The Sound of Silence
Silence but not too much
The woods had been Deke’s friend for years. He could spend hours walking around, soaking up the peace and the delicate tweets and sounds that forest critters made. The variety of these sounds was enough to relax and energize the 29-year-old.
The forest was also the place Deke went during the heat of the summer to get away from the sun’s blazing rays. Even though the trees made the area more humid, the sun was not baking him directly. He liked that about the forest.
When he first stumbled upon the old stump he now used as a reflection seat, the spot had almost escaped his notice. Now, after six months of daily walks, it was his very own, large and comfortable enough to sit on for an hour.
On the post, he could sit and think, close his eyes and meditate, read the Bible and ponder its mysteries, or just listen.
Deke never actually saw the forest noise makers. He just heard them. Sure, on occasion, he’d see and hear squirrels and rabbits and smaller animals, but they weren’t the ones jabbering much.
No, high in the pines, cottonwoods, and oaks were the birds – the sound culprits.
One or two birds making noises would have driven him crazy and disturbed his peace. Hundreds of birds, however, just melded into one large relaxing sound.
Then, as he checked his watch before getting up to leave, the noises stopped.
Just like that.
No sound in the forest at all.
Deke’s entire body shook twice as he a chill traversed his spine.
He stood and looked around at the trees. No sound, nothing.
What had happened?
Why no sound?
Was a storm approaching?
Did a much larger predator arrive, one larger than a squirrel or fox?
His eyes darted side to side, up and down a million times. He packed up his writing materials and walked briskly to the sunlit area. Whatever was in the midst of that shaded area, whatever had caused those birds to stifle their communication was a sign for Deke Morris to exit stage left, as it were.
Deke was young and daring, but not enough to battle an unknown predator.
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