Part I - Resumption
DUSK. Like the driven black walls that rose from the sea before smoothly dispersing on the ocean's fine surface the scattered light broke through night's eternal shell, bringing about a New World unto the begotten realm. Hundreds of miles away from the nearest port was situated, between two calm currents that brought with them subtle traffic and placid winds, an isle upon which no man had hitherto visited; no empire from the West had marred its soils with their imperialistic standards, nor even had the indigenous tribes of the region taking refuge upon its serene foothills, lying just beyond a series of crags that rose like a callous sanctuary from the sable deeps.
Within the isle's glacy coves, upon which miles of dull white sand beaches stretched ad infinitum, a shadow of a beast stalked an unseen prey: slowly, with surprising care. But upon further inspection it is discovered not to be a beast at all – but a man! In the earliest light brought forth on any given day, it should be noted, one's vision is seldom trustworthy. And, as the marble lanes of the islet illuminate in renewed time, we see it quite ridiculous to think this ominous figure to be a beast at all.
Unsurely, the man walks to the water's edge, where the beloved troth of the sea, revered by every man since Adam, cordially greets the white-laced sand. How splendid! the man thinks aloud – indeed, he speaks whatever happens to be on his mind, for nobody is witness to his words. How splendid it is! he repeats. The sea is my estate, for now I have conquered it!
This particular man, a mariner of sorts thrown but not beaten by age, heeds to no crown or state, nor does he have a land to call "home". He has no one to love him, no zealots to follow him in his crusade of Western tyranny. He is a life of a man, a recluse and a despot of his own creation. He draws not on society's word, but his own – well, the word of the waters.
With the mist of the dying night serenading his every move, at last the mariner catches glimpse of his treasure. In an explosion of rapacity he leaps from his burnt, bare feet and falls to the ground. The water runs through his matted hair as he roles over to reveal his catch to an imaginary audience. All at once he exerts his own force into breaking the crayfish, ceasing its innocence and naïve movements to bite away at its white and tender innards. All the while he chuckles softly to himself – a broken laugh caulked with years of exhaustion.
Sated, the man rests, the uneaten organs of the poor crawler rolling into the blood-matted sand. The chilled waters, a product of the northward currents and a November gale, drive salted waves of piercing cold onto the tropical isle; they run through the man's hair, cover parts of his wrinkled face, and run down the slopes of his bones – yet he does not stir a hair. He continues to glare skyward and admire the brilliant hues emitted by the rising sun, the celestial body whom the old man considers his most trustworthy companion.
He stays in this position well into noon, and by evening he has retreated once more into the depths of the island's interior. It is here that he has constructed, out of the resources around him, a provisional shanty complete with a bed of thatch, whatever vittles he could muster, and his affections.