A boy rambles about while his family gathers supplies during the sunny summer morning. He follows a mysterious insect who catches his attention; the six-legged creature climbs its way up a shining yellow bloomed flower. The attentive boy follows the insect as it reaches the plant’s summit and opens its wings swinging them as it lifts off the flower. The small black dot flies in circles as it struggles with the wind currents, turning and spinning while it looks for a place to land; a flat rock twenty steps away looks like the perfect place. The curious boy runs over the grown grass of the fields as he tries to guess the insect’s path. Once the kid and insect reach the stone, the boy places his hand on it and rapidly removes it after feeling a blazing sensation on his palm. The insect seems unharmed by the scorching stone and walks around it for a while and eventually opens its wings and lifts off from it at risk of getting swiped by the wind.
Hovering ten feet over the ground, the insect searches the area for its next landing spot, but the strong winds force its journey toward the protective shelter of the nearby forest. Seconds suspended in air drain its stamina, and the insect is in desperate need of a safe landing. Its awareness of the boy makes it look for an out of reach spot; a fallen tree trunk seems to offer the needed shelter from the menacing animal following it. As the insect approaches the trunk, it becomes extra appealing because its thickness will prove challenging for the boy. Golden by the sun, the grass surrounding the large oak tree lies lifelessly a few steps away from the forest.
Watchful eyes follow the black swirling spot through the air while the boy unconsciously runs after it. The soft and warm grass feels great under his bare feet while he gets away from the careless eyes of his father; the insect descends over a thick tree trunk and the boy loses sight of his prey. Once the he arrives at the lifeless tree, he notices how tall it should have been, now only blocking his path to the forest. Even grown men would have to use a hand to step over the fallen tree. His mission continues as he looks for branches to help him climb the trunk; once over it and carrying bruises to show his deeds, he searches for the sneaky insect. After glancing site of the creature he lays on his abdomen over the gritty trunk’s surface; the boy’s head is only a few inches away from the slow-moving insect.
The stalking sensation is gone when the creature notices the motionless boy; the insect turns back and walks toward the chasing animal while analyzing his strange face. Their curiosity is not at the same level once the insect notices the boy’s hand moving toward him, and without option, the creature abruptly stops to analyze the situation. The boy’s hand is placed over the trunk surface blocking the insect’s path. It seemed as if the small being considers walking on the kid’s hand before opening its winds and flying off the trunk.
In a matter of seconds the boy finds himself standing over the trunk as he prepares to run after the creature, yet he hesitates. The rush of courage overcomes his fear of heights, and his body takes control as he leaps off the tree. His heart is pounding uncontrollable while he sees the approaching ground. The boy senses a lack of control over his body and lets emotions lead his actions. After his first encounter with the soft dust of the decaying leaves of the forest ground, his body falls forward in a natural motion. His right foot is the first thing hit ground while his right arm covers his face; the right side of his body follows and a sharp turn of his body lets him stand and running after the insect.
There’s a greenish light diffused through the trees with patches of sunlight dancing as the wind blows; the flying creature disappears and reappears as it hovers on a straight path through the endless shelter the forest brings. Flying became easy, yet the insect now flies right and left to dodge the interrupting tress. Rustling leaves and sheltered birds sing inviting the intruders to submerge themselves within the forest depths.
After minutes hovering over the dark humid surface of the forest, the energy drained flying insect looks for a resting place. There’s a small bush hugging a tall tree, and as the creature gets closer, the spot increases its beauty; wet leaves will refresh the tired insect and help him get dirt off its transparent wings . The insect prepares to land over a pool of fresh water on top of a green leaf; all previous problems disappear , and there’s only fresh water as its legs reach the leaf.
The running boy doesn’t seem to notice the cold air surrounding the forest nor the soft wet and black leaves under his feet; his heart pounds within his chest and his small lungs struggle with every rapid exhale. His eyes closely follow the fleeing flying creature as if there was nothing else in his world. Once he notices the insect slowing and landing on a nearby bush, a sense of relief helps his body regain calmness as he slows down his speed. Catching his breath, the boy walks toward the bush hoping he would find the mysterious flying creature. After a few seconds of careful study, the boy finds the insect and notice its legs moving around its body and wings as if it was washing itself with the drops of water over on the leaf. The boy moves his hand toward the insect and lightly touches the leaf making it shake; the insect immediately flies to a nearby leaf. The boy’s curious hand follows the insect to the new leaf; when he touches the new leaf, the insect flies off.
After noticing the human’s recurrent intrusion, the insect flies depart the leaf and flies deep into the obscure forest in search of a calm resting place. It was a day filled of adventures for the insect, and it’s time to relax as it flies to a high tree branch and stops away from the boy’s reach.
His companion disappearing from sight, the boy looks in every direction searching for the small black dot flying into the depths of the forest. A chill runs up his spine once he notices being surrounded by nothing but tall old trees; cold travels through his bare feet as he stands on a soft black carpet of death leaves covering the entire forest. The inviting sounds turn into hollow echoes of slow-moving branches of trees as the cold winds strikes them. The path back home can’t be found as the boy walks back searching for his tracks; fear starts to overcome his tiny body when emptiness fills him.
The boy walks for what seems like hours before stopping his attempt to return home; owls screeching cloud his mind as he looks for a way out of this self-set trap. Standing in the middle of the unknown, he remembers, he thinks, he listens; yet, nothing looks like a solution to his problem. The soft noises of the woods allow him to hear running water or at least something resembling it.
Night is yet to come, but there’s enough darkness in the woods to let the boy believe something is following him while he runs toward a distant creek; his senses stop him from looking back as he runs through shadows – a trip filled with obstructing trees, bushes, branches and unknown movements of death leaves on his path. Remembering the sound of the creek,he considers his scariest possibilities; yet, his hopes still remain up – as up as they can for an out of breath boy running toward darkness with a tear dripping down his eye.
Once he glances at the creek all his fears solidify; he walks toward the unfamiliar shallow running water. The cold airflow through the river hits his sweaty body once the kid steps over the muddy bank; catching his breath, he feels thirsty and rushes toward the creek and falls on his knees next to the stream. His hand touches the icy running water, and he starts to gulp it uncontrollably. Water helps the boy clear his mind; walking up the stream could be the best option but nightfall was about to cast its shadow. There’s no time for more mistakes.
The kid’s head is still down when a sudden sound steps ont the opposite muddy back bank breaks the silence. His body freezes, his eyelashes lightly close, s and he hopes the sounds will disappear. He can feel an animal approaching with an overwhelming energy filling the air around them. Out of courage or curiosity ,the boy opens his eyes and glances at a shifting yellow smear on the creek’s water. The kid’s head uncontrollably moves up to find a large yellow cat; the boy swallows a cry for help while maintaining his low crouch and trying not to look at the enormous beast.
The cat’s long front legs are as tall as the boy’s shoulders; and from the boys perspective ,the animal’s body seems endless. Large teeth come out of each side of its mouth. The cat lowers its head toward the creek paying no attention to the boy in front of him and starts licking the water surface; the loud wet sound of the cat’s tongue it less frightening than the boy expected.
The motionless boy knows it will be effortless for the cat to catch him there’s no reason to run; He finds his heart pounding like a hummingbird’s while he waits for the animal’s move. Once the cat stops licking the water surface, he raises his head and looks with surprise at the small animal facing him; the cat can’t understand the reason for such small creature not to run in search of shelter and slowly approaches the boy.
Leaping with ease over the five foot creek, the cat lands a few steps from the boy who falls away from the animal after the impressive yet swift movement of the beast. The cat approaches and sniffs the boy’s hair while his head moves over the small animal;.The cat notices the distinct smell of a predator emerging from the small being, yet the clawless, toothless and weak animal under his head seems harmless. The search deepens as the cat start to softly move the boy with his paws, fearless yet cautious of the small predator’s reaction. The cat finds scraps of dead animals covering the boy’s hairless animal body; overwhelmed by the discovery ,the cat continues pushing the boy with his paws. The motionless kid lets the animal shuffle him on the wet sands of the bank,while the cat handles him as one might handle an egg.
Possibilities of escape run through the boy’s head ,yet none seem real; the large animal pushing him with his large paws doesn’t look like the tales he heard back at the tribe. Thercat’s fragrance is all the boy can smell and his large body l illuminating the dark woods is all he can see; the urge to flee is hard to fight, yet he controls it thank to his curiosity of the strange situation. Eventually the cat turns away from the boy and walks a few steps. It seems as if the beast was testing him ,and he stands motionless looking at the cat turning and sitting facing the boy. Vigilant eyes follow the boy closely, making him feel the warmth of the cat’s menacing look.
Analyzing the kid from a distant, the cat’s puzzled eyes gaze at the boy taking a sitting in front of him; there’s an unreal confidence on the small creature’s face. The cat marvels at the situation and thinks, what does he have to do to make him react in such a way? The sitting boy stares into the cat’s eyes, defiling as if unknowing the danger surrounding him.
Thoughtful eyes study the cat sitting in front of him resembling a large statue while his hands press firmly against the ground beneath him; slowly and carefully the boy stands and abruptly sits after noticing the cat leaning forward and showing his teeth. His heart races knowing that could have been the last thing he ever did, yet knows there won’t be another opportunity and begins pushing himself off the ground. This time his measured movements are slower than before; little by little he finds himself standing as tall as the cat. Keeping his heart as calm as possible he takes half a step toward the cat and slowly moves forward while analyzing the beast in front of him. Unaware of his purpose, the boy continues moving closer when possible talking to the cat with his soft and slow actions.
The puzzled cat has never seen a confident prey looking predator like the creature in front of him; a part of him wants to know the outcome of this odd interaction allowing the boy to approach. Every step the boy makes, the cat has to fight the urge of growling in show of command; he has to test the boy. The cat remains motionless while analyzing the smooth yet slow movement of the calm animal approaching. He notices the boy studying the cat’s body like a predator would in similar situations. The small creature might be a predator after all.
The thick fur protecting the cat’s skin and teeth coming out of his mouth catch the boy’s attention; he doesn’t want to stop approaching until he is able to touch the cat’s fur. Once next to it, the intrigued boy tests his luck and carefully raises a hand toward the cat; the animal’s reaction includes lightly tilting its head away from the approaching hand until it reach its face. The animal’s warm skin lets the boy to believe there’s a fire within it. Unnoticing the frightened cat,the boy begins to move his hand over the cat’s warm kilt; this was a strange interaction for both.
The hairless hands of the boy gave the cat a soothing sensation as they play around in his fur; he can’t understand this unusual feeling yet enjoys the tingling. The boy now stands next to the cat with both hands studying the cat’s back; the cat tries to fight the idea yet it continue coming to his head – what will I do with him now? Abruptly the cat stands, pushing the boy to the side and starts to walk away from the boy. After just a few steps, the cat looks back and makes a forward motion with his head and continues walking away.
Without time to think, the boy lifts his shoulders and follows the cat along the river bank.
Compelling writing. I was worried about the boy’s fate.