Thursday, February 21, 2008

Entry #8

Grown
by Henry Young


I had driven toward it for a few seconds before it dawned on me, it was THE tree. I pulled over, got out and just stood, gawping at it, taking it in. I lit a cigarette, we had grown. Large in my memory this was now matched by its physical presence.

I walked behind him dragging the spade as we went to plant it. I jumped and stamped on the earth around it after he had pushed the root ball in. His hand reached out slowly to hold mine as we stood and stared in silence. It was the last time we touched each other, his rough hand holding mine, thirty three years ago give or take.

The tree was planted there on our boundary at my insistence. I could see it from the window of my school room. I knew home was just beyond the tree, sometimes smoke would rise behind it on windless days.

He never explained why, I never asked him; he just looked at me with sorrowful eyes. I knew why though, knew he was protecting me. I saw the newspapers, fleetingly, as they tried to hide them. They said he had lost his mind, mentally deranged, they said he would never get out.

The Bailiff died from the blood loss so the truth never came out. They never found the Bailiff’s hand; my father never told them where it was. They just kind of assumed it was him; I haven’t used an axe since.

20 comments:

JLB said...

I like how the tree is your character's vehicle of memory - nice work.

Josh said...

Bittersweet and chilling at the same time.

paisley said...

and that is why the call it "hand me down tree....."

Bernita said...

I see a longer story here.

DBA Lehane said...

Dark and menacing and I agree with Bernita - there's a much longer story in here screaming to be released!

Beth said...

I see that too, a much longer creation at work.

Missy said...

I left this with a tale that intrigued me to know more. Great way to illustrate the growth of the man and tie into the past of the boy.

Sarah Hina said...

I liked the rather flat recounting of these events, and the tree's history. It made the twist at the end that much more unsettling.

Great last line! Enjoyed your take. :)

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Evocative piece of writing. I agree with Bernita and Lehane - there's a much longer story waiting to be told here.

irishkat said...

Nicely done. I do agree that there is a deeper story lurking. I will keep my eye out for it!

SzélsőFa said...

What a strange story. I don't think I understand it completely, though...but I'm sure I'd love to read further on.

BernardL said...

Creepy in a good way.

pjd said...

LOL, paisley! "hand me down tree"

Yes, this started out fine but ended up very creepy.

bluesugarpoet said...

What a father wouldn't do for his son! Wow - this was a freakishly delightful read.

RachaelfromNJ said...

What a shocking ending! LOVED it!! I could definetely see this as a longer story. Fantastic.

Hoodie said...

A delicious ending. All in all a tasty morsel. Perfect execution.

Aerin said...

I liked the image at the beginning of the boy dragging the spade behind him...such a snapshot of innocence, in contrast to the use of the axe. Nicely crafted.

Dottie said...

I also found the image of the boy and the spade very evocative. Nice work.

jason evans said...

Planting the tree, and more. An interesting twist. The protagonist is interestingly cold about the father's sacrifice.

Aine said...

Nice twist! That last line was fantastically creepy. I also love that the character has such sensitivity that the most poignant part of his memory is that it was the last time he touched his father. And the title indicates change over time-- what a set up for a mystery. I really want to know the whole story!