anthology, Flash-Fiction

Flash Fiction: The Memory Tree by Kate Murdoch

When the truck rolled into the drive, there was nowhere to go. I remained still and steadfast, as I had done for one hundred years. I had witnessed many things.

From the time I was a vigorous sapling, the world around me had provided entertainment. Lovers scaled my branches and sat entwined in the flat heart of me, their love so all-encompassing and fevered they did not feel the roughness of my bark.

Children hid behind the screen of my leaves and wrote in their diaries, or simply dreamt. I heard their thoughts tumble in circles, flurries of dust and particles of light. My presence soothed them. After a time they climbed down, their minds still.

A young man visited once, with a length of rope. I showed him the sunset and cocooned him with my essence. He did not jump.

The men encircled me, the roar of their chainsaws made my branches quiver. I held onto my memories as the first blade ricocheted then gouged my trunk. The sap bled and I stared at my last sunset, the mauve and coral streaks outlined with bright gold. The sun vanished beneath the horizon as I fell.