“Save yourselves!” cried a tiny voice, squeaking in the early dawn as the collosal clock of doom ticked away. They could all hear it, deep in the gentle settling ticking and creaking of the great oak tree they nestled in, reverberating cold empty echoes in their frail hollow bones.
“Save yourselves! Fly away!” another tiny voice piped up, singing out harmoniously with the first.
The light broke proper over the forest, and the rest of the tiny voices began to shout out their warning, “Save yourselves! The end is coming.” But no one seemed to be listening.
“Save yourself!” shouted a red-breasted fellow, ululating the cry, choking on the final syllable. He himself could feel the warning of time ticking down to Doomsday vibratingly to the tips of his tail feathers. The fear froze him from within, even as he swallowed air to shout his warning once more. Still the large hand swept to the final time, resonating deeper still, deep down next to where the primal fear nestled in his subconscious.
“Save yourself!” echoed from branch to branch, tree to tree, yet no one was listening. Winter was coming. A winter that would last. And only the ancient memory of the dinosaurs vibrating spider-like in their tiny souls knew what that really meant.
She bent over to tie her shoe, and that is when he jumped on her. She had no time to react, his hand slipping around her waste, pulling her upright and against him, his other hand slipping down over her eyes, blinding her as his fingers tickled her belly. Her fear gave way to giggling as his questing hands played with the line of her skirt, and she laughingly shoved him away. Turning on her heels, her hands up to rest on his chest, she smiled up at him as he leant down to kiss her, “Charles, I knew it was you!” The delight of seeing him so suddenly clear in her excited voice. His hands slipped down her back and over her bum, sliding sensuously down as his face broke into a cheeky boyish grin. She gently reached behind her back, and separated his hands from her cheeks, smiling and kissing him on the lips, touching his nose, and spinning out of reach. “You know that I don’t like it when you grab me in public. Shame on you.” This last was said with a coy smile and a wink, and he followed her, unable to keep his hands to himself, her dancing out of his way as his hands reached for her luxurious curves.
“I’ve just got to have you. You know that. I see you, and all I want to do is run my hands all over your body. I can’t help myself, it’s not my fault, it’s yours, you’re so damn gorgeous!” A quick frown told him something was wrong, so he tried a different tack. “Ok, so maybe that is not an excuse. I just love your ass. I am madly, truly, deeply in love with your bum, and I cannot keep my hands away from my loved one.” He paused from their dancing teasing flirtation to look sternly at her in the eye, “if you would just go away, leaving me alone with your bum, I’d be happy forever.” She straightened her hair for a moment, looked at him seriously, then bounced away again as he made a grab for her. “Ok, maybe just your body. You can have your brain and take it with you to study, but leave me your body, as it loves me as much as I it.” Once again she was serious, looking into his eyes, sucking his soul out of him as she gazed from her soft brown eyes into his. “You know I am yours,” he sighed, admitting defeat, his hands dropping to his sides.
“Yes, I know you are mine,” she bounced up to him, pressing her lovely body against his, her perfect breasts warming his chest, waking the butterflies underneath his chest cavity, “all mine,” she smiled at him, leaning upwards with her head tilted back to take his mouth against hers, her hands stroking through his hair, her tongue searching and kissing, touching and teasing his lips, his mouth, through and around.
“You shouldn’t play with me like that,” his voice was suddenly deep, he was twenty years older now, looking her seriously in the eyes as they broke off their kiss, “I am all yours, and you know that. Always.”
She smiled at him, dancing away from him once again, twirling her skirt, the sunlight breaking through the see-through material teasing him with the outline of her perfect legs, his eyes drawn down, dragging his mind into the gutter he never really left. He wanted her again, as he did whenever he saw her. He wanted to be together with her as close as two human beings could get physically, until they were inseparable from one another, because this is how it was supposed to be.
She smiled again, seemingly reading his thoughts as she danced away from him, provoking him forward with a finger beckoning. He smiled from the inside out, the warm glow breaking through his stern gaze as she twirled in the dying light of day, the smell of the flowers and freshly mown grass making him all the more comfortable. This was home, this was right. This was how life should always be.
Great guffaws of choking laughter ripped through Harold’s throat, in dark contrast to the torrent of tears pouring down his cheeks, salty liquid slipping down his throat as he opened his mouth and tipped his head back to spout deep gut laughter, only to choke on his own tears and double up with a coughing fit, finally folding up on the floor as the hiccups, coughs, laughter, and tears overwhelmed his massive body and forced him to collapse in a seething heap on the cold stone.
“What is it Harold?” May was used to this sort of outburst, having been best friends with Harold since they were mites under their mothers’ shared watch, “what’s so funny?”
Harold found himself sitting up slowly, raising a hand to his cheek to calm the hiccups, holding his breath to keep the laughter down, and squinting his eyes to see through the tears. His eyes were burning, and so was his throat, ripped apart as it was from the joint abrasiveness of the tears and coughing fit.
“You have to see it for yourself. It’s just too much!” May’s outstretched hand recoiled nervously, but not quickly enough to stop Harold from grabbing her wrist tightly in his massive calloused paw, and pulling her down to her knees to stare straight into his eyes.
She found herself lost again, falling forward in perpetual spin until his eyes were the world. She landed on soft ground, thankful that he had remembered to put gravity on this time. She did not mind sharing his visions, but she did not enjoy the floating feeling that usually accompanied them, as it made her quite ill for sometime after.
“Watch,” his voice came from all around her, inside her own head, even. She shook her skull, knowing that she was not really shaking anything but her imagination of her own head, but it felt real. The voice still resonated from inside her mind nonetheless. “Watch the two birds fighting.”
Suddenly the dark around her lit up, and she was the size of an ant, floating somewhere above the ground, in line with the tops of the tall grass blades. Two massive redbreasts were hopping at each other from the corners of her vision, and she cried out as their massive beaks clashed only inches from her chest. “Get me out of here, you idiot!”
She nearly threw up as the entire picture moved around her, shifting her a few feet back from the arguing birds. May could feel he was sorry, without his apology, could feel the shift in the air, the taste of sweet honeysuckle in her mouth, the sensation of a caress across her forehead and back through her hair. The hackles that had been raised only a moment earlier dropped against her neck, and her whole body relaxed once more.
“Watch now.” The birds were fighting each other for ownership of a worm, a sad, defenceless worm that was getting battered and bruised, torn up as they grabbed an edge, lost it, and hopped back and forth to grab another piece of meat, pulling until the other bird lost its beak-full, and the hopping dance began again.
Even this close, the birds looked ridiculous, hopping at each other with such determination, reminding May of a bank manager chasing an errant customer down the street, or a teacher with a frustratingly intelligent child trying desperately to win their classmates back from the brink of anarchy. She even allowed herself to smile, but she did not see the reason for such gaiety in Harold.
“They’re hopping mad,” he said, chuckling so loudly in her head she automatically covered her ears to stop the sound, realised the futility of it, stuck her fingers in her mouth and whistled loudly instead.
Suddenly she was let go, and fell backwards on her haunches as Harold let go of her hand. She had been thrown out of his world so quickly that she had not had a chance to readjust, and the illness that usually overtook her when in a moving vehicle made her vomit on the spot.
“Look what you made me do!” May glared at Harold and pointed angrily at the vomit sprayed on her trousers. She was furious, and he knew it, but he was already off giggling again. “Stop it! I’m serious, dammit!”
His face, closely controlled, became unglued, and he started to giggle, first behind closed lips, then through clenched teeth, then a snort, more snorts, and finally complete hysteria. She felt her chest clench in annoyance, until she heard him mumbling something to himself as he rolled clutching his belly and giggling.
“I’m serious, dammit!” His voice was almost a perfect copy of hers, but when he said it, it sounded petulant and childish. She smiled after the third or fourth utterance of that phrase, just as he managed to regain his composure, roll to his side, and look her in the eyes. They stayed like that for a few moments, staring at each other, serious and controlled, when she felt a snort in her own throat. What was this? Dammit! She started giggling, and he started giggling.
They were rolling around on the grass giggling at each other, some serious part of her mind wondering when he would ever grow up, when she would ever grow up, when he would come to terms with the fact that he was completely insane, that she was too, and that no matter how gifted he was, neither of them was going to be set free from these blue institutional walls.
The sunlight dances off of the newborn baby’s skull, glistening from the blood sheen of crying life that she held in her arms like it was humanities life-raft, and not some natural birth of an animal. The ape looked at her with softness in its eyes, or maybe it was just the light, then reached out, and plucked the baby from her arms. Her eyes glazed over with rage as he pulled the baby close, and began to offer it a finger. Only when she saw that he was allowing it to suckle on his immense dark fingernail did she back down, her bared teeth retracting behind suddenly calm skin no lips to protect them from the ravages of the wild.
The mountain around them shimmered to another beautiful, serene evening, the reverse-dawn hiding the sky in the cloaking black of night a shade at a time, finally dying to darkest blue at the sun-tinged horizon, before dipping out of sight completely, the darkness of the night only accentuated by the clear crisp moonlight that sheltered the landscape. Moon-shadows danced across treetops as monkeys too-tired to sleep ran amok, the forest alive with the new birth, and no one knowing the true meaning of life but the mother suckling her young in the deep undergrowth, in a nest big enough to park a small vehicle, yet hidden away from the prying eyes of the poachers.
She could not see him, but she could sense him, not smell him, but feel him, his huge hairy, muscular body near him as she breathed in the scent of the dark. He was hunting her, showing her his prowess, his uniqueness as a father to the young dark life she huddled against her flat breast, the skin giving up to nipple in the baby’s mouth as he suckled, totally oblivious to the mammoth monster just lurking at the shadow’s edge. She could feel him moving closer, edging his way back into her, could taste his desire, driven by the sight of so much blood, and the strength of becoming a father to new life, of creating a new being out of seemingly nothing. The primal instinct was his, and the protective instinct was hers. She wanted to shuffle away into the trees, clutching her precious life to her breast. She did not need this large shuffling monster to clumsily step on the baby that she had nursed for so long, all morning since its birth, all her life waiting for this moment, for the last moment, for each step of motherhood, no matter how many times she was a mother.
The ape stopped and snorted softly, as if reading her thoughts of escape, circling quickly left, then right, slowly encircling her with his man-ness, for that is what the fear tasted like, that of being hunted by those strange beasts with the flaming blades of pain, that they pointed at her family so long ago, that had torn her so far from where she had once been raised, so far that she could not remember the way back, only running into the mountains or hills, walking into trees that should not be there, crossing rivers which should not have been running that way, in such a way across her path. She was disorientated, and therefore wanted to run away from this monster that could just as easily leave as turn and charge her, making her stand once more up, bared teeth, and fight, although she is less than a third his size. She would never win, could never win, but may allow the escape of this other life, this other life that depended on her for everything.
It hurt inside to see the small eyes unable to open and see her. She looked down, shifting her weight so that the eyes opened long enough to enunciate a cry, her nipple having been wrested from searching and sucking lips. The cry froze the beast in the jungle, and for a moment the mother and child were frozen too, listening to the deep panting breath of the beast in the forest, mist of steam coming from the breath, as from the forest floor, as if the whole forest were breathing in rhythm. The mother only wanted the light to come, the warmth of the sun to caress her and baby awake in the morning, awaken them in their nest, alone, the large brute that now stalked them, keeping to the shadows of the giant forest trees’ leaves, off somewhere ravaging another animal for dinner, fending off another attempt at a great ape takeover, anything to distract him from this hunting of his own, this desire to take over the space on her breast of this new life. She could feel his desire to take over, the desire to fight the ravages of nature, and win, to be unique in his ability to kill his own, only to be with the one he killed the life of, to be there with her with the dead baby in his mouth, smiling triumphantly at her at breaking the hold she had over him, at the hold that kept him in the shadow, outside of her nest, forever pacing, knowing that his was to be chained to the outside, like a beast at the end of a tether, forever falling short of the desired meal, the feast of freedom, for that was his lot, his life, the way he had to be.
tales for adults, told by kids pretending to be adults, for adults pretending to be kids