The rain passed through the tree tops, leaving small globules of water clinging to the luscious leaves. Five minutes and it was gone, a tropical sunlight following in its wake, reaching across the forest, drying the flora as it went.
The small droplet of water sat magnifying the surface of the leaf, as the heat of the sun opened up on the tree, the droplet shrank, disappearing from existence as quick as it had arrived. There was movement in the branches and as a bird stretched its wings and leapt into the air and took flight. It brushed the leaf with the faintest of touches, but it was enough, and the evaporating water rolled across its surface gathering fresh supplies as it went, falling from its lofty summit at the mercy of gravity. Only luck and a divine plan kept it from crashing in to the other branches and leaves as it continued its downward momentum to crash into the rotting vegetation below. It splashed up and across the motionless face of the man lying on the ground.
His eyes opened and he sat with a start, taking in his surroundings with no comprehension at all. The moments past and with it the slow realisation of being began. As he moved his head, his body reacted with the faintest sensation of pain. He stretched his upper torso, breathing in the dank air of the forest. He looked down at his body with surprise, moving the different parts as his explored the physical form. ‘This in new’ he thought, but even as the thought made it’s was across his mind he knew this was not true. He had experienced this before, he had had hands before, hands, that’s what they were called, and ‘legs’ and as he looked down across his naked body, the realisation of this form came back to him fully. ‘I am a man’.
He sat motionless in the forest for some time, listening to the exotic sounds of the birds and animals. His hearing picked out the faintest movements, a centipede climbing a nearby tree, a mosquito whining as it sensed the blood pumping through his veins. It landed on his neck, but before it could take hold the man brushed the insect to the floor. All around him the sounds and the smells of the forest filled him with pleasure and he drank in every moment for the gift it was to him.
After some time he began feeling uncomfortable and dug down in his slowly unfurling mind for a reason. ‘I am hungry he thought’. Standing up he found his legs worked well, there was a slight stumble as the muscles reacted to an extended period of inactivity, but he shook it off and moved forward purposefully. He had heard something different in the distance, alien to the forest, something very familiar though that came in bursts, louder and louder and was gone again. He moved towards the source of that sound, not quite sure of it’s meaning, only understanding it was the right thing to do.
He made his way through the dense undergrowth, aware of the constant drag of the vegetation against his skin. Small cuts appeared on the otherwise perfect skin. A constant barrage of parasitic insects settled upon him but each was dealt with swiftly as his highly honed senses alerted his brain to their presence. It made progress slow, but steadily he made his way towards his perceived destination.
The sun was still high in the sky and the climate warm and humid, evenly spaced beads of sweat formed on his body, running in snaking trails down his torso. Thirst began to take hold, but he was strong and focussed and continued forcefully on his way. Before long the trees parted to leave him standing on a slope. At the foot of this was a band of dirt that came out of the trees to one side, following the curvature of the small hill, and disappearing into the undergrowth further on. He wandered down to stand on the apex of the bend, looking each way and seeing the dirt track leading away in either direction. Something was moving towards him from the distance as he stood and watched. Before long he could make out a shape inside, a person, another being like himself. As he strained to see more detail he began to feel a dizziness coming over him, he felt breathless and fatigued and once again he passed into darkness.