Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc.) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them. Regarding Fantasy, this insight was startling: “I see the fantasy genre as an ever-shifting metaphor for life in this world, an innocuous medium that allows the author to examine difficult, even controversial, subjects with impunity. Honor, religion, politics, nobility, integrity, greed—we’ve an endless list of ideals to be dissected and explored. And maybe learned from.” – Melissa McPhail.
F Trope: “jerkass gods” (CS Lewis Till We Have Faces and Neil Gaiman American Gods)
Current Event: http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/9-investigates-dolphin-manatee-deaths-indian-river/nZYSx/
Abril Molina stood with balled fists on her hips. “They did this, you know.”
Santiago Ribeiro pursed his lips and said in a low voice, “It’s the easier answer. You know, blaming jerkass gods rather than taking responsibility for polluting the lagoon ourselves.”
Abril bristled, “You blame Humans for this?” She grunted, “I know you hate all of us who are pure blooded Humans…”
“Please! Don’t bring magism into this! I may be three fourths elf, but I can no more conjure poisons from the water than you can conjure a will-o’-the-wisp to light your way to bed!”
Abril turned to belt him. He caught her fist but was powerless to stop her words, “How dare you! I am no magist! We’ve been friends since...oh, I don’t know, since I had to change your nest litter! I am no more magist than you are thoughtful.”
Stung, he released her and returned to the side of the lagoon. Squatting, he reached out and spread his fingers, lowering his hand until it was centimeters from the surface. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath and stilled himself. After a few moments, the same stillness seemed to flow from his hand and across the surface of the lagoon, traveling from shore and farther and farther into the water.
The stillness spread until the air seemed to stop gusting; even the light grew gellid, thickening until the image of near-elf and water appeared to be a painting.
After some time, dark began to creep upward from the water. Boats, barges and skiffs collecting dead animals slowed until the stopped moving. Abril felt her breath congeal in her lungs and could not breathe.
Then Santiago stood up, turned to her and said, “We are both right.”
“True war brews and this is but the first skirmish.”
“There’ve been other die offs! Twelve years of them – how do you explain that away with magic?”
“It’s the dolphins and the manatees.”
“It’s the dolphins and the...”
“No, no! I know what you said, I mean to say, ‘What have dead dolphins and manatees...”
“And the pelicans and the algae and other microscopic life,” he interjected.
She nodded, adding, “…and pelicans and phyto and zooplankton have to do with magic and pollution?”
He lifted his chin to the farthest reaches of the lagoon, the water between a barrier island complex, “There is a war brewing.”
“I can’t tell, but the gods jerking the strings have stuffed each dolphin and each manatee with a spirit and they are the front line – and the manatees are losing.”
“Which side is the good side?”
Santiago turned to look at her, his gaze boring deeply into her own. Abril shuddered as he said, “In the war between these gods, their only good is their entertainment.”
Names: ♀ Uruguay, Spain; ♂ American Hispanic, Portugal