Written in Leaves
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There is a tree with mystic leaves that appears every once in a while.

Some say it looks like an oak, grand and majestic, others say that it resembles a graceful willow, yet still others claim it could only be a birch tree, cloaked in pure white bark.

Despite the deviations in the descriptions, the accounts and whispers all acknowledge one thing as true: the tree possesses leaves that shine with the brilliance of rainbows.

Those who have seen the tree from afar swear that nothing seemed unique about it.

Those who ventured closer speak of leaves that glisten like jewels, leaves that fall towards them and reveal words intertwined with the iridescent veins crisscrossing the surface.

Leaves that collapse to dust and dry earth when taken too far from the tree itself.

A select few remember the words written in the leaves, remember the wonder and curiosity that overtook them as they stared at the shimmering script and thought about the tree itself. Some remember the words years afterwards, asserting that it was not simply idle conversation, rather, it was poetry written to them, for them, only them:

The skies are clear
the clouds are sheer
nothing is here
that you should fear
the skies are clear.

The man who was given those words held a long-lived terror of the darkness. He was last seen sitting on the gnarled roots of the tree, staring into its branches. At midnight he wandered off into the shadows. A lone scrap of paper, torn from a notebook of some sort, was all that remained when morning arrived.

Oh sweet sea breeze
wrap through the trees
whisper to me
just once more please,
oh sweet sea breeze.

The woman the tree gave these words to was a widow thrice over. Three days after her meeting with the tree, she allegedly drowned in a river. No body was ever recovered, but the words were discovered in a diary left behind.

Ah, if I said I need you
what would that mean to you?
and if I said I love you
I swear it would be true
ah, if I said I need you.

The child these words were given to lost her best friend the night before the tree appeared. She spent the entire day under the branches of the tree, tying chains of flowers around the trunk, making crowns of leaves, and chanting an odd series of words. She eventually worked up the courage to climb the tree. She never climbed down.

Oh please tell me you won’t depart
our friendship is about to start
it’s simply hard to be apart
won’t you please lend me your heart?
oh please tell me you won’t depart.

The one these words were given to realized the secret of the tree, carries it to this day, and pens the words you read now. One simply cannot spend too much time in its presence, simply cannot spend too long looking into the ethereal and forgetting reality as it drowns in false words. What is the truth?

The tree is lonely. It seeks companionship, it seeks to be remembered, it seeks readers of its words.

It grows where the wandering least expect it, and flourishes only for those who walk the earth without a destination in mind. It is said to spirit away those it favors, and by the time it returns, no one remembers it, but it doesn’t mind, because new companions are always delightful.

There is a tree with mystic leaves that appears every once in a while.

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