Arboreal Orchestra – Untitled Bigfoot Project (177/224)


First Night

Arboreal Orchestra

At first, there was only the smooth sound of the Mad Poet’s breathing. Gentle, calm, unimpeded airflow, his body expanding and shrinking back to form with each cycle of breath. As he sunk deeper into the meditation, deeper into the present moment, the wood began to sing.

The winds provided a chorus of sorts. Branches of the trees, some bare and dead, some covered in the strange fuzz of darkest verdant hue, whistled and swayed in the gust. A dead branch broke with a shattering woody rip, or perhaps it was a trunk, and crashed loudly unto the forest floor. There was no sound of fallen leaves crunching under the fall. The insects came next, buzzing with a ceaseless hum of tiny wings yet not daring to lit upon what little of Albey’s skin was exposed. The smell of the ashes, acrid and bitter, was clearly harsh to what little senses they had.

‘Everything is as it should be.’

A breath taken, a breath held. A breath released into the wood.

‘From this day on I move forever forward.’

Many denizens frolicked and lurked in the endless wood on that day of Life; one by one they revealed themselves to the Mad Poet. A scurry of squirrels, grays and reds, perhaps even blacks if they’ve not yet bred out the melanism gene, chuttering wildly as they raced one another through the trees, leaping from limb to limb like twitching acrobats. Beneath them the chipmunks darted swiftly from log to log, rock to rock, burrow to burrow with a speed to outrace Death itself. Many birds fluttered their wings, the larger ones flapping slow as they glided overhead, the smaller ones sounding like The Dirtbiker’s metallic steed as its great engine roars to Life. The rapid gunfire of a woodpecker boring yet another cavern into dead wood still standing. A hawk shrieked of War in the distance, or mayhap it was an eagle, or mayhap even an osprey, a riverhawk diving to snare a fish from the drink.

‘Everything is as it should be.’

A breath taken, a breath held. A breath returned to The Commons.

‘From this day on, I move forever forward.’

Larger denizens, made curious by the sudden lack of the noises of ‘man, resumed their woodland walks. Claws scratching against rock, tapping like impatient fingernails on wooden tabletops, digging into rotted wood – a raccoon, mayhap, or a skunk fiending for grubs. Paws digging through… something, whatever composed the ocher carpet lain atop the soil. A groundhog, a woodchuck, a rabbit perhaps, leaving its burrow in search of food, or mayhap returning to shelter with a hungry fox in tow, chasing close behind. They move in silence, those red-furred foxes, agile and clever they are, going by unnoticed unless they truly wished to be perceived. The soft sigh of hooven feet sinking slightly into the dirt, leaving a trail to be followed by hungry wolves, a family of bears, a pack of coyotes, a prowling bobcat or a cougar, mayhap even a hunting ‘man, overshadowed by the oblivious ungulate chewing of an insatiable appetite. There were deer in the wood, venison ripe for the taking.

‘Everything is as it should be.’

A breath taken, a breath held. A breath brought to completion.

‘From this day on, I move forever forward.’

Above everything else – or mayhap below, as it only chose to reveal itself when the arboreal orchestra played to its full affect – the gentle sound of flowing water babbling in a brook. Whereas the many sounds of animalia all had direction about them, a location for Albey to pinpoint behind his closed eyes, the soft serenade of the river came to him more like the wind, from all directions at once, a ubiquitous chant beckoning him to search until he found it.

Without ceremony Albey stood up and walked with haste to the backside of the cabin. As he went, thoughts of hope for a gift from the carpenter who raised this structure crowded his mind. Mayhap there would be a shovel there, a hatchet, a bucket even, something leaning against the back wall out of sight to any and all who may stumble upon this clearing… but there was nothing. Not even grass sprouted from the dirt, but Albey sat regardless. And he closed his eyes. And he continued to listen.

This has been the second subchapter of the first chapter of The Face of Fear, a novel about bigfoot written by the writer in Untitled Bigfoot Project. Here is everything you need to know about it:

Untitled Bigfoot Project

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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