|The Tragedy That Follows
Author: Marien Verity Reed PM
A lonely tree experiences the harshness of those that wish to get rid of it. Inspired by the tree outside my window.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Tragedy - Words: 653 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 03-03-13 - Status: Complete - id: 3105603
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Once upon a time there lived a barren tree in the deepest, darkest part of the forest. All the other lush and beautiful trees were separated from this one, and thus the tree was all alone. Not even the grass would grow at its roots, as all that surrounded it dried and withered. The wind would howl between its jutting branches making the most dreadful sound unlike the beautiful melodies of the others.
The poor tree never experienced the rays of the sun or gazed upon the beauty of the moon for neither passed overhead. Without the sun's light the tree could not bear leaves and flowers would never bloom, which left the tree very lonely.
One day a burly man dressed in a red-checkered shirt and light blue jeans marched up to the hideous tree. The man wielded a mighty weapon with a sharp, silvery blade that gleamed despite the darkness. He heaved it over his strong shoulder before swinging it against the base of the terrified tree.
WHACK! SWOSH! SWACK!
The man split the bark little by little until suddenly a thousand screams filled the space around him. Then there was blood, fresh and red, oozing from the slice in the jagged bark. In an instant, his hands left the handle of the axe and covered his ears, begging for mercy from the wails. His own petrified cries were lost within the hundreds of shrieks, and the man fled so quickly that specks of dirt were kicked up in his wake. However, the axe stayed in the side of the agony stricken tree without any hope of relief.
Horrifying stories were whispered about the bleeding tree. They fabricated tales about its foreboding branches that twisted and reached out like horrifying claws awaiting an unsuspecting victim to impale. The screams were those of travelers lost in the woods who wandered too close to the sinister tree, and the blood was then leeched from the bodies of those unfortunate fools to fuel the tree's hunger. Any attempt at ridding the world of such a demonic thing would cause the attempter to go insane. Now the tree was not only lonely but also feared.
Tragedy followed the tree like a beacon, as several seasons later during a particularly dry week; a great inferno engulfed the entire forest. The flames spread from branch to leaf, burning away the beauty that these trees bore. Some were spared though left as only a canvas with no paint. Others were nothing more than ash.
The fearful tree watched in silent horror as the unforgiving fire destroyed its home. It writhed as the flames licked at its grotesque branches though failed to actually catch aflame. The tree proved to be too far, too isolated for the fire to grip hold of its branches, which bent and twisted out of reach. The heat was all that could cause the tree pain, and its screech joined the crackling of its dying brethren.
A heavy layer of smoke coated the sky, making it impossible to tell the time that passed since the inferno raged, though for the tree it felt like an eternity.
Once the final flame had extinguished itself, all that was left in its wake was a smoky wasteland. All the adorned trees were nothing more than black, charred pieces of bark amongst a blanket of ash and burnt grass.
Although the tree with the axe in its side was the only one left unscathed, it still wept for the lost of the forest that was its home. For it was now more alone than ever and remained just as ugly amongst the carnage that almost seemed to have been caused by the sorrowful tree. However, with a few more seasons, the forest would grow back to be full and lovely once more. Though unlike the graceful trees of these woods, the deformed tree would always remain lonely and forgotten.