Dipper Ducks [cont’d] – The Monksville Chronicles #64

With that, the channel closes. Dopper dives into the water, joining his daring divers and making a Dopper’s dozen. Thirteen cormorants take to the water this day – Braten’s curious to see from which side of the gate they’ll all come out.

All at once the cormorants suddenly cease dancing. They rise and float on the surface, their oily black bodies buoyant, their straightedge yellow beaks at the ready. Dopper grunts deeply, as dipper ducks do, and all twelve of his dashing divers disappear beneath the surface. He looks back at Braten one last time, as if to send You may doubt us now, but never again, and then spins to face the direction of the beavers’ dam. At this point Braten, and the eager mob of small giants along with their wrangler, are perched on the edges of the shores, the anticipation eating them alive.

Then, it happens.

A wall of starpool-black dipper ducks, their beaks lit a blazing yellow like the falling leaves of autumn, leap synchronously from the water and then dive right back in. They leap again, then dive in, then leap up a third time. They seem to hover in the air for a moment, or perhaps that’s just the passage of time slowing itself down so the Universe may perceive this beautiful and too rarely seen dipper duck dance.

As they reach the peak of their leap, the dipper ducks begin to spin like metal augers. As the tips of their beaks hit the water the surface seems to bend rather than break. Dopper floats in wait; if Braten could see the look on his dipper duck face, he would gaze upon pure satisfaction. The dipper ducks begin to skip over the water like river rocks eroded into disks, the intervals between their skips diminishing until the Dopper Dozen appears to glide atop the water like a Bird of Prey through the air. Then, they all dive simultaneously, and for a moment all is quiet. All is perfectly, eerily still.

Dopper flaps madly and rises high from the water, his black wings spraying a fine mist which catches the great shine’s rays and uses them to paint a rainbow. Once he reaches a height greater than the roof of the tallest of the giants’ cabins, he reverses, drops a wink to Braten and his gaping beak, then begins to spin like an auger himself. At that very moment, the other divers burst from the water and leap high into the hazy air. All thirteen of the Dopper’s dozen dipper ducks strike the water’s surface at once. The small giants go buckwild, stomping feet and WHOOPing like semi-hairless sasquatch. Their wrangler passes out cold on the spot.

Beneath the surface, the thirteen drilling dipper ducks all converge into the mouth of the floodgate. The water is noticeably colder there; small ice crystals begin to form on the edges of their feathers, but the dipper ducks will not be deterred. They strike the lodged black mass with the force of that esoteric thing that fell from the starpool and burned a ragged hole into the forests behind the two isles many cycles ago.

Braten hears a dense, vacuous noise which cannot be described with mortal words as the pipe is cleared of its clog. He turns just in time to see the steam rising from the iceberg as water gushes through the pipe and the Res’ fills once more. The channel opens wide, spanning across the entirety of the Wanaque, and though Branda does not like what she receives from her soulgroom High Braten, she receives it very well:

‘Dopper has done it, the dire drought has ended! The Wanaque Reservoir shall fill once more! I am free of that awful, uppity wench! Fuck you, High Branda! Thank the Mighty Mother Monksville, I am free of Branda at last!!’


This has been the end of the second subchapter of the fourth chapter of the book The Monksville Chronicles. Here is everything you need to know about it:

The Monksville Chronicles

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

The Hillside Commons has a Facebook page. Here’s that.

If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~

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