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The following is a story about a tree that has a lot more bite than bark.

 

I have just turned ten years of age and my life is about to change forever.

My parents have sold the our house in Glendale Los Angeles because we are all the way over to the west coast.

To a place called Providence Rhode Island.

I don’t like the idea of leaving all of my friends behind but what can i do? I am just a kid

 

A month later after a very long boring flight to the other side of the country we finally arrive at the airport.

Than a cab takes us to our new home in Providence

And as my father pays the cab fare i get my first look at my new house

It is a big two storey brick place with a good sized front yard

As i check out the house my eyes are drawn to a huge tree near the front porch

 

‘Nathaniel don’t just stand there gawking help your father with the bags’ That was my mom,Jean,and yes my name is Nathaniel and no you may not call me Nate’

I watch the taxi as it drives away and a part of me wants to chase it and go back to California but my mom grabs my hand and we walk towards the front door to start our new life.

But before we walk over the threshold my eyes once more look over to that big old tree.

There is something about that tree that i can’t put my finger on,it is just a tree but it makes me afraid very afraid.

 

But any thoughts about a creepy tree leave my mind when i walk inside my new house.

I run from from room to room like an excited puppy

Until dad tells me to go outside and wait for the removers to arrive.

 

Oh yeah,my dad’s name is Ben Seagar and he is the reason why we had to move east.

He taught english at a college back home but apparently he got an offer too good to refuse

So here we are in Providence Rhode Island.

 

As i sit on the front porch i get a feeling that i am being watched.

I take a quick look over my shoulder but there is nothing there but a branch from that tree.

I have another look and the branch is no longer there.

God my imagination is really going crazy and i tell myself to settle down and stop being stupid.

But than again that tree is over thirty metres from the house so how could a branch be so close to the house?

 

My mom calls out that it is time for lunch so i run back inside to grab a bite to eat

And just as we finish eating our ham and cheese sandwiches i hear the a truck driving up the driveway.

The removalist’s are here.

So we go inside and help the driver unload the truck but all i manage to do is to get in the way.

So once again i am banished to the front porch.

 

But i soon cheer up when i see my bed getting carried upstairs to my room at least i will be nice and comfortable tonight.

My happiness doesn’t last long because that branch begins to tap on the side of the porch.

I look at that creepy tree and the ends of the branch look a lot like human fingers.

‘Mom that tree is starting to gross me out i think it wants to eat me’

Don’t be silly Nathaniel it is just an old oak tree that was probably planted by the settlers two hundred years ago’

 

The following weeks fly by as i settle into my new school and i have made a few friends.

Life is good in Providence Rhode Island.

And that creepy old oak tree is almost forgotten.

 

Soon it is almost July when i will celebrate my 11 th birthday.

My parents tell me that they will be holding a party to mark the occasion and i can invite all my friends from school and dad will ask all our neighbours to come.

I said half jokingly’I don’t care who comes as long as they bring lots and lots of presents’

 

The big day arrives and mom is in the kitchen while dad is outside cleaning up the yard and he asks me to help him carry a table and some chairs under that old oak tree.

And for the first time in weeks i look at that old tree and my bone marrow freezes and my heart feels like it is going to explode ‘Dad i don’t feel so good,maybe we should cancel the party’

Dad laughs and ruffles my ruffles my hair’Don’t worry you are just nervous and as soon as your friends get here you will be as right as rain’

 

As usual dad is right because as soon as my friends Simon Brendan and Adam arrive we started to play and have a good time and soon all of my worries vanished  from my mind.

 

When it is time to eat everyone takes a seat and we all enjoy burgers and hotdogs that dd made on the BBQ.

My friends and i are wearing party hats and smiles ten miles wide and talking about baseball and all the pretty girls at school.

But i am also thinking about opening my presents and mom’s famous chocolate cake.

 

And sure enough the screen door slams open and mom is walking toward me carrying a huge birthday cake.

She puts it on the table lights 11 candles and tells me to make a wish.

So i close my eyes and silently wish for mom and dad to live forever and for peace on earth.

I know i should have stopped there but i have a few more wishes so i wish for lots and lots of money and good health.

But the one thing i wish the most is for that creepy old oak tree to just go away.

 

I want to open my presents but mom shoo’s me away so that she can clean up.

So my friends and i run around and play for an hour until we are dying of thirst.

But all we really want is more cake.

 

So we get some drinks from the cooler and more cake and sit around the table laughing and swearing like sailors.

Simon gets up to grab another slice of cake when he trips on a root and falls hard’Why you shit eating piece of pond scum trip me will you’ Simon yells at the tree but he is trying not to laugh.

We are also cracking up at Simon and his choice of language

 

Simon goes to give that tree a kick when his foot is grabbed by the root and held tight.

‘What the fuck’ Simon says as he struggles to free himself.I tell Brendan and Adam to go and get some help while i try to release Simon from the roots hold.

But as soon as i get close a root closes around my throat and starts to squeeze

Holy shit,i soon realise that i am in a lot of trouble and soon sink to my knees but then i remember the pocket knife in my jacket.

I pull it out and start to cut and hack at the root and just when i think that i am a gonna i somehow break free.

Simon is hysterical and screaming for help but than i hear a crack and look up to see a huge branch crashing down

I jump out of the way just in time but Simon isn’t so lucky and is crushed.

 

The adults come running outside but there is nothing that they can do.

911 is called and soon there are cops and paramedics everywhere

Mom guides me inside away from the grisly scene.

I am incoherent and can barely function.

A doctor examines me and soon i am given a sedative and drift away to sleep

 

When i wake mom tells me that the police are here and wants me to answer some questions about the accident.

I want to tell them that it wasn’t an accident and that my friend was murdered by the creepy tree.

But they would think that i was crazy and cart me away to the loony bin.

So i tell them that we were just playing when the branch came down and soon the police leave me alone with my feelings.

 

Mom soon comes to see if i am alright.

And i tell her that i am feeling better but that i have something very important to tell her.

So she sits on the edge of my bed and i start to talk’Mom it wasn’t an accident i saw the tree root reach out and grab Simon so he couldn’t get away’

The root also tried to kill me mom i am telling you it was murder’

 

I point out of my bedroom window where that old tree is looking all sweet and innocent’Please mom can we go back home to California?’

Mom gives me a kiss and wipes away my tears ‘Oh Nathaniel you are just distressed by your friend getting killed’

‘But i tell you what i will talk to your father about getting that tree cut down’

 

A few days later a truck pulls in next to the house and four men jump out.

Dad goes outside to greet them while i stay in my room and watch.

The workers remove axes chainsaws and some rope from the back of the truck and prepare to chop the killer tree down.

 

But first they stand around smoking and drinking coffee talking about god knows what.

They watch them jabbering for about five minutes until i cant stand it no more

I scream out my window’Hey assholes stop jerking around and get to work’

I look that tree right in the eye’Cut that fucker down and do it now’

 

The workers look up at me in surprise and stop there talking and get to work.

The chainsaws roar into live and one of the workers starts to cut but the machine gives out a screech and dies a death.

Hey Randy this tree is one tough mother i think it is time for the ‘beast’

The guy named Randy emerges from the truck holding what must be the biggest chainsaw in all of Rhode Island.

It is almost as big as the workers

 

Randy hands over the ‘beast’ and soon the sound of five Harley Davidsons fill the air.

I cover my ears as the ‘beast’ goes to work.

 

But soon i hear a loud snap and through a shower of sparks i see that the chain has broken and over a hundred deadly links are flying towards the house.

‘NO’ I scream but i know that it is useless.

I turn away as i hear both of my parents being ripped to shreds.

 

I am currently a resident of an orphanage in upstate New York

It is called an orphanage but really it is a home for lost and broken souls

I am sedated most of the time so my mind cant go back to that horrible day when i lost my mom and dad.

But through the haze i still remember.

 

I was told by a kind nurse in one of my more lucid moments that my parents were buried together back home in California.

I am happy that they will be with each other for eternity.

Now that i am alone in the world with no one to love and no one to love me.

I come to a decision.

 

I ask the kind nurse if she could drive me to the house in Providence so i can get some closure.

But mainly i want to confront that tree.

 

As the nurse drives she tells me all about herself and how happy she is with her life.

I am happy for her but it is time for me to enter the next world.

When she drives up the driveway i am aware of the sense of danger in the air.

And there isn’t a sound even the birds and animals know to give this place a wide berth.

 

Than without a word i walk toward that creepy old oak tree.

The tree opens its branches and bends down to welcome me.

I take my final breath and walk to my death.

I am engulfed and gladly go to my demise.

Now i am where i want to be

Revenge will be mine.

 

 

 

THE END