I can remember the first time I felt anything; one second I wasn’t aware then I could feel the sun shining down on me warming my limbs, I could feel warmth and the shimmer of the breeze rushing over me. I stretched my awareness out and could sense others like me surrounding me, some had been aware for some time others were still crawling towards awareness. None of us could see nor hear or smell, we just ‘were’, we could sense everything, we knew what was going on around us, we could others like us and understood their needs, yet we did not talk to others as sound is alien to us.
As I stood there I could feel things crawling around my base as base that consisted of millions of tentacle like creepers covered in the finest filaments of hair whose purpose was to suck in any moisture and nutrients from the ground to feed the rest, the same tentacles dug through the soil and helped to anchor me in place as they grew outward and downward in search of moisture. It was in these tentacles that I felt movement that was not my own, as worms ate their way through the soil occasionally they ate through my smaller roots other life also made its home under my protection; I was home to millipedes, centipedes, wood lice and various other insects, all paid for their protection by tilling the soil around my roots allowing me to move freer towards water and life.
As the seasons turned my limbs became home to birds, spiders and various flying insects; all were either prey or predator, with the bird at the top eating everything. The nights became shorter and the ground harder, I could sense the life in my roots slowing down as it succumbed to the cold. The ends of my limbs, which were covered in needles, began to freeze, though it did not affect my well-being at all. Then one morning I felt a great weight on my limbs pulling them towards the ground, something large had covered me during the night, in my panic I sent out a distress wail to those around me, only to be told that this was normal and it happened every year.
Slowly I could sense the days becoming longer again as the sun heated my limbs once more and the cycle continued, hot summers, cold winters as life went on without any change.
Then after 14 such sun cycles I felt my companions screaming in panic; something dreadful was happening but as I am blind I could not tell what it was, the panic and shock was felt through the ground, then silence as each one vanished from my senses as instant as a light being turned off.
I felt my limbs being twisted and turned and my trunk being bent over, then I felt something sharp rasping through my body just above roots, the pain or perhaps more shock than pain was incredible as I suddenly lost all sense of my roots and with it my surroundings; yet I was still alive and aware of what was going on, though now I was alone, cut off to say.
I could feel myself being thrown about, one second lying down, the next upright, then upside down, as the nightmare continued.
I’m upright? I can sense water at the base of my trunk where once there had been roots and a myriad of life forms, now just water, better drink while I can, maybe I will see myself through this ordeal and once again grow in the ground.
I could feel things being hung from my branches and heat, but not sunlight, a strange stifling heat that seemed to be all around me without any sensation of wind or air movement. There was vibration as the other life forms around me made strange noises. My limbs were becoming heavier as more and more items were dangled from me, without any thought as to the strain they put on my limbs.
Soon the weighing down of my limbs stopped and I could feel sounds emanating from the life forms, sounds that were alien to me but sounded like “Lovely Christmas Tree” whatever that meant.
The next few days passed without incident but no more torture other than the heat and lack of air, but plenty of water to keep me feeling fresh and as healthy as possible.
Movement again? They seem to be removing the weights from my limbs, freedom they must have realised that the items on my limbs was a torture, all they have to do now is kill the heat.
They must have heard me; I am once again out in the sunshine and free of any weights, great now all they have to do is replace me in the ground and hopefully I can grow new roots.
What are they doing, they are severing my limbs, what are they doing with them? The heat is immense, I can feel heat all through me and around me, I have done nothing I don’t deserve this, I want to….
“Well that Christmas tree really went up in a blaze didn’t it Tom?”
“Sure did Dad, still get another next year eh?”
So was the fate of our tree yesterday morning.