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by Mazz
Rated: E · Short Story · Cultural · #2048883
Melodies. Prior to civlization, 2 men encounter each other and their creations
         At a time prior to civilization, a lone man sat in the woods. A pleasant whistling sound of sorts had taken the man’s attention. It was quite similar to a bird’s song, often heard nesting in trees offering the ripest fruit. The association of song and fruit drove the man to seek the sound’s source. The whistle only remained audible during the passing of an inconsistent breeze, which had slightly picked up in intensity, as if reacting to being recognized. The sound changed, still pleasant, and the man’s eyes were drawn to a nearby hollow branch. It had likely been torn free by a wild-ling, and as time passed became rife with holes of decay. The lone man’s eyes lit up, and he marveled at the connection just made in his mind.

         He conjectured, "The song of the birds can be replicated with a simple stick. In times of despair and depression, I longed for a power as such. I have been around many different types of branches with holes varying in size. I have heard what the breeze can do. I can emulate the wind with my breath. After fashioning a stick to my liking, I can create relaxing, soothing sounds at my own discretion. I will no longer depend on the whims of the wind!”

         The man held his hands up in joy, signaling to all the significance of his findings. The lone man, spending some time with trial and error, was soon able to fabricate the first musical instrument. History tells us this lone man became known as Tune.

         Within the same woods, on the same day, perhaps the same time, sat a different lone man at a different location. He too had taken notice of the wind and the association with a nearby hollow branch. The nature of the hollow branch was such that cacophony emanated whenever the wind arrived.

         He thought, “That awful noise, it keeps me awake at night. I can use my fist to impede the wind’s progress, but my hands grow weary!” The man had been suffering from an infection and received the harsh noise with greater irritation than normal. In a moment of ingenuity, the man took a nearby stone and shoved it into the hollow of the branch. The wind slightly bustled on, but silence remained. A sigh of relief escaped the man’s chapped lips, rolling over his parched, swollen tongue. The illness had clogged the man’s sinuses, and mucus build up forced him to breath through his mouth. A round, shiny fruit from a nearby tree had beckoned him, a moment of bliss. He imagined sweet, nectar like liquid nourishing and softening his hard, cracked throat. He looked up at the fruit again, fantasizing.

         “Forbidden fruit!,” The man cried, “I know all you offer is death. Larger branches than those around you have collapsed under my weight. A fall from the height you reside would surely result in death. I must suffer while in sight of my savior!” The thought increased the pressure in his nasal cavities. He kept his gaze on the fruit, reluctant to end the fantasy, and blew his nose in a futile attempt for relief. A glob of mucus rocketed out, with shocking velocity, and surprisingly whizzed past the fruit. The man was amazed!

         The same ingenuity that sparked in his eyes before now blazed as he picked up the branch, and flipped it to the side opposite of the stone. Bringing the branch to his lips, he blew with all his might. The rock dislodged itself from the branch and raced to embed itself in the soft ground.

         "I will fashion the branch to fire rocks that will knock down the forbidden fruit!” The man boasted. After some tinkering, the man realized that smaller crafted projectiles with sharpened points worked best at snagging the hard to reach fruit. Countless hours of whittling and designs finally resulted in success. The tool had skewered the fruit he so eagerly sought. The reward was that much sweeter after the time and effort spent. It was at this point the first blow gun came into existence.

         “I will no longer hunger!” The man roared, victorious. He no longer went without name, and assumed the name of Dart.

         Tune, during this time, mastered the art of creating song, and soon realized the intoxicating effect his instrument had on inhabitants of the forest. Wild beasts, alert with furious intent burning in their eyes, melted upon hearing Tune’s song, oblivious to their surroundings.

         Tune thought to himself, “I could not be happier using my instrument to bring joy to all of nature. Alas, I am a part of nature and must devote time and resources to survival. It is only fair I take compensation, for I bring euphoria to where misery is the norm.” Tune began helping himself to any food gathered by those mesmerized with his song. He could be found foraging in areas typically guarded by dangerous animals, feasting next to bears or dining in the presence of wolves. Tune had grown accustomed to eating the best the forest had to offer. The sight of a delicious fruit caught Tune's eye. Its placement in the tree made it inaccessible, and could not be caught with his music. It angered Tune a great deal. He spent a great deal of time staring in contemplation, when suddenly the fruit disappeared before Tune’s eyes. A triumphant yell pierced through the forest causing Tune to hide. Dart sauntered out of the bushes and snatched up his trophy, savoring its syrupy sweetness, snacking noisily.

         “How was that accomplished? Who is this being?” Tune wondered. He had not seen anyone like himself before, and Dart’s tool greatly fascinated him. “This man’s tool seems to be constructed from the same materials as my instrument, yet they are so very different in design and function!” Tune watched Dart for some time, desire burning stronger each time Dart snagged a piece of fruit.An internal struggle went on inside Tune’s mind,

         “I have become self-aware. I was able to recognize my environment as separate from myself, and I was able to change it as I saw fit. I have yet to encounter a creature that contains that same quality, to make real that which manifests in the mind. Can this being truly be my equal? He has a tool that seems to be a product of his own doing, and it serves an intended purpose. If he is my peer, my intuition dictates that I must offer him the same respect I would give myself. To take the gun from this man would be as if he had taken my musical instrument. If the same feelings can be invoked in his mind as they would in mine, then I cannot steal his tool.” Tune rested his chin on his hands, desperately seeking a way to sate his desire while staying inline with his conscience.

         “Oh, but the fruit seems so delicious. I must be sure he is like me. If he is not, I can take the gun in good standing.” However, the ease at which Tune was able to get what he wished, through the power of his music, had given him a dangerous trait: expecting reward from that which he did create nor properly earn. Hours spent watching Dart, and all evidence supported the hypothesis that he was indeed Tune’s equal.

         Tune thought, “What a strange feeling. On one hand I am joyous to know that there is another out there who has the same special qualities as I. On the other hand, I thought myself unique to this world, and had a sense of pride in it. I will provide a test, and if he passes, he shall win my respect. I do not experience the incapacitating effects of my music, so that must be a quality intrinsic to anyone with my condition.” Magnificent melodies soon saturated the air.

         Dart, startled at the sudden change, questioned out loud, “What is that I hear? It is more precious than the song of any bird I have heard before!”

         The complex vibrations felt in Dart’s eardrum overwhelmed him with new emotions. The song invoked feelings which translated deep into his psyche, sounds associated with forgotten memories, the sort in times where ignorance was bliss, the end to all problems lay in a mother's embrace. Tune's mind, desperate to view this man as inferior, deduced that Dart’s behavior proved him as subhuman. Music was like a feather tickling one’s foot - a degree of unfamiliarity brought upon by another creature was necessary for the effect to work. Tune had never had anyone play for him, and would have likely suppressed the fact to obtain the dart gun.
Tune,stated, “He behaved no different than any beast upon hearing my music. My superiority is proven, he lacks the mental capacity to maintain the presence of one’s mind. My actions are justified.”

         While Dart was under the music’s spell, Tune stole all of Dart's belongings, including his prized dart guns and darts.

         Tune was in delight. “I never before have been so satisfied. Everything I see, I have the ability to take.” Tune wastefully used the last dart on low hanging fruit, for he had now grown lazy. “I now see my folly, I am out of ammo. I did not account for an unlimited supply of projectiles. Dart is sure to craft more, and I shall simply take them at my will.” It did not occur to Tune to learn the craft from watching Dart.
Dart, on the other hand, had learned a great deal from his experience. He angrily spoke to himself upon waking, “It is natural for all beings to desire survival. A creature such as myself, who can manipulate nature at will, is far better served with the resources than a being incapable of distinguishing itself from anything else. This bestial act bestowed upon me was not committed by someone like myself. There is no use for empathy in the natural environment. A cat, playing with a mouse before feeding, does not have the capacity to understand how the mouse feels. The cat is simply honing its predatory skills, refining its reflexes. This must be the nature of my enemy. I succumbed to the power of pleasure, but no longer will I make that mistake again. Everything is a balance, and moderation must be maintained. A life without pain is no life at all, for pain alerts me from death. At the same time, a life without pleasure is a lifeless one, for pleasure tells me life is worth living. A peer of my caliber would have realized the time and effort it took into the dart gun’s construction. A worthy brother would have sought out the method to create a gun of his own. No, surely the thief, in spite of being clever, cannot be my equal. My enemy has filled his belly on the work of others for too long. He has forgotten death. If one forgets death, he is a danger to himself and those around him. All living things will be better off if I were to kill my enemy!” Legend has it that from this point on, roses chose to bear thorns, for the thorn-less had been picked.

         Tune watched, hidden, as Dart set upon creating a new set of tools. If Tune watched with the intent to learn, he would have recognized that Dart created some tools hastily, forgoing the expert craftsmanship for the sake of speed. Dart was creating instruments that only appeared to have function, bait.
         “My enemy is somehow able to amplify the song of the birds, and if an implement of such beauty has the capacity for a hideous crime, my fruit snatcher too can be capable of ugly things.” Dart remained solemn in his behavior, despite coming to a horrid conclusion.
Dart abandoned his decoy weapons and hid. Tune, impatient to get back to fruit snatching, quickly scrambled over to the cache rather than wait to incapacitate Dart upon his return. Reaching down to pick up Dart’s gun, he suddenly felt a stabbing pain in 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. What was happening?
Tune’s mind raced. It must have been the creature with the fruit snatcher!

         “But he was subhuman! How could he have anticipated my coming?” Tune’s eyes widened as Dart approached. The confirmation of his mistake was more painful than feeling his life drain away. Tune remorsed, “My enemy was a man! He could self-reason!”
Even now, as Dart approached him, sorrow filled his eyes. Tune could see that they were truly peers.

         Tune cried out in his mind, “How arrogant think myself as superior, despite all evidence pointing to the fact we were equals. Does he have tears in his eyes? He knows and is sorrowful of my dying. What a travesty!”

         Dart watched sadly as the eyes, belonging to what he once considered a savage thief, went lifeless. In that instant, he saw regret, he saw himself.

         Dart said, “ We are so alike, but somehow so different. My enemy used these differences to make a mistake, to think I was less than a man. In return, I failed to realize my own fallibility, no better than my enemy. Here we are, both victims and perpetrators of a crime, and despite our maladies, remain on common ground. The permanence and silence of the dead is disturbing, and I fear only my side of the story will be passed down. I am filled with great apprehension of the future of my kind, for my enemy and I both started off with good intentions, a sense of purity in our hearts and actions. The horror is that despite having a positive purpose, all the good in the world could not stop evil seeping in and causing ruin.”Dart decided that Tune’s death, and the events that transpired would not be in vain. If this story could be passed down to the next generation, maybe some semblance of order, a deviation from chaos, could lead to good.

         Dart picked up the musical instrument, along with the rest of his belongings, and began the rest of his life, now with the inception of civilization in his mind. Using Tune’s musical instrument, he was able to find and woo a wife, who bore him a son. The tools were impressed upon the son, and the lessons learned through the tribulations of his father were never forgotten. The seed of civilization was planted.
© Copyright 2015 Mazz (manzy at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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