He heard the haunting sound of a tenor sax melody, which drew him from the fog and into the clearing. Ain’t Misbehavin’, drifting in the wind.
Invading his nostrils. Opening his mind.
A wind whistled, storm arriving. He ignored the warning.
No one to talk to.
All by myself.
Focused on a picnic. Foursome. College grads. Dressed to impress. Bow ties and black pumps. A bottle of champers. One male laying back as a woman fed him titbits from a wicker-basket, the other two copulating on a shag-pile carpet. A rumpled ball-gown, discarded.
Grunts and groans. Tempting him. Taunting him.
The melody drifted away.
He turned. A new wind buffeted. No matter. Focused on another scene.
A goat tethered to a gnarled tree-stump. Bleating. A smoky fire, crackling in the wind. Squirrels in a cage, a trainee nurse feeding them peanut shells. She held a carving knife in one hand and a syringe in the other. Smiled while drops of liquid oozed from the needle.
Tantalising him. Tempting him.
Through with flirtin’.
I’m happy on the shelf.
A squabble nearby.
Bitches in bondage, wearing tight white linen slacks. Hurting one-another. Screaming insults.
Yelling at him. Provoking him.
His throat ached. Turned away.
Music played upon his senses – no one to walk with. He trekked across the clearing. Tramping on fallen leaves, avoiding bear traps, following his sound.
A sea of marshy puddles – clear-cut as glass – lapped his ankles, made him trip.
On his back. A few glittering stars. Flashes seared into his brain.
His high faded, and the music softened.
Had to move. Had to follow. Had to leave the clearing behind. Had to…
More flashes. Raindrops falling. Thunderclaps drowning the sax.
Mama’s voice. Hand tugging at him.
‘Jack…you’re sweating buckets, sweetie. You alright?’
Just you that I’m thinkin’ of.
Savin’ my love for you.