It started with a scent. I was waking up from winter and had barely begun to bud, so I could only speak in creaks as the wind flowed around my branches. The smell was so heady, it threatened to put me back to sleep. But the buzzing of insects helped pull me from my torpor.
“Bees?” I croaked. “Am I late?” My buds tasted the cool air—no, this was the right time for bees though they never were this attentive so soon after the winter.
“Hush,” whispered a voice already flush with flowers and green. “No, you’re just fine. You can even sleep a little more. I’ll keep you warm.”
The wind blew again, but I was too tired to answer. My branches stirred slightly, and I could feel the weight of growth not my own. The scent flowed around me again, and I slept.
When I fully awoke, I ached to my sap. My promising buds had grown into spotted leaves, but they were strong enough to speak to a thriving patch of green on my biggest branch when the wind blew.
“What are you?”
“I’m part of you.”
“No, you aren’t.”
“Of course I am. Can’t you feel it?” The branch tingled with the flow of energy through filaments binding the new green fast to me.
“You were only a bit of fluff, blown onto my branches last year.”
“And you were once an acorn. Things change.”
Autumn came. I held on to my leaves for as long as I could. I heard the creaky sigh from the new green as the last one fell. It had spread to all my branches by then.
“You are part of me,” it said before we both slept.
And in the spring when the wind moved through the leaves again, I spoke with a voice that was no longer my own.
Song Choice: Circles by Kira
Liner Notes for this Groove: I'm in NYC for a long weekend visiting a dear friend (and for BookCon!). I couldn't help but notice a hauntingly beautiful scent on the wind near one of the city's large parks. When I commented on how lovely it was, one of the NYC citizens informed that it came from a pretty parasite that's been taking over a lot of the local trees slowly, but steadily. They bloom early to get the lion's share of the bees' and other pollinators' attention and spread a lot like dandelion fluff. I was told that the parasite even changed the shape of the leaves of the host tree eventually. When I finish up with BookCon, I want to find out more about this smothering beauty, including its name. But I find an extra level of creepiness in not knowing.
This short fiction piece is linked to Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads Art Flash and Poets United's Telling Tales with Magaly Guerrero.
|Beauty Forgotten in Survival's Eyes by Eli Edward Evangelidis|