Volume 91, Issue 84

Tuesday, March 10, 1998

Summer lovin'


FOCUS
 

Eye of the storm: out of this world art


Graphic by Janice Olynich


By John Serrarens

"El Nino Has Struck Again," The reporter on TV announced to the world. Page Turner, the world's most renowned field reporter, ducked as small branches flew past her head in the stormy afternoon. "As the monsoons continue in Israel and Jerusalem, El Nino has caused the Great Lakes of North America to dry out. As you can see there is one of the biggest thunderstorms approaching the Chicago area. I advise everyone to stay in their homes or go to the closest rescue area. This storm can..." Page was interrupted when the camera suddenly lurched forward and the videographer was thrown from his feet by the winds. The wind picked up a branch and was launched towards Phil, the field supervisor. He spun as the branch struck his head. The camera hit the pavement and the picture was lost. "Phil? Can you hear me?" was all that could be heard from the TV. Page vowed to herself that she would do something about El Nino no matter where it took her.

*****

"Well Neyn, what do you think of my latest piece of work?"

"Hmmm. It doesn't seem finished. It looks too violent and chaotic. Slow it down a little."

"OK Neyn." The storms on the earth died down and stopped. "Damn, I slowed them too much! Now I need to start again. Miserable Planet! Why can't you just stay the way I want? Huh?"

A tornado picks up in California and moves throughout the United States. To the two beings known as Neyn and Raall, this chaos was a form of art. The earth was their canvas and the weather the paints.

"I can make one masterpiece out of that dust ball, Jupiter, but I simply can not work with the earth!"

"Raall, relax. It's only been a short time. Not even a full rotation around the Sun for that planet. You should cool off for a while. Work on Pluto or something."

"Neyn, please don't mention that piece of –"

"Watch your language," Neyn snapped at his sister.

"I was going to say ice."

"Of course you were."

"I was too!" She took a mock swing at her brother. "I don't want to even look in the direction of that mistake. I didn't mean to freeze it so completely," Tears swelled in her three eyes.

"Don't start crying again. Your gonna make me cry. We don't have to think about Plu–"

"I said don't talk about that place," The tears were almost bursting out.

Suddenly Neyn jumped up, "I got it!" He ran over to the earth and tripped over an asteroid belt. "Raall, did you leave these here?"

"Yeah. Sorry."

Neyn looked down on the earth and raised his brush, ready to start the winds up again.

"It has begun again."

*****

Page Turner travelled the world in search of answers. All she found was more destruction and a greater determination to find the cause of El Nino. In the States she was greeted with fans begging for autographs. In Canada the blizzards hindered on the quest for knowledge. Many places turned up nothing but more questions and broken lives.

Finally something paid off for the long hard search. In a small village in southern Africa, Page met a frail old man named Ailuno. This little old man was the last remaining worshiper of Raall, the Cosmic Artist.

"So you're telling me that all this chaos is the work of an artist? How am I to believe that?" She was pacing and flailing her arms wildly.

With use of a translator, Ailuno answered yes and said he could take her to speak with his god. It would be through a process known in the village as Derash Unimateji, or shared meditation.

"Prepare Miss Turner for the ceremony," Ailuno told his servants. "It will take me some time to prepare myself. We start at dawn tomorrow."

*****

Raall watched as Neyn started his idea in motion.

"If we shift the orbit of the moon to match the alterations in the seas, we can have a constant wave of pattern shifting and never repeating," Nyen spun to face Raall. "Isn't it just perfect?"

"Yes. It's so beautiful! I-ahh!"

The images of Page Turner and Ailuno materialized before Raall.

"Sorry to intrude on your most holy's time, but I have brought a reporter with me."

"A reporter? Is that some kind of snack?"

"No, my lord. It is the activity of one of the people of earth."

Nyen watched from behind the two aspirations and wondered how they got here. They were obviously from a nearby world judging by the quality of the image. "I didn't think there was life on earth. How long has it been there?"

"My lord, there has been life on this planet since it started circling the Sun. I am surprised you did not realize that."

"Neyn, I told you that leaving our pieces of art too long they would develop life. I bet Mars has life too," Raall glanced over at the red planet. "Damn! I knew it!"

"Sorry to interrupt, but I would like to know why El Nino is continuing to decimate the planet?"

"What is El Nino, reporter?"

"It's the weather occurrence that is killing the earth."

"Well, looks like we'll have to halt our work on that 'piece' for a few millennia." Sighing in defeat, Neyn slowed all storms to a stop. Raall changed that moon's new path. Now with the moon on its new path the weather returned to normal.

"We humbly thank you for your service, my lords. I just have two questions. One: How is it you understand us?"

"All you have 'said' to us has only been in thought. Thought is universal language."

"My second question is why do you change the worlds?"

"Why do you think? Why do you do? Answer those and you shall know." Raall started to head over to Mars, at the same time Ailuno and Page faded back to earth.


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Copyright The Gazette 1998