Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #202

Homecoming
by Will Irons


The tree man lay on the ground in waves of dead leaves and twigs, shattered. They had his last limb detached with the axe after binding him on a tree. “Tim……ber!” they yelled. The village chief had enjoined his fourth amputation.

He refused to weep. God was the master of his life. That was the sanctification essential for holiness that commenced when he was four. Tree roots shaped his contours and his flesh was a concoction of human skin and tree bark – part of the package of divinity.

He peered through the canopy against the backdrop of the sky. He spotted a falcon’s silhouette. It soared before darting for him. Upon descending, the dark bird evolved into something larger. The tiny roots on his lashes blurred his vision, but he recognized what he was seeing.

The devil cushioned himself before the tree man. He was gorgeous with an air of equanimity. His smile prevailed. The tree man knew he would do anything for him if he could.

“Will yourself for their juices, my dear,” the devil uttered.

The tree man felt a surge of power within his cylindrical body. New roots burgeoned through every pore. They wriggled, multiplied and stretched, shoving him upwards. He was now perched aloft the forest.

As he maneuvered his roots like tentacles, he saw his village from a distance. He lowered his chin to look at the devil who nodded.

His new limbs stirred the path as he headed home. His thirst must be quenched.

19 comments:

Laurel said...

I couldn't tell if this was mystical from the get go or the man has scleroderma and the village is superstitious. By the end, though, there is clearly something supernatural going on.

Interesting, the turn from holy to the Devil. And I also like the throwback to Greek mythology...humans becoming eternal trees as a reward for their devout nature.

This one is chewy!

wrath999 said...

A vivid story and an excellent read

kashers said...

Feels very Catholic to me. If there's have been mist I'd have smelt incense.

Laurel, help me out, what's scleroderma. Presume it's something of the skin, but what? My OED doesn't have it.

Bernita said...

The Green Man bent on revenge?

laughingwolf said...

what bernita said... well done, will :)

Laurel said...

Hey, Kash!

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease in which the epithelial tissue hardens. Skin becomes inflexible and hard. It's a horrible illness, stealing functionalit and ultimately the patient's life, but the progression can take years and years.

Deb Smythe said...

Very mysterious. I thought we were looking at a druid-like religion at first, then came the devil.

Aniket said...

Ents are generally humble creatures. Thats a unique take on them.

Enigmatic piece.

Kartik said...

very mystical.

Aerin said...



Caveat

Something I Would Keep

"The village chief had enjoyed his fourth amputation." I may be a little psycho, but I love that line.

Something I Might Tweak

God, the devil, Greek mythology - I'd probably pick one world religion and stick to it,in such a short piece

James R. Tomlinson said...

I'd like to see the YouTube version, special effects and all.

Will Irons said...

Dear Friends,

Thank you all for your generous encouragement!

The story is loosely inspired by this gentleman from South-East Asia who has Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis, a rare skin disorder. I wasn't having any Greek mythology in mind.

And yes, I was hoping that someone can make a short CGI video out of this.

Cheers!

Preeti said...

Wow...

Loved the Devil. the image of the treeman gathering strength was stunning. roots sprouting, him rising, devil watching...

Reminded me of rituals predominant among tribes in south east asia... i dont know why...

Craig said...

I thought you put the MC's pain and stubborness forward very well in the first few paragraphs.

JaneyV said...

Sad and ultimately horrifying but very well done.

Kurt Hendricks said...

Ditto Aerin's comment about the chief enjoying his fourth amputation. Great line!

pjd said...

While the village's actions anger and disgust me, I am saddened that in the end he falls in with the devil and seeks brutal revenge. Very, very well written.

(@Aerin: I also loved that line.)

catvibe said...

I was going to ask you if the man from Indonesia was what inspired this piece. Excellent, truly weird and fun fiction.

Leatherdykeuk said...

love the move from sacred to profane.