It was nightfall when it first appeared. It pushed its way up from between the cracks in the soil like a new shoot in the razed ground. It grew, hardening against the night air, drawing life from the undergrowth and loam, moulding itself from the forest until it had taken shape. It stretched the height of its body, flexing its newly formed muscles and shook loose the moss and leaves. The moon, once hidden from this glade by an ancient canopy, shone down a hopeful blessing as it raised its head to bask in the silver light.
It closed its eyes and listened for life no longer found in the wake of passing monsters. So it waited in the silence, hoping for a sign, no matter how small until it could stand it no more; it called out, a bellowing scream, primeval and forgotten and somewhere, in the distance, in the receding sea of green, nature answered its call.
The forest was dying.
The hungry monsters tore through wood giving no quarter as they uprooted more than they could ever need. Their jaws gathered a harvest that would be laid to waste and trampled on by the shift of their mass. No pathway was safe, no undergrowth shelter from their scourge as they cursed the earth in the name of progress and profit.
The mechanical monsters came, shattering years of balance, their wheels squealing in the mud of their destruction, their pistons hissing with each load and belching a tide of black smoke that stifled the air.
The forest fell. Nature cried.
Her tears were not in vain.
The old man muttered a warning. His skin showed the map of his age, his eyes, sightless since birth, saw more than those around him as he stood in front of the rage of the machine.
They laughed, these modern men who would reach without thought, for their world was full of numbers and greed and they had no time superstitions. They looked only ahead and didn’t listen to the butterfly’s wings.
So the ancient one turned his back on them with a click of his tongue and as the machines began their work once more – it came.
Copyright RMC Feb 2018