December 15th, 2019 by Patrick Starks
Part II: Kompas and Eagle
The world wasn’t what any had thought it to be, especially not for Kompas. He’d traveled everywhere, learning all that he could about life, yet, there would always be a lesson that he was missing. And like most, Kompas never knew what that lesson was. However, he’d felt more closer to it than anyone. There was no doubt about it, the world was a playground full of mystery. It had excelled in everything possible—technology, people, quantity but lack of quality, which is another story. But why did they exist if they didn’t have all the answers, Kompas wondered. Was the world just one big test? Who knows, but if there was anyone Kompas knew that could help him it was Eagle.
Kompas had already promised himself a dozen times already that he’d never go on another adventure with Eagle again, although, Eagle was one of the best damn trackers that he knew of. So, no matter how reckless that he was, he was just the man for the job.
“Just like old times aye,” said Eagle, with his feathery chest out. “So, what are we looking for?”
“I just told you literally 5 minutes ago,” sighed Kompas.
“Yes, you did but you know better than anyone that my hearing ain’t what it used to be,” laughed Eagle.
Kompas then rolled his eyes and repeated. “I told you… We’re looking for a river. I heard it will show you any truth that you seek,” said Kompas.
“Like how I die?” asked Eagle.
“Yes,” said Kompas. “Although, we already know your death origin.”
“Oh, come on, you still mad that I left you hanging back on the southern part of the world. I mean, you know what they do to eagles down there. They’re not exactly animal or ecofriendly.”
“Just shut it already and help me find what we came for. I think we’re close. Maybe past here,” said Kompas, cutting down a giant branch.
“What is this place? It feels like we just walked into a whole new world, but before you say it, no I don’t want a cracker.”
Kompas smiled. “You said it, not me.”
“Wait, you hear that,” said Eagle. “Sounds like some kind of heartbeat or drum, or something.”
“Yeah, I hear it to. And I think it’s coming from that tree over there,” said Kompas.
“What do you think it is?” asked Eagle.
“Don’t know,” said Kompas.
“Okay then, so, what do we do?” asked Eagle.
“We leave it,” said Kompas, walking away. “And we continue on our search for the river.”
While Kompas walked away, Eagle’s eyes remained glued to the tree. There was something about it that was strange, more so, familiar to him, that of which made it even more strange. It felt motherly in some ways.
Ignoring what Kompas had just said, Eagle flew over to it and pressed the side of his feathery face against its trunk. And when he did, it would have its own heartbeat. But why, Eagle wondered.
Eagle then felt around the many grooves that coiled around the tree with his wing but realized fast that the tree wasn’t really meant to be touched, for its grooves were sharper than the blade that Kompas kept in his satchel for protection. And little did Kompas know, Eagle knew of it all along. Little did he know, Eagle thought that he was paranoid off his mind, and for the 47 years that he’d known him, had been chasing the wind. To Eagle, there was no river of truth because he’d seen them all; the snake river, the Mississippi river, you name it, and he’d seen and fished out of them all. But although he was just a bird, Eagle knew that taking a mans dream away from him was worse than death. It was hell at its finest.
Out of nowhere there was a loud rumble from the clouds, and the skies would become grey. For the most part, the day had been as sunny as ever but Kompas could now smell rain in the air. He looked up above and drop after drop, his face would become drenched, all while he stuck his tongue out for a taste of it. Seeing how he hadn’t showered for a week or two, the rain in a lot of ways was refreshing.
Eagle however felt differently. He hated the rain. But only felt that way because it kept him from doing what he loved doing the most, flying.
“Well, this came out of nowhere,” said Eagle. “Should we find shelter until its all over. I brought snacks. I mean, I brought a few snacks. So, forgive me if I don’t have much to give.”
Kompas rolled his eyes again and sighed. “There,” he said. “In there.”
“You mean in that creepy looking cave? The one that’s got spikes hanging off it like shark teeth?” asked Eagle, nervously.
Kompas nodded, with a grin.
“But… But what if there’s bears? What am I supposed to do, peck them to death? What are you going to do stab them to death?”
“Well, we at least got snacks to give them, instead of us,” laughed Kompas. “And wait, how did you know about my toothpick?”
“Is that what you call it?” chortled Eagle.
“Yes,” said Kompas, annoyingly. “Now stop stalling and go in already.”
Eagle pouted and angrily waddled his way towards the cave where Kompas had pointed, and started singing a song that always calmed, yet, Kompas always felt annoyed by. It was literally one of the reasons why he’d considered not teaming up with Eagle in the first place. And it wasn’t that the song was bad, it was just he’d heard it more than what he’d liked too, and at such a horrible pitch. It was apparent to Kompas that birds weren’t the singers they’d been praised for.
“Fly like an eagle, into the sea; fly like an eagle let your spirits carry me come on now flyyyyeyaa,” sang Eagle. “Oh yeaaahhh, fly right into the futuuuure, doo doo, doodoo.”
“Are you done with that song already,” interrupted Kompas. “Don’t you know any other song by him?”
“Oh, come on. ‘What about Kiss by a Rose?’”
“Never heard of it,” said Eagle.
When they entered the cave it was completely pitch black and cold to the point Kompas could see his own breath. There was a gush of wind coming from inside of it but where, Kompas wondered.
“Shh… Did you hear that?” asked Kompas.
“Hear what? Still sounds like the rain to me,” said Eagle.
“No, it sounds like a river,” said Kompas
Eagle then shrugged.
“Remind me why I brought you hear again,” said Kompas.
“Because, I’m one of the best damn trackers you know,” said Eagle. “Oooo look a worm!”
“Wait! Eagle no!”
Before Kompas could stop him, with his golden beak Eagle tugged on what he thought was a worm but happened to be what Kompas feared was a trap. He’d seen plenty enough of them on the eastern side, so the thought that this one would be any different was slim to none.
“Say, what’s that sound,” asked Eagle, with the string still logged in his mouth.
“Run!” shouted Kompas
From behind them the entry way to the cave closed with giant boulders that they never knew were there. And not a second more the cave would become a giant water slide as the roof of it opened up with all the rain it had been accumulating. Eagle had done his best to fly but found himself struggling for the little space that he had.
“Eagle,” shouted Kompas. “Grab onto me!”
“What do you think I’ve been trying to do all this time!” Eagle shouted back.
Eagle then clinched onto Kompas’s, shoulder. As they continued to slide to what they felt was death, to the right of them would be two giant grizzlies roaring as loud as they could, scratching and clawing at the walls next to them.
“You see! I told you there were bears!” shouted Eagle. “Would you like me to give them their snacks now!”
“Oh, shut up! We’re going to die thanks to you!”
“Well, it’s a pleasure to die with you too,” said Eagle. “Wait… is that what I think it is?”
Kompas then clinched onto the neckless around his neck. He’d thought about his wife and son back at home. It was in that moment he wondered if he had it all backwards. That what he was chasing for all this time had been in front of him all along.
“Its too late to pray now man! This is it!” shouted Eagle. “And I didn’t even get to watch over one egg. Oh Bethany, if I’d just stayed with you…”
At the end was a light where the slide ended, and before the two had realized it they’d blackout and literally fell in love with the way they should’ve chosen from the get-go, the things that had been in front of them all along.