The Upside-Down Tree
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The upside-down tree, illustrated by The Gatekeeper!

There was a tree. It was all and luscious, yet nothing was as it seemed. It grew the wrong way around, growing up towards the ground, its roots touching the sky and the clouds wherever they could be found. Ripe fruit of all colours, shapes and sizes grew upon it, containing within each of them the mystical seed to create a new upside-down tree.

He sighed, the boy, he sighed. He sat by the bush, the tree’s leaves of perfect greens of every hue. All that was around him, real or not, the tree made true. It was a beautiful thing, he thought and knew, but today he sat by it in gloom and blue, for he had lost that which let him travel; the fruit of the tree, a singular apple.

Its violet shade, the secrets it had saved. The wonder of the apple, within it all was contained. The fruit the boy so cherished, it was gone now; vanished.

Was he truly a boy anymore? The tree made it so, but even still, he knew that wasn’t the truth. The boy was fourteen now, tall and grown, with a future that looked so keen.

What of the tree though? The past that had been, the tree that had been his childhood dream.

He searched all around, under every leaf and branch, but wherever he looked, for however long of brief, he could not find his fruit: his relief. He sat down and sighed, shaking his head as a tear came to fall. He cried and cried, knowing he’d never find it again, no matter how hard he tried. Starry-eyed, he bode goodbye to the tree and closed his eyes.

When he opened them again, the fantasy around him was no more. There was a garden, cold snow like frozen glass upon the ground. The man looked about him, seeing his house and the houses of others.

He looked to the tree—his upside-down friend. There was no tree, only the dying remains of what once was an ordinary beech. Upon its side was the fungus that had sucked it of its life, that had, with time, grown to devour the tree.

How odd, the man remembered it like yesterday. It had been tall and proud, like he, full of life. It had seemed eternal, but the disease that festered had always been there. The tree had always been destined to die.

Perhaps, thought the man, as he turned away to enter the house, the wonder of childhood had too been destined to die.


~The Bard.

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