Friday, June 17, 2011

DAY ONE : More beginning...

Matheson walked and walked and walked over the unfamiliar ground, over hills and through groves of trees and along the ridges of seaside cliffs, but he found neither sign nor trace of people. There was only wild, untouched land for as far as the eye could see.

He felt frustration well up within him with every step he took. Every peak he ascended, he held his breath he might see of in the distance the outline of a house or the spires of some city, but civilization eluded him.

“What is this?” He said, angrily, the sound of his voice unsettling and further depressing him. He tromped down the hill, not even watching where his feet fell but somehow, in his anger, avoiding falling to his death. It was at that second that he caught movement- MOVEMENT- out of the corner of his eye.

He spun around, recoiling at the blockish, pink mass before him, only to be met with a startled ‘oink’ in return. It was a pig. An ugly, weird-looking, probably thoroughly inbred pig, but a pig, nonetheless. He kicked the ground and cursed.

But wait! He thought suddenly – A pig is a domestic animal. Maybe this is a farm….a really, really, shoddily kept farm, but a farm all the same!

Only for a second did he entertain the morbid thought that perhaps he had been kidnapped and would be considered livestock, too. But for what? Organ harvesting? Hunting for sport? Some sort of psychological study on isolation, run by a sadistic madman?

He ran over to the animal, which regarded him warily, but kept loudly munching on grass. But, as he approached he saw no markings, no brand, no collar, no signs that it was anything other than a wild pig, ranging around the mountainside looking for food. And, as he looked, he noticed there were actually several pigs in the area, and what looked like wild, grossly-matted sheep in the distance. These animals were obviously hovering together in a pack, and they were equally obviously on their own.

Matheson’s depression returned, and then, after staring around for a bit longer, cascaded inside him, and he turned and drove his fists into the trunk of a nearby tree, once, twice, three times, again and again.

It exploded. Shards of wood fell around him, and he jumped back in shock, and then again to avoid what he was sure would be the bulk of the tree crashing down on top of him.

But nothing happened. The top of the tree just hung there, suspended in the air, as if gravity had no sway over this world.

What the devil? He thought, and then, further confusing him, he spied a shiny block of wood hovering on the ground before him.

He picked it up, looked it over, and looked up at the tree. He walked back to it, and cautiously hit the trunk a few more times. Nothing happened.

He looked around, and then started wailing on it, and poof! It happened again.

Again and again he struck the wood, and again and again it exploded into tiny fragments before his eyes. He tried another tree, and then another, all with the same result.

Thoroughly perplexed, and slightly out of breath, he sat down on a stump and contemplated the little army of wood blocks he’d assembled. He saw lines in them, strange little grooves, and as he poked and pulled he found he could pull the blocks apart into little wooden slabs.

Intrigued, and being the type who loves a good mystery, Matheson Squareface Quiverbottom, Esq., began jamming the pieces of wood together in all sorts of ways, searching for the secrets of this strange happening.

After a few frantic minutes he found himself with a pretty solid stick/handle-ly looking thing, and a fairly decent piece of flooring. He paused of for a second, and then took a bunch of the blocks and fit them together like magic, his body operating on some other, primal level, and after a flurry of movements he had before him a crude sort of…workman’s toolbox?

“I don’t suppose this makes any sense to you, because I’m quite buggered,” he said to the pig, who merely stared at him with vacant eyes and then lifted it’s leg and urinated where it stood.

Matheson ignored the animal and looked at his toolbox. He was in the zone right then, and somehow, in some way, something was speaking to him, telling him what to do. Without really knowing what was going to happen, he started banging away at wood planks and arranging sticks- and voila, like magic, he’d fashioned himself a crude wood axe.

He eyed his handiwork, and then gazed at the forest around him.

“I’m sorry,” he said, “but you’re all going to die.”

After rampage
A few hundred whacks later, and his strangely endless pockets were positively bursting with wood scraps. He didn’t know exactly what he was going to do with it all- the thought of shelter crossed his mind- but he had worked his frustrations out, and even if he couldn’t control where he was or seemingly his own life, he was going to control something. He leaned on his axe and wiped his brow, and his eye’s met the pig’s, who was staring at him with the empty, souless expression of a beast bred for the table.

He looked down at his axe. He looked at the pig. He became distinctly aware of hunger pains in his stomach. He slowly brought the axe up and advanced on the pig, his shadow falling over it even as it continued to stare up at him with unblinking eyes.

Seconds to live
He sat on a pile of dirt and watched the sun beginning to set, gnawing absently on raw porkchop. He’d slaughtered the whole pack, something which maybe wasn’t the smartest approach but he was feeling rather destructive and vengeful, and seeing even one of the pigs left alive filled him with a sense of guilt. They just stood there as he cut into them, hardly even trying to escape, oblivious to the fate of their comrades three feet away.

Such stupidity should be rewarded with death, he thought, but at the same time he felt a little teensy weensy bit like a monster.

But he quickly pushed those thoughts from his mind.

 A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do, he told himself. It’s time I change how I look at this. It’s not me that’s stuck here on this island. This island is stuck here with me.

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