Storm Drain

December 28, 2011

When I first came. The villagers called me the Devil. They said, the Devil doesn’t wear Prada. He drives a Toyota turbo charged land cruiser. We have seen him – he has a way with animals and if you look directly in his eyes – you wouldn’t be able to shit for a month. If you trespass on the land of the Devil, he shall eat you and you will wander the earth like a restless spirit. Beware of the Devil!

I do not blame the villagers, they have always believed in hocus pocus. Besides, when I first arrived in these parts many strange and unexplainable events conspired to create this atmosphere of mistrust – a wandering cow had died under mysterious circumstances in my land, it’s innards had been removed and arranged in a mystical manner – a gang of thiefs famous for stealing oil palm in the dead of night had been found wandering around my land as if they had losted their minds. So this all served to only reinforce the notion – the Devil had arrived.

The Devil who lives on top of the hill – in the dead of night, he will play his broken violin.

All the villagers feared me. One day, I told them that a big flood would come their way. I told them, the river banks will burst their levies and their crops will be decimated. After listening to me, the elders said to themselves,

“He may well be the Devil. But if the Devil is digging trenches in his land to deal with the flooding that hasn’t come yet, then maybe, we too should do the same. The devil after all communicates with that other world – he knows things that we don’t know.”

The matter was settled. One day, I surveyed the rivers and the major tributaries – I showed the map to the elders and marked out the precise sections where storm drains had to be built.

The villagers turned out en masse and begun digging these massive waterways. For months, it seemed that these efforts were wasted. Then yesterday, she came – they call her the “kasmaria,” a wind that blows from the North. A wind that even the Spanish seafarers feared when they passed the narrow straits – when she emptied her bowels, it rained for three straight days and even the most skeptical villagers would be heard recounting.

“It was lucky that we followed the advice of the devil. We shall not have to grow hungry this year. The Devil has been kind to us. He has communicated with the dead perhaps to bring us this news. But how do we give thanks to the Devil? How do we offer him alms?”

Yesterday, the village head man and his family came to my land and invited me for dinner – I think they are slowing warming up to me.

I am happy, small steps, one step at a time.

Darkness 2011

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2010


(The eve of the Ascension wars somewhere in the planet Sardonyx)

Laison Officer of the Strangelands: “Do you see the red sun over there, when it turns a shade of brown, that is when a shower of meteors will rain down on your planet. Listen to me. I have come from afar to warn you all of impending doom. We do now have much time. You need to built shelters in the mountains.”

Farmer: “How do you people know these things?”

Village elder: “They run the bloody game stupid!”

Extract from the Book of Ages – recorded by the chronicler under the chapter: “The Ascension Wars” – Page 3,078 – The Brotherhood Press 2011

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