Sunday, May 30, 2010

Story of a man and a tree and a sunset

The tree stood tall and empty on the edge of the cliff. A Raewood tree, his father had once told him, the sustainers of the land. To his right, the forest branched westward, the line thinning towards the cliff edge, where only one or two spectacular specimens had not yet given into gravity and plummeted downward. This particular tree hung over the cliff towards the east, its roots protruding here and there from the rock wall.

This Raewood now supported his sweaty back as he dusted the dirt from his eyes and scanned the horizon, one hand bent over his brow. Nothing stirred.  
           
Large roots jutted over the precipice. He swung his pack higher on his shoulders and gripped the protruding edge of the nearest root. It was solid, and did not even budge under his weight. Paper-dry, the wood scraped his hands, and his descent sent clumps of soil plummeting downward. He carefully followed the path of one thick root down to were it curved back into the soil. Many years had worn away the dirt under the tree, and as a small boy he had discovered this hiding place with two of his playmates. A few feet down the side of the cliff the roots had twisted in among themselves hollowing out a sort of earthy cave in the rock. It was invisible from above and below, hidden by the entwined web of roots. Only by climbing over the drop could one access the enclosure. The traveler must also be lithe enough to traverse the root way, as the gaps were lean. His playmates had soon become altogether too large, but as a man he had remained small and skinny.
            
The cool damp of the soil underneath the tree soothed him. Rocks poked into his shoulders and a piece of bark jabbed his thigh as he curled up, inches from the cliff edge. There was a silence here that he had never been able to replicate. A stillness in the air that consumed his entire being until it seemed like he had disappeared and something else remained.
            
When he woke, his hand was tangled in the inner weavings of a root. He ate from his pack two apples and Daei’e meat sandwich while he contemplated his surroundings. The sun was just beginning to set behind the valley, filling the horizon with orange, glimmering light. He had hidden long enough, he surmised; two days in the city, one in the old well by Garber’s place, and then a whole day in this tiny cave, with the sheer edge of a 400-foot drop to this immediate left.

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Just a normal story. More then art, more then anything in the whole world I want to be published and glorify God with my writing. It is the deepest passion in my heart. This is one of the first stories I ever wrote.


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