Over the next month, we’re pleased to be presenting a short story from friend and contributor, Dave Vierling, entitled Ecencial. Keep it tuned right here to #JPLMagazine for this four-part series and be sure to follow Dave on Facebook.
Enjoy and Lime on.
by Harold Cash
English is on the brink of extinction. Countable worldly circles as an esoteric power tool have whittled its citizenry into pockets, scattered across the land. Planets worth of vocabulary have been disappearing in middles of the light. One may exist for decades of nights without communicating the dying tongue to another talker. Even worse, those who talk including me, often exhibit anti-sapien behavior. We’d rather squander our sociability than mingle or cooperate. In dark of this, I feel compelled to diary these words to plug the hemorrhaging that is my aging fluency. They shall document the pending tragedy explicitly enough.
How rude. I am apologizing. My ancestors named me Khan. It doesn’t matter why but what does. I’m not bilingual. Neither are any of my Nearbys. The most influential difference between us is our language. Theirs need not deem titling because it’s subservient. Every new light, the Nearbys try to steal from her like pioneers of invention. That’s their quest yet I don’t blame them for it. She feeds all creation and sanctions privileged talkers to be Khan. I re-stoke the eld before darkness comes.
This was once a fecund land, bursting with caloric bounty. Back circles, my Pai and Majka oversaw the Nearbys more like celebrities than actual rulers. Intermittently ripe, it was the fruits and vegetables that allowed this dynamic to materialize. Happy stomachs equal peaceful masses. Ecencial’s value had depreciated but her worth remained indispensable as forever. It used to be easier to divvy out freebies and placate the Nearbys from one to another moment. I’m told that my family was proud to talk English then.
Cracked planet, the forecast has dried indefinitely. Earlier lush fa shriveled into sanded seas. Formerly spilling snakes shed their beds to path way for thirsty drifters. Along with political fraternization went the unpredictability of meteorology. Stagnancy ripened into the climate’s default. A few circles before his life stopped him, my Pai would always talk, impersonate and laugh.
“Attention Nearbys. First light should develop clearly. At middle peak, cotton patches will elude the blue. By horizon fade, chuva is still nowhere in vision. Over-darkness, forecast unquenched aridity. Evaporate, cycle and echo forever more.” Reminiscent, I raise lip corners. Softer memories serve to dilute Pai’s crusty legacy. Despite his fairness and well-intentioned deeds, he destroyed existence over the smallest of crossings. I remember a moment when Osoba, his lifelong ally, siphoned two vats of Ecencial during the same light. This was not an accident of overconsumption. Osoba knew in his beat that all Nearbys are rationed one vat, zero mercy and negative tolerance per light. Pai waited until darkness, until words had smeared reputations across sleepy eyes. After smelting a fresh edge, into Osoba’s shelter he stalked.
“I prefer to chew rare flesh but you’re so filthy I will heat you exceptionally done.” My Pai talked with small wind while gutting the crook’s entire torso. Osoba was left to twitch, semi-consciously, long enough to hear the sizzle of his own sausage over Pai’s eld. A savage precedent was etched in every Nearby’s thinker and it threatened…
Even though the Khan glories in treating his habitants better than slaves, don’t bungle insistent professionalism for judgmental lenience. If you exploit Ecencial’s generosity, if you intake more than she can bear, the Khan will not trade eyes. He will gouge your feeble imprint out of history. The darkness is deep now. Sugary dreams.