PureWaterWinds, the Pacific’s phony Atlantis, is broke. It is broken. An ocean overfished and sterile. All bloodscent gone. The air dead still. This chum gets thinner every day–not a proper meal regardless. I swim night-circles (insomnia lasting my whole life so far), and the colony’s pale teens swarm the tank without warning. They take turns punching me in the snout and disappear in clouds of laughter. Only dimly aware of my violent past. This fossil blindly jaws the air, seeking the offenders’ fists. But I have more teeth than I know what to bite with. Wouldn’t make waves if I could, and I can’t.
Lepido, a surviving sea turtle in the next-door pool, swears freedom is daily closing in: “A savior is coming to tear down this steel.” I’ve been skeptical, but lo, today may prove me wrong and see Lepido’s smugness rage unchecked. The would-be hero canoes shoreward, navigating a maze of salt-rimmed canals that map the eastern power grid.
Poets have sat here, on the edge of our compound. They call the windmills a “bonewood forest,” a “pinwheel army,” a “matrixed garden of hard white flowers.” Lyric more tone-deaf than whalesong. They note my “affectless all-consuming eye,” supposed ancestor to imperial checkmate–but what childish sniping! My reflection stares back with polished black and empty marble; I confront that soullessness already, thanks. Besides, I was meant to conquer. I’m the oldest thing in water. Mine is not a case of hubris. And you? You just ain’t simple enough.
“Oh, the timing,” Lepido snickers as the visitor docks. Two local politicians, whispering fiercely, walk down the pier to intercept. “They’ve nothing to bribe him with this time.” The turtle, future soup, is disgustingly cosmopolitan, brags he’s been fed beer at Acapulco Spring Break. His human idiom inflames my ear like sand caught in gills. Personally, I’ve seen no land except this nightmare on blue. If it imitates truly, I wonder why they wanted more, and to cram it full of the ghostliest bunch. I require wide open spaces, freedom to ignore my existence. Hell is myself.
I grin daggers as the parley promptly goes to pieces. The extortionist will not be satisfied, threatens to expose their hidden utopia–yes, they call it that, even as they turn to the zoo for food (I cut in half the wretch who caught me; clearly I’ll be a last resort). As the doomed duo draw rusted guns, all three put on self-pitying faces. For what? I too birthed live young and harshly corrected their mistakes, have dreamt of killing everything. You wear your achievements like harpoons lodged in rib. Negotiations fail; metal flashes; dark visitor sighs and swipes his knife across two necks. Empty pistols bounce into the drink.
Don’t even compare your greed to mine. Where is your blank frenzied bliss? Tasteless vermin … should’ve crossbred your way to perfection by now. That you haven’t is how I know you’ll fail. Isolation, we monsters agree, is finite, like any other mating dance. It ends with submission to outlandish myth. Inbred youth will realize order, knees chattering before an interloper-God.
“Fool to deny variation,” Lepido sneers, “progress tends toward complexity.”
The savior, dripping hot red life, grants me a wink as he stalks past the tanks.
“This isn’t the Galapagos, hardback,” I snap. “But you’re right when you say they were wrong to resist.”