3 almost regularly now, stalking about the brush and rubbing up against the dense jungle foliage. And, it was right around the time that he thought there was no more he could give to the tedium and the toils that the distinctive sound of the beast itself caught his ear. Initially, Atonal thought it was a predatory cat, a jaguar or jaguarundi, as the signature roar sounded much like that deep, chesty cough. But, it was when the practically human sighing became intermingled with the roar that he knew in his bones it was something else. And, that sound opened within him a chasm that held the answers to what he longed for, beyond all the time in the world for greater, nobler, and higher endeavors. Atonal found himself at the end of his proverbial rope and so very, very tired
because he longed for escape… escape coupled with an odd sort of
unity. As the night had grown dark as it could, or as it dared, Atonal admitted it to himself with a startling and stark personal revelation. He felt instinctually that how he had been taught to live was not natural; it was not what should be normal; it was not wholly right. To toil all day to barely be able to provide for himself and those he loved while others perched above him so high, had driven Atonal to an unknowable brink. He longed for what he figured he should long for
to be closer to the land as it initially lay, to be closer to the waters with their perfectly rhythmic time and tides,
to feel the sunlight and the moon’s glow and the winds and the heat for the very
sake of it. But most of all, Atonal desired to know the hidden beast that lurked so
near and echoed his own soul’s beckoning for him to return to his roots and great
er root source. It was on the day Atonal had found himself the most tired that the beast spoke. The light from the horizon was low, gray and dusty, almost smoky. He was sitting just outside of his mud-brick home, back to the wall, and enjoying the sounds of the not too distant ocean when he heard it.
“Come with me,” whispered the voice. And, it was so
soft at first that Atonal was not even sure he had really heard it. He thought perhaps he had somehow perverted the soothing sounds of the ocean or the brush of the leaves into words he simply wanted to hear.
“Atonal,” the voice came again, “I have watched you. I know you. Come with me.”
Atonal stood to full height and slowly began to approach the tree line. “Who are you?”
“Who is that?”
No sound greeted his ears, as he stopped right along the edge.
“Why would I want to go anywhere with you?” he challenged
his phantom, half afraid he might be going mad with boredom and overwork.
“I am sorry. I thought you were tired of your life and seeking a new one…” the
lovely lilting voice trailed off as though it meant to leave him to what was left of his pointless existence.
“No! Wait!” he shouted as loud as he dared. He did not want to wake all the
others. He took a couple of paces into the dense grow
th. “Wait. I am seeking. Who are you?”