Nick Michal
A Drift

Silence reigned.
The mist settling.
The mass arrived.
Creaking in the silent water, the mass arrived as prophesied.
A form off the side of the mass fiddled with an object.
The object broke the quiet water into elliptical ripples.
Mist, always mist on the lake.
Perpetually settling.
A light. A cigarette lit.
The man was illuminated.
His beard was long, wiry. His eyes were stony. His cap was old, the felt worn by years if
nothing else.
A drag on the cigarette.
He rested.
His hand stopped.
The oar stopped. The boat slowed, then ambled. Lingered. Stopped. Finally.
The water hushed its rippling.
Everything had stopped.
Everything
save the smoke
from the cigarette
burning
and billowing upwards
where it lost its existence
in the settling mist.

The time had come.
The man grabbed the axe from the floor of the boat.
His axe. His boat.
The shift in weight threw the boat off balance, and the water began rippling.
Some things never stop moving.
The man stood up.
Again, the boat rocked.
One hand on the axe, the other he put to his mouth, rubbing his coarse beard.
Then he took the cigarette.
Then he crushed the smoldering edge out on his seat.
The light went out.
The one entity resumed in the settling mist.
An extension upwards from the form, a clubbed appendage.
After lingering, lingering, it came down upon itself on an elliptical path.
The sound shattered the silence of the water.
The entity bellowed in pain. Pieces came apart and floated or sank.
Another orbit. Another crash. Another bellow.
A third. A third. A shout. Water began gushing in.
From the form and in the mass.
More slashes. Deconstruction. Annihilation.
The mass was losing its gravity. It was sinking further and further.
The form, being eaten by water. The object had descended planes.
The cries, sipped by mist, had dampened.
The mass, eaten. Only the form remained.
The form that swung at its missing brother.
And it too
in time
was swallowed
in time
'til silence reigned.
Then
the mist settled,
the water slowed, but never completely stopped its detached ripple,
and the calm returned.

Some things never stop moving.