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Ophelia's Tree


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I’ve been here for years. Decades. Centuries. I’ve seen it all. Lovers, sitting in my shade. Having a picnic. Having a fight. Having sex. Families, sitting in my shade. Children, throwing pebbles into the water. Children, climbing my branches. Tired parents, thinking it’s ok to close their eyes for a moment, only to be woken up by a scream that brings their darkest fears to life. Tired parents, taking long naps and wake up to find their kids still throwing pebbles into the water.

Sometimes a poet comes along. A writer. Artists of all kinds. Something about the combination of the still water and the distant mountains is soothing to their aching soul. Lonely people come here often. Heartbroken people. People who find the world of people too cruel, too fast, too scary. They lean on my trunk a while and watch the water. Listen to the silence. Feel the stillness all around them. And leave happier. Or, at least, a little less sad.

Once, a girl came here. She was sad. Her heart was broken. Perhaps her mind as well. She climbed up into my branches holding flowers. They were pretty flowers, and I was flattered that she liked me enough to decorate me, to gift me these beautiful, fleeting things. I wanted to hug her. My leafy limbs swayed in the wind. Then, the bough she was standing on snapped. She fell into the water, the layers of her dress spread like a lily pad. She looked up into my branches. And in her face, I saw that she gifted me her beautiful, fleeting self. And it made me shudder.

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#Loss #ShortFiction #Memories #Family #Art

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