Part Five

Stories written after hearing Nothing’s Tired of Tomorrow 

Fever Queen

            Up, up, up, up, up, up, up each piece of bark was smoother. The bottom bark was thick and jagged, sticking out sharply and gnarled. In the tree, holes showed through the branches and hanging leaves. Faces poked out each one during rising. Others stood or sat on branches, leaves hanging on their shoulders or legs wrapped around thin knobby spindles. Deep inward people disappeared. Some were fragments. Then blackness. Then sunlight peaked through the tops of the leaves and a lone figure in a flowing black dress, daylight through sheer hem, stood atop the leaves looking toward the canopies below.

The Dead Are Dumb

            They meet inside the thicket of the canopy when the tree swells and leaves sweetly sway. She calls. After the swell the tree is silent, only the creaking of branches in the wait. She walks down, stepping on weak and broken branches. As she paces, her hem’s edge brushes along the branches. They come back stronger and thicker. Sprouts of leaves begin to form, little fingers sticking up. She speaks like the wind in the trees.

            “What are we going to do?

            Hush stays. Hands grip leaves.

            “We have tried to help before, but instead they stay. Our voices only hum.”

Vertigo Flowers

            The stillness followed to the trunk, where single strands of dry brush sit flattened and leaned over, broken at the stems. Thick bark sticks out over fine silted dirt unseen of footsteps. Beyond are fields of green and spotted and splattered colors. The petals stretch out, large colorful circles in the distance. Beyond the fields steam rises on the water and bodies roam and wander through their own landscape. They don’t hear the buzz from high in the tree. Their own sounds drown out the noise. Beyond them the wind swirls on the water, blackening it and roaring the harbor waves.  

ACD (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder)

            Sitting on one of the low branches, a little girl sat looking out at the swirling green and reds and yellows and in the green the shine of feathered hair walking towards her absorbed the sun. A sandy-brown haired boy approached the tree swishing through the grass, hand passing over the colors. She watched confused as his being so close, him being the first of the town she had ever seen. He didn’t see her foot dangling from the branch, camouflaged by the leaves. She tried to speak to him. He stopped at a flower and looked up. The wind passed.

Nineteen Ninety Heaven

            She teetered up the branch and it bent. The wind rose and sang through the tree. The boy still looked up but she was already too far in the thicket for him to see. The branch bounced from her steps and the leaves swayed and shook.

            She clambered up through thickets whispering to herself about the boy. Others noticed and listened. By the time she made it back home news spread through the tree and the woman in black was walking down, trailed by green sprouts. She pulled in close to hear the whispers. She looked at the girl, confused, murmuring.

Curse Of The Sun

            The waters of the bay slowly crept to the shore. The waves rhythmically and harshly swayed. Boats still passed through and steamed. No one saw. The water frothed on the rocks and swirled into bubbles in the crashes. When the water marked cement, people noticed. Kids played in the forming tide pools. The water stopped even on the surface of the Earth. Parks were now still lakes. The water rose up to the tree trunk and eroded pieces of the bark and floated them away in the wind. It sat just below the leaves. Mammals swam up, fins breaking the surface.

Eaten By Worms

            The water ate at the metal and rotted it. The discolored rusted bottom edge of everything and anything metal began to break away. The erosion formed shapes that the kids began to trace. Soon skylines were outlined everywhere, on every blank window. The water had slowed to a trickle, so now roads looked still except for wind ripples. Only buildings stood above, rising through cities.

            The water vibrated and began to pulse early one morning. The people thought it was an earthquake underneath the new flooded waters. The water vibrated around the buildings. Only a low shaking hum could be heard.

Everyone Is Happy

            The girl skipped away from the thicket, waving in balance. As she walked across the branch it bowed and creaked. The leaves dropped and fanned downward with each step. She adjusted herself at the edge of branch as she sat above the water. The tips of leaves touched the water and created concentric ripples outward. She dipped her hand into the water, letting her finger glide across the surface, dragging a thin wake behind. She looked for his hair in the now drowned brush. Steam rose from the water. Behind her a tail rose and splashed the water, sizzling the steam.

Our Plague

            The boy sat at the edge of a hill where the water couldn’t reach. He threw rocks and shards of bark into the water pooled below. Water dripped from the edges of the rock he sat on, rippling in the mirrored face. The flatness went out beyond him and in the far distance where the water curved and curled into the horizon a branch stuck up, breaking up the sky and protruding a vein in the clouds. He jumped off the rock heading towards the branch. His blonde hair fluttered as he jumped and swam toward the tree in the distance.

Tired Of Tomorrow

            She saw his hair as he swam closer. He took the place of the drowned wheat. She reached out and the sun shined on her hand, stopping at the wrist, cutting off her body underneath the leaves. 
            He began to sweat in the heat of the water. He dove under. All life near him swam away. He felt the heat burning around his eyes. He looked up. He was close to the tree. He saw a hand reaching out and grabbed for it. The branch bounced and cracked with his weight. She looked at him and smiled and swung her legs.