The Tree

in twbwritingcontest •  11 months ago 


He lay beneath that tree, he knew it.

Each day as he stepped into his car he could see it across the street; knotted, sprawling. Its roots spread like cracks in ice, reaching below, feeding. He could almost feel it.

"Hey, Ted! Ted hold up!" His name wasn't Ted, was it? "Yo, Ted! Come on man, you ignoring me or what?" He looked around anyway. His neighbor waved and shouted, the cycle repeating every few minutes. "Hey, Ted! Ted hold up!"

"Are...are you talking to me?" He squinted at the other man. Was that his neighbor? Did he have a neighbor? The wet smell of earth. He'd never seen this man before in his life. His tie pressed against his neck, tight. Tight. He couldn't breathe. "What do you want?" His voice cracked as he clawed at his throat.

The neighbor...Ted? Could that be his name too? No, not too. My name isn't Ted. Actual Ted half-jogged over and pointed to not Ted's garage. "Whoa there tiger. Just wanted to know if I could borrow your mower, mine's in the shop. Ran over a paving stone, heh. Damn near took a chunk outta myself in the process." Actual Ted looked him over. "Say, Ted, you don't look so good. You in the doghouse or something? Sleeping on the couch? Betty raking you over the coals?" They both laughed. It seemed the thing to do. "I hear ya, pal! The 'ol ball and chain has sure been on me over the state of this yard I can tell you that."

Not Ted laughed as he opened the door to his car. He kept laughing as he stepped in. He was still laughing as he pulled out of the driveway. The wind shook the leaves. The trunk groaned.

The door opened. He was at the office. People streamed inside, a constant flow swiping badges as the revolving doors spun. As he stepped in, a red light flashed. "Please do not block the doors." The line stopped. He blushed in embarrassment but the line didn't stop. It walked on, over, through. The doors swung in halting pirouettes. He found himself carried inside on the backs of the wave. The backs in black or dark blue, in pinstripe. The surging tsunami of business wear, off the rack and on sale, hanging ill from bodies bent and pliant. He could hear the water surge nearby, eating through the ground, turning the hillside to mud around him. He was sinking further, embraced by the cold ground, enveloped. He was drowning.

The monitors flickered. “Hey Ted, you see the game?” My name is not Ted. His neighbor smiled at him from the next cubicle, his headset mic lifted and his hand on the mute button. “It was a blowout, man. Could you believe that? After all that hype.” Not Ted wobbled on his feet, the sound of his own voice drowned out by the rustle of falling leaves. “I know, right? Hey man, are you ok?”

“I’m doing great, how can I assist you today?” The screen blurred, a muddy brown.

“I was told this would be enough. I am not going back to a customer with a no on this.” The voice on the other end of the phone cracked. The mud crept up his back, around his neck and into his ears, filling his mouth. He settled back.

The tree grew tall, it grew deep. Then one day it stopped growing. Its branches went bare, they grew hollow. The great trunk cracked and the tree fell.

“Do you have a supervisor?”


Photo credit to @pyemoney

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Man..I'm indeed this some challenge where youre writing a story which fills into another story? Or? Cuz I swear I've read the whole text and I just didn't make sense for me hahah :D At first there was that tree...and someone talking to ted...and ted wasn't sure who's talking to him or? I thought it's the tree...and then...ted is suddenly in the office (probably got there by car)...some stuff happens there, whatever, I'm still thinking about the tree...and then..tree comes again to the story...but it just died and that's it :D

That's my perception of the story and I totally don't get it hahaha :D just came from work tho and my brain is off soo don't take any offense in it if it makes sense :D

No offense taken, it's sorta dream logicy.

I think I see the connection now. Ted was the name of the main character on How I Met Your Mother, so clearly this is a story about Roman conquest in Gaul.

I'd buy it, heh.

If I was going to try and interpret this, I'd say it's about everyday life and how it's the most mundane repeatable details of life that connects, at least me, with the infinite, and how I find that both comforting and terrifying.

Interesting, I can see that.

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This is really something else, it's very interesting that you intertwined their daily life with the imagery of the tree. That's brilliant, I wouldn't think of something like this on my own.
Congratulations for your curie vote and good luck with the nano =).

Oof, no way I could do the nano, heh. I produce maybe 2500 words max every two weeks or so. Glad you enjoyed!

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The names got a little tangled, I think the translation did not help me much, however I enjoyed the text and the initial photograph of that great tree. This part was very sad "The tree grew tall, grew deep, then one day it stopped growing, its branches were stripped, hollowed out, the big trunk broke and the tree fell."

It's meant to be sorta a blend of the mundane and a dream, so I could see that being very confusing in another language. Thanks for sticking with it!

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I love this very much, fromie * ___ * So wonderful and so terrifying and so peaceful and so suffocating, I feel like it was screaming in silence with a smile painted on the surface * ___ *

You rock <3

Thanks VS! I appreciate the encouragement, heh.

Ohhh, that was creepy! Good work!



Posted using Partiko Android

This is Ted.
Ted is a customer service specialist.
Ted receives calls from unhappy customers every day.
Ted does his best to provide the best service that he can.
But some irrational customers are just as they are.
And that happens many times.
Ted eventually got tired.
He quit and found solace.
Beneath the tree.

Now I wonder who is 'Ted" @fromage hahaha.. The tree or the neighbor. Was it the tree transform to human where he was ted and worked in office. This was the reason why the leaves , mud and trunk follow where ever he goes. I love the tree picture, it compliment your story.

"He found himself carried inside on the backs of the wave. The backs in black or dark blue, in pinstripe. The surging tsunami of business wear, off the rack and on sale, hanging ill from bodies bent and pliant."

You've made me really glad I don't work in the corporate world! Very vivid imagery there. Your words are quite evocative. Great stuff here @fromage!

First of all the tree is really beautiful, obviously very old, a lot of roots growing already on the surface or may be that with time and rainy days they exposed the roots, that also makes the picture of the tree interesting. I believe the story about Ted made everyone a bit confused too.It is like jump into another dimension and found himself there but still not fitting there, everyone know who he is but for him it does not look like his life. Like it, mysterious story, have a potential for further development.

This is rather Kafka-esque, @fromage. At least in my reading of it. I could not help but think of The Metamorphosis. I couldn't quite follow how the under the tree, neighborhood and office scenes melded together, and I wish I could see the movie!