This sounds rather lame, but I had a dream last night - and I thought about it the second I woke up, and figured it fit the bill of 'mystery'. We'll see! ((By the way, this is my first piece of writing in a long time, so bear with me on this one and be nice!))
How we got to this place, I don't know; it all seems too much like a dream. If I pinch myself, I know it is real - same as if I look at the expressions on my peer's faces, I know it is far from but a simple dream. Flashbacks come to me in the night. Flashbacks of a ship, of a storm, of a fury so great it hurts to think of. All I can do now, is wait. Wait to see what happens. Wait to see what is in store. Just wait. And while I do that, think about all that has happened. Think about all that may happen. Think about all that will happen. Wait. Just wait.
They looked around them, stunned. What they saw? A vast spread of lush, green grass with an array of plant life scattered around them. The air was quiet; the atmosphere calm. Even the sounds coming from the trees seemed to feel - right. The only factor that didn't seem right, was the table standing aloof in the centre of the grassy knoll. The old-fashioned table stacked high with fruits and vegetables of all descriptions, all in pristine condition, merely awaiting the individual to pick one up and devour it. It appeared a very inviting feast.
In a flash, it dawned on them why they felt so uneasy. Why was it, that though they had all been deposited in this place, wherever it was, none of them made a move to sample any of this awaiting cuisine? It was not through lack of hunger, for the gnawing had made itself apparent long before they found themselves staring at the spread. No, it was not hunger. It was something else. Something which stilled them from reaching over and taking their fill of the goods in front of them.
One of the men looked indecisive, his face a mixture of expressions. He stepped forward, faltered, and paused in his stride. The others stared at him - wondering what his plans were, all hoping there would be no repercussions for his action. The man shook his head as though clearing his mind. The rest watched, silent. In a flash, the man had moved. The others glanced around, and found him on hands and knees underneath the broad wooden table. One woman gasped.
The man arose, a blank look on his face. In his arms, he carried a handful of rope, fastened tightly together with cord and shaped to form crude nets. Without thought, the rest of the group came forward to recieve a net, and went to work packing them gently with the food provided. Still, not one dared to sample the fruit, until all was placed neatly away.
The group looked towards the man who had made the first move. Without a word being said, it was apparent that he was their leader, their saviour perhaps? He appeared to take this shift of leadership in his stride, and with a tilt of his head, turned to face the trees behind them. He set off, the others following. As they trekked through the forest, netting bags hoisted on their shoulders, it occurred to several of the group that they had yet to utter a single sound. They walked on.
The man stopped at the first clearing they passed. It was filled with an array of plantlife, however appeared to be less harsh than the terrain they had been walking through previously. Hearing a familiar sound in the distance, he pushed back an overhanging fern and was greeted with a sight which brought relief to his heart. A river awaited them, far below the ground on which they walked. A few hundred yards to the right of their position was a waterfall, not a fierce one but a gentle one, which trickled across the cliff and joined it's river-partner with splashes of greeting. Water was something they needed. They would stay here.
The group continued working without speaking. They did not need to speak to know that this would be their place of rest. They did not need to speak to know that how long they would reside here would be unknown. They did not need to speak to realise that the vegetation they carried in their netting was not for eating, but for planting. They did not need to speak to feel that still, something did not feel quite right. They each fell to a job in silence.
The group was small. Only now that they had stopped moving, did they look around to observe one another. The leader stood silent, facing the waterfall with not a movement. The other men appeared in control, busy taming the ferns and plantlife in order to make shelter. The women bustled around, still in utter silence, performing tasks they did not realise they needed to do. One woman instructed her two children, with no words, to stay out the way and stay quiet. The young boy and girl merely accepted this fate, and sat. The clearing was eerily still.
The group sat nestled together in the clearing, sheltered by branches of pine and fronds of fern. A fire had been lit. One section of the clearing had already been turned into a would-be harvesting area. Awaiting plantation, it sat, rows of fine soil already paved into crude lots. Buckets created from wood, sat waiting - waiting to be filled with water. The waterfall continued to trickle knowingly into the river. One by one, they drifted into sleep.
The leader awoke with an abrupt start. He was not alone. A glance showed two young children sitting in the rear of the shelter, eyes alert, watching him. Gone, were the other group members. Rising to his feet, the leader observed the boy and girl curiously. They too, had risen when he had, expectant eyes watching, waiting to see what he would do next. For the first time since they had arrived here, wherever here was, the man opened his mouth to speak. Sensing this, the girl halted him with just a look. The boy moved towards the opening of the shelter. He pulled back the branch flap, and with a look, invited the leader to observe what lay awaiting outside.
With a sense of dread, the man clenched his teeth and peered outside..
Saturday, 10 June 2006
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