The Wild Descent
by Brian Harrison
I reimagine them peering over the brink dipping their long snouts, their twisted lips, and gleaming eyes into the fog of the valley below. Sealed off for the longest time in a habitual daze framed above the clouds rollicking among starlight and the sun’s glare, they were rarely seen or heard of again. Bizarre creatures upon the mountainside, writhing shadows, of all different shapes and sizes. Colors and contours mixing and matching without space to roam as is their nature. It was reported that they would frequently come down from the heights, entering the valley, with the clap of thunder, charging through the fog, and be found in full display about the pools and vast savannahs in seemingly intelligent order. Some reported this as being a marvel; others simply banal.
Few have seen them. Wild, they were. Maybe terrifying, even malicious. Though, sometimes kind, perhaps benevolent too. But strange, always strange and quite unpredictable.
Researchers came. Came to study them. But the more they studied them, the less they appeared. It was only in a certain lachrymose appreciation for them and the surrounding in which they’d roam that they would appear. But this has been sometime. So now, I advance trying to keep myself from any unsolicited grasping after learning their habits.
But one habit of confused mystery, I will mention. It is how they are so distant, and so absent, and unexpected. It is believed by some that if they do not wander down the mountain in quite some time, storms accumulate, winds blow fierce, and the dark clouds settle in, and the rain falls like razors of ice. All dark and horrid things happen when wild things do not roam.
But wait? Was that the thunder or the sound of the forest being swallowed up by their presence? I see movement among the trees. I feel the earth rumble and quake. They appear again. Motioning out of the misty clouds above into this visible white space of the here and now.