The Company – 17

The components of The Company were rusty and faulty. What were we, compared to the massive exuberance of the City Hall across the lake? Three mangy bears without teeth, our wounds accumulated one on top of another. We were three lumps of custard, even if we wrapped ourselves with delusion and thought otherwise. And delusion was one of our few strengths. We could make ourselves believe anything. I could imagine that my shape was that of a faun, and that I had been invited to City Hall by the Major himself, and that after peacefully slumbering under perfumed bed sheets I had left City Hall during the middle of the night, with a shiny pair of horns on my temples, and I had been dancing and prowling until falling exhausted on the grass where I was now seating. Imagining was easy, at least for me. I could see myself jumping into the water and becoming a carp, then leaping into the sky and hitting with my tail the moon as if it were a tambourine.

That carp image seemed to accumulate a real weight and plunge into the lake, as I could see now waves on the water moving towards me. There seemed to exist no reason for those waves to be so well defined, as there hadn’t been any breeze that could generate them. But the waves were there, real, separated by ample spaces, progressing with certain weakness. The epicenter where they were being produced had to be around the island in the middle of the lake.

I gave a quick look at my two comrades, to make sure they were not monkeying around and throwing pebbles at the lake. But it wasn’t them, both of them continued to be rapt in their respective realities: Turd philosophizing about the stars, and OldThrown possibly impaling his daughter in some hidden nook of his lucubrations. So it wasn’t them. And the waves persisted, new ones were being generated. If anything, they were even more visible now, several successions of waves intercrossing each other.

This was a momentous time, I could tell. I could smell a big event jumping on us like a ferocious bear and dragging us with it whether we wanted it or not. I could have yelled  a deservedly colored exclamation of surprise, something along the lines of ‘cow balls’, which is a favorite of mine, as I am a sucker for paradoxes. Cow balls indeed, because the source of the waves was getting closer to the edge of the lake where we were camped. It was approaching The Company! I had to open my eyes even further when I caught a glimpse of an iridescent shadow. No distinct contours, just an uncertainty ready to be materialized. I could have doubted my eyesight, because darkness was too thick and nothing could stand out, but there was not such an excuse a few seconds later, when the bulk became a creature, alive, with a purpose, a beast that crawled effortlessly over the water, along a slow but implacable path, emitting a shower of glistening iridescences. Moving towards The Company without fear, as if flaunting that lack of fear at us.

The beast, with that exasperating slowness, kept nearing The Company for the longest time. I tried so hard to discern its features that my imagination painted a succession of fanciful creatures, to the point that when the beast clearly appeared in front of my eyes it took me a while to understand that I was no longer envisioning. And there it was the snake-like neck, the green and purple reflections stolen from a hundred hummingbirds, the body simply drawn as an oval, and I then figured out the reason why someone had gone through the trouble of putting an islet in the middle of the lake. I was also all of a sudden imbued with a desire to hunt.

The green head rose. The two eyes stared at me, defiantly.

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