June 25, 2017 by Patrick Starks

43033367 - old travelling van in beautiful autumn forest,digital painting

In a planet filled with green and blue, people still seek to find out what was true. It was said that oceans ruled the world, flooding cities and countries making people bow for forgiveness, for they felt their sins were the cause of all its destruction. But the one thing people had forgotten was what watched over them—trees.

Trees had been around for decades, longer than most that had survived the cave man era. They stood tall yet silent, with no movement to depict their livelihood which made them quite the riddle to solve. However, people figured that the trees only purpose was to serve them—to give them oxygen, to give them life. But one day a man witnessed something different. What he discovered was a tree non-like any he’d seen before. This tree was not as tall as the others but had branches that were shaped like arms of human, and had roots that pierced into ground like legs of human.

The man stood distraught. He’d never seen such a tree and was quite frightened to get anywhere near it. Due to his greed, he thought to himself, “I could make lots of money off this, fame and everything.” Although the man had no solution to how he would bring the tree with him, not a clue.  Before it got to dark the man headed to his residency where he found a tool he felt would get the job done. There the man held an old chainsaw, it was slightly dull but not too dull—not to get the job done. The night was getting no younger, so the man stormed back to the location of where he last saw the tree.

“Where… Where did it go? Impossible.”  The man was at a loss for words. What he now saw was an empty space. He grew aggravated for he felt someone had already beaten him to the punch. “Son of a bitch! I knew I should have just chopped it down.”  A sound then appeared from behind the man, he thought it be the same culprit that stole what he believed to be a treasure. He revved the chainsaw up, it was rambunctious. The man yelled out loud hoping he’d draw his foe in. A shadow dashed behind, he quickly turned around, he saw nothing. Another dashed went behind, only this time he turned around fast enough to get a glimpse. The man walked, approaching what he thought to be another man. As he got closer he heard what sounded like leaf’s being raked. “I know your there. Come out and show yourself!” The man yelled. But still he only heard leaf’s.  He then revved the chainsaw up one more time bursting through bushes and branches as he grew tired—tired of waiting.

“Impossible.” The man said. He thought he was drunk, had too much bourbon from the night before. “What the hell are you? How are you…”. Revealing itself from the shadows a tree appeared—the missing tree, the treasure. The man nearly fainted before finishing his sentence but remained conscious for he felt he would get even more money for discovering a live tree. The tree looked angry, wooden arms folded as they crackled. “Now calm down… I’m not gonna hurt ya. Just need to bring you down to the station. Bill’s going to freak out once he sees you.”

“No!” The tree yelled. It was deep, vigorous enough to blow the man right out of his trousers. The tree dashed towards the man knocking the chainsaw from his hand. The man fell back, as did the chainsaw in which nearly decapitated him. “Okay… Okay I’m sorry. Just let me go, I promise I won’t tell nobody.” The man said.

The tree replied again, “No!”. The man laid his head back onto the dirt. He felt his life was all over, that he made a big mistake. The tree saw the man’s fear and then said something more than just “No.”

“Leave us alone Jerry! Never come back!” The man was petrified. He wondered how the tree knew his name, wondered how many others there were. The man remained locked onto the tree in front, however noticed others within his peripheral. He began to piss his pants. He didn’t want to die, not like that—not by trees he thought.

The man asked the tree why it was doing this, why it wouldn’t let him go. The tree replied.

“Human hurt tree’s. Human bad, human evil.” The man felt sorry, felt responsible, he was a lumberjack after all. He then made a deal, a promise he’d swear on his life to keep. “No… We are not bad, at least not all of us. Let me show you.”  The tree was unsure if he should trust the man, let alone a human. The tree searched for conclusion amongst the others. The man waited for almost a week before they made their decision. He was hungry, dehydrated—if it wasn’t the trees that kill him, it would surely be life. The tree walked up to the man and handed him fruit and water. The man ate like he’d never eaten before. “Show us human.” The tree spoke. The man was shocked, however knew it was his duty to prove to the trees, to nature that humanity was of good.

The man worked with the trees for years helping them grow and restore the forest that was once theirs. The only problem was he had to get the other lumberjacks onboard—lumberjacks who love what they do.

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