Saturday, 21 June 2014

Toxic Windmills by Tamara Jones

He surfaced silently, letting the black water stream in rivulets down his oversized head and massive shoulders.

Strange edifices he saw above him, towering columns with sails turning, turning and turning but moving nothing.  He’d come because of these installations, because of their effluence discharging into the ocean, that was carried by the currents to his chief city many leagues distant.  He knew it was the effluence causing the recent sickening of his people and feared that it was now time to act. For so long they’d remained hidden, a race hidden, removed from those who lived on the surface, from those who polluted and poisoned their world, who would undoubtedly destroy even in innocence, the civilization his people enjoyed.  But now the balance between the need for secrecy and the need for survival had shifted dramatically.

His task was clear.  Neutralize the threat.  By whatever means possible, peaceable or otherwise.

He passed along the sides of the platforms on which the edifices stood until he reached the very edge of their world, the line against the sky after which the oceans tumbled to the depths of the world, his world.  The world that had once been theirs, until the renegade band had fled and come to the surface, gradually pulling back the waters, slowly pulling up the land, reclaiming they called it.

He heaved a great sigh that reverberated through the waters, carried along rivers and streams and seas, brought to every ear that could hear.  Slowly he raised his trident and let it slide through his guiding fingers as it gathered speed and leaving his grasp entered the water beneath him, travelling faster and faster as it cleaved through the waters.  With a shudder the trident came to rest at last on the ocean floor.

He waited, patient, sad, unyielding.  Imperceptibly at first a low roaring sound began, from far above him, and it gathered volume and it gathered momentum and it grew and grew until it became a deafening roar, the voices of the gods themselves mingled in outrage and fury.

He saw the little men come rushing from their toxic towers, they ran hither and thither without purpose clutching their hands to their heads, their wailing and groaning inaudible above the roar of the angry gods. Without pity but with infinite sadness he watched.  And at last the ocean floor erupted, and a mighty fountain of water spurted into the sky, the earth groaned, the mountains shook and the little buildings of the surface dwellers slipped and slid and disappeared under the waves.

And the mountains fell and the valleys were filled with water and the ocean at the edge of the sky no longer tumbled and roared to the depths of the world.  All was covered in flat clean water now, there was no edge any more.

He pulled up his trident from the ocean floor and shook it at the skies.

‘It is done,’ he said.

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