I must introduce myself and while I know I will be met with trepidation, I urge you to fear not. My voodoo goddess mother and skeptical, yet lovingly loyal father christened me: Cassandra Blackwell. As a child, I frequently harbored fantasies of mother putting a spell on father, though I never saw her work her magic. Of course, after years of living with them, I found the reverse true, it seems more likely father spelled mother as she always swooned when he entered the room. Regardless, I learned early on I came equipped with an ability that frightened most people, you see, I am a precognitive dreamer. I am not the only one haunted by dreams of destruction, the majority of my country also felt the gut-wrenching prophecy of doom that accompanied news reports of an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. However, I doubt those same fellows felt the same throes of fiery agony I felt on the 80th day of leakage.
The old adage about oil and water mixing or, even better, oil-fueled fire and water, never met the day when these three old enemies would join forces. The Event Horizon incident was tweeted, recorded, podcast, and reported on the AP wire as “possibly” the worst oil spill in history. These twitters and jitters of doomsday variety hailed early accounting of what would eventually become, “The Spill,” as if no other oil spill counted. Capping and recapping, scraping and filtering, acts of courage, acts of cowardice; and, all these acts led up to the moment when some bureaucratic schmuck Quixote of the 33rd degree would lean towards reopening an existing nightmare of devastating proportions. Then, they detected cap leakage. They wanted to save the well, the Texas Tea that surely poisoned the only shore Texas had; the only shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, as well as the retired golden shores of Florida, only 40 miles to Cuba at its Southern Most Point.
What about Cuba? What about Mexico? The Bahamas? Key Largo? Montego? And, if any one or thing could find that notorious Kokomo, the slicker-than-shit oil slick will pair with the Beach Boys as black belt secret keepers. What was Congress thinking when they denied Ford his Hemp Mobile and accompanying Hemp Seed Oil Stations for the crude that created a whole new breed of bottom feeders? How can we already have the answer and the means to be oil free, when a gurgling bit of black gold has talons hooked into our once grand nation? Of course, those grandsires are the reason; their decisions led us down the path of self-destruction and still their grand impact is unknown as daily war rages on.
It was difficult enough in Alaska, where the indigenous population went from hunting and fishing to cleaning slimy coastal zones. The Gulf Coast fishing industry doesn’t relegate product solely to the southern states, no, they also serve the nation, and the world. What happens to that service when the petrol industry “accidentally” suffocates the wildlife? At least their hands will be clean if the Fed orders the cap off, again. Who will drive those oil-filled beasts when the flesh-and-bones that previously survived off the Gulf’s oceanic preserve exist no more? As if New Orleans hadn’t already had a rough life, the government’s answer to economic disaster will be the death of the poorest in this nation. Of course, to the noncombative eye I make great threatening gestures, when in reality I call it like I see it (to borrow cliché).
I observed the unfolding of events as one caught in disbelief at the individual’s ability to accurately predict anything, let alone disaster. I am as accustomed to prediction-my chosen profession-as the carpenter is to wood. It is a rare occasion when a carpenter eyes his product with any more awe, than I eyed the headlines that proved irreconcilably the accuracy of my predictions. The seasons change regardless of the state of human affairs and hurricane season always peeked at the end of summer. I feared the spring slick would wash further ashore with each hurricane, bringing disaster home to more than scientists originally predicted, but, what did I know of climatology, or is it, meteorology? Understanding hurricanes was no more my profession than carpentry. I saw the day as clearly as any memory that pervades the mind’s eye. Before the brackish red vision of eyelids closed under intense light could sink in, the panicked mass of disorganized and disassociated coastal dwellers ran amuck. I almost screamed the first time the vision exploded behind my closed eyes.
Thousands caught by their refusal to give up. Thousands forced to see suddenly the pointlessness of trial. Thousands fled in any and every direction. Thank the goddess these visions are not equipped with 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound. I would never rest after hearing those screams. Sleep comes hard enough when images of terror and destruction roll on repeat. The first epiphany only exposed the impending diasporic nature of the disaster. In the second epiphany, I reconciled the notion that I may never know what it is that causes so many to run in some future, date unknown. My view was of the ground and slippered feet shuffling forward, metal walker in hands as wrinkled as a Shar-Pei, while bright orange tennis balls rocked in-and-out of sight with each inch closer to safety. Occasionally, the elder glared ahead, the slow purposeful gaze of one intent on reaching a blurry destination. Never did the elder look back. Finally, the old body was knocked over by some force unseen-end of vision-beginning of wide awake panting, sweating, and slowly releasing white-knuckled bed sheets. The frequency of this particular nightmarish vision gave neither credence, nor relief, as no two dreams are exact repeats often the follow-up fared worse.
No sense came in trying to warn anyone of the danger and to speak of dreams as future reality took bravery even in ancient times. Today, the bravest dreamers keep their own counsel (not for fear of death, but for modernity’s inability to comprehend the actuality of psychic vision). Modern civilization views psychics as charlatans, though they originally revered psychics as spiritually superior. Society once called the ability, “The Touch,” now, they call us loons and some times lock us up. For what? For having an ability others lack? Where is the crime in that? No, I did not run to the police with the knowledge I obtained through precognitive means, I feel remorse over that fact, though I never doubt the decision was correctly made.
Already home videographers have processed clips, edited, and posted to relevant internet media sources. Let the tweets commence. The satellite imagery for the affected region can be obtained from any map site. Line-of-sight is not as effective as the three hundred sixty degree rotational street level eyes are blind. Unfortunately, the power outages have made street cameras into scraps littering disheveled streets. I watch in awe, not for the first time. I reached the point of visual numbness before ever I played the first clip. The images cleared moments before Big Brother’s brilliant idea was tossed ashore. That infamous “They” will pass the buck for sure. Some bureaucrat will proudly sweat under the microphone and spotlights, holding up Dick Nixons all the while claiming crooked innocence, all for fifteen minutes of shame and a parting check.
“Someone is responsible for this!” Outraged citizens will cry. No one will listen. All will point, then look away. How could anyone step up to take the blame for creating flames where none should be? If the Goddess desires fiery water, she’ll raise a low level volcano island to spew clouds of flame and rivers of molten rock. If God desires fiery water, he’ll send his only son. The asshole who said, “burn it off,” was out of his head. If he hasn’t fled, I hope he’s dead, for all the hell he’s caused. That headline forever etched in my mind, hovers just over those destructive memory-vids. Lids shut tight fail to block the sight of “Hurricane Mattie Hits: New Orleans Engulfed in Flaming Tidal Wave.” Why did the infamous They-gang think oil and water would mix well with fire in hurricane alley? Always the “why,” never the answer.
(NOTE: This is a fictional story).