Friday, March 23, 2012

335/365 --Playlist Story-- inspired by "Wave of Mutilation" by the Pixies

The motorway was clogged with cars that reflected the sun when the ocean rose up. Megumi Mori was picking at her teeth and worrying about the number of minutes left on her phone when she saw the hard green carapaces lumbering up from the depths. She did not realize what she looked at, no one could as the species had never previously been identified, and thought at first it must be a tsunami. What happened next to Megumi was singularly unusual among the people trapped in their cars.

She closed her eyes and turned the engine off. She mouthed a short silent prayer, then tied her back. She paid no attention to the other motorists screaming into the metal confines of their vehicles, and slapping ineffectually at the glass of their windows. Megumi unlocked her door and stepped out onto the cement, and faced the oncoming beasts. She cocked her head slightly as she realized they were not a wall of water, but this changed her plan very little.

There were hundreds, perhaps thousands of the beasts, bursting upwards through the choppy ocean surface, surges of water slaking off their backs and creating mini-tidal waves that slapped against the protective retaining wall. They made landfall, pressing sharp pointed limbs into the sand, rock, and vegetation of the shore--they climbed over one another, carapace scraping across carapace, the loud sound of this was akin to nails on a chalkboard. Their multiple eyes rotated on weedy stalks, and they lacked any sensical symmetry--legs were of varying length and number, and some bodies were shaped like potatoes, others like pancakes, and still others like pears. Some had one eye, some two or three, and some dozens in ropey packs that mottled their bodies. They were driven by instinct, a long harbored desire to migrate, spawn, and die, that the species had not acted on since before humans lived on those islands.

Megumi exhaled evenly and adopted a wide stance. She closed her eyes. People ran past as the first tremendous legs neared. Cars were pinned down, car alarms and car horns sounded. There were screams. The scent of the sea bottom overwhelmed. Megumi pressed her hands together in front of her abdomen.

"Watashi wa jikan o tōketsu suru," she intoned calmly, moving her hands up and outward.

The sounds were gone but the foul scent of ocean decay remained. The breeze was stilled. Megumi opened her eyes. The beasts all stood mid their strides, and the people too; the twisted muscles of their faces made them garish and inhuman. Megumi brought her feet together and bowed towards the beasts.

"Watashi wa anata no shi no mae ni anata o sonchō suru," she said loudly upon rising.

She knew they could not hear or understand her words, but Megumi knew it was important to acknowledge the beingness of any entity about to be killed. She hoped for the same honor to be paid to her one day. She widened her stance, and put one foot in front of the other, crouched down, and then held her forward hand straight out in front of her. She reared back her other hand as if pulling an imaginary bow taut with an arrow.

"Anata ga sōshutsu sa remasu." She released her hands.

The beasts rose into the air, slowly at first, the tension in their legs slackening until they dangled. Then the beasts tumbled backwards until they were all upside down and the legs flopped over. They hung their for a moment, wavering slightly, then each exploded into a violet light. Megumi did not shield her eyes. The light replenished her, making her even more powerful.

When the light faded, leaving no trace of the beasts other than their lingering scent, she stood for a moment, and wondered about their origin. The breeze began to blow again and her thoughts were cut short. She returned to her car and rebuckled her seatbelt. Soon the people ran again, but slowed and sheepishly returned to their own cars, unable to recall why they were fleeing. Megumi began again to worry about the minutes left on her phone.

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