Infidels, he shouted from the pier, Heathens, swim with the fish, traitors, he called down at the dozen bobbing heads nodding like buoys in the lazy current. He keeps shouting with his finger outstretched from his tar colored hand. What few gulls remained drew away into the air alone at every pitch in his voice, unusual for such a pack animal, up into the sky with stretched-taffy clouds colored milky white, through the yolk of a sun out into the ocean. Pay for your sins, said his crusty, shattered yellow fingernail, pointed down at the condemned: a cracked arrowhead, still drawn in the bow. Pay for your sins, his cries shattered on the watery floor, bounced up and licked their water logged ears. Pay for your sins, the audience cried behind the man with the broken nail, fists in the air. Breathe the air of freedom and what you once had, breath the airs of what you have lost, breath the memories of what you will never revisit, breath the love that we once gave you, breathe, heathens, breathe our precious air in your last moments of our mercy, with his finger struggling against a cold ocean breeze. May your heads be warm and your bodies cold, may the mother of your sins incubate and your body freeze in these last moments, discover what you needed to prevent this day, discover what you needed to have mastered! See how your mind, the birth-giver of sins, can be rejected by that of your body! See how the horse can reject the manifestations brought by its whipper.
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The black man, with his nail kicking at the air, his red robe twisting in a frenzy behind him, the wind kicking up, lapping salted water into the mouths of the submerged.
Ora, we command you, take away these sins, take away the horse from the master, we plead, and we allow you to command us two-fold!
The clouds blink against the sky, turn red, bleed from shapes into long lines like blood dripping down from a wall. They sky runs black in a single wave from start to finish over the horizon.
A howl of wind, and a childrenís bicycle is heaved from shore into a submerged womanís head, the crimson adding copper to the darkening blue.
From the end of the ocean a shriek, loud enough to burst ear drums and turn glass into ice. A figure leaps from the water and into the dulled orange of the sun, is black against it, flopping in the sky, then plummets back. A wave follows, dunking heads under water and plucking them up just as fast with spitting breath.
Come, Ora, come.
Water soaks the shore, a man falls in, footing lost with the withdrawal of the wave. Hits his head on the tier, now a dead man floating.
The ocean turns into a hurricane. A cyclone of water wobbles upward from the surface, shaking like a chainsaw. Pieces of wood, loose garments and rocks swirl around on an invisible lasso. The watery tornado reaches up, stretching like a snake, curling, shifting, until it hits the heavens and drops itís hold, all the debris leaves with the spell, and there, with teeth the size of pitchforks, sand paper skin, fins like sickles, is Ora.
Ora, Ora, Ora, chant the people. They have been chanting, but only now in this unreal calm can they be heard, with Ora poised like a giant question mark above the bobbing heads, eyeing them hungrily, feeding on the black pupils, dilated and spewing perfumes of rabid terror which only it can smell. The king shouts, Ora! and the whale drops into the ocean, and red fizzes up out of the water like soda pop, bouncing over the water crumples in little arcs. Heads float unattached to shore.
The king will collect these heads and use them to decorate a merry feast tonight.
"One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo's nest."