chimerical Z

Image of Juliet Berto, credit Jonathan Rosenbaum

a-to-z_directionsWelcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to the twenty-sixth and final interactive magic trick that will lead you to your fortune as you determine it.

As per the 21 March intro to this magic act, my assistant, Juliet Berto, handed me the Collins Concise* and blindfold me, whereupon I randomly riffled through the Z’s and landed my fingertip randomly on a page. And when Juliet removed the blindfold, there was no doubt that, most unfortunately, my fingertip was squarely on “-zoon” of all things.

-zoon n. combining form.  indicating an individual animal or an independently moving entity derived from an animal: spermatozoon.  (from Greek zōion animal)

And while Juliet was offstage conjuring the banner you see at the top of this post, I wildly jotted down what came to me in the Moment Of Meant To Be.**  Now, the rest of this trick is up to you, Ladies and Gents, as per the “26 Magic Days of A to Z Directions” sidebar to the right.



Complaining About The Sea

I watched a golden child approach the edge of the sea with her pail. So sweet she was, with a head full of bright curls and a warm peach glow on her cheeks. She studied the movement of the water for a moment and chose a spot to kneel where the waves could not quite reach her. She began to shovel sand into her pail and to turn it over to create a tower, and she made three others, which she regarded thoughtfully. Then she began to scoop sand with her hands and to mold it into curtain walls to connect the four towers.

I wiggled a little so that the child’s eyes would catch my movement. She looked toward the source of movement but couldn’t see me for the sun’s rays glinting like daggers off the waves. So I spoke, just loudly enough to be heard over the wind. “The castle you’re building looks much like the one in which I live,” I said.

The child looked about, disbelieving my voice could have come from the direction it seemed to have come from.

“My castle has a barbican, though,” I said.

I’d chosen this golden one well, for she showed no fear and instead asked, “Where are you?”

“Here,” I answered, and then quickly, so as not to break the flow, I added, “And will you be building a keep? My castle also has one of those.”

The girl squinted toward me so hard I could feel her willing me to become visible. Failing this, she giggled and began to entreat my help in creating what she couldn’t see. “Is your skin fair and your hair yellow and do you wear a crown?” she asked.

Delighted, I answered, “Not exactly. I am blue and streamlined with leprechaun-like ears and gold cat’s eyes, and I wear no crown for I’m a Seazoon, a subject of the Sea King. But,” I added, “I do have hair of silvery spines which appears as the arabesque-like points of a crown.”

The girl clapped her hands. “Oh please show me where you are so I can see you!” she said.

I bobbled the surface of the water with the top of my head.

“Wait, I’ll get my mask!” she said. And without waiting to see if I was amenable, she sprinted to her mother’s beach bag to retrieve it and was back splashing into the water toward me.

“I see a shiny spot,” she squealed. “Is that you?”

“It is indeed, in all my splendor,” I said, and I did my best to look as inviting as the description of myself that I’d given.

The golden girl donned her mask and pushed her sunny face into the water and immediately yanked it back out. “You’re an ugly thing! Half person, half dead fish, with skin that’s coming apart in bluish strings and floating all around you like weeds!”

“I’m not, really,” I said. “Perhaps your mask was befouled. Give it a good rinsing and try again.”

Clearly, I’d been unable to effect the wondrous blue creature, so when the golden child looked again, I didn’t bother trying. I just wrapped my ropy decay around her head and pulled her under. She will give me life.

# # # # #

The people of the seaside village of Merdane were always complaining about the sea: it was not briny enough, it was too briny; it was not calm enough, it was too calm; there was not enough kelp, there was too much, and the sea was depositing it on the beach, where it rotted and stunk of sewage and wafted on the wind to the cottages above; and on and on. Of late, they were also complaining that their children were being consumed by the dead things within the sea. And the Sea took a renewed, more vehement exception to their complaints.

“There are two sides to every story,” the Sea King said. “I cannot be responsible for all that goes on within me because I am infinitely complex. And if you unbalance one thing, like overfish me or spill oil into me, thus killing the creatures within me, you can expect to reap what you sow.

“So there are many dead things within me! There are living things, too, and as many treacherous things as there are splendid things. If you don’t like it, talk to the designer of me and all else that you can see.

“Ask the designer how there can be so many things, attributes, ways of functioning that are explainable, but even more that aren’t, like the mystical things: the 14-meter colossal squid with beak and suckers and limbs with sharp hooks; Scylla and Charybdis, whirlpooling monsters that suck up ships…

“This planet is teeming with organisms seeking to live and perpetuate, to include deadly viruses and killing insects and beasts. Even the supposedly dead things seek to live on and on…

“As far as the children go, you silly humans, the parents of the golden ones will see them again: at the end of the day, at the dinner table or while being given baths or tucked into bed at night, when they prattle on about the farfetched, watery adventures that have gone on during the day, most of them in their infinite imaginations.”




As always, look for the magic and you will find it!



The Grand Reveal – 21 March 2014
Trick A – Albanian – 1 April 2014
Trick B – Black Forest – 2 April 2014
Trick C – Claw – 3 April 2014
Trick D – Docket – 4 April 2014
Trick E – Endanger – 5 April 2014
Trick F – Finicky – 7 April 2014
Trick G – Grave – 8 April 2014
Trick H – Harvester – 9 April 2014
Trick I – Inevitable – 10 April 2014
Trick J – Jukebox – 11 April 2014
Trick K – Keyhole – 12 April 2014
Trick L – Liberal Arts – 14 April 2014
Trick M – Masking Tape – 15 April 2014
Trick N – Nonce – 16 April 2014
Trick O – Occult – 17 April 2014
Trick P – Poultice – 18 April 2014
Trick Q – Quotient – 19 April 2014
Trick R – Relegate – 21 April 2014
Trick S – Snag – 22 April 2014
Trick T – Thermos – 23 April 2014
Trick U – Upbringing – 24 April 2014
Trick V – Vernacular – 25 April 2014
Trick W – Wake – 26 April 2014
Trick X – Xylophone – 28 April 2014
Trick Y – Yankee – 29 April 2014


* The Collins Concise Dictionary Of The English Language, Second Edition 1988, Collins – London and Glasgow

**the Moment Of Meant To Be is the instant of lucidness that arises from the contemplation of any given thing and subsequently reveals the essence of it. These Moments will be dashed off in paragraphs of 200 words or less and may be dark or shining, delirious or rational, but each paragraph will stir thoughts and feelings that lead to a meaning unique to you.

12 responses to “chimerical Z

  1. What a blaze of glory for Z! I love “Seazoon”! What a troubling the turn it took halfway through–and then shifted perspective to the Sea King. Talk about infinite imaginations! I know I’m supposed to review all 26 and then write down the first thing that comes to mind, but I plead exhaustion from jet lag, lack of sleep, and my own marathon. Two thoughts, though: first, I thought your posts got more and more inspired at the month went on, and second, that line “I’d chosen this golden one well,” is haunting me. What foul form does the speaker have, and what is her/his intent?
    OK, I do have a final thought: “the planet is teeming with organism seeking to live . . .” and your teeming imagination seems to be able to encompass them all, and their multitudinous perspectives. Congratulations on completing the A-to-Z Challenge and I’ve enjoyed visiting over the course of the month. All the best, J

    • Thank you, Josna! And no worries, your lovely comment offering has greatly pleased the Sea King to the extent your plea has been favorably heard and granted ; )
      Again, I very much enjoyed your observations. On the first point, truly, I planned to stick to my paragraphs but I caught on fire reading some of the other participants’ flash fiction (Damyanti and Jules are masters of the form)!
      On the second point, I am not so hot at the flash part of fiction! So my usual way would be to take my time developing the ideas of Seazoon as dead thing and golden child as forever and limitlessly creative one, and to show that the child has created the entire story in her imagination. As it stands, the Sea King’s nolo contendere in the last paragraph only hints at that possibility, and it’s up to the reader to decide.
      Thank you so much for your final thought here and for your good companionship from A to Z. Especial congrats to you for completing this journey within a journey! I look forward to seeing what’s next on Tell Me Another!

    • Thanks, Boss, you rule, literally, you are my yardstick! And in this particular endeavor, not being your sort of thing and all, I didn’t expect a comment from you, so I all the more appreciate it : )

  2. You most certainly do have an infinite imagination, Miss A. It’s divine and luscious and a banquet for the mind. It’s been a pleasure to meet you along this ride. Now, I simply must go swimming. I’ve donned my tatty suit, in blue, of course. My bucket and spade seen much better days; the castles will be wonky and maybe never tower, but they’ll still be grand to me.

    • Ah Jules, I can’t begin to do justice to the telling of how much I’ve enjoyed finding out about you and your extraordinary ability to create the tightest, trickiest, killer-twistingest* flash fiction that is guaranteed to delight. And unless you tell me to piss off, I intend to skulk outside your door, a delirium tremensed* mess until you feel sorry for me and toss out a free fix!

      * this use of non-words due to overenthusiasm is your fault, Jules

  3. Wow the first part was so descriptive and a little scary towards the end! But loved the message in the second part! Great A-Z series! Congrats! :) Glad to have met you through A-Z…hope to stay in touch! Cheers!Aditi

    • Thanks, Aditi! And great big congrats to you, too! Let’s do stay in touch. I’ve got your blog in my Blogger account reader so I hope not to miss a single of your powerful stories going forward! See you tomorrow at A2Z Reflections : )

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