can’t shoot with no assistants at all!” and so on -, so I had to improve over time. Now it just comes naturally, it’s all about choosing the right words. So, the extract above translates into:

“For this minimalist project we’re gonna shoot with a small crew in order to keep the focus in the cast’s performance, without too much fuss about the technical aspects on set. We’ll be using natural light as a way to bring the surrounding environment into play as a quintessential part in the story being told. The events happening on the screen are inherent to that place and that specific time.”

If you don’t think I’m pushing it, here’s one for my demo reel.

“Hovering Lights is a project about two students caught up in the middle of something they can’t control. With a handheld mobile device point of view, it aims bringing some light into outside-the-box storytelling, not having to rely on pristine image quality and large cameras. With a constantly moving and shaky perspective, Hovering Lights draws the audience into the chaos of living that situation from the characters’ point of view. Using only sfx and production audio, this project aims to deliver tension through the smart use of silence and sound cues other than overused musical score. One of my references, in terms of tension, are old-days thrillers which never quite show the monster but rather play with sounds and moving shadows. Fitting Instagram’s rules, each shot must not be longer than 15 seconds”

You’ve seen the result, and now you’ll see what I was thinking while writing that.

“I don’t want to deal with actors, so I’d rather shoot with someone I know and trust. I’ll pick May! Besides, if the camera represents a character, I can be that other character. I also don’t want to spend anything with gear, so I’ll use a wide angle lens and pretend it’s a phone (shooting with a DSLR already gives me enough quality to fake that). I can’t afford stabilization for two reasons, first: it’ll slow down the set and I don’t wanna take any chances because I was on one location for too long, second: it’ll cost me money, I don’t want to spend money, plus, all the movement and first-person camera spares me from highly detailed planned shots of the ships and all the other effects, meaning the movement is another way of distracting the audience from any quality issues I might have. No music, period. It’ll take time to find it, or even more time – and effort – to reach out to someone to make it. Playing with shadows and never quite revealing the alien is a cheap way of avoiding long time renders, countless iterations on its shape and texturing, not to mention perfect animation. Fitting Instagram’s rules I don’t have to worry about perfect continuous takes and seamless cuts.”

As you can see, something set to take a long time in post, but a very brief interval of shooting. I still relied in some intricate synchronization for the lights turning off, or the alien beam coming behind May, but when I weighted my options, it was much faster and cheaper rehearse a few times rather than try doing it all in post.

I’m gonna write out a few more examples just to prove how useful it can be translating technical issues into bullshit to sell a project.

“Aiming at an organic look” means “using dirt cheap old lenses”, “the weather translates the character’s state of mind” means “it was raining and it was a sad scene” or “it was a blasting sun outside and the character is cheerful” very much along the lines of Romanticism, where the environment reflects how the characters feel. “We decided to shoot digital, getting rid of all the noisy and large gear for shooting film, in an attempt to make the crew invisible to the cast and director” really means “we can’t afford film”. “Using cutting edge experimental technology to achieve the best visuals” equals “beta testing some shit, might have a good payoff, but we’ll be figuring it out as we roll”. One of my personal favorites is “going for a documentary style”, which is the ultimate guerrilla-yet-accepted concept for “shooting handheld, small cameras, no crew, I have very little planning, will shoot tons of footage; editing will be a pain in the ass”, and “using only practical lights and natural sources, we’ll have very dynamic light placements, fast setups and easy to adapt relying on the camera’s position” which goes along the documentary style for “the producer said we can’t afford lights for the scene to be properly lit, so we’ll crank the ISO to unacceptable levels and use razor thin depth of field with a hell of a good first AC”. I could go for hours, maybe I’ll start drafting some more in future posts just as an exercise. I’ve focused on camera/cinematography statements because that’s what I’m used to, but you can extend the idea for ANYTHING.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this creative use of words. This post was inspired by a rainy morning. I was just staring through the windows and realizing I would have a perfect luma matte of the buildings near me. It also made me think of the diminished visibility and how that could fit some projects very well. Right afterwards I thought “heh, I don’t think saying ‘it was raining as hell’ is gonna cut in order to avoid re-shooting, it would have to be something along the lines of ‘a heavy atmosphere adds the desired level of mystery around the characters’”, which then lead me to think of all the “professional ways” I’d come up with to back up technical issues this far. This post might be useful for people trying to do the same. It’s less about what you’re saying and more how you’re saying it.

Fighting Common Sense.

This piece was weird to write and I still don’t feel like I expressed exactly what I wanted. You may ask “Why post it?”, to which I’ll reply “Why not?”

Growing up, I never had much of a rebellious phase against my parents. They always backed me up. Not always approved, and never gave an “out of jail free” card. The result is that I pretty much did whatever I wanted – within my reach – and dealt with the results on my own. For example, I crashed my car three times – two of these were my fault and none of them serious – and it was my money paying for the repairs, I was the one to call insurance and reach out to the other driver involved. Anyway, this post is not about telling how awesome they are, but how I never questioned some of their values because I never had a reason to do it.

Fortunately we share the same opinion about many many things and, among these, my mom and I have this “thing” against common sense, like a rebellion against standard responses or “how you do things” and for me, this was always justified with “I don’t care about what others think of what I am or do”. To illustrate this matter, here’s something I did when I was… seventeen (?). I can’t quite remember why – probably a stupid dare – but I decided to shave off half of my hair. Not like a mohawk cut, or something cool, it was just the left side – and before you say “pics or didn’t happen”, check below. The result was bizarre and indeed attracted a lot of suspicious looks. What I thought to myself was “why should I have a regular haircut like everyone else when I can have this unique experience from my own volition? I’m NOT like everyone else, I don’t give a damn about what they think of me” – the following sentence wasn’t clear at the time, it wasn’t clear until early this week, when an email from my mom sprung it to light – “I don’t give a damn about what they think of me, as long as they reckon it’s out of the ordinary“. To prove my point, that this philosophy actually guided me, when the hair on that side of my head grew back, I shaved THE OTHER SIDE. One of the most common comments I heard back then was “dude, I don’t know how you had the guts to do this, or to go out like this” to which I just chuckled and said “I lack to see any problem with that!” and on the inside I was like “hell yeah, I’m awesome and brave! Nobody would dare to do this!”.

This was an example that reflected directly on my looks, but I have countless situations when EVERYONE said I should do “A” and I decided to do “Z”. It’s almost a matter of the question behind my actions. While most people ask “Why?”, I ask myself “Why NOT?”. This got me on harm’s way a few times but I was lucky enough to avoid it (luck is definitely what saved me in these situations). I admit that I love when someone says I can’t do something. I’ve taken on the stupidest dares – in 2005 New Year’s Eve my sister dared me to stop drinking soft drinks, that’s why, to this day, I don’t drink anything but juice and water, in 2006 I promised that I would walk from the city’s historical center to home, on the outskirts, newly developed condos if I passed the test to the university, that’s a 20 miles urban walk without sidewalks for the most of it and some pretty busy avenues, needless to say I walked it under a massive storm.

The same principle applied through my journey at University of São Paulo, when I just kept pushing for an unorthodox technical approach to all the projects I worked on – you name it: going digital, hating film, low light madness, experimental anamorphics, skeleton camera crew, the list goes on -, and until now. At VFS a lot of people said I would have to drop some of my reel’s shots, that it was too much and all that. The point is not that I was able to complete it, but at what expenses? I had never stopped to think about this irrational rebellion that dwells inside of me, that rebels against things just because “it’s the way every one else does it”. I’ve been going over this tirelessly for the past few days and starting to make peace with the idea that just because most people are going about something in a particular way it doesn’t mean it’s stupid, or meaningless. It might really be the easiest way of doing that, I don’t have to re-invent the wheel for every single challenge, because that’s what I’ve been trying to do so far.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m going to accept anything without questioning or avoid adding my own twist to something if I feel like so. Starting every time and everything from scratch is downright exhausting and mostly unnecessary. Besides, it feels good to blend in. I still have my all my weirdness and unusual skills but at each passing day they’re more of my own and less to impress, a flimsy balance between the “whys” and the “why nots”, carefully choosing between them for each different situation.

Recently I had a housing experience different from all my previous ones. I’ve lived alone for a long time, I’ve lived with my parents, with May, with my sister and, for a while, with random people. I had friends living with me, but their stay was temporary, and until then I had never experienced the other way around, being a kind of guest at friends’ place for three weeks.

Before VFS I didn’t know Fernão neither Maísa even though we studied in the same university, lived in the same city and kind of worked with the same thing. We met at VFS. At first just Fernão since we we’re in the same class, and then Maísa after she arrived. Things clicked right from the start and I don’t think I ever developed a bond as strong as this one in such short time.

Fernão and I never officially worked together in any VFS project, but after Term 4 we were lucky enough to be neighbors in the studio. Before then we always had each other’s feedback regarding assignments and help whenever one needed it. Let’s skip some time here, otherwise this post will be endless.

When my parents left Vancouver, after graduation, I decided not to stay home alone – for reasons that don’t fit this post – and asked for refuge at Fernão and Maísa’s. They accepted me and we even had a nice walk around to talk about house rules and stuff – I was gonna be sleeping on the couch, so it was not like I could hide in my room and nobody ever saw me me. Before he went over the rules, Fernão said this one thing which I still can remember, even though all the rules are now forgotten. “The only reason we’re talking about this is because our friendship is something I value”. Our main goal was that neither they felt I was intruding their lives nor I felt they were intruding mine – which is something a little hard to achieve when you sleep on the living room.

Day one, they get me a height-adjustable table because we agreed working on the dinner table was gonna make things hectic. What no one expected was that this tiny table was gonna be so awesome. I could level it to the couch – aka “my bed” – and work from there, without requiring chairs or extra space. I packed all my stuff on the corner under the table and just reached it when necessary, in an attempt to contain chaos to that corner of the living room.

They knew I was on a strict diet and they were about to start one of their own, a lot crazier than mine. So there was this initial common subject: food. We chatted a lot about it almost every day. We had meals together – usually I was crashing in their meals, or eating something they couldn’t and making fun of it.

Besides all the food stuff, we talked a lot, about everything. That was the thing which I liked the most and never actually experienced. I knew them alright, but there were so many yet unheard/untold stories that we never ran out of subjects to talk about. It’s different than living with someone in your family – you have YEARS together you know what movies they like, books, what they like to do on their free time, which shows they’re watching and their general behavior, like how they’ll react to things.

Reactions was also something awesome. At one dinner we were talking about reading, then it shifted to reading on phones/tablets, then we showed Spritz to Maísa, then I mentioned I always wanted to learn speed reading but never actually got to it. Minutes later Maísa is sitting at her computer, watching speed reading classes on youtube, Fernão is looking up Spritz and I’m looking into apps that integrate that in an android phone. The three of us agreed that would be cool on a kindle. Minutes later, we all disagreed on our previous agreement, stating that it would make the kindle pointless.

The more I write, the less I feel like I’m capturing the essence of what I want. I guess it’s a recollection of small chunks of memory that boosted these two from “great friends” to “lifetime friends”. Watching them go about life so closely taught me things I can’t put in words and there isn’t one single moment I can think back with an awkward feeling. It was like taking a break from seeing every day as the one before. Vacations from what I thought of myself. By the time I left, I was different, maybe not too much outside (just a few added pounds) but definitely on the inside.

This is my public “thank you” note to you two.


I wake up in the middle of the night.

I mean, I’m aware I’m home, lying on the bed and facing the pillow.

It’s been a weird night, waking up every ten minutes feeling cold, then warm, then cold again, maybe there’s something wrong with this damn weather, maybe there’s something wrong with me.

Anyway, I’m awake again but, before I can move, this time I feel there’s something or someone watching me. Not through the window, not from far away. Someone is standing in my living room right behind me and watching me.

“Shit”. I don’t say it out loud. I don’t know if the stranger knows I’m awake. Now that I think about it, it MUST know I’m awake, I’m pretty sure I’ve made a sound, moved somehow, blinked my eyes.

“What can I do?”. I start to plot a plan. Turn around, see who’s there, scream for help, I’m scared as hell, there’s a fucking unknown person INSIDE MY APARTMENT WATCHING ME SLEEP. I try to turn my head towards its gaze, maybe it’s someone I know. No, it can’t be anyone I know, this feels way too strange. My head doesn’t move, anyway.

Actually, I can’t move at all. I’m not tied or anything, but my body simply won’t obey. I know I’m awake, I know I’m home, I can see the little green leaf pattern on the white bed sheets, I feel the pillow under my head and the blanket I grabbed when the cold feeling started.

I try to yell at this person, anything to scare it away, to let it know I’m awake and I’m angry there’s someone here that shouldn’t be. Maybe it will leave in a hurry, knocking down the bike in the hallway. This is still my place and I’m the one in charge.

Just as I can’t move, I can’t make any sound either. Not even a muffled “hmmmmmm” in my throat. I’m trapped inside my body, being watched by some unknown thing behind me.

The anger and strategy turn into fear. I’m definitely NOT IN CONTROL of this situation. I keep running a thousand questions about who is this thing or person here. Why is it here? Why me? Why now, dammit? What is it going to do with me? Is it going to do anything to me? Is it gonna reveal itself? Come closer?

Suddenly I can move again and I roll towards the table, towards the stranger’s gaze. For half a second I’m lost, I mean, I was facing the bed, turning towards the bed, but I end up seeing the opposite wall, with the tree decal and the photographs. No time for messing up with where I’m looking at. I jump from the bed and hit the light switch. There’s no one here. I felt the presence disappear around the same time I got movement again. Just to be sure I check the locks and every room (including the bathtub).

“Fuck”. Was I dreaming?

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