She Missed Her Tree
by Melanie Odhner
Adria missed her tree. It had been the perfect climbing tree, for her. All the branches were perfectly spaced, the lowest one just a bit too high for anyone else to jump to, so it was her tree.
This morning, she forgot her tree was gone. She woke up from a dream about harsh breezes and orange clouds, and found it still dark outside. Out of habit, Adria dragged herself out of bed and began her trek up the hillside. She was halfway up when she remembered.
She was still so drowsy. Maybe the image of a stump in her head was a daydream. She stomped the rest of the way up, determined to find a web of branches at the top.
Her toes were numb from winter by the time she reached the fence. One end of a wood plank had fallen from its groove and now rested by her feet. She stepped on it. It rocked and she stepped off again before she could loose her balance.
Adria looked up and bit her lip. There was no point in this hill without a tree. She walked up to the stump and kicked it. Then she pulled the glove off her right hand and rubbed it against the heartwood, still rough from cutting. “Sorry, tree,” she said, “But I’ll never find another one like you. You understand.” She sat down on the sump, looked down at it and finished, “I don’t suppose you believe in reincarnation?”