The Tree

by CyberWoLfman aka Grok Wolf

  Protected by U.S. and international copyright laws.


  A brief note on this story first.  It's just something I threw together.  Not really based on my dreams like my wolf stories, but it does have some small pieces of real life stuff in it.  Shouldn't be too hard to figure out what they are...
  On a warm and sunny spring day filled with light and warmth, Stephanie, a young girl of six, smiles her angelic smile and greets her mother with a warm hug when she returns home from work.

  Her mother gives her a tree sapling and tells her to plant it where ever she likes.  Little Stephanie brings it out into the daylight and lovingly plants it in her favorite part of the yard in which she likes to play in the daytime because she knows her little tree is going to need lots of warm, bright light to make it grow.  She goes out each day to water it lightly and talk to it with soft, kind words, trying to encourage it to grow for her.

  As she grows older, she spends lots of time there with it playing in the nearby sandbox or in the swimming pool underneath it.  Each Autumn, Stephanie plays in its beautifully colored leaves that it lets fall down to the ground and she breathes in their intoxicating aroma.  As a young woman, she often sits beneath her tree on a bench that her father built and placed under its branches in the company of a young man and they talk of all manner of things and share pleasant quiet moments, sometimes just enjoying the comfort of each other's company while holding hands.

  Older, Stephanie sits under its branches on hot summer days, drinking lemonade or some other cool beverage, grateful for its sheltering leaves from the hot rays of the sun, listening to the birds sing in its branches.

  As an older woman with the lines on her face deepening with time's cruel march, and her body hurting from time to time with arthritis, her heart remains happy and the little girl she once was still remains within her.  But tragedy plays no favorites...

  Her daughter and her son in law are killed in an accident with a semi that her granddaughter and herself are witness to as it happens in front of her daughter's home.  The vehicles skidded out of control and came together in a bone crushing impact heard for blocks away.  They watched as the bodies are pulled out ot the car's wreckage, barely recognizable after the semi had crashed into and nearly flattened their car.  The ambulance's red and blue flashing lights that were casting odd reflections on the blood splattered pieces of broken glass are turned off as it pulls away with two zipped-up black bags inside.

  The cop that shows up after the accident to write a report looks at the tear-filled faces of the little girl and the older lady as they hold each other on the sidewalk, then shrugs.  Just another night for him and he has no interest in trying to comfort people whose lives have been violently shattered in an instant.  After all, there are no video cameras or reporters around, so he doesn't have to act like he cares.  He smiles as he sees the tow truck arrive.  Now he can call his dispatcher on the radio, ask to go 10-7, and go on his dinner break.  He looks forward to telling the other cops on the car-to-car channel or in person about all the gory details of the accident and describing to them why he thinks that females are weak because they feel hurt more than he does.  He thinks about how easy it is to pound savagely on his wife and kids every night and laughs to himself, feeling superior.  Hearing his wife and kids crying themselves to sleep every night after he beats them into submission doesn't bother him a bit.  The bruises and the occasional broken bones they receive from him are just something he feels they have to learn to live with.

  Stephanie is given custody of her granddaughter Rebecca and she moves her into her house.  Despite Stepanie's desperate attempts to bring a smile back to Becky's little face with games, shopping in the local stores, or watching sit-coms on the TV with her, it doesn't do any good.  She still sees the image burned into their souls on that terrible night whenever she looks into her granddaughter's eyes, and the pain in her heart begins anew.

  Rebecca mopes around the house, complaining she has no friends here since she had to move from her old town to come and live with her grandmother.  Stephanie smiles, takes her gently by the hand and tells her she wants to introduce her to a very dear and old friend of hers.  She leads her out into the yard, into the warmth of the bright spring day and there stands the tree, its branches gently swaying in the light breeze, the birds singing in its branches and with the light of the sun shining through its leaves.

  In time, both come to forget their pain in the tree's comforting presence, and soon laughter is heard once again as their darkened spirits are lightened...


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