The pride, tentatively, walked to the water’s edge to lap up a cool drink on a hot night. Breaking the calm, water thrashed about, reaching forward, pushed by the violence, the spray lashed out in all directions. Each animal instinctively reacted, as taut muscles sprung each escape. Missing it’s mark, the waters gathered back over the croc as it receded back under the surface to reset it’s trap.
At the top of the hill, stood a lone lion surveying the activity. Panting in the heat, bobbing his head, he dropped it below his shoulders, as he began to walk down toward the watering hole. Taking it all in as he approached, processing the cues, he stepped to the bar. “What’ll it be?” Asked the rhino, dressed in a red vest and black tie.
He replied, “I’ll have a vodka on the rocks.”
“Thanks! Keep the change. And here’s the tip.”
Ice rushed forward, knocking against his lips. The tonic rolled down his tongue, bringing with it a cooling sensation. “What’s popping off in here tonight!?”
“The usual shit for a Saturday night!”
A low hum could be heard as a locust horde approached on the night air. Like the sound of an approaching train shuttling by, the horde flew overhead. The night was alive with the sounds of the jungle. Cymbals clashed. Tight snares popped, under the assault of the steady drumming, humming, pushing out the molecules of air, water, and flowered fragrance.
Lifting his face from his drink, he asked, “Who are they?
“Just the local fauna.”
Bouncing their heads back and forth. Popping the angle of their backs, like bows, to the African rhythm, clad in black and white, the zebras entered by laser light.
They sauntered in on the melody as the tension built to a fevered pitch. The agitation in the music shadowed the synchronicity of their moves – right elbow, left elbow, sliding their legs around in an arc from back to front, clapping before they dropped it low and boogied on down. Toes spread. Ankles flexed. Lifting the water up, it ran down the sheen of their arms before spraying forth from their hands.
Fist pumping in the air – One. Two. Three. Four – One. Two. Three. Four – Tsst. Tsst. Tsst. Tsst. With crystal circles of water splashing about noisily, a massive flock of flamingos rushed to the floor with their wings trailing behind. Gathering to the front of the troupe, they fanned their wings, showing only their eyes and smoothed back hair. The hypnotic sound wafted up and out from the edge of the silhouetted tree line. Arms up; arms out; pirouetting with fanning plumage on display.
He leaned into the bartender. “This doesn’t seem like any ‘usual’ I’ve ever seen.”
Waving their hands in the air; the gazelles had arrived. They approached the front; barrel rolling in, heel, toe; kicking upward. The heat ran in rivulets down the meridian of their backs. Stopping, then jumping, they hopped on the rhythm, knees high, springing into the air. Twirling over the pulsating beat, accentuated by the spray of water, they’re arms flapped as their breasts heaved. Right. Right. Left. Left. they’re backs hung and bowed on repeat. Perspiration settled on their shoulders and ran down the backs of their muscled fur. Heavy breathing. Their heads swung back and forth, arcing water drops in their path.
There she was, emerging from the gazelles. The lioness caught his eye immediately. The gazelles’ arms arced waves of water behind her approach. She waved her arms in front of her face, trailing water crystals, like silver glitter from the feathers of her fingers. A universe of constellations and interstellar gases coming into view with a wink from the lioness. A moment of clarity, a sobering focus of thought.
He finished off his drink and smoothed out his mane, while dropping to his feet. His chest heaved as he walked around her. His fur standing at attention.
Sleek muscle rippled under the lioness’ fur, while she rotated her shoulders. She rocked her hips, while they stalked one another. Heel, toe. Heel, toe. They sprang into the air, with the water trailing and twirling upward from their pointed toes.
Locking the fingers on leading hands, he spun her around. Spinning around each other, pirouetting around one another. Twirling and vining around each other. Their bellies touched with hands extended outward as they embraced. Kicking her leg out, her dress obeyed the command, swaying with the motion. They walked in rhythm arm in arm, sliding through the shallow end of the water. Drops of water teased in hesitation, then rolled into one another following pathways, pulled by gravity. The beat continued to resound, filling the purple air with the heat of the night.
He spun her around again and dipped her. Eye to eye, he lifted her back up and asked, “Let’s go find some place out of view?”
The beats continued to pump the electricity and energy in the space, while they walked away into shadow.
by malakhai jones
The soundtrack for the watering hole.
wolfgang gartner, “welcome back”
link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g34B-YOaC7c (Deadmau5, FML)