The campaign train
Election fever hits fever-pitch more than once as the tale of The Reeking Hegs unfolds, and the protagonist of so much turmoil – not to mention carnage – is Atiqtalik. She came from out of the somewhere, determined to bring democracy to that frozen steppe. Instead she ended up as the harbinger of evolutionary change…
” Atiqtalik, flapping her gills and slapping her fins; unused to flapping, her gill muscles ached. She spent a long time in the water. It was cold and salty; as salty as the blood in her veins. She sat still, breaking the crusts that formed on her eyelids. Waves and swells broke over her constantly, but she knew she must be patient. She was going to be the end game in a fintail suit. There would be a fine spring day, one day.
In time Atiqtalik became a fixture in the bay. people came to serve her. No longer a milksop politico, she was Atiqtalik, politically true at last and working towards the next meaningful mutation. Only she knew the way forward. And that meant gills!”
Careful note is kept of the progress of her election campaign train through the ice and wastes of the arctic. her purpose was benign, salutary even; but the fates had decreed anything but a happy ending to her travails.
“There was a good deal of consternation as she was carried onto the train, as she seemed to be in bits. Woullady applied unguents to her cuts and bruises. Then, as the last moose ambled by, everyone was ordered aboard. The whistle blew, the carriages shuddered in a welter of jactitation, and the clattering odyssey continued anew. We had now passed the tree line, and the tangle of muskegs and forest gradually gave way to the awful, empty barren lands of wild, wealdy wastes.
Atiqtalik lay comatose in her compartment, and I waited in the corridor for her manager to emerge. At last he appeared and issued a short statement to the perturbed gathering.´Atiqtalik is resting, he read aloud. ´She urges all you good people to do the same. Maybe we’ll get a positive result in the polls. No comment otherwise.”
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