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The Boy & The Tree

A YA fantasy short story about a teenage boy who’s on a search for peace and personal happiness.

By Talia DevoraPublished about a month ago 6 min read
Photo created with NightCafe.

I guess being homeless isn’t as bad as I thought. At least I get to develop a strong bond with Mother Earth.

By Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash

Tuval, a depressed, withdrawn, bookish 14-year-old high school student, felt no more warmth, comfort, peace, and confidence in his life. The family’s vast, beige, villa-style house became a war zone; Tuval heard nothing but constant yelling, cursing, breaking glass, punching holes in the walls, and kicking cabinets. His bald, grumpy, sociopathic alcoholic father ruled the home with his cold-hearted nature. His miserable, indifferent, prune-coloured haired, overweight mother never listened to what he had to tell her about how he felt about his family. She always dismissed him and said things like, “Man up! It is a part of life!" Him and his brothers were at odds; they never got along and they had nothing in common with Tuval, so he’d often be seen spending time in his bedroom alone every night after dinner. The whole concept of family living covered his body with goosebumps.

As Tuval made his way out of the colossal, modern-looking white school building, he came up with a wicked idea. He was never the type of teenage boy to not arrive home before supper, so this surreal idea that popped out of his mind made his heart bounce instantaneously. He was 10 minutes away from his home when he spotted a colossal, shady, forest-green tree at Park HaShofar (Shofar Park), a massive, idyllic public park rich in vegetation. Prepared to settle down after a hectic day of school, he abruptly took off and threw his retro-looking brown briefcase onto the grass, grabbed his water bottle and book he was currently reading for pleasure, and retreated under the tree.

By niko photos on Unsplash

30 minutes into the unexpected excursion to Park HaShofar, he hastily decided that the tree was going to be his new home for the next week or so. He gobbled down his turkey sandwich that he was supposed to have for lunch, and savoured a bag of potato chips afterwards. That was his dinner for the night. The rest of the night consisted of reading books, completing his homework, listening to music, and sleeping under the tree. He was free to do whatever he enjoyed and needed to do without the unpleasant, nasty, stomach-wrenching sounds of yelling, swearing, arguing, breaking glass, and punching. Peace and happiness were the main things he’s been dreaming of for weeks and months. Nothing else was as key to him.

The summery evening grew darker and darker by the hour, so Tuval gradually felt his body and mind falling asleep. Dwelling under the tree at a public park for as long as he could meant that he had no toothpaste, toothpaste, or any other living essentials, so he fell right asleep without brushing and flossing his teeth beforehand. It didn’t matter to him, because he was already psychologically dirty from all the chaos he witnessed at home, so being physically dirty wasn’t a big deal to him. As soon as it became so dark that he couldn’t see anything around him, his eyes began to shut down, and his tired body dropped to the grass, ready to crash for the night. The summer night’s wind was nature’s lullaby he could listen to instantly and for free; it lulled him right to sleep.

After a surprisingly beautiful night’s sleep, Tuval woke up to the sunshine shining in his face, birds singing him a good morning song, trees dancing to the morning breeze, people chatting away as they walk to and from the park. As he was mentally and physically waking himself up, he discover something extremely surreal, things no one would have ever received on the day of their escape. Beside his schoolbag stood a jar of coins, a buffet of sweet and salty snacks, toothpaste and floss, a massive glass jug of water, 3 books, freshly baked bread with peanut butter and blueberry jam. He got everything he necessitated, however he had no idea who in the world could give him a load of goodies. Could it have been a Good Samaritan who also spent an entire evening at the park? A wizard? A tree fairy? A sweet, generous old lady who is also homeless? Tuval couldn’t find an answer until he opened the jar of coins, played with the coins, and found a tiny piece of glittery, white paper hidden in the pool of coins. Eager to reveal the truth for himself, he silently read the handwritten message that said:

Tuval, my new friend, Welcome to your new home! Enjoy communing with Mother Nature. She will protect you, comfort you, feed you, and put a smile on your face. Nature is the best medicine for your soul. Please use the coins I gave you to purchase a flower pot, water, soil, and all kinds of seeds to plant. Be sure to purchase plenty of fruit, vegetable, and flower seeds. Come to me if you’re having trouble. I come to the park every afternoon and evening.

Yours truly,

Eden the tree fairy

By Jason Leung on Unsplash

As soon as Tuval finished reading the tree fairy’s message, he helped himself to a generous handful of coins, took a sip of mineral water, and made his way to the general store to purchase his gardening supplies. 5 minutes into his pleasant shopping experience in the privately-operated, small, and vintage-looking general store that was 10 minutes away from Park HaShofar, he discovered a wide selection of vegetable, fruit, and flower seeds, as well as tools he needed to plant his own miniature garden. Unable to control himself, he splurged on squash, cucumber, corn, peas, radish, lettuce, tomato, pepper, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, sunflower, peony, and rose seeds. He also got a monstrous bag of soil, a few large pots, and then made his major purchase.

Once he happily left the store, he made his way back to his new home, got comfortable, and started planting, so he can have a decent selection of nutritious foods for the remainder of his stay. He needed time to let the flowers, fruits, and veggies grow, so he helped himself to freshly baked bread, peanut butter and blueberry jam, water, chocolate fudge candies, pretzels, and peanut butter puffs. He was extremely ravenous to the point where his stomach wouldn’t shut up. The rest of the day consisted of reading, sleeping, walking, watering his plants, and meditating. His second day of homelessness became a stress-free, quiet day. It meant none of his brothers and parents were there to make his heart bleed, his ear hurt, or his face teary.

By Ryan Hafey on Unsplash

30 days into his stay at Park HaShofar, Tuval felt a sense of pure serenity and his genuine relationship with Mother Nature grew bigger and bigger. She was a present from God to him. He could tell her anything and she wouldn’t criticize him. Nature’s lullabies put him in a deep state of trance. The fruits and vegetables he planted slowly began to harvest, and he was able to indulge in Mother Nature’s culinary delights. Food was no longer a drug for him. Food and eating was his new way of connecting with nature, especially if he planted them himself. Prior to feasting on his self-grown fruits and veggies, he’d recite a prayer to thank Mother Nature for all she’s done for him. The flowers he planted became his figures that he collected and treasured. He always slept with them, read to them, and ate with them, like they were his companions, nature’s companions. Him and his flowers became inseparable.

Tuval decided to not return to his family home. The tree he discovered at the park became his new home, his DIY sanctuary that no one could enter without his permission. He finally felt at home after several years of enduring severe abuse in the hands of his family. Nobody was able to abuse him anymore, not even strangers at the park. Him, Mother Nature, and Eden the tree fairy became best friends, his chosen family.

By Rivage on Unsplash

Thank you for taking the time to read another one of my short stories. If you enjoyed this story, please give it a ❤️, share it with others, comment, and feel free to send me a tip/pledge to show your appreciation and support. To find and read more exciting content, please consider subscribing and visiting my public profile. Stay tuned for more poems, stories, recipes, and much more fun stuff!

Please feel free to stay in touch with me!

IG: @tdwrites24 (where you'll find all of my literary creations) @and taliascreations331 (where you'll find all of my visual art pieces)

By Dave Hoefler on Unsplash

MicrofictionYoung AdultShort StoryFantasy

About the Creator

Talia Devora

Poetess, visual artist and lifestyle/quiz writer! My pastimes include reading, sleeping, gaming, music, fitness, etc! Be yourselves, be kind and value life! Let's connect and be friends!

My IG accounts: @tdwrites24 & @tdcreates97

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Comments (3)

  • Heather Hublerabout a month ago

    I was so happy Tuval found peace in his little part of the world. What a wonderful story of hope and survival :)

  • Tiffany Gordon about a month ago

    What a beautiful story of triumph over tragedy! Well done Talia!😍

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Beautiful and heartwarming story!!! Love it!!!💕❤️❤️

Talia DevoraWritten by Talia Devora

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