The dampness of the day left a sheen of moisture on his upper lip as he walked beside the brook. He scanned the bank, picking up stones of all shapes and sizes. He was looking for something unusual to put in his fish tank at home. A burlap sack with a rope pulled through the top of it for a make shift strap hung from his shoulder. It was there to put the larger stones in. The smaller ones he dropped into the side pockets of his cargo pants which were rolled up to his knees.
It was quiet here. There were no other human sounds. Only the birds chirping, squirrels, rustling leaves, wind and running water. The sun glistened off of the surface of the stream and reflected up onto his face warming his thoughts with peace. He marveled at the beauty.
Here, he was alone. No phones, computers, alarms, buzzers, honking horns, traffic noise or voices! They were distant thoughts that tickled the back of the brain. Gone….but not forgotten. This was where he went to disregard the world for just a little while. He would recharge his batteries, then go back to the house.
Then he heard an unusual sound of rustling which made him look up toward the tops of the trees. Not that he was frightened, just curious because he had heard that before but never here. It sounded like… wings?
“Who’s there?” he whispered not wanting to scare away whatever it was. Now the noise was behind him. Looking over his shoulder, he turned around, trying to find the sound. Suddenly he lost his footing and fell into the water hitting his head as he landed.
The last thing he remembered was the splash. He tried to sit up but a light was blinding him. He covered his face with the back of his hand. Then gradually, the brightness faded along with the ache in his head as he lowered his arm to the ground. Leaning up on one elbow he looked around and realized he was not in the water but lying beside the bank with his burlap sack of stones beside him. His clothes and hair were wet. “What happened?” he said aloud. Was there someone there? He slowly sat up and saw a single white feather float to the ground and come to a soft landing next to him. “Now where did that come from?”