Smoke and Ash

didn’t get justice. He was denied because we lost our way. So Again, Time for another short story to distract from the sadness. Yes, we are learning that a lot of police are corrupt. You knew this already, didn’t you? #AllLivesMatter Here’s the story below. Call it what you will. Its part of canon now.

In a verdant valley that smelt of both jungle and bog, a dry, cracked brick and straw hut lay on the water’s edge.  A weathered dock stood steps from the entrance and amongst the murky waters, a plethora of creatures darted in and out. Fishes, frogs, lizards, and dragonflies zipped about or leisurely floated. Sometimes larger water creatures emerged, hunting with primitive trident and corundum edged knife.

Each time one would surface, the morose old man, jaded by time’s cruel talons, and warped by carrying a thousand sins, would appear as well. His goal and singular hope; to catch ones trident to add to his collection. It provided him the occasional visage of a future that he indescribably yearned for. The cycle continued as a singular male of the species, smooth and gray scaled from head to fluke would surface to pull down daily bait of roasted brush-turkey resting on the dock. Each time, the man would hobble out to miss him, getting splashed or sprayed. Once he even got a salute. A lightly pigment wave would happen each day not matter what.

Failure ate him inside his meager yet cluttered abode. The light of other days hung about his walls, in metal and crystal. Deceptively neat from the outside, a labyrinth rivaling any armory revealed upon stepping in. New little trinkets to mounds of junk mocked him as he roamed its halls to that one space empty. He didn’t see any of it anymore, of course. Forgotten treasures and mementos of rosy days wiped away as only that empty four foot section pled. He slept fitfully, dreaming of that sapphire encrusted cobalt trident.

One night, on one of his walks outside, he noticed something odd. A snipe’s nest exposed beneath a shrub wrapped tree. No doubt it remained a snipe nest with brown speckled eggs, yet it also held a huge assortment of thin metal oddities strewn within. Furthermore, it sat nowhere near the reedy edge of the marsh. The old hermit saddened terribly but then began to ponder. Why?

After walking some time away, he wearily rested on a stump and pondered this subject until the moon rose. He seemed to blend in with the tree, and became so ponderously still that the wildlife around him had gradually fluttered back in.

Before him, the snipe returned. The tiny creature landed in front of his boots and jerked its head around. It skipped about on the lush grass, plucked up a twig, and its rapid wings rocketed it away. One by one the nest vanished, leaving behind the eggs and metal.  Then he realized the eggs were eggs at all. they were Assembly crystals. Memory fluttered back of a time when he knew how to use them. Now it mattered not. A solution presented himself.

That next day, beside the roasted turkey rested the crystals. That day, the Triton surfaced and partook of his meal. When he grasped the crystals, he fell forward, shocked to seeming death. Yet in death, he through the trident into the house with such force it shattered the scavenged airplane glass, skewering the bent over man to the floor.  Beside him the old man marveled. His adversary, the dark pigmented Dagon fell, impaled by the very weapon he sought.  Pulling it free, he left his corpse lie while hanging the trident up.

Yet his cheer remained short lived. Dagon, father of the grain, chief of the Piscene and younger son of Poseidon lie as rotting meat before him. So he used a weapon of netting and tongs to drag the body out. Beneath that self same tree he dropped it. A magnesium strike rod spewed sparks as he lit the dry leaves and twigs around and over him. Soon a roaring fire consumed the body, casting a pungent smell from with the old man escaped.

Returning to docks to clean up, he noticed that the Triton floated up right, his sharp soulless azure eyes staring back. One crystal remained in his hand held high. The other remained on the dock. a quick set of hand gestures, unremembered and unwanted flashed before the old mans eyes before the Triton vanished, shaking his head as he dove under.

Turning back from the dock, he saw the tree fully engulfed. It fell forward into the bog and sizzled out. Fish floated up. Shaking his head, the old man retreated to the adobe leaving the crystal where it recovered. I, Ceto Celaeno, scribe for his majesty Varuna Apzu, witnessed this through the crystals imprint.  As for the old man, he fell when his time came. That Triton who sacrificed his trident for the crystal and the near death it brought, remains the same who brought him to us. A Cetus he stands in Antarctica, remembered for defeating Dagon through patience and luck. Mostly luck, but thats for us to know.
In the dark twilight of the autumn night, under the cool radiant moon, crickets chirped along with the crackle of a purifying flame by the water’s edge.

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