Alexander the Great
Q put the empty water jugs in the back of the El Camino and drove out towards the end of the world. She reached the reservoir well before closing and took all of the jugs from the back of the car and lined them up at the water's edge. Q tipped the first jug into the water. A breeze picked up from somewhere and produced small waves in the usually flat reservoir. They rushed the water inside until the container was full. Q heaved the jug into the back of her El Camino and brought the lip of the next empty jug to the water. The wind picked up again and, in this way, Q filled the jugs faster than ever before. As a result, Q wanted to know where the wind came from so she loaded up the last jug and drove off following the wind's footprint.
It came from beyond the reservoir, further into the end of the world than Q had ever been before. It was about a ten minute car drive to a solitary tree on a small hill. A few others were there with the wind. They whispered into the tree's leaves and when they finished the wind began blowing the leaves backward.
A head fell from the tree and rolled down the brow of the hill. It struck a stone at the bottom of the slope and went airborne. The wind carried the head back to where Q came from. In the distance she could see the head burst above the world spreading deceit over mankind. Q saw friends become foes: for many came to the tree with their secrets and once their head fell, it brought those secrets down with it.
Q looked away from mankind, back at the tree. Another person whispered into its branches. A short while later a new head dropped off the tree. This head was exceedingly different looking than the last. In fact no head was ever exactly alike in the time Q spent watching the tree. All, however, devastated mankind below.
Q found a stick on the slope of the hill. She beat the branches until the tree was defoliated. She burned the leaves from taking any more secrets and threw the ashes at it. Then Q drove home and dowsed the flames of pestilence with the water from the jugs in the back of the El Camino.
There were a good deal of maidens on the island of New Shoreham. Their suitors were recently shipwrecked by a honeybee storm off the main land so they were on the lookout for some more. It's not like there weren't any men on New Shoreham. There just weren't enough to go around. The governor didn't know how many men he needed so the legislature passed a bill requiring all the maidens of New Shoreham to assemble on the beach.
It could've been a lovely day on the beach but it was not. It was extremely windy and the maidens complained so the census was made swift and very precise but the governor refused to dismiss them afterwards. He studied their manes up close and repositioned the maidens according to color. They huddled together in exacting groups with their backs to the wind. There were ten groups when the governor was satisfied. He put up his hands and held back the winds. The maidens naturally turned around and again faced the shore. The governor ordered the maidens to braid their hair.
The group colors were spectacular. Their hair kept on coming, their fingers kept on braiding but their hair could not move past the break. The governor hired ten horseshoe crabs to snag the braids and guide them over the waves to the sea. The crabs then dug into the ocean floor when the braids tightened. The maidens' hair stopped growing. The governor let go of the winds, which blew against the maidens. The girls immediately turned their backs to the sea. The governor worked quickly to cut their hair loose. The public works worker tied each group of hair down to the shore and made sure the jetties were tight. The winds changed and steered ten boats toward New Shoreham. When the governor had the boats in his sight he ran out on the longest braid and assigned each boat to a jetty. The men were guided perfectly along their braid to shore. Meanwhile, the maidens were reassembled on the beach in their original groups. The ten boats of men breached the shore and walked up the sand. The maidens chose their mates, the horseshoe crabs pierced through the braids and the jetties with the governor drifted out to sea.
writes: I grew up on a farm in Rhode Island. I am not the fairest of my parents' four daughters. I think I am trying to work that out here. I have appeared in print in Meat For Tea
(East Hampton, MA), Künstliches Licht
(Vienna, Austria), Big Bridge Magazine
(Guerneville, CA) and Drain Magazine
(Portland, OR). I also solder and TIG weld my fiction. It's just a different sort of stylus.