Lake Keitele

"So what exactly are you looking for?" Meinardus asked.

Vezina turned to look at him with a slightly crazed look in his eyes. "You'll just have to wait, won't you?" Meinardus shivered--not from the temperature, for it was almost midsummer. As the days grew longer, Vezina seemed to grow more and more irrational. It was like he had something he had to find before the solstice.

But no. Mordechai Vezina was--or had been--a respected businessman, until two years ago. Then he had suddenly taken to traveling the world, almost erratically, leaving his company in the hands of subordinates. Meinardus had once spent hours poring over a map of those travels. Even then, it was obvious that their center was here, in Finland.

Once that had become clear to Vezina, he'd moved to Helsinki and transferred the base of his company operations there. Then he spent months wandering the countryside in the company of native guides. Finally, when the lakes started to melt, he returned to Helsinki and sent out word to all the top divers in the world. "Lake Keitele," he told them.

And here they were. Meinardus had come to observe the result of the months of searching the floor of the lake. They had started systematically at the south end, and were working their way to the north. Whatever seemed to have guided Vezina to this place was no longer any help. Perhaps the water fouled the signal?

"Mr. Vezina!" a shout came from one of the boats returning to shore. Vezina's face brightened immediately, and he dashed down to the shore, Meinardus trailing behind.

"What did you find?" Vezina asked hungrily as the divers disembarked from the boat. Gerritzen, the man Vezina had put in charge of the divers, motioned to the two disembarking, and they turned and lifted a large watermelon-shaped rock from the boat. It was made of some vaguely opalescent mineral, in swirls of green and black.

"No, no, no!" Vezina practically screamed.

Gerritzen cowered. "If you could tell me what you were looking for--"

"If! If! If!" Vezina was definitely screaming now. "If we knew how to turn shit into gold, we'd all be rich! Just find everything you can and bring it to me!"

Gerritzen indicated the position of the sun. "There's only an hour of light left. We'll only be able to do one more dive today."

"We have no time, imbecile! Set up the lights! Put the divers in shifts, and leave no cubic inch of this lake uncombed, or there'll be hell to pay!" Vezina stomped off.

Gerritzen turned to Meinardus, shrugged, and returned to relay the news to the divers.


That night, in between the faint splashes from the lake and the hum of the generators, Meinardus heard the strains of Vezina's saxophone. The tune it was playing was savage, eerie, and not quite human. He lay awake listening to it through the brief summer night.

Based on the words: Watermelon If Finland Saxophone

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The Den of Ubiquity / Aaron V. Humphrey / alfvaen@gmail.com