Issue #15 (November 1982)
In his dream Javot looked down from a high vantage point on a coastline that stretched each way to the horizon. Along the coast, gleaming beaches of white sand alternated with high headlands. Their white sand ruffled only by fingers of the companion sea, the beaches lay spread in silent
beauty as they turned on the spit of the world, under the harsh light of sun and the gentle glow of moon.
...small suns born of beast-brain blossom benignly up and down the coastline.
[quoteright]For uncountable eons the beaches lay dreaming undisturbed. Then on a day small slimy animals crawl dripping from the sea to leave wavering tracks across the sand as they scuttle for the shelter of the wood. Now the sand grows webbed with varied tracks as the sea-born beasts proliferate, grow, metamorphose, develop hair and legs, prehensile thumb. Now a dominant lifeform springs from the mutating mass to conquer its environment and breed uncontrolled. A hairy, snouted thing it is. It swarms upon the land behind the beaches to build huge smoking, stinking warrens upon the complaisant earth.
Down to the beaches it comes in droves and multitudes. It riots across the beaches, churning the sand. It fights and plays and couples on the beaches until the beaches grow foul with its effluence. Bottles, cans, condoms, clothing, blood, sweat, and excrement inundate the beaches, so that the father beast who brings his get to play upon the beaches must scrabble down through layered, mouldering debris to find them a little patch of sand.
But underneath the piles of accumulated garbage and the press of beast bodies the beaches wait. And now on an evening as the beasts swarm across the buried beaches and the big sun sinks below the sea, small suns born of beast-brain blossom benignly up and down the coastline. A hidden hammer reduces in an instant the stinking smoking warrens behind the beaches into piles of rubble, and as the beasts cower crying on their heaps of refuse death washes from the small suns to kiss their tears away.
("No!" Javot slobbers "No!" in his dreaming, somehow disturbed).
through the refuse
to the beaches underneath.
Unhurriedly now the companion sea begins to work at the beastly residue. Bleaching bones, and rusting cans, and rotting rags are rolled and tumbled; dissolved, destroyed, and borne away. Now once again the clean white sands lie smiling at the sun and pale shining moon. Only a hiatus, the beaches seem to say, only an instant of our time. Once again clean, and white, and undisturbed, the beaches wait.
Javot rolls fitfully onto his side to nuzzle his hairy snout against the broad fat back of his spouse for comfort. The disturbing dream departs. When morning comes Javot does not remember he has dreamed.
Warren Fogard, the Marquis of Mburg, weighs in this month with a delightful bagatelle about nuclear destruction. He is former editor of the magazine Atrocity.