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The Trees of Tismont
‘In a blind world, the one-eyed man is king.’ Old saying.
Bob woke up in the shade of his mother the same way he had for the last 12 years. He sat up and looked around to find that nothing had changed, fortunately –the sky was still crystal blue, the grass was emerald green, and his family’s branches were still filled with luscious, thick leaves. "Good morning, mom!" he said happily, looking upwards.
"Rise and shine, sweetheart," his mother replied. "The sun has been up for an hour already!" He looked up and saw the sunlight sifting down through her branches.
"I’m up already," laughed Bob, standing to his feet.
"You must have fallen asleep again while reading those superhero ebooks," said the oak tree. "Which hero was it this time?"
"The Blaze! The fastest human in the universe. Thanks for reminding me - I’ll have to put the reader in the sunlight, so it can re-charge."
"We can’t imagine what it feels like to walk," said the sycamore, "let alone run!"
"You guys are perfect as you are," said Bob.
He stretched briefly before grabbing his reading screen and stepping away from his mother’s trunk. He put the screen in a clearing and walked towards a stream at the base of the hill, just past his family’s grove. He passed a small vegetable garden that was overflowing with food. The twenty-year-old human took off a silver jumpsuit, and dove into the warm water. He was swimming quietly when he noticed the wind change suddenly. There was the sound of a hundred voices now, coming from the grove. He quickly got out and put his clothes on – rushing up the slight hill.
"Bob! Something has happened," the elm tree told him.
"What? What’s going on?" he asked.
"On the other side of the forest – some of the trees got their branches singed! A giant rock fell from the sky," shouted the maple.
"We can’t move, Bob – as you know. You go and find out what’s wrong," insisted the most beautiful trees, the blue-spruce.
"Save us, Bob!" they were all shouting now. "Find out what’s wrong!" "Hurry, Bob!! Hurrrry!!"
But they didn’t need to tell him because he was already running through the forest – down a path that he had made by himself over the last twelve years.
It was a long five minutes before he finally reached the edge of the forest. He smelled the aroma of fresh burnt wood before he saw the small fire in the branches. He tore off a piece of his sleeve, using the flame-proof material to smother the flames before they could spread.
"Bob! Will we be okay??" the trees were shouting. "Is the red pain gone?"
"We’re all lucky that your branches are nice and green," he answered them, breathing heavily. "It didn’t burn very much. I’m sure you’ll be fine…"
"Hooray for Bob the tree that can walk! He has saved us again!" All the trees in the forest were shouting his name in honor, thankful for their savior!
At this point he looked towards the meadow and there, in the middle of field, stood a large, metallic spaceship – like the one he had crash landed in so many years ago with human family. As he began walking towards the craft, three humans came out of it, waving.
"Greetings!" they shouted to Bob.
"Greetings!" he shouted back.
A human female was the first one to get to within a comfortable talking distance and smiled at him. "We heard the SOS from your crashed ship, and came to investigate. No one gets out this far very often," she explained.
"Yeah, I’ve been here for twelve years so far, living in the forest."
"That must have been lonely!" said one of the men.
"Not really – the trees on this planet are sentient beings. They talk to me and I talk to them."
"Really?" asked the woman. "I’d like to hear that. I wonder what a tree sounds like when it’s talking."
"They’re really very majestic, and friendly," said Bob. He looked back at the edge of the forest. "Some of the trees got burned as you landed. Please don’t do that when you leave."
The two men looked at each other. "I guess we could low-fly to a nearby desert we saw during our descent," said the taller of the two.
"The trees would really appreciate it," smiled Bob.
"My name is Lois," said the woman. "This is Fred and Logan. I really would like to meet these trees of yours – if you don’t mind. I have my communicator if I need anything from the ship."
The two began to walk into the forest, talking happily. Bob explained to her how he grew his own food, about the reader he had, about the pond where he swam every day. As they passed by the trees, Bob introduced them and the grove seemed to enjoy meeting another human. When night finally fell, after a day spent eating fresh vegetables and swimming and playing hide and seek, Lois went back to her ship to sleep. But it was the last night she would spend there as she chose to spend the rest of her life nestled into Bob’s strong arms, sleeping in the forest on a moon revolving in the Bernard 129 system.
As the years came and went, the couple would name their children Steve, Bruce, Lana and (of course) Clark. Sometimes spaceships would drop supplies by, and check-up on the tribe, but life remained pretty happy on the super-hero moon for all involved…and Bob always reminded his small clan that their true family was the Sentient Trees of Tismont who loved watching the children play beneath their protective branches.
micheledutcher - I wanted to write a story that didn't have a lot of killing or deceiving - something that was gentle and the better part of humanity, perhaps. We have a connection and commitment to nature that is often ignored. MD
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