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by Mazz
Rated: E · Short Story · Dark · #2048332
Two Different type of men encounter in a setting where civilization doesn't exist
At a time prior to civilization, a lone man sat in the woods. He took notice to pleasant sounds emanating from a nearby hollow branch caused by a gentle breeze.

The lone man conjectured, "The sound produced may be controlled by the holes of the branch, for I have heard sounds of varying pitch and depth produced by holes of different sizes on different branches. If the air I exhale can act as a form of wind, I may be able to create relaxing, soothing sounds at my own discretion, rather than wait on that of the wind's!"

It was not long after the lone man fashioned the first musical instrument, and from this crafted beautiful melodies. From this point he was referred to as Tune.

Nearby sat another lone man. He too had took notice of the wind travelling through a similar branch. However, this branch was such that both pleasant and cacophonous sounds were produced at different strengths of the wind.

He thought, "That awful noise keeps me awake at night. I can use my fist to cover the hollow as a means of impeding the wind's progress and silencing the awful noise, but alas, my hands grow weary!"

A solution was to force a nearby stone into the hollow of the log. All sound then ceased, including the pleasant kind! Realizing his folly, the lone man placed his mouth on the branch opposite of the lodged rock, and exhaled with all his might. The rock shot out at an unfathomable speed and lodged into the soft ground. The lone man was amazed!

"I believe that I can launch projectiles with this tool, knocking down delicious fruit that resides at unreachable heights! I will fashion the branch to fire small projectiles with sharpened points as to skewer the fruit. I will no longer hunger!" He became Dart.

Tune, meanwhile, soon experienced the effect of his instrument's intoxicating tune. Wild beasts, alert one second, soon laid back and closed their eyes in a moment of temporary bliss. Tune found a great deal of pleasure in this. He realized at one point he would need food. He had been playing music, reveling in the enjoyment of others, and it dawned on him that he should not offer this service for free. He would help himself to the fruits of other animal's labor when they were under his musical spell. He kept to foraging around areas that were typically guarded by dangerous animals, sometimes feasting next to a bear fast asleep after suffering the effects of his intoxicating tune.

It was not long until Tune and Dart encountered each other. Or rather, Tune encountered Dart's marksmanship. Before Tune's very eyes, a particularly tasty piece of fruit had disappeared in a blur. Tune heard Dart's triumphant yell and hid. He had not yet seen someone like himself before! Tune was fascinated by the tool Dart. It appeared to be of the same material as Tune's musical instrument. How was it possible to be so different? Tune immediately coveted that of Dart's and recognized its great potential.

In nature, the concept of evil does not exist. It takes a creature capable of recognizing itself as separate from its environment and consciously able to manipulate it as seen fit. Self-awareness, if you will. Thus, as a construct by self-aware creatures, evil could be construed as purposely acting in a manner that causes harm to another individual. A wild animal can kill, but does so to feed itself, not for the pleasure of killing. There is no use for the capacity to empathize with another creature as feeling pain or the fear of death in a natural environment. A cat does not have the capacity to understand how a mouse feels upon playing with before feeding. The cat is simply honing its predatory skills and refining its reflexes.

Tune, on the other hand, was fully aware of the implications of his actions. He knew that Dart was a being capable of the same feelings and emotions as he, and that he likely prided himself on the tool he had created. However, the ease at which Tune was able to get what he wished, through the power of his music, had given him the dangerous trait of expecting that at which he did not create nor earn the right to.

Tune was not inherently evil, but in the time before civilization, survival was all that mattered. It was easy to succumb to the path of least resistance, and as evil was not wholly defined but simply a intuitive concept, the path of least resistance was a temptation not hindered by the personal opinions of others. It was far easier to steal than create. If one had to choose between evil and death, most chose evil. So, while it was true that Tune was not currently starving, he hedged his decision on the possibility a time would occur when the only food available would only be that accessible by Dart's tool. Justification for crime was now a concept.

So he watched Dart use the tool and after many hours. Dart covered the hollow branches with rocks so that he could avoid their sound. It never occurred to Dart to make a musical instrument, it would have taken a different type of thinking. Tune had loved their sound and saw their potential. So Tune showed him his melody, thinking that he would enjoy it as Tune had.

However, Tune had time to acclimate to what amounted as the world's first song written by man. If words could accurately describe music, they would be attempted, but the parts of the mind that processes words and music are different and hard to effectively convey. Dart was overwhelmed with new emotions being opened by the complex vibrations taking place in his inner ear drum, and they translated deep into his psyche, invoking sounds associated with forgotten memories in times where ignorance was bliss and a mother's embrace was the end to all problems. Tune's mind was desperate to search for a reason to view this man as inferior, and the fact Dart acted as the other creatures did enforced this idea.

While asleep, Tune stole all of Dart's foods, belongings, and his prized dart guns and darts, which were crafted after many hours of labor. Tune did not see the construction of the darts, and quickly wasted the small supply on various game. To learn how to construct new darts, Tune had to watch Dart build them.

And Dart built more, but this time had learned from his experience. Tune, now thinking he was intellectually superior, did not think Dart knew of his existence. Dart knew that outside forces had stolen his equipment, and this time he set up a decoy as means of bait.

Sadly, for all of mankind, Dart now associated the immense pleasure of music with the pain of losing his tools. If his enemy could make something beautiful and use it in the most ugly way. He could make his beautiful fruit catcher appear just as beautiful, all the while dealing death. It was said from this point roses chose to bear thorns, for all the thorn-less had been picked. Pleasure and pain were now two sides of the same coin. A world without pain is a world of death, as pain is warning of death that forces one to take notice. It follows such that a world with pleasure is too a world of death, for pleasure tells us when life is worth living.

Dart abandoned his decoy weapons and hid. It was not long until Tune, upon seeing Dart abandon his weapons, ran to them and jumped up with joy! As soon as Tune reached to pick up Dart's weapon he felt a stabbing pain in the right of his neck. A quick hand to the spot of flared pain brought back deep red blood. Tune never had felt anything like this. He collapsed. Was this what all his prey felt like too?

But they were creatures! He was a man! He could self reason! Even now, as Dart approached him, with sorrow in his eyes, he could see that they were truly peers! He had been arrogant to think that he was superior for circumstances that caused his behavior to differ from that which stood before him! Were those tears in his eyes? He knows I am dying, we truly are peers!

Dart watched sadly as the eyes, belonging to what he once considered a savage thief, go lifeless. In that instant, he saw regret and he saw himself. They were alike, but had somehow ended up differently. Some behavior on his part had differed from this man's so much that he had temporarily viewed Dart as subhuman. And in return Dart had viewed the man as subhuman for making a mistake. Such is life. The most disturbing thing was that both men had started off with creations of good intentions, and both men seemed pure in their actions. Despite all this, despite the good each of their inventions provided, chaos prevailed. Dart's full awareness became apparent to him, as a wild animal would have not have contemplated the moral implications of his actions, and would have not been any better off had it done so. Mother nature is a balance, and evil brings harm to objects of nature that are not related to that balance. Good could be considered things that restore that balance. What that balance is will always be subject to the conditions of whoever is defining them.

Dart picked up the musical instrument and gun and began his journey. He soon wooed a wife with the flute who bore a son. The musical instrument and the dart gun both provided foundations of the child's values as he became another stepping stone on the path to civilization. The dart gun, an example of man's ability to shape nature to provide protection and sustenance. And in that world of peril, of suffering and misery, the musical instrument reminded the boy that in spite of all the atrocities, turmoil, ugliness, mankind could still reach out and shape something beautiful.
© Copyright 2015 Mazz (manzy at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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