Og was busying himself spooning raw fish guts into his mouth when he heard a strange and alien sound. Not being very bright or very curious, it gave him pause for about five seconds. He had an irritating crotch itch, probably from the little crabbies that frequented this rocky shore. He reached through the fly of his trousers and
satisfied himself scratched until he sighed. He liked the frontal ventilation, and was proud of these trousers, made out of a broad leafed leathery plant tied together with vines. Their purpose was not modesty, but protection of the butt from lava rock when sitting down to eat fish guts.
Done his meal, he used a couple of spiny bones to pick his teeth. There was the noise again. Actually, two noises. One was a low booming hum, something like he had heard from a volcano once, but different because it was very close and maintained its pitch.
It was hard to find its source, and, with irritation, he got up and walked aimlessly towards a bushy promontory, as good a direction as any. The second noise, seeming to interplay or complement the hum, was a high pitched keening, like unto what he was used to hearing from the endless hordes of malicious insects that were a delightful part of his life. This sound, though, rose and fell in pitch and had many pauses and rhythms.
Of course, Og could not have articulated this, but it served to attract him to see what was beyond the jutting rock and bush.
Alternately swimming and climbing rocks, he pulled himself up to shore on the far side of the bush. Skinned knees and cut feet were the mother of invention for him, because he had a thought flash through his meaty head that he could easily make something for his feet, and so the first sandals were invented.
The hum was louder now as he crested the last of the sharp rocks. Og nearly fell down from fright and surprise at what greeted him. Something big and grey hung motionless in the air. Something shaped just like the palm-sized flat rocks on the beaches, but so big. As big, he thought, as many of the surrounding trees laid end to end. In front of this disk, in the yellow parched grass, stood three figures, covered in something so shiny that Og had trouble making them out. One held a long spindly thing to his mouth, and seemed to be producing the marvelous noise, which now was attracting him with its pleasant vibrations and pitches. The other two were gathering dead plants and branches, and commenced piling them up into a small pyramid. Og thought they must be idiots. They looked his way, and beckoned him to approach. Trembling, he came closer. The one playing the clarinet continued his concert, but soon settled it down to a repetitive drone of five different notes. Og would come no closer than ten feet.
The other two shiny men began to pick up small chunks of rock, and, holding them over the little pyramid, began to strike them together. Og smiled. This was entertainment. He crept closer. As they bashed the rocks together, small bits of bright light showered from them and landed on the dead plants in the pile. As they struck more and more, very tall bright lights sprang suddenly from the plants and deadwood. The tall lights grew taller and trailed grey and black clouds into the sky. Og began to back away in fear of this spectacle and because he felt very hot of a sudden. One of the figures made to take him gently by the arm, and stroked his hand in a gesture of comfort. They had with them some fish, and he was immediately concerned that his supply might run out. They laid the fish on a flat hard object and held it over the orange light, now growing in intensity. Og had not smelled anything like this in his illustrious life. In a few minutes, he was squatting on his trousers, merrily eating the first food ever cooked on purpose.
The figures, none of whom had spoken, were making as if to leave. The clarinet player had kept up his b flat drone throughout the ceremony, and it rang in Og’s head, as entrenched as the smell and taste of this wonderful meal. The fire had reached great proportions, and, as a last gesture of teaching, one of the figures picked a burning branch from it and carried it over to a loose one that was laying on the ground. Og saw that the bright lights and marvelous heat were transferred to the other branch, and now there were two burning! He was overcome. He sank to his knees, and bowed prostrate, kissing the hallowed ground.
His three mentors bowed in return, then turned and ascended into the grey ship.
The enlightened Og had many visions as he finished the fish and cooked some more.
Agh and Org would have to hear of this. They would set themselves up as kings in the land. They would utter those five magic notes. They would be keepers of the flame, and givers of roast fish.
And so, satisfied, happy, and with a full tummy, Og drifted off to sleep. He would make his sandals in the morning. Twilight was bleeding to dark. Twinkling stars appeared, one by one. And, one by one, the last of the flames and embers went dark to the sound of sonorous snoring.
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.