a rather old piece of original fiction. i do not recall the exact date but i belive it was the end of middle school or early high school that i created this piece.
"l... l...t... l..l...i...g...h...t... L I G H T! Light, light, light, light
! i.. I
... I...a..m... I am
... what? a ... t..r.. a.. tr..e..e..? A tree? Yes! A tree
Now I know what I did not know so many ages ago. Yes. I am a tree. Not any tree, but a Tree. A Tree of Tales. And perhaps the only one left.
Each of my leaves is the same. Each of my leaves is different. I am at once united and divided. And in that I am strengthened.
To those who see only with their eyes, I am only a huge old oak, hoary and bent by my own weight and age. But to those who also see with their minds and with their hearts, I am old, but majestic and wise, tempered by my age instead of hindered by it. With these, I share stories, tales like you have never heard before. I could tell you the story of Middle Earth as it really happened, not as Tolkien Tree-friend chronicled—he wrote so that even the eye-seers could understand. I could tell you about Narnia as I saw it. I could tell you in my own language, the language of legend.
You. You have sight beyond eyes, you are a tree-friend. You would understand. The Time Traveler told of by Wells sat beneath my branches; the Eloi danced, carefree, among my roots. I followed Nemo under the Seven Seas. I belong to every age, every time, every place, every land, the past and the future. All tales live in me, and I in them. In me, all stories are true.
Elves have built tree-platforms in me. Unicorns have rested in my shade. Dragons have roosted in my branches. Wandering dryads, traveling far from their home trees, have sheltered in me. All these who have met me have passed on tales that they have heard in their roamings. Restless are those beings who think that they are now only legends to Man. All of these creatures have something to say. They plead with me to let those who desire to know that, yes, the fantastical creatures are real and can be found if they are searched for hard enough.
Those tales written in anger, in greed, for money, for the praise of men, no matter how eloquent, I shed as other trees drop their leaves. But all the stories worth retelling, I see, I hear, I know. Those tales written with a sight that is greater, a knowing or a feeling, in kindness or love or for the art, I retain. These become immortal. Each sprouts as a new leaf, alike in kind, unique in detail. A leaf the same and different as all the others. These leaves never fall. They are retained in their splendor, glowing with an inner fire. They are the road that goes ever on and on, the song that forever ends and begins at once.
And my topmost leaf, the one that shines gold and silver, dazzling white and depthless black, the one that is both light and dark, sunrise and sunset, burning and freezing, youthful and ancient, past and future, and all and everything that is both beautiful and terrible at once, that is my story. It is my tale, which has a part in each and every tale. I am in them all, and they are all in me. Through my leaf are all tales truly immortal. This leaf is the tree; the tree is this leaf. I am both.
Ages and timeless ages hence, I will, as a tree, wither. I, as a tree, will die. But my leaf will live on, if there is someone, anyone, left who cares. If there is anyone remaining, ages from now, who cares for things beyond the realm of things, if there is anyone who can escape the deceitful web of human greed and hatred and pettiness. Anyone who strives for nobler things. Then I can live forever in the hearts and minds of those who care. Only then can I--and the tales I contain--exist for eternity. I must live. Not for me, but for those who will need these tales. For those who need that indefinable something that advancement and human value alone cannot provide. For the dreamers. For those who value nature above an office. For those who always have tried to look beyond the horizon. For them, my tales must live.
You. I will share my stories with you. You can understand me. What I tell you, you must weave for others. You must share that which must not die. How terrible it would be if True Stories forever left the human realm. An irreplaceable loss. One that MUST NOT happen. You can ensure that. You are my heir. Spread what I teach you. If these tales live in the hearts of enough of human kind, they can never be forgotten. I will now tell you a tale, teach you a lesson. Share it. Pass on whatever you may learn. Scatter enough story-seeds and my kind may live again. It would be a tragedy if we left this realm forever.
But, when I die, my tales will live. For each one remembered a new tale-tree will grow and thrive. So help keep us here. You have the power do to so. But listen to a tale before you decide, for your decision is irrevocable.
Thus begins the tale of the last great alliance of the dragons and the unicorns.
These two great, proud races had often warred. But in times of need, they allied and none could stand before them. They were invincible, but their pride was their failing. Each believed in its own superiority. The two eventually quarreled so greatly that they came close to eliminating each other. That is why these great peoples are so rare. They raise few young, and grow slowly. But never mind this. This tale is before the dark times came upon these proud, beautiful ones. It is of them at the height of their glory, in their fin...”
A great shudder shook the tree then. No wind was blowing, but it was shaking and swaying pitifully, as if it were in pain. Then it spoke again. I heard:
“No!! My time has come too soon! Men no longer believe in my tales. I must depart now, for it is my irrevocable destiny. Remember me and do not let my memory die.”
“You can’t leave” I whispered. “Don’t go. Please don’t go. But yes, I will fulfill your legacy. I will replant the seeds of story in men’s hearts.”
“Thank you, my child. I can rest peacefully now, hearing this. Farewell!”
I saw the old tree shrivel and wither before my eyes. But the leaves did not dissipate, they remained untouched. Then the tree was gone. I would mourn the loss later. But for now, I was stunned. Then I thought I heard, in the back of my mind, a whisper of that tree’s voice. It said “Take my leaves, my stories. Scatter them to the four winds. Maybe some will take root. And keep for yourself MY leaf, the one that is all of the stories, and is me. Keep that one. At night, in your sleep, it will send you stories. You will dream my tales. And you will dream them like you have not dreamed before. They will be vivid as life, and you will not forget them. Ever. These tale-dreams will stay with you forever so that you can share them. Thank you for keeping my stories here. Bless you, child, and may fortune shine on you, and may these tales be a well of endless joy to you. Now farewell, forever.”
I cannot say if I actually heard this or not. Maybe I never did hear it with my ears. Maybe I heard it with my mind, or my heart. Like the Tree told me. I slowly gathered up the leaves, which now looked like ordinary fall leaves, crisp, beautiful, but oh, so brittle! I carried them home with me. The Leaf I placed on my nightstand, atop a pile of beloved old books. The others I planned to scatter them in three days. It would be the first of spring. Somehow this comforted me. It marked the end of a harsh, cold time and promised of a new, fresh season to come.
That night, I dreamed a dream the likes of which I had never dreamt before...