Aqueductor James crests the hill and looks down on the columned city, strikes his rod against the rock and calls forth something not water. He regards it in dismay. “The fuck is this?” he asks the air. “This ain’t water. This ain’t fit for a son of the living waters. The fuck is this, sludge? Cherry cordial?”
Stoops his lips to it, smacks them sweet. “Corn syrup,” he hisses. “High fructose corn syrup.” A mighty oath swears he, to sizzle ears and curl hairs were any there to hear, to find him who had laid this slurry upon him. “So swears Aqueductor James, and you can take that to the motherfuckin’ bank,” he growls at his long-suffering rod.
Into the north he journeys, to where the nights grow short and humid, and a six month journey it is. Aqueductor James finds him a dune of sand and settles down upon it in surly contemplation. Five years he passes thus, eyes squinted against the regular turning of the day, the rising of the sun. “Enough of this bullshit,” he husks, and shakes weeds and sand from him, descends the beach and passes down to moister lands.