Roca paddled on, sleepless, his weak arms tanned from rowing west along the muddied veins of the river that flowed like a sullen, unpredictable god.
The savage explorers had brought something worse than bullets — imposing beasts that inflicted sleeplessness, longing, and loss. They turned on their masters before fleeing and leaving entire villages unsleeping and heartbroken. Roca’s father — beyond hope after the beasts took his wife — told his son of a golden city that could cure his afflictions.
After one hundred dreamless nights drifting, Roca cried as the river carried him towards the glowing banks of trees where gentle faces, lit by fire, greeted him. A girl took his hands as a man burned his boat and pushed it away.
With his search over, Roca walked in silence towards the hinterland — where golden towers rose from a flood of trees to gleam the dark heavens — enraptured by belated dreams of sleep.
In response to: What Pegman Saw – Amazon River, Brazil
Image: Google Maps