Archive for the ‘Flash Fiction’ Category

I had a tree once, she was beautiful, she grew tall and strong. Every year yielding greater harvest than the last. I was the envy of the whole village as I brought the fruit from my tree to the market on market days.

So you ask me why we are now warming ourselves in the fire from her boughs and why there is a big hole in my backyard where she used to be. Why there is a thin vine growing steadily in her place and her leaves lie as mulch in my garden.

We go way back, my tree and I. I found her in the woods; she was beautiful, growing among other trees, not a care in the world, proudly towering a above the rest.

Maybe I shouldn’t have taken her in the first place, but I wanted her, needed her even. She was a strong tree. I knew she would survive. I have a garden but every summer, everything is scorched under the harsh sun and in winter, cold snow freezes the ground over. I cannot weed, I cannot plough. Everything dies in the cold and in spring I have to start over.  No one would blame me if I grew tired of living this way.  I needed to do something.

Every day I would take a long walk through the woods. Everything was in balance there. The undergrowth was thick and plush even when under feet of snow and in the spring, oh the beauty that sprung forth. I loved the summers sitting under the shades of these mighty trees. It always felt like a different world; a utopia of sorts.

So I planned for days and one day with the help of others we went into the forest and brought home a magnificent tree. With innovation these days, anything is possible. I planted it carefully, right in the middle of my garden and watched and waited as its roots found their way underground. It wasn’t easy; I had to tend to it day and night to ensure everything went right. But it was a strong tree and soon, it was doing even better than the plants that had been there for ages. My garden became the envy of all. People would walk past and stare. Winter, spring, summer, autumn, my garden was alive all through.

One day I was sitting underneath my tree and I noticed something horrific, she was leaning. It wasn’t windy so that wasn’t it.  Something far worse was happening; my tree was growing weak and couldn’t support itself anymore. Its roots could go no further. People had warned me about this, years ago. Do not take it from its home, it will not survive they said. Cries of the envious I would shrug. But they were right.

I needed to find a solution fast. Maybe if I found something it could lean on for a time! Just for a few months until she can get back to her feet (roots). I found a vine. I had never heard of it before but it was said to be able to help in these cases. The tree only needs a little support and soon it will learn to stand on its own they told me.

I quickly planted the vine next to my tree and within no time it started to grow together with my tree. At first only just hugging it, taking only a little from it just to survive. It didn’t need much and it was helping.  My tree soon stopped leaning so I let them be.

Years went by and I continued to enjoy the harvest, it was slightly less but that was understandable, you lose some to win some.

One day I thought to myself, it has been long enough; I do not need the vine anymore. I went out to my garden, cut down the vine and went to bed.

The very next morning I was horrified by what I saw. My tree! It was leaning again! Worse than ever before! There was nothing I could do.

My tree had never learnt to stand on its own. You should have known better they said. What could come from such a pathetic weak tree? they sneered. They smiled and waved now as they passed by my garden. We warned you, they would say mockingly. She was dead the minute you took her from her home.

The vine was growing back; steadily,stronger than before. I didn’t even have to water it, it just kept on growing. It was like it had taken so much from y tree and just stored it somewhere. They never told me this would happen. I was sure that if I cut it down and cut down my tree too, neither would come back.

I would dream about my tree for days after that. I would dream that one day I would walk in my garden and find new shoots growing. I have never stopped watering that spot. One day. Who knows? She might just grow back. She might just rise again.

 

At least there is hope for a tree; if it is cut down, it will sprout again and its new shoots will not fail.Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil .Yet at the scent of water it will build and put forth shoots like a plant.

 –              Job 14:7-9

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She walked down the aisle thinking that was it. That was the moment she had been waiting for. The dream she had always wished would come true. The smiling faces filled the pews to capacity. The flowers, the ribbons, the tiny umbrellas hanging from the church ceiling; everything was perfect. The pianist played her favorite love song of all time as she slowly walked down the aisle. She felt like all her life, everything she had gone through had all somehow led to this moment. It had to have been written in stone somewhere in heaven. It was meant to happen, meant to be, meant to last now and forever.
She got to the front, found his hand and they knelt before the altar, before God. They went through the motions; the vows, the rings, the ‘I dos’. Hand in hand, they walked back down the aisle toward the church doors. The smiling faces of family, friends and church still filled the pews to capacity. The flowers, the ribbons, and the party rice everyone flung on them for good luck now covered the freshly polished, hardwood floors.

The church doors flung open. They opened out to a new life, a new reality…and May? May wasn’t supposed to be here. Not today. She said she couldn’t come; that she wouldn’t dare. She said she couldn’t bear watching him marry her. Not after everything that had happened between them. May was an emotional wreck when it ended and so was she. But it had to be that way, they both knew it. That wasn’t the dream, this was. And isn’t love in its purest, most ideal form supposed to last forever? Isn’t it supposed to transcend circumstance and distance alike?

As the sun rays hit the new bride, something else did too but not as suddenly as you may think. Gradually, slowly, she soaked it in. She looked around at all the beauty, the joy. She heard the laughter; she felt the warmth,the love. She looked at her mother and she could see her face change from a smile to a worried frown. Mothers can always tell when something is terribly wrong with their babies. She looked back at him, her new husband. He was the love of her life, her now and forever. That was the last time he saw her. She left him, she left all the smiling faces in the pews and no one ever knew why, and even she didn’t. Not really. He walked back through the glorious church doors and down the aisle, knew that that was it.

It was over even before it even began.