Aaron woke up one morning, and put his two feet on the floor. He moved the black knob of his bedside radio to on. He sat motionless and his moist feet beginning to stick to the laminate flooring, his ears widening. Casie imagined a tiny lumberjack hiking up the plains of Aaron’s spine. She would often launch into daydreams about this minuscule harvester that marched from one side of Aaron’s body to another. The brown hairs that sprouted like moss on his back and chest would provide ample grounds for exploration and profit.
As he sat now, listening to collections of consonants and vowels that came out of little horizons on the table, Casie imagined the hike. His shoulders slumped forward, but he held the lower half of his torso upright. She thought about whether Aaron’s body would be like earth and maintain its gravitational pull, or shift with each movement. As Aaron made an oval out of the chain necklace that glimmered from the floor, she made herself into a God, and the lumberjack was forced to hack his axe into Aaron’s flesh and hold on for dear life.
He gripped first with one hand, but while kicking his dangling feet, gained the momentum to barrel his other arm to the wooden handle. It swung in such a perfectly circular motion that the lumberjack felt his hands to be those of a grandfather clock. His right arm, the minute hand, was travelling backwards through time, while the hour seized at twelve. His two arms now suffocated the handle which began to spit splinters at his palms. He looked up, not knowing his God lay behind him, and prayed to Aaron’s crown. The lumberjack didn’t know he was religious, but the sight of his two flannel masked arms pointing to this new heaven led his mind to places it had never stumbled upon in his weeks of tree cutting.
From the south, two Appalachians softly pressed into the earth. Their snow crested tips seemed to melt into the hard surface of Aaron’s shoulder blades. They began to flatten, spreading east and west; the lumberjack observed. The earth curved forward and he found himself with his two feet on the ground in the middle of the forest.
Casie brought her arms above Aaron’s shoulders. She didn’t bend them at her elbows to embrace his chest, but extended them forward at an oval portrait of his ancestors. Their bodies together took the shape of an elk, her arms became antlers. At that moment she held from her palms to her shoulder the power of a thousand year old beast.
The lumberjack, adjusting to his new surroundings, looked up to the mountains hanging upside down from the sky. They enclosed him in an alcove amongst the trees of hair. Light tunnelled between these warm walls, and concentrated on a narrow strip of Aaron’s upper vertebrae. He looked at each follicle individually from the root. He was so used to looking up, he had become so hypnotized by the weaving of hairs above his head, that he had forgotten the truth. There was no one overwhelming mass, but individual little prickles. Some only an arms width away from each other. As he measured the distance, he gripped his two fists around parallel hair trees. He grounded his lower body, his two heels creating dimples in the flat skin. He closed his eyes. A rectangle of light spanned from his brow to the bottom of his wild beard. It just missed his eyelids, skimming his tear ducts. The lumberjack angled his body towards the ground, as if someone was stepping on the back two legs of a rocking chair. As the rectangle widened, and stretched to cover his stinging lids, he felt the hair reach its full suspension. Plucked from the root in which it had grown, the lumberjack came to his new ground crashing.
The spring of Aaron’s knees catapulted him off the bedside, with a resounding ‘o’ sound. Casie’s antlers split in two and fell across the width of the mattress.
“Why would you do that?” Aaron asked, softly covering where the prick had occurred. Casie regarded him with the wide eyes of a deer.