Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Abandoned Prose

The octopus folk live in the desert. They had to. The instinct to water from their octopus half was too great to ignore. The sight of an ocean rippling endlessly into the horizon was enough to drive them mad enough to dive in. The briney water quickly dissolved their skin like slugs in salt. Even fresh water irritated their skin after only brief immersion. They lived in the desert..
When the squirrel apocalypse came, they were uniquely prepared to survive. Not a tree in sight. Not even a gnarled bush. They beat back siroccos with plastic girders and treated the straggling refugees like madmen that had lost their minds in the heat, as if the refugee, like an octopus, had seen the rippling mirage of the ocean in the distance and chased after it.
I came to them over the dunes carrying great gifts. I slept during the day below the solar panel. At nightfall, I cleared the clumps of sand from the buggy to keep the moving parts as clear as I could. I drank some of the precious water I dragged behind me on a sledge. When I started out from the jungle, I could barely outrun a squirrel. Now, I moved alone at a brisk pace. I'd arrive tonight. I'd have just enough water to make peace with the gate guards.
I had another gift as well, and I knew they would appreciate it. They were a spiritual people, in their way. They would look upon my relic with reverence.
I drove over the dunes in the night. I approached their fortress in the night. I pulled to a halt before the gate. I left my headlights on. I stepped in front of the headlights, so the gate guard could see me.

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