Nival. Chapter Three
The oscillations continued until a soft cracking sensation woke Nival. He fixed his gaze on his friend and urged, “Fuzio, the blade of grass is breaking, wake up.”
The blade tilted a final time. They slid half an inch down the blade, fell off, and traversed the final inch in a perfect perpendicular plunge.
The first part of the fall caused Nival to recollect part of his time as a snowflake. He was light and had some chance to control his trajectory. Now, coupled with Fuzio in this new form, there was no such hope. As the second half of the fall commenced he tried to envision some plan for hitting earth. Time offered no such luxury. They hit squarely on sandy soil and the grains’ pointed appendages pierced the droplet.
Even if a plan of some kind had been fabricated, it would have been useless. Nival and Fuzio were ripped apart. Gravity began to draw the two through the semi-damp earth. From a loftier vantage point Nival would have known his new ambiance was similar to a three-dimensional Pachenko machine where instead of little pegs there were exiguous pieces of earth.
Every particle he scooted by seemed to offer a modicum of affinity. One time he came to rest near the center of the top of the particle below. He wanted to find Fuzio and thought this juncture would give him the respite. But within moments, others like him came oozing down from above. Nival was pushed aside, and descended further.
Finally, a decent looking piece of dirt welcomed Nival to join. Tired from his weaving itinerary, he accepted graciously. The “p.o.d.” was a fascinating new home. From the moment of his entrance, Nival noticed that the complexion of the p.o.d. was changing. It seemed to loosen up. The hard shell appeared to be losing its opaqueness and capacity to hold together.
The domicile could be habitated and Nival’s plan was to start enjoying being a denizen of another fascinating structure. Fuzio had taken a different Pachenko-path and had been long gone. Other potential-looking friends were within his irregularly shaped home, but Nival just wanted the quiet time now for planning, more than he wanted another liability or two. ‘Halcyon’ imbued his repose, as more strange events were inbound.
Random, infrequent plops that could be heard above now sounded like muffled machine gun fire. Booms, that had been infrequent and faint, now came at regular intervals and literally shook the earth. Trickles of ‘potential buddies’ that used to meander by now did so in some high-energy, psychedelic-superhighway like fashion. The color of what could be seen of the ‘outside’ went from yellow to brown. The color was substantiated when the ‘home shell’ just let go. It dissolved.
Nival had a vision of ending up on a cake. No amusement park anywhere could top this one. The pounding of new droplets hitting the surface above caused a light show below that rivaled a Springsteen concert. Intense flashes were followed by bass drum booms – and then came more machine gun fire – all the while being immersed in a swirling chocolate mélange. Nival wondered how much someone could charge for stimulation like this.
When the erratic circulation slowed, Nival didn’t mind coming to rest on something hard, a stratum unfamiliar to him. (He was familiar with many textures, but few empirically). The effects from above ended and the subterranean wonderland became peaceful. The coloration drained away as Nival experienced the rigidity of his mattress. All that was missing was cotton candy and someone tucking him in. The little guy had been through a lot – but little did he know that the next day would test his physical endurance to the limit.