Aqua Laguna Nehszriah

Aqua Laguna

There is a time every year when everything is put on hold. Nothing is planned, nothing is held and most certainly nothing happens that would be considered “fun” by the standards of most. It is the time of the sea: Aqua Laguna. There happen to be many different names and terms for it, but Aqua Laguna is one of the most common. For our city, Aqua Laguna is a way of life.

It all starts on the Ides of the fifth month in a lunar year. The sea starts to become restless. Waves lap up against the shoreline and tease the feet of children and fishermen dangling in the street-canals. Slowly, the South Wind comes, bringing the sweet smell of the exotic islands thousands of leagues away. The water-horses tense and become useless as they feel the impending storm surge through the air, making them unable to pull carts. Townspeople board up their homes and shops and all head for the center of town. The great shipyard sits there with a basement to house all the citizens. They are well above the high-ground mark and relax in their comfort.

As the sun sets, the weather worsens. The South Wind is replaced by her sister in the West. The waves become higher, retreating further and further with each passing volley. The stars and moon are blocked from one’s view. Thunder crashes violently while lighting cleaves the sky to ribbons. Vehement winds whip at the ears of those still foolhardy to watch from outdoors. Some of the roofs that were laid with lackadaisical skill have tiles peel off and fly through the air as if simple tufts of dandelion fluff. The storm has yet to hit and already is one to remember.

One year, not too long ago, I was out there during Aqua Laguna. I recall running frantically, my arrival to the shelters having been delayed by a piece of plywood that would not stay firmly over my apartment window. The howling air beat me down, one volley even knocking me into the schedule board at the lower level of the train depot. I ran as fast as I could through the vast hall, the unnerving emptiness matched only by strolls during the early hours of the morning. Climbing the flight of stairs up to the platforms, I glanced back over my shoulder to witness the water that filled our sinking city streets retreat, leaving the submerged cobblestone bare. Buildings that were normally covered by both the sea and the structures built atop them stood naked against the weather. Once on the landing, I fully turned around to view the city as few truly have. My heart beat faster as the wind suddenly ceased. It was coming; I could feel it.

Then it was as if all my senses were barraged at once. My eyes saw the aquatic wall advancing towards me, while my ears could pick up the soft roar that was strengthening with each passing second. I could taste the salty air and smell my own fear. A misty rain enveloped me as I turned on my heel and ran.

With a deafening clamor the wave crashed down, completely placing the train depot and myself underwater. I was only just barely able to grab hold of a hand-railing when the deluge struck. My heart’s pace intensified as the wave crept back and readied for another blow. This time it wanted my life, I could tell.

I arrived at the shipyard in a panic. Beating against the large doors, I screamed until my throat was raw. Aqua Laguna was coming again. I know my eyes grew wide at the sight of another wave barreling towards me. I leaned against the doors and braced myself for the worst. I was going to die.

Suddenly, I fall forward and I hear the shouts of men. Large, calloused hands pull me from the ground and I can hear the large doors being slammed shut and heavy-bolted. The wave that was bent on claiming my life smacked against the doors the second they were sealed. It was softer, as a peal of distant thunder. Knowing I beat Aqua Laguna, my knees buckled and I cried. I am alive.

Date Published
03/07/08 (Originally Created: 03/07/08)
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