By Zachary Parson
The wind stood still. The trees didn’t though, they trudged towards me, to greet me. All around 1,000 of them, swayed their thin arms as if the wind did blow and took long, yet smooth strides. They called for me, by name, but I ignored and turned my back to them. Their voices rang through the forest as whispers, like an arpeggiator. Acting in slow-motion, my eyes released from their sockets into my hands, but floated as if gravity was a nonexistent phenomenon. My eyes were still attached to my occipital lobe of my brain by an umbilical cord. I ran away from the trees, but I pointed my eyes behind me, beside my hips, so therefore I would be able to see these strangers while simultaneously sprinting. Each footfall gave birth to a mild earthquake, which vibrated my body in an ironically satisfactory way. Each leaf that was quickly stepped on by my bare feet was dead on the ground and each was a different colour, some colours I haven’t even seen before, but was still able to comprehend. My feet bled, bled so much it created a distinct trail, but no feeling came of it. Matter of fact, the earth felt especially soothing on my toes and plantar aspect, almost as if it were a blanket. The beings attempted to scoop me from the ground with their long, narrow claws that were created by branches. They gritted their teeth accompanied by an ominous smile, with every objective of capturing me. One of them scooped me up extremely slowly, making his hand much longer than my own body. I began attempting to snap each finger branch. There was a loud, echoing snap, as I had successfully severed the finger of the tree. He held me like I was in a jail cell or cage and I heard him groan a deep, shallow groan of a tired hurt. As he lifted me up, I surpassed the translucent, tearful clouds. He was approaching the mountain, in which towered the entirety of my surroundings and the tops of trees looked like sand. The sky dimmed, the giant did not move. Suddenly, I felt a crow peck at my left eye, which remained grasped in my hand. Another crow ended its flight on my head, relentlessly poking at my skull, digging for my brain. I begged at the giant to release me to the ground, but he only sobbed at my request. I snapped more branches from the multicoloured creature. He threw me directly towards the ground, but I floated like a piece of paper that delicately waved through the atmosphere. My heavenly descend to the earth had ended. Leaves fell from the now inanimate trees onto my lap, but I could not feel them land on my skin. An assortment of yellow coloured flies began to circle me. They loved the open flesh of my squashed leg, in which they quickly manifested it. A man awoke me from after that moment, pointing his double barreled shotgun directly at my nose, as my mind got lost in the dark tunnel that was the inside of the barrel. He scowled at me angrily, pondering why I was lying in an open farm field that was his land. I reached for my legs, rubbed my eyes in a daze, and realized that movement and sensation had been restored. He hastily grabbed me by my armpits in an uncomfortable fashion, to remove me from the ground. His face matched obsidian, which was doused in wet soil that offered his complexion to seem that of tree bark. His cracking lips had not moved when he spoke, but articulated for me to get off his property. In perturbation, I picked up my bag, and departed.
Photograph “Caught in Stone” by Emily McCormick