It's Valentine's Day and I thought it'd be an excellent opportunity to give you a preview for a story I'm currently working on. It's nearly finished, I just need to polish it a little bit, but it's the right time for at least a preview^^ Tell me if you liked it and how I should continue, because the story is kind of... unique. I hope I'll be able to post chapter one in about a month.
I'd like to thank a friend of mine, who doesn't have a fictionpress-account, for Beta-ing my story and pointing out a few faults that are in them. Without her, this story wouldn't have been nearly as good, so all my thanks go out to her.
And I'd like to dedicate this story to KatonRyu, who is currently either going through or leaving a difficult time. The two main characters were born in a request from him(Gabriël) which is why it feels right that I do this. Hope this helps!
And finally, to you, have a lot of fun reading!
Have you ever seen those big trees? I'm not talking about the small kind here. No, really big, huge, enormous trees that usually stand in little towns, making the towns look even more picturesque. Those trees that seem to ask you if you could please climb in them, or sit at them, because they look so old and lonely. And in most cases, they usually are.
I'm one of them.
You can call me Old Oak if you want, or Old Tree, or whatever. I don't have a name, unlike all you humans seem to need. I don't even know what kind of tree I am because frankly, I don't care. But sometimes, the other trees call me Elder Tree, so I guess I'll go with that.
I'm old, I'm very old. It's very likely that your grandmother's mum could climb in me when she was little, if she had lived in my town. Or perhaps even her mum. Yes, I have lived for a long, long time and I'm planning on making it even longer.
The years do pass by rapidly, though. It feels as if I've been old all my life and perhaps I have. My memory isn't what it used to be anymore.
There are a few advantages to being so old, though, and one of them is being able to witness all kinds of people grow up. The disadvantage that comes to that is watching them die, however, or at least seeing their burial. I don't witness many people dying, seeing as I can't move into their house.
Really, what is it with you people that you live so shortly? You barely make it to the age of eighty while I think I've passed that long ago. You're like mayflies, only they somehow live even shorter.
But you always seem to celebrate it when a person gets older, even by only a year. An 'anniversary' you call it. At the anniversary, everyone of the town comes together and celebrates the fact that someone's birthday was exactly a few years ago. I don't see the point of you celebrating such a thing, but I find it funny because everyone sees each other again and they do stupid stuff. They also climb in me, usually, and then I feel happy again. Honestly, you have no idea what it feels like to be climbed on when you're a tree. And stop that snickering.
I still remember the birthday of the oldest one in the town. He turned about... Ninety? Ninety-five? It was about that age, but I'm not sure. Then again, I don't care about age – I don't even know how old I am myself. Unimaginable for you, but fortunately, I am not of your species.
Everyone in the town joined together to celebrate his birthday while the old man sat in his cottage, looking at us, celebrating. He smiled, looked at me, and then, I knew he felt the same way about birthdays as I did.
It was also the time where two of the younger ones in town met each other for the first time. And with 'younger ones' I don't mean when their first fruits fall, but when the first leaves appear. You know, the youngest of saplings, barely having bursted out of their seeds. I believe you call them babies, and these ones had only just seen the daylight.
Yuri and Ellen, they were called, both having born approximately one week away from each other. Funny coincidence, don't you think? I heard it at the birthday myself. They were both still bald and didn't have any leaves – or hair as you call leaves on a person – on their heads yet.
Their mothers were best friends, I heard that one too. They had met at college and chose to remain friends. That way, the children got in touch too, and both were expressing their hopes that perhaps it would become just as good a friendship as theirs.
The first one, Yuri's mother, had flaming red hair that was always wrapped up in a ponytail. It wasn't that light-orange ginger stuff you sometimes see with other people, no, beautiful, dark red. I hoped secretly it would pass over to Yuri, because I've always liked her hair. His father had dark hair and acted a bit stupid sometimes. I never really understood what his wife, such a beautiful woman, saw in him, but I guess that was just me.
Ellen's mother was dark blonde and could act quite bitchy sometimes. She was easily angry while her best friend was always a sea of calmth. Ellen's father was also blonde, but more of the real blonde thing. You know, you are prejudiced towards blonde women and think they're dumb – Ellen's father had exactly that kind of blonde. Fortunately for him, he was a man, so he was spared that weird idea.
Yuris mother was called Linda; his father was Fred. Ellens mothers name was Samantha and her father's was Derek.
I still remember how the two of them met. I remember it word-for-word. My memory may not be what it used to be, but I still remember this lively. Mostly because I've always found it beautiful to watch.
You know I stand on the yard of the town? Everyone meets up there and greet each other, and it was there too that Ellen's mother carried her baby to the plaza, cradling it in her arms and sitting against my roots. She remained sitting like that for a while before finally, both she and I recognized the red hair of the woman that was coming for us. Samantha stood up and greeted Linda, who greeted her back.
"Ah, so that's the young thing?" Samantha said with a smile, looking at the baby Linda held in her hands.
"It is. I'm so proud of him already." Samantha smiled.
"I know the feeling. So am I of my baby. I'm sure she'll become a lovely girl, enchanting all the boys in town..." Linda laughed.
"Of course. And all the girls in town will be enchanted by my lovely and no-doubt brilliant son." I heard Linda musing, and Samantha happily mused along.
"But they will always be good friends and loyal to each other. Just like we were." Lindas cheeks lifted up in what you call a smile.
"Are. Not were, but are, and we'll stay like that for a long time, I hope."
"Of course," Linda said, smiling.
Their age was approximately thirty, I guess, which is a nice age among humans. I saw them walking away together while their husbands were working on the decoration. A few tips were exchanged and then, more stuff was hung up. Linda and Samantha didn't have to work, though, due to the fact they had given birth about a week ago.
Their birthdays were also very close to each other, you know? Not a week, but I think a month or something. They were born in the same month, however. Don't ask me how I remembered that, because, no, I don't care for birthdays. Not like you humans anyway.
So it was barely afternoon when all the decorations were hung up and everyone came out of their houses to celebrate it. Like I said, that was when the old man looked at me and I knew he felt it was all useless. He knew how old he was and he didn't care. Some interesting parallels were made between that birthday and the birthday of someone called Bilbo Baggins who became one hundred and eleven. An impressive age for a human, and I feel sad I missed that birthday. Then again, I could probably match that Bilbo – heck, they might even mean me! But of course they don't, who would throw a party for me? There's no need to as I don't care for birthdays.
Yuri and Ellen were being put away safely in their homes and their mothers were all too happy to join the party. There was, of course, a lot of dancing and a lot of decoration was hung up in my branches. That sort of hurt, but I can bear it. It happens about three times every year anyways.
But yeah, that was the story of two new people who were born and I immediately took a liking to. Who knows, I might even see them die, I thought then. But then again, I was already quite old back then and I still fear the lumberjack when he comes by – I'm too scared he'll say 'too old, let's chop this one down' or something like that. Or that I'll catch some kind of lethal disease. I've grown too fond of life to let it go just like that.
You know who was also born around that time? Matthew. He was also a local of the town, but he was three months later than Yuri and Ellen – his parents were a bit later than the other four. He was a dark blonde-haired guy, but he never really met with young Yuri and Ellen. They would only meet when they were older. His parents had moved in the town from the city a year ago.
But I never really could like Matthew. When he was quite young, he was always bothering the other people, mostly old ones, and I've taken a liking to old people who think they're as old as I am. Because I know I'm like them too. When he was bothering them, it felt like he hurt me too – that's why I've never really liked him.
It was, however, great to see those three new saplings enrich us with their mere existance and I felt they would have great lives.
Author's Note: Tell me if you liked it and if there are any things I could improve! Hope to see you in a month!