by C.E. Gee
He had no name. It would be years in the future before his descendants gave him a name.
His companions slept in trees. He slept on the ground in nests he’d built.
When sleeping, sometimes he had dreams. The dreams were not dreams of
snakes or carnivores, nor of being groomed by members of the troop, of
mating, of eating.
The dreams were of him holding sticks or stones. Sometimes the dreams
were of fire. Sometimes the dreams were of him mouthing strange sounds.
Sometimes the dreams were of a strange looking female.
One day, as was his habit, he woke before dawn. He stayed in his nest, recalled his dreams.
He was hungry. After the sun came up, alone, he walked to the nearby stream.
He squatted on his haunches, looked for fish.
Just out of reach there was a large one, its tail and fins active enough to keep it still in the slowly flowing water.
He considered jumping into the stream to grab the fish. Fear of the stream’s predators kept him on the bank.
Then he remembered a dream of him holding a large stick. He had stabbed
with it in much the same way he used much smaller sticks to gather
termites from mounds. The dream’s stabbing motion was violent.
Inspired, he stood, walked back to the tree line.
He tore a branch from a sapling, stripped it of twigs and leaves.
He remembered a dream. That particular dream had him modifying a stick.
Using his teeth, he sharpened the narrow end of the stick.
He carried the stick to the stream, again squatted. The fish was still there, near the surface of the stream.
Holding the fat end of the stick, he stabbed the fish with the narrow end, pulled the fish from the water.
Hooting his delight, he ran back to his troop, holding the fish and the stick aloft.
Using his stick, he swatted away the rest of the troop, ate his fish without sharing.
After the meal, he went back to the stream. The troop went into the forest to forage.
Wary of predators, he cautiously drank from the stream, then wandered upstream holding his stick, looking for another fish.
Though it was day, there appeared a star in the sky.
Though it was day, though he was wary of predators, he became sleepy, slumped to the ground, slept.
When he woke, he was flat on his back. There were strange noises, a
strange odor, strange sights. Strange reptilian creatures stood over
him. He tried to flee but couldn’t move.
Like flesh-eaters at a kill, the creatures sliced open his belly. He stared in horror but felt no pain.
The creatures removed a rib, closed and sealed the opening.
He floated upward. The creatures walked beside him until he floated into what he saw as a small cave.
The creatures left. An opening appeared. Then he was outside.
His shrieking was frantic, for he was far above the ground.
Gently, he floated downward. He reached the ground at the spot where he had slept.
He grabbed his stick, fled to his nest.
He spent the rest of the day sitting in his nest, arms around his knees, rocking side-to-side, shivering, whimpering.
The next day, after sunrise, holding his stick at the ready, he warily walked to the stream. He was hungry.
There was a female at the stream. She was standing, watching him.
He got close enough to the female to gently prod her with his stick as he hooted the greeting call.
She replied to the hooting with a guttural sound unknown to him.
He sniffed her. The odor was the same as the strange odor he’d detected the previous day.
He stepped back. The female resembled him, for he’d often seen his reflection in still waters.
The female had the same pronounced forehead, the same sparse fur. Her eyes had a sharp glint; the same as his eyes.
In the far future, their descendants would speak highly of them, though
the female would sometimes be vilified for passing her knowledge on to
her mate, the knowledge implanted in her brain by the reptilian
creatures of the star.
In the far future, many of her descendants would come to recognize her contribution to humankind.
Because of her, ancient religions would fall from favor. There would be a violent revolution. Within the 21st Century, there would come a new world order –- the order of the New World.
© 2017 C.E. Gee
Bio: C.E. Gee (aka Chuck) misspent his youth at backwater locales within Oregon and Alaska.
Chuck later answered many callings: logger (choker setter) meat packer
(Norbest Turkeys), Vietnam war draftee infantryman, telecom technician,
volunteer fireman/EMT, light show roady, farmer, businessperson
(electronic components distribution), sysop, webmaster.
Chuck now writes SF stories, maintains a blog at http://www.kinzuakid.blogspot.com
E-mail: C.E. Gee
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