The Last Tree

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Science Fiction
I am the last tree. My home, and everything I've ever loved, is gone.

Submitted: May 12, 2016

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Submitted: May 12, 2016

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My thinner branches and leaves used to sway happily in the wind during the fall. My friends and I would talk about the weather and observe the animals climbing in and around us. It was amazing, to live for a hundred years and watch the forest change. We lived on the edge of a cliff that overlooked the water. It was a blessing that some trees were able to grow their roots with such little room to grow on the cliff.

Last winter, the weather got weird. Instead of the water freezing, it began to rise. It rose and rose until it reached the cliff. All of the animals were scared, but curious. They drank from the water and swam in it until the sun began to set. The trees further at the edge of the cliff were the most scared, especially when the water began to rise past their roots and got to the middle of their trunks. They would yell, saying that the water burnt their bark. The acidicness of the water must’ve been at its highest because by the end of the winter, the trees withered away.

When spring had sprung, only a third of the forest was left. The water had sunken back to its normal height. The weight of the dead trees mixed with the acid in the water caused pieces of the cliff to fall into the water. After a week or so, half of the cliff was gone. We all wept. There was nothing sadder than seeing a friend fall like that.

The animals didn’t dare to come our way. They packed up their things and left, heading for another forest. It became quiet. “Help us,” the trees would yell with their branches. There was never any answer.

By the time summer had come, There were only three trees left, including me. At first, all we did was talk, but then we got sick of each other. The summer was harsh. There was hardly any rain. Being the tallest tree of the three, I absorbed most of the sunlight. Having the biggest and longest roots, I absorbed most of the water. I couldn’t help but absorb the water. I didn’t want to take any water or sunlight away from the trees but I just couldn’t help it.

And then I was alone. There were no animals. Just me. I sat there every day, unable to move.

“You can’t be happy without any friends…” I would sing in my head, along with other made up lyrics.

I spent my days singing myself songs and trying to convince myself that everything was going to be okay. My nights consisted of me looking up at the stars, wishing I was on some other planet.

“This sucks!” I tried to yell, but I had no mouth. “I hate you,” I whispered internally to the new cliff. What was once  so far away from me was now right in front of me.

With all the sunlight and rainfall to absorb, my leaves flourished. They were beautiful, I had to admit, but no one would ever get to see them. There always used to be unsaid competition about how beautiful one’s leaves were. I’d never won the competition, except for now. That’s even more depressing.

 I hated being unable to move. That used to make me happy, being unable to move. I got to watch people and animals come on by and evolutionize. Now, it was torture. I wish I could get up out of the dirt and run to a new forest, but that was never going to happen.

As autumn approached, it began to rain more. The weather was still warm and it made the rain feel weird on my dying leaves. The huge hole squirrells had made over time stayed nice and dry.

One rainy night, I was staring up at the stars and watching them twinkle. There was a shuffle behind one of the trees who had not yet decomposed. I jerked my head towards the tree and waited for my vision to adjust so that I could see in the dark.

A doe and her fawn slowly walked out from behind the tree. They were both looking at me. I hadn’t seen movement in so long that I couldn’t help but feel awkward.

“Can we sleep here for the night?” the doe asked, her voice fragile like the way she walked.

I wanted to smile, but I didn’t have a mouth. Oh god did I wanted to smile. Instead, I said yes with my branches. The doe and the fawn walked over to me and laid in the hole.

“Thank you,” I whispered.

“No, thank you,” the doe spoke. I widened my eyes and wondered how she could hear me when I couldn’t talk. “I’ll be sure to tell all of my friends of your kindness.”

“How can you hear me?” I asked.

“You’re magical,” she stated.

No one said another word until the rain stopped when the doe left, leaving her fawn in my hole. She promised she’d be back and she stuck to her word. I wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but I didn’t care. With her, the female deer came with a herd of other animals. They all carried something, whether it be seeds or food.

Everything was going to be okay.

 


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