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Upon a Time...?
Flight-lieutenant Emerson flew his plane low over the rain-forest; easing back on the forward-thrust engines until the plane hovered. His mission: look for a vertical landing and take-off area. Not that there'd be one in this impenetrable green. Nevertheless, he had to go through the drill. He smiled. At least he'd handled the controls nicely. Pity about communications. Some distortion in the area. He'd report it as soon as it cleared.
He pushed the levers to propel the plane forward again and at the same time to take it into a climb. He felt his body thrust backwards into the seat. The plane screamed upwards then the klaxon blazed: EJECT! EJECT! EJECT! The plane spun crazily; the sky, the land, the green, swung madly about him. He desperately clung to consciousness. He had to slam the Ejector Button. The canopy blew off; his seat hurtled into space...
The grass seemed like a perfectly tended lawn. Green: a deep emerald green; and lush; lush as velvet. Tall trees reached graceful-ly up to a flawlessly blue sky - their foliage fresh and exquisitely formed. Everything seemed, somehow, as if newly grown; and the waterfall he could glimpse beyond the trees sparkled like liquid crystal. Its clear waters made a soft chuckling sound, like that of a delighted infant at play. Birds sang all around - unimaginably sweet to surpass the purest flute. The flowers had the virgin-fresh look of spring. The air was warm and a delicate perfume sweetened its breeze.
He looked around from where he lay - dazed and bewildered, yet in wonder. What What happened? Was Was he dead? Then he saw the woman standing a little way off and looking down at him. A woman as feminine as it was possible for a woman to be. And naked. Yet with an innocence - a purity - almost awesome. Like a perfectly formed statue she stood; but one warm - warm; soft; and vitally alive. And golden hair; luxuriantly flowing down to her waist. "Who are you? What are you called?" she said - or was it sung? Her voice drifted on the air like music; music even to shame the birds singing sweetly in the trees above. His heart seemed to melt to a warm liquidity. Oh! - how could anyone be so beautiful. "Who are you?" she said again. Speechlessly, he gaped up at her. He wanted to kneel; to worship; but he could not move.
"Si... Simon...Simon Emerson," he managed to say at last.
Her hauntingly beautiful eyes widened, questioningly. "Simon," he managed to say, more strongly.
"Szimorn?" she repeated. He nodded. He realised his name sounded beautiful.
The days passed in a dream. He felt a love for her; but a love so pure he could only follow her - follow her in meek adoration. Then one day the man came. A Greek God of a man. Also naked. He put down what seemed to be clay tablets then came to greet her. He seemed solicitous - even affectionate. He looked at Simon with curiosity, yet as if accustomed to seeing the unexpected. Simon felt apprehensive; but the man said nothing. He then left.
"He has gone to name names," the woman said. Wistfully? Regretfully? Simon wasn't sure which. Nor did he know what her enigmatic annunciation meant.
"Never mind," she then said. "Let us talk again. What was it you were telling?"
He asked for a lock of her hair. She smiled. He had the regulation-sharp clasp-knife in his pocket. She allowed him to cut the end off a tress. He held it in his hand. It felt soft - soft as silk. It shone - shone like gold.
The man returned now and again and left - as he always did. Each time, the woman lapsed into that wistful, regretful mood; but it did not last long. She would turn to him: "Come, Szimorn," she would say. "Let us walk. It is so nice to walk amongst the trees." She would reach up and a bird would alight on her finger - to sing.
One day the man came while they were out walking. He spoke to the woman softly; but, as always, just looked at Simon with curiosity. When he left, the woman seemed more wistful than ever. They had stopped near a tree laden with golden fruit. "If I take one of these," she said, "he would not have to find names for creatures and things. He would know." She reached up... "No! No! Not the apple..." Simon screamed with a sudden shock of recognition. "No!" The trees; earth; sky; spun, swung crazily...
We found him on the edge of the forest. Been in there for three weeks. We'll keep him in the ward, of course. Under close observation. Miraculously good shape, physically. His training, no doubt. Kept him fit. Living off the land. But his mind? Difficult to say. Funny thing: we had one heck of a job to open his hand. Clasped tightly. Inside? A lock of hair. Incredibly beautiful. Must've belonged to some stunner of a girl. However, pilots carry such things. Good luck charms - talismans. Good heavens! Is that the time? Sometimes it drags; sometimes it flies. Makes one wonder what time is, actually...
Written by: William Kenneth Jones
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