A tear appears in the darkness.
Delicate fingers move along it.
Eyes arise on the other side of it.
“There you are little one” they whisper.
Hands reach in.
They pull back the top of the pod slowly.
Sunlight showers him.
He shuts his eyes tightly.
“Hey, you” she whispers.
She draws in close.
Her hair tumbles down all around him.
It smells like the universe.
“It’s time” she says.
His eyes open reluctantly.
“That’s it” she says.
Tufts of white fluffy stuff lift off.
His eyes turn to surprise.
“Inklings” she says.
“Watch” she says.
She waves her hands under them.
Air currents take them.
Some do loop-de-loops higher and higher into the air.
Others settle softly in nearby pools, ponds and puddles.
Winds move them inland.
They touch the shore.
Burst silently into colored clouds.
He turns to her immediately.
All kinds of things emerge.
Make their way to the First Forest.
Pause at its edge.
They turn before entering.
Look at him.
Lift up their paws.
Raise their tusks.
Unfurl their trunks.
Flick their tails.
Raise their heads.
Lift their wings to acknowledge him.
They head in.
“Who are they?! Where are they going?! What are they doing?!” he asks.
“Whoa, whoa…” she says patiently.
He takes a panoramic view of his vicinity.
A pulsating tangle of wiry something sits at the center.
Whatever it is.
It is in a hurry.
It shakes in anticipation.
It can’t wait.
It has something to share.
It is not sure what that something is.
So, it shares everything.
Tendrils stretch out in every direction.
Pods appear at their concluding ends.
They start off green.
Then they brown.
Pods open up.
Others are within.
They are emerging.
Do not look like him.
He is the only one of him.
Inklings are floating.
The smell of honeysuckle abounds.
“What is all of this?” he asks.
“We are hesitant to name it” she says
“Names” she says “have a way of making you think you know what you named.”
“But…” she continues.
“When we do feel the need to name it, we call it the Beginning.”
“Of what?” he asks.
“Who are you?” he asks.
“You could say that I am a friend of the Beginning” she says.
“A friend of the Beginning…” he says.
He falls back into his pod.
Hands behind his head.
He absorbs the inkling filled sky.
“Am I a friend of the Beginning too?” he asks.
“Yeah you could say that” she lovingly laughs.
“But you are also more than that” she adds.
“Who am I?” he asks.
She tenderly rubs the velvety nubs of his soon to be horns.
“You…” she says “have a task to complete.”
His eyes flash open.
Face down in the dirt.
Blood stains the earth.
He reaches for a horn that is no longer there.
Rolls onto his back.
Finds he is laying in the shade of a leaf-laden tree.
A tree with leaves is something he never sees.
And, he has never ever seen these leaves.
“The Beginning Tree” he says.