The End of Time (13)

In the year of 2030 the Time Keeper stopped his clock. The old alligator had been witness to much in his two hundred some odd year existence. In the end it mattered not.

.

He heard the war cries of the Tribal Indians, then the French, the Spanish, the many foreign tongues whose blood mixed with the very soil he thrived in.

 He saw the bodies of the slaves being dumped into the mighty Mississippi, followed by the bodies of tourists and the unwanted in society, whose flesh fed multitudes in the waters he lived in.

He barked in time with the beating drums of the Voodoo rituals, the tribal festivals, the tent revivals, their rhythm became the beating heart of a city that grew around him that was so Easy to love.

He smelled the scent of water in the air, predicted every hurricane that tested the strengths of both man and nature, the flood of 25 years ago all but washed away everything he knew, yet he remembered all that was lost.

He touched the lives of children practicing magic in old cemeteries, the imagination of writers who would immortalize him in words on paper, or as cartoon characters in moving pictures.

He knew where the pirate Lafayette buried his treasure, he knew where the cracks were in the levees, he knew the name of every firefly, every snake, every plant and animal that had ever called this place home. He even knew when the black devil would come, he could feel the weakness in it’s cage.

He recorded the deaths of his enemies, he noted the loss of his friends, he searched the waters over but his prey was lost too, and in his way he mourned the deaths of his brothers, his sisters, his wives, his children and their children.

His life had been reduced to a small body of water that mankind had made for him. They fed him dead chickens whenever he was hungry, his teeth were blunt from years of trying to chew nutrition out of the black lumpy balls that replaced the turtles and fish he used to eat. His lungs were full of the black weight, it was a struggle to bark or roar, his eyesight was damaged from swimming in the black waters, instinctually he knew that this was no way to live. He rose up from the pond one last time, inhaled as much as he could and roared primordial, shocking the tourists with it’s greatness. He then closed his amber eyes for the last time and gradually sank to the bottom of what he dreamed was the Mississippi River.

In the Desert of Secrets the bridge to Everywhere and Nowhere implodes in on itself and disappears for ever. Coral rushes into the tavern and turns on the television, a blonde reporter is on the screen.

“Live from Louisianna…I am sad to report that the last surviving alligator, nicnamed “Time Keeper” by a famous author died at the age of…”

Coral begins to tear out her hair as she screams, her fingers drip with blood and hair and flesh, she continues to scream, long after she has ripped her eyes from their sockets, she screams and she screams and she screams and she screams and she………………………………………………………………………….

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