The Gnarliness of Lasersow
There was the time I was at an oceanside bazaar on the planet Malkiiir. The entire view of the sea was framed by Malkiiir’s iconic towering rock spires. I had meændangled down them, so I got to see the bazaar from a ways up. Even when I was down on the beach, I felt part of a miniature diorama, next to the spires.
It was certainly gnarly. All the aliens, the view, the stuff that was being sold. It was a good thing. Our hero that day was able to put all that gnarliness to use.
Out of the sea, they came. Like glistening locusts emerging from the waves. Flying fish, whose spotted fins trailed long, black barbs. They whizzed into the crowd, cutting at the purveyors and patrons, then returned into the water.
Those that had been grazed by the fish were looking woozy as people helped them to sit or lie down. Everyone was panicking. We wondered if they had been poisoned, and if so, if it would be lethal. Some people were tearing knocking over booths and awnings to make places to hide. Where there were wagons or large enough bins, people dove in. There wasn’t anyplace to run to. Just sand and the spires.
One guy ran towards the beach. Purple and white suit, with a utility vest and fingerless gloves. Long blonde hair trailing messily behind, and green goggles. It was him; Lasersow (pronouced like ‘sew’; not like a pig). His fingers released thin beams of green light that he directed into the water, right where the fish would be springing out, were they to attack again. He ‘sowed’ the top of the water with that light. And do you know what happened? It glowed! Parts of the water were glimmering green, like it was radioactive. It was a beacon. That’s what his lasers did. Planting things with that beaconing light, calling down a great power. Gnarliness, of course. Pure gnarliness out of the atmosphere, precipitating as pulsing globs of light.
It rained down, just as the fish emerged again. They hit like firecrackers, knocking the fish off course. They crashed, singed and flopping in the sand. Only a tenth of them made it past Lasersow, and these seemed more frightened. They forgot about the bazaar, returning to the water. The ones on the sand recovered, and also retreated.
People started to emerge from their hiding places. Lasersow stayed where he was, watching the water. He had a hunch the fish were only softening the people up for something larger. The water bubbled. It churned, and heaved, but this time Lasersow waited. Finally, the water swelled, and parted as a great beast began to rise.
It looked like a giant, mutated version of the flying fish. It had more black spines, which flailed about like the tentacles of a kraaken. Although still dwarfed by the rock spires, the monster was large enough to block out the sun as it loomed over the terrified bazaar.
But I wasn’t scared, because I understood that the beast itself, was undeniably gnarly. Lasersow aimed all his finger-lasers at the giant, and also lasers from his eyes, and one from his tongue! They all converged in the center of the beast’s chest, and he kept them traied there even as the monster rose higher and higher. Its chest began to pulse with green light, and the sky dimmed. Hairs stood on necks, people huddled in their hiding places, and the air hummed and shivered. There was an eerie quiet, and even the monster seemed to grow wary.
Out of the dark sky was a great flash; a horrible green thunderbolt striking the massive beast’s pulsing chest. There was a great explosion, sending a shockwave through the bazaar. The beast began to stagger back. Lasershow aimed his lasers on a new spot on the monster as it attempted to halt it’s fall. Another lighting bolt was summoned. The monster was finished.
The waves from the monsters fall came close to submerging the entire bazaar. Wares and aliens were washed up the beach. Some stalls and wagons came loose. Those that were able to made sure that others were not swept away by the retreating waters. But the bazaar was intact, in the end. Nowhere near as bad off as it would have been, if not for the Lasersow.
Once things were put back together enough, some of us gathered around a fire. Enough of the flying fish it turned out, had washed onto the beach when the waters receded. We baked them and spent the rest of the night learning about Lasersow. He showed us his collection of photos entitled “Bar Stools of the Universe” and how it was research he was doing for a diner he wanted to open some day. The people gathered named their favorite diners, especially for breakfasts, and he took notes and made plans to check these out. He even bought a guitar from one of the stall proprietors, and showed us some songs he was working on. He hunched over the instrument, and was pretty good, if you consider that the guitar was very different from the ones he was used to. He even started composing a piece about the day’s spectacular events. Like the other songs he showed us, it will be great when he finishes it.
© Copyright 2018 Kelly Ishikawa. All rights reserved.