Thursday, September 13, 2012

all that remains

They told of evenings when the air was so cold even the flames of their fires stood frozen solid in place. If anyone had the misfortune to be caught outside when the fires froze, then they themselves were frozen solidly in place, and the next day, all that remained was their skeleton, transformed overnight into a tree. Every spring, the trees were covered in tiny purple blooms so fragrant hummingbirds would nest in their branches, and every summer the trees would leaf out in colors more brilliant than any others in the forest. My great-great-great-grandfather's great-great-great-grandfather was a tree, and my great-great-great-grandfather's great-great-great-grandmother collected his branches, and added them to the fire every evening in winter. The fire glowed a deep rich red, and smelled of pipe smoke and of pine cones, and in the embers were glass buttons, small coins, the nibs from fountain pens.