Night of the Jaguar
by Rekha Valliappan
"Ant swarming City
City full of dreams
Where in broad day
The specter tugs your sleeve"
The night-boat from Hellise Island was how one arrived into New Catty
one was a buried head. Buddi Jobule knew. He had counted. Heads. But
that was before
the catastrophe that had rubbished the old island, a thin strip of land
of fabulous value
hugging the grey oceans and the enveloping rivers. It had taken
phenomenal rebuilding to
step by step recreate the grandiose New Catty Corner which it had
become, a marathon
task only Buddi could have accomplished--remodeling it to exactitude
from the dead ashes of the old. Post-apocalyptic magnitude? Who could
say? Buddi's architectural skills were world renowned and unparalleled.
And now this had happened.
A sinkhole. The gumboil that wouldn't go away.
The watershed moment for Buddi? Or a mere blip on his timeline? Because
who could live forever? A teasing worry all the same. In essence he
thought of dealing with it swiftly and flicking it away like those
parasites troubling his biceps and forceps. Buddi under stress was a
work of art.
Buddi Jobule had all the human heads that were needed to resuscitate
--dead practices of ancient Javaro that followed him like a dog's tick.
Some of the creepy heads had refused to shrink. But after the sinkhole
had opened a stretch the size of seven football fields you could build
a boeing hangar out of, the fate of the museums on the Upper Yeast Side
had been all but sealed. Only one last head was needed. The all-
The world is watching us! The world is watching us!
No way out of this hole. None.
Make the connection man.
The head of the Jaguar of Javaro!
--no way! city must stay united--however reckless about
procedure one wished to be.
City is collapsing you moron! . . . under its own weight . . .
they're concealing the sinkhole!
. . . the best kept secret eh?
No, there was no other head more suitable to the purpose. But the
jaguar was elusive, the one on the seal. It had been used periodically
in other parts of the world and vast structures had gone up and stayed
up--all the way from Dubaiti to Monskreal. The jaguar had no secrets.
And Buddi had no secrets to share either.
We hear the secrets that you keep, When you keep talking in your
The tricky punch line eleven hours into the disaster. The legitimacy of
practices going current and concurrent.
Bring in the heads! Bring in the heads!
Without the burial of heads at construction site the uncertainty of
reconstruction under the museums in its final days was virtually
nonexistent. Unimaginably difficult. It would surely fail. People would
panic. That was the norm.
Buddi had no choice. But the Mysterium had since long ago put an end to
these vile practices of burying shrunken heads. No more human heads.
Not after toniest parks for the wealthy, grand supermarkets, bodegas,
hotels, public squares, children's playgrounds, garbage dumps,
university campuses, government buildings, businesses, opera houses,
hospitals, asylums, asphalt, fountains, roadways, markets, aristocratic
dwellings and famed avenues to lure the wealthiest, had sophisticatedly
emerged filling every square inch of space, building upon and beyond
strata upon strata over plot loads of long forgotten decomposing
corpses below, of the featureless city that refused to die.
Enough said of those who were already mingled in the bedrock, soil and
filth; encroaching potters' fields suffocating with improperly emptied
out loose cannons, epidemic victims, paupers, criminals, gangsters, bad
apples, penniless, revolutionaries, zealots , entertainers and
spiritualists, from the outers edges of forgotten worlds like stacked
up city catacombs filled with waves of putrefying and rotting
matter--enough to give New Catty Corner the blue haunting for thousands
of years more.
Go on man, spit it out,
what's the question?
Is there something you trying to articulate?
More fresh corpses?
We're all going to die!
Are you mad?
The homeless get picked first, don't you know?
At some point you have to decide what's in the best interest of the
City and its
people, at least to the characters who are left, standing besides you.
That should be interesting.
You mean as a public servant?
What else? Whatever!
But by golly! we're talking human heads!
why you worry? they come from far out east . . . other side of the
Without the heads the fate of the museums hung in the balance--twenty
vast structures housing every artifact saved after the rubble had been
sifted. And even with the
heads, if they were mere ordinary heads the fate of the reconstruction
was still unsure. Deep in a far off jungle a mutated jaguar with the
elongated head and cranium filled with occipital extras on the prowl of
megalithic stone temples would stir letting out a low ominous growl.
None but THAT!
Enjoy it when you get there, while you can.
Clash of cultures in city of cultures?
Of course not!
The culture of the church abideth.
Zombie apocalypse then?
Let the ruling elite rule.
Flet victus, victor interiit.
Well, I found a thigh bone only a week ago! And it wasn't the mummy's
Giza. My colleagues routinely keep finding same human remains . They
protrude from the earth, under buskers rapping for coins from crowds
seizing quick pizza lunches, falafels, and samosas reeking of chutney...
Gruesome! Jettison the lot then.
Below the surface much lurked. The marbles from the cemeteries had
festooned the museums enriching the flooring and walls. Buddi Jobule
was not taking chances. He had authorized through portal outreach for
the new batch of heads to be delivered without further delays. Most
would make it in through the portal of the small figurine of the little
girl standing with the lute at the base of the free-standing Humpiro
Stamp Building. They would only be the lucky ones--the ones who would
somehow manage to escape, fleeing on foot through the tunnels and
bridges over to the other side. Most did not make it in that way. Most
were needed for the booming construction going every which way which
had smothered every square inch of space.
Rat-a-tat-tat the incessant sound of drills--Buddi felt blown
away. How the cosmos had shifted when the city breathed puking torrid
stain from deep within its buried bedrock. His work was mostly below
these days, less time for the above. It stank. His ears burned. The
city's heartbeats chaotically registered the sounds--office workers and
bank clerks glancing at their wristwatches and clocks, actors and
extras working the grind, students and rioters protesting their cause,
poets and pamphleteers crooning their bohemian songs to junkie-dom,
anxious subway operators and train passengers spilling over and under
signage and spillage, quizzical faces, rancid minds hurtling down the
corridors of venture and power in anarchic fashion forming haphazard
lurches of rushing movement and more rushing movement. The city never
stilled--cubic rabbit holes upon cubic rabbit holes without end.
Because without these the city would simply fall apart. Because without
jungle there was no city. Because although New Catty Corner was a mere
strip of a land-
locked island of sorts, with not a tree in sight, surrounded by waters
which you couldn't see, it was still primeval jungle, the homeliness
that he knew only too well--densely covered by tall, square, round and
flat steel and glass spires of every shape and size to swing on and
into and then disappear from as they snaked sideways and angularly and
upwards dominating the grim skyline.
Piles upon piles upon piles upon piles upon piles upon piles. Rat-a-tat-tat!
Drill man drill! Acknowledge the city without end.
What city? This!
Yes, same city--
acknowledge the city . . . ha-ha-ha!
by way of 'pillars of Hercules'
Man Herculez? my hero--that muscle dude!
By way of the civilizations of Atlantis and Utopia and Hera.
. . . and Javaro . . .
Oh yeah? How the proud may be fed!
Yeah! Yeah! How the weak may be shed!
You don't say! . . . and take you my head!
He must have that head to hang. Buddi felt the might flowing through
his veins, gorged on gloat, glowing in the mantle of success--the
Poseidon of his hellenic journey. At the speed he was going soon it
would be time when his tribe of Jobules could be safely sent for, no
longer vassals. Mama Jobule and Little Eydie and devout Marrar with the
strength and craft of a thousand Athenas whom he thought of often when
the pain seized him and he grew restless for want of her fevered touch.
Above ground saturation point had been reached. All new works were now
decreed for below ground only, deep into the bowels of the everlasting
abyss, where the ocean waters had no limits. Where the decapitated
heads were needed most. City ordinance. Buddi Jobule breathed a sigh of
relief. He had won. He had to tread cautiously. That's all. No point
wakening the suckers. The Mysterium were still in charge of the full
above-ground spaces, including that between the famous Avenue of the
Catty Corners and all of Dark and 5th Avenues, prime property fallen in
the hands of that viper Chairman Zobo and his pitbull acolyte
Buckmeister Faro, the only two visible faces representing the monarchic
aspects of government who Jobule had not gotten the hang of.
The jaguar head it was however fraught with danger. The mounted head on
the face of the museum. Not a moment to lose. Decision had been taken.
To Chairman Zobo his architect's strange insistence for the jaguar head
was the last straw. Buddi had grown unpredictable of late. A mere mail
train driver young whippersnapper of a boy when he had first arrived
Zobo had put him through the hoops, out of which Buddi had arisen. Was
he paying the price? Besides Zobo was looking to retire. A doomed
marriage and cage-fighting with Keirta for possession of their five
strapping sons had taken the life out of him. She had kicked him out.
Some would shed crocodile tears. Others would not. Let them. Time to
move on. Time to reach the spaces
between the Two Moons. Time to take the night-boat out.
Zobo had grown tired and old in this torrid business with no end. The
line of duty. Ruling Mysterium was no malarkey. His axiom of
exaggerations--when the course of reality becomes so unreal the best
way to understand unreality is by piling on more reality--which had
inspired millions and millions and the steep rise of other similar New
Catty Corners nationwide and worldwide, was in tatters. Piling and
drilling. And piling and more drilling. Always. It's how New Catty
Corner had taken off.
But Zobo was no shrinking violet. A firm believer in the rule of law
and order, he was of the old guard. It rankled when his ethical parlor
committee of enforcement and hackneyed re-enforcement had turned
virtually nonexistent. How to cope? The population of combined New
Catty Corners worldwide had grown nineteen billion strong--maximum
damage, fuelled by bumble-beans who refused to take the ethical birth
control pills prescribed five times a day. Many New Catty Corners were
in danger of shutting down entirely. Some already had, drowned in their
own pilings. They had held out too long. Too many runaway heads, smoky
and dense, escaping the underground burials, some with the cowboy
lassos still intact dangling from their necks or girdled around their
upper torsos. Untuckit! Soon they would be altogether
Look on the bright side.
What bright side?
Many new heads worldwide to decapitate.
Now there's a story!
The night-boat snuck into view, promptly on time, portly as a Victorian
decked in flounces and trims. On a sultry night only the two moons and
a crowd of rabid underground dwellers would view her landing, sailing
into port somewhat weather-beaten and battened down after the long
crossing. With makeshift repairs visible to its fore and aft, it
resembled a giant sampan that had lost its way than an actual cruise
line. By morning not a trace of the night-boat would be found. It was
the way, always the same, like a Faustian cocktail with a twist. The
skies would turn green, the spotty cobble-stoned clouds would grow
insular, moving like flamingo dancers of the sky sounding their bizarre
castanets clickety-click-click-click, the night-boat would
stretch into a mile long dotty pebbled coastline. And voila it would be
Buddi Jobule felt the shaky shaky roar along his thick scaly
outer skin--feeling the
tremor rattle through the underground rather than hear it. He had long
ago been assured by the Mysterium of these legitimate noises of the
city, that only the unseen and extreme were what kept the city
alive--nothing more than that. Nothing to be afeard of. No unknown
ghostly autumnal winds which blew the sienna leaves in gusty
whirlpools. The city had none. Although Brooklinen in autumn was easily
worth the watch, sitting behind the orchestra pit--like a black and
white celluloid film, only performed on stage, with theatre dialogue,
as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced cheek to cheek, effortlessly,
seamlessly. No earthquake roll which shuddered the stretching
structures screeching to the skies. The city had no fault lines. Just
constant seepage of shake rattle and roll from deep within the
bowels of the underground.
Buddi Jobule did not need to learn more. He had gotten used to the
inconstant hums and hisses, despite his hair standing on end when the
pitbull rankly breathed, fumes
of rancid whale oil frittering the air. He could differentiate the
sounds. He could tell the deep whoosh of the subway lines, from the
spitting roar of the gas lines, the ear-shattering piercing of sirens
from the dull pounding of a million feet, the scampering of millions
more of nocturnal night creatures from the scattering of a billion
more. He was not paranoid. New Catty Corner was a complicated plague
pit of parasites and roaches and rodents competing for space, spilling
in cesspools, bumping and grinding with many more legions of grandaunts
and uncles and cousins. A feast of a precious empire.
But only possible to preserve with the jaguar head.
No head, no city.
Hey, ease up! You mischaracterize!
The deepening rift with Zobo created with the widening
sinkhole, which had made Buddi Jobule very wary of the Mysterium and
all inter-agency processes, especially Buckmeister Faro, had also made
him King. There was no worthy successor. Buddi was clearly at the peak
of his form. A former simian who still retained batwing arms from a
distant blood-sucking relative of long ago he had once single-handedly
scaled the five hundred and five floors high Humpiro Stamp Building, a
feat none had attempted since. Or dared to.
All he needed was a decapitated head from that corner in the far east
for underground construction to commence of a planned behemoth ten
thousand steel structure, city within a city within a city--billed to
be the largest in the post ruined world, which would permanently
fortify the museums, south of the 90th Streets and repair the damage
caused by the sinkhole. Without the heads he was sunk. Without the
jaguar head he was double sunk. Nothing would move. The city would be
flattened. Construction and repair would fail. The burial of the heads
was an imperative dogma practice handed down from eons, for
architectural construction to auspiciously begin. Without the head
there were no tools. Time had run out.
Zobo knew how to stand his ground well. No more heads. It was the City
Ordinance carved in stone. Find other ways! You are the architect. You
tell me! The
Mysterium had slyly succeeded in subverting all night-boats sailing
into City harbor. Buddi knew the old trick and what he was up against
if he wanted to succeed. Ball was in his court. Make no mistake. He had
to move quickly. No moral high ground here.
Potentially it came in the form not of ancient Chairman Zobo too old
and spent to care any more, having lived out his time. It came in the
form of his reckless demon side-
kick. The Sub-Boss--Buckmeister Faro with nothing to lose and
everything to gain--a pitbull of a snarling attack dog going for the
kill with greedy ambitions of taking over Zobo and after Zobo. He had
no intention of faithfully following the Chairman to the space between
the Two Moons. But Zobo did not know that. Or if he knew he pretended
not to care. He believed Buckmeister to be loyal to the core. He had no
way of knowing that his Buckmeister was clean--having expunged himself
from all New Catty Corner filth and sores in a specially prepared
chemical bath soap ointment which although designed to cleanse and kill
certain parasites infesting his outer layers of skin excluding those in
subcutaneous tissues, had made him also lose all sense of smell and
Buddi had the answer to tackle the pitbull. It was contained in the
night-boat which had just made landfall. He had to hurry. His men had
been working in shifts. No knowing what the Mysterium were up to this
time around. He had been expecting fireworks to light up the night sky
like the Hattyfax Harbor explosions when two vessels had collided. His
men had been prepared with gas masks. But there were none. Not a sound
boiling over the usual humming dread. Not even of blisters exploding,
or yellow pus and gas bursting through the city vents--blending with
the odors of hotdogs from the stands and soft pretzels steaming up a
dust. Sensory overload. No, none of these. Only the cool warmth from a
velvet sky had poured from the spaces between the Two Moons, webbing
New Catty Corner in striations of weird misty swirls and silver light.
Kicking the hollowed out obsidian rock he had been laying in wait
behind, the seconds ticked into eternity. His men squirmed
uncomfortably. Nothing. Buddi Jobule climbed down hanging mid-air like
an experienced hang-glider.
Then he saw.
There! he managed through gritted teeth.
They were moving lock step in some sort of weird formation, corrugated
sounds of bugle and bagpipe from nearby marchers lending the airwaves
haunting though glorious sound. An obstreperous howl arched across the
city,waterways and railroads. It sounded doleful snagging his ears. The
anguish of the jaguar. His body hair rose. They were all made in
Ramus's obscure image moving like fuzzy caterpillars on the prowl to
better blend in with the crowds that were now swarming past the
colorful night markets of Han Jin, up B-Roadway and the historical
crowded theater districts towards Tomes Square brilliantly lit with
bright LED white and fluorescent orange, red, blue and green lighting
in ultra blinding shades. Mercurial. Despite the camouflage they could
no longer stay hidden. The streetlights and billboards clearly showed
Not a crime man.
You go buddy!
Up and down.
Yeah man up and down!
One fuzzy caterpillar hopped on another's back, flying into the night
sky and landing as a winged mothman. The crawl had turned brisk
matching the teeming crowds streaming below. They were no longer
buzzing. Buddi almost missed the interchange going blind following
their strides. Seven more had twinned into towers straggling the entire
length of 5th Avenue, overflowing with opulence and wealth. His gaze
was failing. He was struggling to pinpoint the Jaguar slinking
sinuously among the moving moths, subdued caracals, steam devils and
fox heads. Jaguar had been marking time. Buddi's eyes felt on fire
boring holes into the midnight streets as he brought keen gaze to bear
on the yellow furred creature covered in black rosettes muscular
haunches exploding into fevered fray.
The devil's bargain.
Then he spotted the shape. Jaguar was emerging in a series of shapes
making vicious sounds. Something or someone had broken its rhythm. In
an alpha wolf glide jaguar was assiduously racing. Past 47th Street.
Past 54th. Brute stamina had taken over. A spine-tingling wolf howl
rent the air.
Run! Buddi Run!
Something else just as temperamental tore into the crowds, pushing
through the throngs of people milling the avenues. Pitbull?! The
pitbull grimaced making strangling noises. Buckmeister? Tosa! He had
known it all along. Buckmeister was upon the wolf-
like creature in a flash, tearing at its throat, proclaiming his
victory in a loud yowl, jaws glistening with dripping blood as he
dismantled the ball of brindled fur into shreds within seconds. Crowds
bulged taking selfies to document the melodramatic moments of the mad
dog chase. Some cheered.
More triumphant chokeholds?
Buddi Jobule didn't wait. He was too late.
Like a caterpillar?!
Where's your neutrality?
Save the internet philosophy.
He raced in trepidation, swinging high as he climbed and leapt towards
Square, where he saw the shadow of the crepuscular creature using night
direction and plummet downtown along 7th Avenue before racing along
45th Street to intercept 5th Avenue where he made the sudden U-turn
into the nether regions of uptown, towards the sinkhole at the museums.
Phew! Close call.
At the Humpiro Stamp Building Buddi crawled into the underground. The
quicker route. But the museums were over on the other side. Looking the
other way. Nooo! He was turning into a canyon. But he needed
his strong arms. It was the only means by which he would reach in time.
He descended tearing past train passengers in tumult. He tore into the
fast approaching zooming subway, treading on many toes. He would go
down swinging. Truly a crime that he would atone for. The route he had
chosen to follow was a destructive path. No time to lose.
He was headed for Museum Mile. Not for him the darkened alleyways like
those in Sarajevo. Or Javaro.
Now think of the good side my friend.
I've thought, these days all I do is nothing but think . . . it
elongates my head, its coming out of my ear flaps . . . my cranial
. . . that's the kind I mean, see? no algae count here, because no
pools of stagnant
water, good eh?
and no pools of stagnant water because no thin ice to pull out dead
stiffs from, eh?
what's that you say?
disappointing . . .
on the contrary we're privileged my friend . . .
if you live in a big city just think, no rusty monstrous RVs here
negotiating overgrown dirt roads . . .
yeah that . . . I get it!
no starving alligators either chomping someone's arm and leg . . .
only sinkholes . . .
yeah that's what I said . . . here's the rub--sinkholes . . .
don't you read? . . . all covered by insurance for two thousand years .
ok settle down, settle down!
Buddi Jobule thought of the meat packing district. He should have taken
freight line or the outer harbor which would have delivered him faster
to the behemoth
Hudstone Yard Project where he could have raced faster along the
prefabricated geometric structures made in Italina standing like giant
pyramids pointing to the sky.
No matter. Call me Quasimodo. Buddi was literally sweating his
face off. Nothing new. Several subway lines had flown like tinderboxes
destroying power lines in their wake. His trademark whenever he rode
the subs, which he didn't. What had he become? Paper tigers on a plate
drinking from golden straws taking wealth to a whole new level. He was
immune. Don't drink the kool-aid. How often had he seen hobos
drooping on the boardwalk waterfront like sagging hippo testicles. They
were all museum pieces, every one of them. Nothing less, nothing more.
Buddi saw him coming, almost colliding into him like an asteroid.
Slinking gracefully, the jaguar had arrived, easily traveling the
length of seven football fields through the smoky darkness swallowing
itself into the pitch blackness of its own erudite intensity. Green
eyes hard as emeralds glittered in the abyss of the underground.
Blinding. A faint barking roar filled the inner sides followed by a
snarling howl which penetrated through the outer edges of the vast
sinkhole, rising upwards to shatter the walls of the humungous museums.
The arrival of Buckmeister Tosa. Well timed. It would be a fight to the
finish Buddi knew. Both were seeking the jaguar's elongated head. But
for different outcomes.
Not too far away way up high in the late evening skyline with excellent
views of a flotilla of boats sailing down the Yeast river, and a
cascade of shimmering lights reflecting off the sluggish waters
dividing the many islands, in an elegant luxury penthouse lost to view
from the ground below, Chairman Zobo was giving a small dinner party to
his favorite friends. There was braised lamb and peking duck with fresh
ginger; there was filet of sole and beluga caviar; and to top it
escargot prepped in garlic and fragrant basmati rice; washed down by
the choicest brandies and wines money could buy.
Buckmeister was missing and he wondered about it although he never
showed it, as guests sipped shirley temples, mojitos and tequilas out
of gold rimmed crystal ware and fluted champagne glasses and cheered
Zobo's well executed retirement plan to the space between the Two
Moons, while being entertained by the operatic arias of world famous
soprano Venchi Ramata, her powerful voice bouncing off the tops of the
tall girders and Romanesque rooftops, agitating the under ground
combatants in the sinkhole below. Chairman Zobo smirked in glee. He
could feel the throbs. He could hear the plaintive howls. He never for
a moment doubted the outcome. There was no man alive who was a match
for Buckmeister when he avatared into The Tosa! The Jaguar of Javarno
had painted himself into a corner this time around.
Let them howl! Let them scream!
The Head! The Head!
We'll get the heads! We'll get two heads!
Victory to the Mysterium!
There was a healthy sprinkling of celebrities clinging to their evian
like a fashion sign. Some of the ladies dressed to the nines in haute
creations from the latest establishments all the mode were arriving in
tulles and silks, baring oodles of skin, drenched to their waists in
diamonds, some with their favorite french poodles and king charles
spaniels in tow. Designer dogs, all the craze. Kicking off their
jimminey choo-choos shoes they were retiring to distant corners to
dance the night away.
One hauled a grinning albino python, struggling under its girth and
weight, which became all the rage, a crowd gushing after the heartily
drunk and over-fed creature which scarcely moved enjoying the
excitement. It's bubbly side. And another had brought to the party an
exotic cheetah. Such a delight! A favorite of Buckmeister in fact, but
he was still missing. Hadn't he put away the jaguar yet?
What a pity. Handling the leopard was proving harder than he had
thought it seemed. A couple of other well heeled and delicious women
had brought their grey peccaries, their lovely fur all shorn, which
gave them an extraordinary bald look, designed to please. Dahling,
how divine! It quickly turned quite the popular fad creating
another bigger diversion among almost all the ladies present. Between
the screams floating from the party and the screams emanating from
below none could say which were the mightier. They drowned each other
Chairman Zobo after attempting a lengthy farewell speech, whereby he
had wept, hugged, kissed and groped everyone present was concluding his
congratulatory diatribe, blurry eyed through the entire ordeal with the
quantity of liquors he had steadily consumed all evening to keep his
corresponding mounting anxiety contained. Fait accompli. No
turning back. But where was Buckmeister when he needed him? He was
ready to pass on the baton. Hadn't his second in command executed the
When Buddi Joboule strode in moments later, suave and charming, eyes
glittering hard like green emeralds, raw magnetism on the prowl like a
beast of prey, dressed in a smart tuxedo which made the ladies drool
and coalesce around him within seconds, Zobo choked on his own fuzzy
tongue bringing up green bile. Dry mouth, someone said
jocularly pushing another gin and tonic in his nerveless grasp. The
glass shattered and Zobo's fit of coughing did not subside. Buddi
patiently waited, strategically flirting outrageously with the ladies
while he did, till Zobo recovered.
"What was the outcome?"
" . . . as you see all taken care of."
"Buckmeister . . . ?"
Another fit of convulsive coughing resumed. This bout worse than the
first. Chairman Zobo grew purple red in face and looked like he might
pass out right then and there without ever reaching the space between
the Two Moons. A blue green sea foam spilled out of his open mouth. He
dare not ask about the jaguar. The fundamental question. But he knew he
"Reserve head. He decimated the caracal."
"And Jaguar ?"
''The museum wall. New exhibit."
This time Chairman Zobo collapsed in dead earnest. He would not make
it. Not this time. Nurses and orderlies swiftly arrived to wheel him
Pity, thought Buddi Jobule ruthlessly, emerald eyes flashing, we
could have used another head. Long live the city!
Eleven thousand heads were buried that day as more night-boats freely
Piles of bones?
Nah. Pilings . . .
Bones that were buried, got buried deeper, and those that were fresher
pushed the old deeper still. Layered foundation for the city to move
its slow thighs. It was once said long ago when the hot bed of miasmata
eerily arose as it once did from deep within the barfing underground it
caused a creepy blue vapor to appear, which sometimes drifted as mists;
sometimes carnival-like, the city's life-breath, conditioned to
energize and revitalize. permanently hung like a pall--grim and heavy.
The vibrancy of the city could not die. That sickly blue mist could
never extinguish. It still swirls, hanging in unusual and strange
motifs--visible for always.
© 2019 Rekha Valliappan
Bio: Rekha Valliappan is a multi-genre writer of short
and poetry. Her horror, fantasy, scifi, clifi short stories have
featured in international magazines including Lackington’s Magazine,
Thrice Fiction Magazine, Across The Margin, Third Flatiron, Eastern
Iowa Review, Theme of Absence, Intellectual Refuge, ColdNoon Journal,
The Punch Magazine, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Rabid Oak, Friday
Flash Fiction, Mercurial Stories, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Five:2:One
Magazine, Coffin Bell Journal, Boston Accent Lit where she won the
Accent Prize, and elsewhere. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee 2018.
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