by Carson Sawyer
The Grandfather Tree
The cool breeze ruffled the branches of the Grandfather Tree, giving off crisp swishes and swooshes. His children, and their children, danced all around him. The autumn months would show how old the Grandfather Tree became; his leaves would sport splendid burgundy and amber, auburn and crimson. His children would show off their bare twig hair and heads. The Grandfather Tree gave off a smell of sweet cherries. His spawn, on the other hand, gave off a faint almond odor. Cynthia loved the Grandfather Tree, but she knew that he was getting old. He had sown his last seeds and given his last sap. Cynthia gave the Grandfather Tree a hug, feeling his bruises and scars. She wished him a long winter as she turned towards the house on the hill.
The Playground Fear
At the far end of the park, a woman was seen walking a dog. At the faucet, a man was seen drinking the water. At the swings, a girl was seen rocking back and forth, back and forth. A young Tom stayed huddled all alone inside of the tubed, red slide. The sun brought out the slide’s subtle arterial shades. The grass looked hot. The sand looked coarse. The sky looked endless. Tom was alone. The climbing frame’s bars would blister, the roundabout would sicken, and the vine climbers would burn. The teeter-totter didn’t move. It sat there, waiting, for someone other than Tom. Tom stayed inside the slide – the slide that the city of Wilkins established in 1982. It was an old slide, a dusty slide, a smelly slide, and yet Tom remained inside. The dark provided sanctuary and proved a friend, Tom’s friend. Tom’s mother was busy walking the tireless Toby, Tom’s father was busy quenching his dehydration, and Tom’s sister was busy as she rocked back and forth, back and forth.