Oct 01
fiction challenge: Magnificent
GalaxyOwl13's picture

The Tree of Life

She had never seen anything so magnificent in her life.

Warm, heavy raindrops pitter-pattered on vivid green leaves, rolling down their centers and tipping onto the lush grass to become dew in the morning. Bark encircled a massive trunk and powerful branches reached towards the sky. Around her, she could hear the sounds of wildlife, chittering and scampering over the forest floor.

She placed a hand on the rough bark of the tree and began to climb, finding knots in the wood whenever she was in need of a hand or foothold.

The rain ceased, and day became night. Silver stars shone serenely down upon the forest. She could only catch glimpses of them through the trees, and suddenly she longed with her whole heart to reach the top of the tree so that she might better see the stars.

Night turned to day, and the sky cycled through its states, separated only by the rise and set of the blood red sun which painted the sky rose and violet.

For a long time, she was alone as she climbed. But eventually, the solitude came to an end. She heard hissing to her right and turned to see an emerald snake winding around a tree branch. Further, and she watched small, dark-furred rodents scurry along the tree.

As she drew closer and closer to the sky, she saw many creatures. A primate of some kind swung across many branches, then turned to look at her, it’s pink face holding an expression approaching curiosity. The two watched each other for some time, human and ape, until the latter turned away and swung to another branch.

Finally, she reached the top of the tree. It was nighttime, and the full moon shown over the forest below. She rested at last on a bed of soft leaves.

When she awoke, morning had come and she could see with startling clarity every scarlet flower, every buzzing insect, every skittering creature, on the floor of the forest. She stood, breathing in her life, and thought that she would like very much to live out her days in this paradise.

It was then that it struck her how long she had spent climbing the tree with no sleep, no sustenance, no weariness. The moments had blurred together, and she could not even fully remember how she had reached this place.

Below her, flowers bloomed, unfurling their petals wide towards the sun. Animals of every kind went about their days, pelts handsome and scales shimmering. The sweet and fragrant air held the faintest memory of ancient rain. Night came again, and the stars shone as bats and hunter birds of the darkness took flight. Day, and the sky was the purest blue once more

Yet it was not—could not be—real.

She had never seen anything so magnificent in her life.
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