Trees are People Too

Trees are People Too

A Story by O.V. Hudson
"

Would the genocide of other organisms still be acceptable if they shared external features with mankind? No up tick in intelligence, they simply bled and cried and cringed.

"

Trees are People too

 

 

 

“They take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide which is the opposite of us. You see son, we need humans to breath.”


As the day lingers on in the midst of summer warmth begins to overwhelm the forest. The humans that surround both father and son begin to appear glossy as a layer of sweat moves like the ocean tide across their skin. Legs begin to shine and water drips from fingertips and hair.

“Why are they all wet?” The young evergreen tree asks his father.

“We call that dew. You can find it on the limbs of humans when it grows increasingly hot out. It must be some kind of cooling mechanism.”

Seemingly satisfied the young sapling trails his father as the two trees trudge forward amongst the forest of humans. The father, standing tall in comparison to most of his fellow species, is roughly ten feet in height. He moves powerfully along the ground, supported by exposed roots that serve as a sort of feet. His magnificence is dwindled though in comparison to the mighty humans. Some stand, entrenched in the ground, as high as fifty feet and wider around the hips than any tree could hope to compare with. The humans, when viewed individually, are quite a sight to behold. 

They rise from the earth with feet buried, as ankles are the first semblance of figure. From there the legs stand mostly at attention, strong and unfaltering, supporting the massive structure that towers above but on occasion a bend is visible from the knee. Some humans grow awkward. They lean and sway, budding crooked, massive welts or scars can ravage the body as the wear of father time takes its toll. Humans that are trapped in an age between adulthood and childhood are particularly vulnerable to unsightly appearance. As a whole the forest is a collection of unique bodies, each bearing flaws, each striving for growth among a crowd, and yet the proximity of one human to another forms a familiarity between the masses, as though the humans are living together.


“What one should we cut down?” The sapling asks, full of enthusiasm.

“We need to find one that isn’t to tall. It can be dangerous when a large human falls. Besides we don’t need a fully grown male or anything, just enough fuel so we can burn it and stay warm through winter.”

“A male?”

“Yes. Scientists have separated humans into two main distinctions, female and male. There are many other smaller divisions based on color or size or shape. Telling them apart is generally easy. For you, little one, just look at the hair that falls from the head of the humans. Short hair will typically mean it is male.”

Once again the young sapling is satisfied with this response. As the two continue forward the small evergreen runs its branches across the legs of the towering humans. If sweat is not present the skin is typically dry, even flaking at certain parts. Trees refer to this skin as bark.

“Now I want you to remember something son.” Begins the strong evergreen, as he stands dwarfed by his surrounding. 

“You need to respect the humans. We are cutting one down for use, for purpose, for warmth. We appreciate what the humans do for us. Some trees think that we give to the humans and they give to us, that the relationship we share is somehow mutually beneficial. Some think they need us just like we need them. This is not the case though.”


The father stands solemn as his young offspring mimics the stance, seemingly understanding the seriousness of his elder’s words.

“Humans have been here long before we have. They will remain here long after we are gone. They do not take from us they merely give. I stand tall right now as the center of my own world yet all I must do is look around to realize that I am merely one tree, one organism among a sea of life.”


With these words the lumbering tree again pushes through towards his destination. The young sapling directs his own attention to the sky, admiring all the humans. As he moves his gaze switches from one face to the next leading to the realization that each contains a unique story, a history behind marble eyes. Some men stare at women and vice versa, others look straight up or straight down to the ground. Small hints of jealousy, love, joy, are all faint but present if one studies the faces long enough. Generally though each countenance is tame with the most resounding aspect of character being a sense of pride. Each human just looks so damn happy to be themselves. They know who they are. They know what their purpose is.  

 

*Whack* *Whack*

The sound of an axe cutting through dense air before delivering another strong blow echoes through the wilderness.

*Whack* *Whack*


The tall evergreen has chosen a human. She is tall, beautiful, and stands resilient after each and every blow to her shin. Her face remains immobile. The crunch of her bone sounds eerily familiar to the snapping of thick twigs. It makes the young sapling cringe.

“Do you think that hurts them?”

His father yanks the axe free, and then delivers another strike.

“Do you think she wants you to stop?”

Leaving the axe lodged into the side of the young women the evergreen begins to speak.

“An old willow likes to tell a story. She says if you picked out a human, just one, and visited that same human day after day in the forest, studying their face, studying the curves of the cheeks, the wrinkles, the gaze in their eyes and the arc of their eyebrows that over time you would actually see the face change in expression. She says that we do not give humans enough credit. She believes, as some other trees do, that humans may actually feel, learn, that some may grow not just physically but emotionally. This is not a common mindset but some believe humans even have a mind of their own.”


With this the youngster stands frozen. He is as still as a human.

“Do you believe that dad?”

The innocence of the question produces a loving chuckle from his father.

“Well son, I can’t say I do. All you have to do is think reasonably. Have you ever seen a human with a mind of their own?”


The young tree begins to ponder this question but his train of thought is violently thrown off track as a horrifying sound ripples through the summer haze. It sounds as though a scream is driving its way through the cluster of people, darting around heads, avoiding legs, slipping through each obstacle like water between cracks.

“Come with me son. That’s a machine screaming.”

The tone of the once gentle giant has turned ominous. He pulls the axe out from the woman’s thigh. This sends a cavalcade of steamy blood trickling down the shin as if a dam had been breached. As the trees carry on towards the noise the woman’s wound shows no signs of clotting.


The pair reaches a cliff overlooking an egg-shaped valley. The right half of the valley is stripped barren while the left half is filled with thriving humans. Right down the center is a cluster of machines being manned by trees. They seem intent to drive right through the entire indent of the earth. At the far upper right side, just in view from this great distance, is a pile of human limbs. Trees can be seen chopping up and tossing fingers and arms, legs, heads and even feet into this one great pile. They are sorted and wrapped together, common body parts that is. From this vantage point one would actually entertain the absurd notion that trees dominate the forest.


“They are cutting lots of humans huh, dad?”

Without a response the evergreen descends into the valley. His son trails him.

 

The staunch evergreen struts over to a tree giving directions. This tree, seemingly almost a stump as his branches are short and without leaves and his head is branchless, almost flat, turns and looks up at the imposing figure before him.

“What kind of work are you doing here?”

The stump, maybe part of the wounded remains of a silvery oak tree, grunts an animal like response.

“Just clearing some space.”

“Don’t you think this is kind of excessive?”

“I doubt the humans mind.”

Some hearty chuckling and coughing follow this remark, although the stumps humor comes up short with the evergreen.

While this exchange continues the young sapling moves towards the remaining humans that are left, shuffling through machines. Once he arrives a spindly vine halts his progress.


“How did you happen to creep over here kid?”

 Without saying a word the young tree just looks once again towards the sky. This time a very different sight greets him as he stands mesmerized by the faces of the damned. Each visage, regardless of age or color or gender, can be categorized into one emotion. Horror. Jaws are pulled towards the ground as though they are made of weighted steel. The eyes of each individual can be seen from a mile away for the pupils have tripled in size, erasing almost the entire white cushion that once surrounded them. Every fragile detail of the cheekbones are exposed as the skin stretches so tightly it appears as though it will rip like cheap fabric at any moment. Every single set of eyes face east. What was once a sight filled with family is now barren.


“What’s wrong with them! Why do they look like that!”

The young tree pleads to the vine for an answer. With great hesitation the vine slowly slithers towards the tree, almost wrapping around one of his branches like a snake before responding in a low hiss “They have always looked like that. Have you ever seen a happy human?”


Horrified the young tree takes a few steps back before his attention is caught on one particular human. Her skin, unlike most, is tender and almost pink. Her belly is quite round, as if she swallowed a bowling ball. One of her limbs is wrapped around the stomach as well, almost cradling it. As the sapling steps closer he sees that her vision is fixed upon one thing, a baby human that sits low to the ground just a few yards away from where her ankles meet the earth. She stares at this child with conviction and her other limb seems to be stretching towards the young boy. The baby is gleeful and unaware even as a mass genocide roars not a mere twenty yards away.


“Pick it up.”

The young tree looks back and sees his father towering behind him.

“Pick it up, make sure the feet are not harmed as you remove it either.”

The sapling does as he is instructed. He cradles the child in a wooden embrace just as the woman cradles her own stomach. The tall evergreen then leads his son away from the construction sight.


As the two walk side by side, leaving in their wake a mess of trees, machines and helpless people, the screams rise up behind them once more.

 

 

 

 


© 2016 O.V. Hudson



Author's Note

O.V. Hudson
I appreciate any and every comment a reader is willing to leave both positive and negative

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register




Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

157 Views
Added on November 12, 2016
Last Updated on November 12, 2016
Tags: Short, Murder, Nature, Trees, Death, Youth

Author

O.V. Hudson
O.V. Hudson

Tamaqua, PA



About
I hope my writing will serve as a bridge between myself and people I will never meet. We may be able to learn something from each while avoiding that awkward tradition of exchanging pleasantries. .. more..

Writing
Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by O.V. Hudson


Chapter 2 Chapter 2

A Chapter by O.V. Hudson


Chapter 3 Chapter 3

A Chapter by O.V. Hudson