Lead Weights

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As Orion’s Belt twinkles above Hachikō’s sticky, sniffing nose, the roots of the tree tear apart the asphalt as if it were of no consequence—of which it isn’t. The roots move in a slow, methodical fashion as if such an act were commonplace. They’re kinda like tentacles, but not too dissimilar to feet—the feet of giants—like the green one in the adverts promoting sweetcorn. I remember them from my childhood. I’ve never liked sweetcorn, but I always liked the green giant. He was friendly, with a warm, approachable manner that spoke to me about the pleasantness of nature. In my mind, I picture him nearby, ready to join us on an adventure like no other. Is it an adventure, though? Or more like a rite of passage? Only a few hours ago, I was getting drunk advocating suicide; the shame of being an unpublished writer wrapping around my ankles like lead weights. Now here I was—halfway up a wandering tree as Meeko transforms into something I haven’t put my finger on yet. Will she become a tree herself, or perhaps an owl? And what about me? Sniffing the air the same as Hachikō, I eye the ground beneath me as the tree’s roots cut through and then smash it to dust. Nearing the edge of the courtyard, I see no other souls, but I hear something in the distance. Grabbing hold of the branch above my head as tightly as I can, I stick my neck out and strain my ear. It’s hard to focus considering the din the tree is making, but as the seconds go by, I hear the distinct sound of flapping wings followed by what I decipher to be paws hitting the ground at great speed. They echo all around the courtyard, and the closer they get, the more the image of that forest with its ominous white light grows within my mind.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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