(This is a Wicked Wednesday post…based on the prompt: Write from the point of view of the last tree standing in a forest. I have to admit, this stumped me, and I was ready to throw in the towel before I even started, but I ran the prompt past Mr. LL, and he came up with a cute idea – so I’m running with it.)
The Last of Its Kind
It’s hot today. Humid as hell, in fact. Seems that during the growing season, we all tend to crowd, to the point of touching…even braiding ourselves together in places, or growing back into the ground beneath us to escape the heat and the suffocating closeness.
And there’s the darkness. Intermittent brightness blinds us, like being bathed in neon, but with it comes the blessed breeze, and we can breathe. For a moment, until we are covered again, kept from the light, left to stagnate.
In this condition, we sweat. Like prisoners in a pit, we talk to each other, sometimes never knowing what the other looks like. It’s just voices.
Until night. Even though it’s still dark, the cover is taken away, like low clouds that rise and let the moon gaze down upon the forest below. We rest and dry out, the cool air freeing us. And sometimes, the hands of the gods above literally brush through us, bending us gently, petting us like a cat. If they could only hear us purr.
Occasionally, there is a storm…a heavy darkness beats down upon us, crashing and mashing us to the ground, bending us, breaking us. There are casualties…losses…and we pull together and prepare ourselves for the post-tornado downpour, that washes us clean, separating us, leaving us breathless, tired, and weak. We curl into ourselves, shrinking and exhausted.
And then there is the inevitable disaster. We all know it will come. We are told from the moment we are born…warned that we may not even have the chance to fully develop…grow to our potential. And we live with the possibility.
I’ve been lucky. I was born during the growing season…a time when the forest is let loose to become what it may. We don’t know why it happens. But from time to time, it does. So, I knew it was only a matter of time.
Right now, I’m in the eye of the storm. I can hear the vibration, the rumbling beneath me. I can hear the screams in the distance, the tortured screams of those cut down in their prime. And I know it is coming for me. I try to be calm, to prepare myself.
The vibration becomes a deafening growl, pounding and gnawing at the world around me. Dozens, hundreds of my friends and family…and those that were never close enough to know…are cut away and disappear, sucked up into the bright void.
And suddenly, I am alone, hidden in a crevice. Maybe I will be spared? Maybe the storm will pass and I will be left to tell those who are still waiting to be born?
Stuck to the ground where I stand, I hold on. I stand proud. I am willing to be sacrificed if it must be that way. But, I hope I am left to tell the tale. The last curling hair on a rolling hill between two giant mountains that grown downward.
I can hear the voices from above…the voices of the gods. They have planned this execution. This “cleansing” as it were. This clear cut.
They say it is for the best. And they run their hands across the naked landscape, barely grazing me. If they notice, they do not let on. Instead. a clean warm rain comes down and washes away what is left of the broken bodies around me, leaving smooth ground, ripe for regrowth.
A large pink tidal wave brushes past me, barely missing me. It returns…again and again…digging deep into the widening crevice in front of me…a cavernous, hungry crater that invites the destruction.
I turn away. I can no longer bare to look upon the horror…the end of days. I will curl up…attempt to bury myself, hide beneath the ground. I can only hope they won’t find me…the single hair left behind.
- A Much-Needed Vacation
- Things that go “mmmmm” in the dark