You can find Part 1 here. This is Part 2 from Forerunners.
A stone, rough edged, irregular in shape, lay closest to him, level with his eyes. Two tiny, six-legged creatures climbed over it with apparent ease, to be followed by more, in a straight line. Each one climbed up the same small crevice, all stopping at the top of their tiny mountain and waving antennae in the light, as if seeking, searching, for scent, for sight, for taste. He did not know. Then down the other side, moving with conviction, following the one in front, followed by the one behind.
He watched, immobile as they disappeared into a waving forest of green vegetation, and he marvelled at the fact they could move.
But wait! If they could move, perhaps he could too. Had his eyes not jerked open in surprise at the sense of touch? And had he not closed them again in reaction to the light? Could it be possible? Was this not his entire existence? Was there more?
Again his being was flooded with warmth as he inhaled deeply at the idea of more. It was as if Life – a Life force – washed through him, strengthening him and feeding his body and his mind. As if some external force, separate yet an integral part of who he was, breathed yet more life into him.
He became aware of the beat of his heart as he lay in the dust from which he came; and of blood – life blood – coursing through his veins. As it spread out from his heart to the furthest parts of him, he began to sense his extremities.
And a finger twitched, a knee jerked, a stone dug into the shoulder which had contact with the ground. Some instinct made him draw his limbs in and push his hands against the dust where he lay. He straightened his arms, stronger with each passing moment, and swung his legs up to curl under him as, for the very first time, he sat.
What wonders surrounded him! A kaleidoscope of greens, a variety of shapes, leaves and grasses, and, higher than he could reach, trees on tall, strong trunks soaring above him, so he could sit in comfort in their shade.
Glorious colours dotted these plants as flowers adorned them and butterflies flitted from one to the other. A brightly coloured beetle flew close, buzzing, its wings moving faster than he could see. He put out his hand and the beetle landed on his palm. Orange and black, it was a marvel of creation and he wondered who had designed it.
The sense of well-being coursed through his veins again, filling him with joy.
The beetle gathered itself together, crawled across his palm, sending tickling sensations up his arm, and then spread its wings and flew away into the distance until he could no longer see it.
Could he fly? The beetle had wings of gauze, delicate, patterned.
He lifted his hand where the beetle had landed and stared, enrapt. What was this? What was its purpose?
He inhaled deeply, sucking air into his lungs, and with it came a renewed sense of Life. Awareness seemed to course through him. He flexed his fingers. In, out. In, out. Four long, straight fingers of differing lengths. A fifth protruded from his palm. It seemed to be independent of the others. It moved in a different direction. He bent one finger towards it until they touched. Tip to tip. Finger to thumb.
Startled at the exquisite sensation, he spread his hand wide. He watched in fascination as the skin creased each time he bent a finger. He was determined to identify what triggered the sensation of touch.
There! There it was again. As finger and thumb came together he could feel.
And warmth flooded through him.
Gazing at his fingers, he saw delicate whorls of patterns on each one. He clenched his fist and stopped, alarmed. The outside of his fingers was different. No patterns here, but a hard covering. He ran his thumb over the back of the smallest finger across this hard covering. It was smooth to the touch and seemed to offer some protection, but from what he had no idea.
He continued to open and close his hand, absorbed by discovering all he could, until he was distracted by a sweet sound.