Robert Whiting In search of awesome

Cleaning up


Candy didn’t care much for the dry world. All that dehydrated, crackling, windy stuff that kept everyone so preoccupied just didn’t hold her attention.

After the first few chapters, you probably forgot she wasn’t even human. She looked human enough, but she didn’t grow up above water. She grew up in the mountain streams of central Idaho.

She spent her summers playing tricks on deer and elk, swimming with the wild trout, and smoothing out rocks to make beautiful babbling streams that sang songs to the discerning ear. She spent her winters shaping the ice to make sure the trout could make it through, hollowing out little holes for them to get respit from their long journeys.

But her exile to the Boise river downtown cut those joyous years short.

Then she landed in the stagnant, rotting, vile sewer below the stadium. She landed first and immediately dove into the deeper regions to see what had caused this. She’d seen blockages and stagnant pools before but not like this.

There was something sinister about the depths of this cavern–something dark. Like a poisonous tree root, black tendrils strangled the drain pipe. And that would not do.

She felt personally afronted by the foreign object that waged war on the water. Water should always be in motion–like people. Babbling along a brook, raging over a fall, or slowly and steadily making progress down a wide river toward the endless sea. But never stagnant. Death grew in the stagnant pools, and here, death breeded more death.

Her hands extended and sharpened into two large scyths–and she attacked the invading parasite, hacking it away with both arms. The thing–whatever it was–did not fight back, it did let off a haze of purplish puss.

After several minutes of hacking through the black root-like material, she swam back to take a look at her progress. She needed more power. The pieces looked small enough to go down the drain if it weren’t clogged.

She pulled an ornament off one of her bracelets and crunched it in her teeth. Power and heat pumped through her veins. Placing a hands together before her, she pressed on the plug with her mind, and within a few excruciating seconds, it started to shutter. The thing didn’t want to go without a fight, and she fought it.

Black tendrills threatened her very mind while she shook and pressed in the darkness, until it finally snapped. Then it went down the drain with everything else. She was still wreathed in power when the drain sucked down to its rightful place at the bottom of the cavern. For a moment, she thought she saw Danny, standing at eye level before the water covered the drain, and everyone–including Candy, drained through the pipes and out into a streamhead.

Exhausted, she drifted in the creek, at peace.

Proper drainage <= Danny Rocket => The map of darkness