The hikers, weary from weeks of walking the rainforest, reached once more for their axes. Weighted by clothing soaked from their labors under a sun gone supernova, clothing torn by limb jaggers lining the path, eyesight blurred by thick droplets of sweat posturing as tears, they persevered.
Scratched, burned and muscled, the band of misfits barely noticed how quiet the forest had become. Only against the backdrop of a silence as wide as the azure blue above, did the echoes of their voices – notes of hope and anticipation – remind them they were the singular representatives of human life. What had silenced the wildlife, the birds, the insects?
A clearing in the middle of the lush, tropical rainforest had been the focal point of their sojourn, the proverbial X marks the spot on the tattered topographical relic and it now indicated they were but 7 kilometers from their final destination.
Knowing this was the home stretch, the hikers hastened their steps; without hesitation, without fear, moved as if one organic organism until they came upon imagination made real at the base of a massive tree.