the boats scurry through the waters with giddy anticipation.
Imzhan rises from his nap and places four strips of raw steak bacon into the very-tech bubble aboard ship. the enclosed round bubbles and crackles the meat automatically.
Imzhan: perfectly cooked on all sides, it's just like a campfire but without the human interaction and the ghost stories.
Codrus stares at the deep blue, stares at his motorized gadgets attacking the calm waves for intel, that vital intel which will end all wars, end everything. Imzhan spies a spyglass in Codrus's hand but upon further inspection it's a piano guitar.
CODRUS PLAYS AND SINGS THIS STIRRING SNIPPET, CLICK HERE RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK.
Imzhan: bravo, man, i moved, i got up for that. that is short but certainly not a short, rather the start of a grand orchestral piece for sure. let me cut in and join you next time, i want to learn a few bars as i cut through a few bars eating a few chocolate bars. here's me with a ukulele and nowhere to duet.
Codrus: what are you doing, man?
Imzhan: warpainting my face with the bacon grease, slobbering it all over my ears nose and throat. i am ready to battle if not for.
Codrus: ridiculous. or it's your custom in which case i apologize for offending.
Imzhan: well i don't normally do this but this is special bacon, this is steak bacon, man, the edges are coated with hard black pepper and tips, it's not the usual shit that gets burnt to a crisp and all you really taste is ash.
Codrus balances himself onto the slackline fitted between the main boat and a searcher boat and turns on his screen when he gets to the middle as his treat for getting there:
Jome. *heavy metal plays*
Rim Jome: what's good? what's crackin'? this is your friendly hardass beard, Rim Jome, and here are your daily sports headlines, flavored with my whips and smart barbs that don't give a fuck how high on the pedestal you think you are, no athlete will get a pass here. we call these Bullets.
wait...hold on...has there been any school shootings today?...producer?...in my ear?...no, okay, here are your Bullets:
* Aaronthal: it's tragic from all angles. the question is why? mere hubris? star status? is anything ever worth anything? is anything worth ALL? why go after anything, what's the point if you will fall / the angles are closing into corners of a room / that will be a whom / a home to pray the angles become angels and all fight will find a flight.
Codrus: the only stars to follow are the ones in the sky, they guide, they guide, since time immemorial / memorizing us memorizing our old knowledge / get rid of all the street lights so we can see our sky / in the dark there is nowhere to hide.
the slackline crashes into a rope bridge hanging by a thread set up by the previous noble wanderer, the slackline slimmers gently in place to provide the needed second line to hold up the steeping stepping boards. Imzhan does the heavy attaching and lifts up Codrus so he can slide to the surface. Codrus takes measured steps, never fearing falling in the sea.
Codrus: see? what is there to fear now? we are on the right path, everything will fall at our feet. do not fear death, my dear Imzhan, do not fear anymore my right-hand man, we come to swallow the ocean. if we fall, we but fall into the sea, which was our first home anyway. it'll be old-home week.
Codrus spies a group of three children playing in the sand, constructing a castle. he walks up to them and smiles in the most disarming way he can. he pats each on the head.
Codrus: my child, my child, my child, the world is your shell, the adults have already purchased all the oysters and charged high prices for them and turned them into gaudy jewelry, weird food, and pearl necklaces. are you playing? when i become king i shall change the dictionary and replace breathe with play.
boy: yeah, my friends and me...
Codrus: let me stop you right there, that is not good grammar, what are they teaching you in your outdated school? you should have said your friends are the most important people in your life going forward, they are the most important aspects of life itself, more than any dusty book slash shiny tablet could ever provide you in this me me me world. when i become king i shall change living to friends.
girl: hey mister, the damn castle won't finish. we're trying to form the towers and flags but there's something stuck in there, it's hard as hard rock.
red-headed boy: yeah they made me eat the sand all around to figure out what it was. they said i was a ginger so i wouldn't mind.
Codrus: never swear, darling, use your indoor voice, use your words, words are powerful things. and son, well of course you can eat sand though never do it again, it's unhealthy, poisonous, and toxic. you can do whatever you want, be whomever you want, do not let the limitations of your red hair stop you. you are the Sand Monster, i see it!
the ginger lad starts growling and chasing the other two round the coastline, forming footprints, memories in the sand. the chased boy screams more high-pitched than the girl and all laugh gayly without a second thought.
Codrus saunters up to the castle and sees green flags.
Codrus: go? always.
he pulls out the green tufts which are attached to carrots, loads and loads of carrots growing in the rock formation the kids are so desperately trying to fashion a castle in their own image into with heaps of wet sand in their small hands.
Codrus: here's your trouble. no trouble at all in the end. this is the healthy stuff i'm talking about. oi, Imzhan, gather the ginger kid and you two have a nice salad, no more of those heavy candied meats clogging your soulhole. light mind, light spirit, body light as air.
Imzhan: yessir, Mordecai. Rigby, shall we?
the two shave the rough carrots into smooth sticks using the side of the boat and mix in some cocktail onions all into a round bowl. the other two kids pretend they're bunnies and hop all along the beach in s patterns which slowly form into infinities marking the soil.
Codrus: kids have good instincts.
Codrus reaches further. he takes apart the roof while the kids are distracted and pounds his fist through the turrets. past the big guns and small soldiers, breaking the drawbridge bridge, into the moat, more, more and more down, until he hits an ancient stone which blocks his progress. he tries to pull it out but he doesn't have the strength.
Codrus: but i have eyes. i see it clear as day, i can see the ancient glow emanating from its pore, it has to be, it's a fossilized seed of grain, one of the first man laid eyes on.
Codrus laughs and continues laughing.
Codrus: we feed on our now food but this was the first food, this was the staple which carries the first humans on their path to God, the first bite, the first comfort, the first fill, knowing their lord had provided them fields of sustenance so they could radiate their master's name and sing his glory to the stars, which were much closer to the world then. what were the thoughts of those early ancestresses of mine? what did they conceive of themselves, their place in a world only now marked as primitive? they were strangers in a strange land, working the land, yearning for their father to come home from work.
Codrus whips his caped body around and hollers using his outdooor voice, which stuns Imzhan and stops the kids in their tracks. the sand sculpture moves and adjusts a little. with the coarse clang of a dinner bell, Codrus's uncontrollably giddy tongue announces,
"soup's on! last food! we're having bread tonight!"