The woman and the tree

Twisted knots, gnarled lines, deep grooves, and deformed limbs. The tall, dark-haired man with tan skin looked from his great-grand-mother to the ancient tree, seeing the similarities. She was standing next to one of the drooping branches, one of those which looked as if they’d pointed proudly towards the sky somewhere in the past, but had given up at some point, a long time ago, and allowed gravity to pull at it. The branch had a few dips and rises in it, even touching the ground once. It was as thick as the man’s slender waist.

The woman, leaning heavily on her stroller, lifted a shaking hand while her whole body vibrated with the effort. The man almost rushed forward to help her, but he was too slow. To his astonishment, from the moment her hand touched the tree, she stopped shaking completely and all tension seemed to flow out of her body.

“Hello old friend,’ she whispered, her eyes closed and a blissful smile on her thin lips. ‘I’ve missed you.’ Gently, she let her forehead fall against the branch, seeming to savour the feel of the rough bark against her almost equally rough skin.

“I’m sorry moemoe, it’s time.” The young man looked behind him, sadness in his eyes and face while still projecting strong confidence in his body’s posture, signaling with his hand. He walked up to her to take her away from the tree, eyes stinging.

“And so, we both die today,” the centenarian murmured, too soft for even the man to hear.

The sound of the bulldozers ripped her heart in two.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Prompt taken from https://www.thewriteservices.com/single-post/2018/09/09/ATA-Flash-Fiction-Contest-2018—Week-36

Screenshot 2018-09-09 at 18.16.19 - Edited

 

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