swirling water

by Zach Kincaid
Ansul, Mari and Abe. Three dueling friends who knew well what defined them as different. Before the annals of history, they lived alone, not used up nor found useless. They nourished each other in most natural ways. Since Mari had plenty of water to spare, he shared it with Abe and in turn he would receive warmth from his older, wiser brother. Ansul kept a bit more to himself, although he would often enjoy Mari’s company at his kingdom’s border and share a cup of tea with Abe at the high seats of his landmass. Despite such nice gestures, there was a growing resentment at the gluttony of Ansul.

Over time their names were lost inside the caves and corridors of their separate lives. The little that is known suggests that Abe lived on the sun. He decided to throw a rope down close in on the earth one roaring hot day. In so doing, he discovered the great seas that Mari kept. Abe soon realized he had no place to sit. Quickly retreating with a bucket of water in hand, Mari promised to find a place to accommodate his new friend.

He poked and prodded, banged and scrapped inside the belly of the seas. Finally, the earth gave way. Mari opened her guts and shoveled out rock and dirt. Hunting deep down, he found the beady-eyed Ansul who lived in a tomblike dwelling under the darkest part of Mari’s watered down world. A pale figure, Ansul immediately responded to the site of the sun with great angst. As for the doer of such grave digging deeds, Ansul squinted into Mari’s blue eyes: “You best find a way to make this right,” he said.

Tinged with a bit of anger and fear, Mari hastily layered up the sediments and formed great peaks and ranges. He also carved a network of tunnels underneath the towering mountains that might mirror the ones he dug up. Perhaps Ansul would find a home here and sparingly visit the shores.

After many days, Abe swung off the sun and landed on the fresh soil. He found Mari. Hours would pass as they talked about the oldest heavenly lights and the deepest dungeons of earth. Mari spoke of Ansul, the pale monster-like creature he found. Abe seemed curious but unimpressed. He would later find Ansul and share a number of drinks atop the mightiest cliffs, but Ansul had a dark way about him. Mari and Abe often saw him in the distance robbing the seas of more rock, building on and building on more and more and more.

The world seemed to rise and sleep this way for ten times ten thousand years. Mari and Abe were forgotten and Ansul soon was ignored. Then, swirling waters began their whispers in the wells of the sea. The sun paled. The land, stagnant and gradually melting back to where it came, turned vulnerable. It became the crude enemy that kept raping the sea and attempting to harness the sun.

Today, the whispers have grown to spurts of shouting. Mari and Abe may have terrorized too deeply the kingdom of Ansul. Grow you Indian Ocean. Expand you Gulf of Mexico. Take back what was abused and stolen. Roast you trapped roosters on the tops of your barns. Wash away your recliners and deadbeat oldtimers. You tired, you poor, you huddled masses. You wretched refuse of this false shore. We inflict you in this tossed tempest. Be beaten. Be beaten down by heavy clouds and sideways rain. Where is your keeper now? Ansul has locked himself in a deep cave. The keeper of the stars twinkles too far away.

All we know is this. When the sun touches down into the sea, there is a soft laughter heard (for those who have ears) exchanged between two old friends that the world has long since forgotten.

(October 2008/9-05)