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Natures Return

by Fantasy Text 10 months ago in Short Story · updated 10 months ago
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In a land destroyed by climate change where no plants can grow and water is a rare resource one tree stands alone at the bottom of a valley waiting for someone to find it.

The Sound off dead brittle grass fibres crunching under heavy footsteps fills the open fields as a group off teenagers carry large plastic containers full of water, their faces covered by scarfs as dust clouds rise and fall around them. One of the teenagers collapses in the searing heat dropping his container off water as it tumbles down the valley edge, “I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE” he screams out as he watches the container disappear into the valley. “Ben, what the hell is wrong with you we need that water to survive,” one of the female teenagers says angrily as she places her container down on the dusty floor, “I’m sorry Scarlett, I just can’t continue on it's too hot, I'm hungry and quite frankly exhausted.” Ben responds in a quite heavy tone, “We can rest here for a short time but we have to get going again soon” a taller broader man says, “I will go down and retrieve the container” as he begins walking carefully down the steep hill. “Be careful Garrett, shout if you need us” Scarlett says as she sits down staring at Ben.

Garrett beings to slowly descend down the steep hillside of the valley sweat dripping his head as the sun beams down on him, as his sweat hits the dry cracked ground it vanishes almost instantly like a vacuum sucking up dust. “Where the bloody hell is it” Garrett mutters to himself as he scans around for the container of water, before catching a glimpse of distorted crystal-like light bouncing off a rock at the bottom of the valley. “Ahhh there you are” he mutters again as he spots the container. Moving closer to the rocks Garrett beings to feel an odd sensation a feeling of life a the air around him starts to cool slightly. He looks around cautiously as this feeling washes over him, but continues moving towards the rocks.

“Look Scarlett, I'm sorry but we've been walking for days on little food and we aren't even allowed to drink the water in these containers” Ben looks over to Scarlett, “I know, I'm sorry for snapping at you I'm just tired and hot”. They both pull a small pouch off their belts and both get out a piece of jerky as they both sit and wait for Garrett to return.

As Garrett gets closer to the water container the feeling of life and cold air increases to the point where Garrett begins to feel fresh as his muscles relax and his body cools. “Hmmm this is strange” looking around he grabs the water container and turns to walk back when a sound of moving rocks and earth from behind him causes him to look back over his shoulder. Turning to see what the noise is he stumbles back as he is faced by the sight of a giant and healthy pear tree, the branches and leaves waving in his direction as a shallow wind blows past. “Wha...aa..t, this is impossible”.

Sitting at the top of the valley slope Ben and Scarlett both jump to their feet as the sounds of moving rock and earth echo up the valley. “What's that noise,” Ben says pushing himself to a standing position. “It came from the valley quick” Ben and Scarlett run to the edge of the valley as they both stand in shock at the view of this gorgeous living tree that's appeared at the base of the valley, “It's beautiful, how have we never noticed it before” Scarlett says as she stares in shock, “haha I don't know but I'm going to see it up close” as Ben makes his way down the slope, “not without me your not”.

Regaining himself Garrett walks closer to the tree running his fingers along its rough moist bark as he stretches up and picks a pear from the extended branches. “Garrett, Garrett where are you” Scarlett calls out, “I’m under the tree, it has pears real ripe pears” he calls back. Ben and Scarlett join Garrett under the tree, “It’s beautiful haha, have you tried the fruit yet” Ben asks as he pulls a pear from its stem, “Not yet I wanted you two here first”, “well then what are we waiting?” the three of them all raise their hands clenching the peats towards their mouths as their teeth pierce the skin and the juices spray outwards.

Hours pass since the group discovered the pear tree, they all lay under the trees shaded canopy surrounded by discarded pear cores. Garrett sits up “we should probably get going we are hours behind now and still got half day till we reach town”. The group gather more pears and trek back up the valley side and gather the rest off their bits before setting off again.

Leading the group Scarlett turns to the others “Are we going to tell the town about the pear tree or keep it a secret?” Scarlett asks the others but after a minute she hears no response and turns to see no one behind her, worried and scared she screams their names “BEN” “GARRETT” her voice carries in the winds and is lost amongst the dust clouds. Scanning the horizon she spots two figures as a dust cloud parts but these figures are not human, Scarlett steps forward to get closer and as her foot hits the floor it roots itself to the ground she tries to move but makes no distance. She stands still as a feeling of movement under her clothes takes over a feeling of change, her clothes tear as a rough bark texture pushes through quickly spreading throughout her body, like a virus it takes over her body locking up her muscles as it reaches her neck a single tear rolls down her cheek as it's consumed by the growing bark and nothing but a small pear tree is left sitting in the middle of a wasteland where nothing lives but despite that, a single pear starts to grow followed by another and then another until there is no space for anymore to grow.

Short Story

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Fantasy Text

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