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Beyond the Trees

Written by J. Montes

By Joshua Montes Published 3 years ago 6 min read


"Shhhhh!" Delilah whispered, "you don't want us to get caught do you?"

"I'm sorry, I didn't see the branch. I can't see anything!" Cruz spoke under his breath.

The two teenagers slowly crept around the side of the cabin. They could see the glow from beyond the tree line. They were trying to get a closer look at the phenomenon and could swear they heard whispers coming from the night, when they heard a voice.

"Get back inside your homes kids," a elderly man called out. They had been caught. He walked with them back to their respective homes and spoke as they arrived.

"You kids know you're not supposed to be outside after dark. Lord only knows what would happen to you wandered into the forest looking for that thing," said the old man.

Nobody knew where it came from, only that it appeared one afternoon as the sun was setting. Everyone thought it was a full moon, but it seemed strange as it would've been out of sync with the lunar cycle. As the glow appeared that day, everyone was fixated on it and an old towns member emerged from the forest. She had moved away a few years back, seems like three or four years now. She was sick and needed a doctor in a nearby city that could help treat her. Nobody had seen or heard from her since. When she appeared she was veiled by a green orb above her head. Everyone else saw it and realized it was similar to the light emitting from the forest. When the mayor approached her asking her where she came from, all she had to say was "I've been here this whole time, what are you talkin about?"

The mayor, former town judge, Walkins, spoke to her "Isabel, you've been gone a few years now. The town hasn't heard from you, we thought the worst after we found out about your sickness. What happened? Was the doctor able to help you?"

Isabel spoke in hushed, ominous tone "I never left. The voice spoke to me from beyond the trees and told me it could help me. That was yesterday."

That day she had seen her niece, Delilah, and almost fainted at her sight. Delilah was about to turn 12 when Isabel had left for the city, and to her surprise she had matured. Almost 16 now, Delilah was the spitting image of her mother who had also become sick around the same time as Isabel. The family had a long history of illness, many of them left the city, never to return, in search of a doctor that promised they could help the family. And now Isabel had shown up out of nowhere, with no recollection of having been gone all this time.

Since the day Isabel returned, the Mayor had issued a mandate that nobody was to enter the forest. Hunting, hiking, or any outdoor activities were banned after sunset. Any trips into their neighboring city were to be completed by groups. Nobody knew what the glow from the forest was. Some townsfolk speculated that it was a floating orb, others spoke of hearing a screeching and whirling noise in the night and thought the glow came from there. Regardless of the rumors, nobody really wanted to find out what it was.

As a few weeks past after Isabel's return, Delilah started to noticed that her aunt slept mostly during the day and would wander town at night. She could be seen walking the tree line at night whispering something to herself. One night she left the house where she lived with Delilah. She had packed a small sac of food. Raw meat and a few fish was all she took. As she was walking out the door, Delilah had woken up, the sound of her aunt in the kitchen had disturbed her sleep and she had been feeling sick the past few days. She asked her aunt what she was doing and was only given the response, "I'm going for a picnic, would you like to join us?"

"Us?" Delilah questioned. "Who are you talking about?"

"Oh sweetie," Isabel said in an endearing tone, "your mother wants to see you. All of your family does. The other towns people that left to be healed. We're all gathering to give this food to the one's that healed us."

"Wait, my mother is alive? Everyone told me that she was gone, I assumed that she died. She left when you did." Delilah started to tear up.

"No sweetie, she is well, I can assure you. She has been sending me messages from beyond the trees, The glow gets stronger everyday. And we must give thanks to those that healed us. Your mom, she tells me that you are unwell. You must be cleansed. Like your friend Cruz and the Mayor. They were both sick, and now they are healed."

"No, you're lying, Cruz would have told me something if he were sick, he wouldn't keep that from me. And I just saw the Mayor yesterday. They haven't left. They aren't, no they weren't sick. And my mom is gone. Why are you lying to me?" Delilah screamed as she burst into tears.

"Shhhhhh you don't want them to catch us do you my little flower?"

Delilah turned wide eyed to see the face of her mother. She was bathed in a veil of the green light, the same as her aunt.

"Mom?!" She proclaimed, "I thought..... I thought you were..... d.... I thought you died!" she said sobbing into her hands.

"No my little flower," her mother whispered, "I can assure you I am well. The healers beyond the trees they give everlasting life. They can heal you too. I can sense that you are sick."

"I'm not sick!" yelled Delilah. "I feel fine! I don't need to see any healers!" She turned to run away but was caught by the arm. At this time she didn't realize that somehow she and the other's had gravitated to the tree line. When she turned to see who had a grip on she began to sob. Bathed in the same veil as the others, it was Cruz.

"You have to go Delilah. We are all sick at one time. All of us were healed from our burden of life. The whispers beyond the tree line, they speak of the green light that protects us. They cleanse our bodies of the burden of ever getting sick again."

"Cruz?" Delilah asked. "I don't understand. I don't want to go! I'm not sick!" She turned and yelled at her mom and aunt.

Her mother approached her slowly. Her face shadowed by the light above her head. She wrapped her hand around Delilah's throat, pulled her in close, and said "My dear, sweet Delilah. You don't understand. They want to help. You see humans, when we are born are burdened with sickness. We think ourselves better than others. We kill for sport. Disrespect the land. We are not sick. We are the disease. We are what makes the world sick, and we must be cleansed."

"Cleansed? What does that mean?" Delilah whimpered.

Her mom gripping her daughter a little tighter spoke "my dear, the way they see it, the green light is a guide, a signal to show the rest of us who have been cleansed. It is a way for us to see who needs healing. We are the voices that call you beyond the trees to be healed of your burden. You see earth cannot be destroyed if there are no living. And you cannot get sick if you are already dead."


About the Creator

Joshua Montes

I started writing a few years ago to curb my emotions. I used to be an angry person that would break things and punch walls. I found writing to be a productive way to deal and express my emotions. Short stories and poems are what I love

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