An exercise in anthropomorphic description. Very brief and very odd, but I am fond of it.


In the darkness stood a tree with seven branches. Its leaves trembled, mirror-bright, as a cold wind blew through the forest.

Around the tree's roots lay a pool of glass-smooth water, like ebony in the lightless wood. Every now and then, a single mirror-bright leaf would drop from the tree and drift down to land in the glass-smooth pool. It would float there for a moment like a shard from a shattered looking glass, then be caught by the wind and whirl away into the darkness.

Like spring banishing the last traces of winter, the breeze slowly warmed, and all of the trees but the one with seven branches trembled with joy. The tree with seven branches did not tremble, though. It drew its branches in, as thought to protect them from that warm breeze, and it keened. That beautiful tree, in the center of that beautiful pool, having stood against the dark and cold for so long, could not stand the coming of spring to the lightless wood. And so it keened, heart-rending in the darkness. And one by one, its leaves broke off and fluttered away. They did not drift on the breeze, but were borne upon it, as the wind bears the lamentations of mourners at dusk. And one by one, the tree's seven branches shattered into a thousand splinters of moon-white wood, raining down into the ebony waters with a sound like an immutable requiem.

And in the lightless wood, spring had come.


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