Seed's Story: In Which We See That While Squirrels May Be Evil, Butterflies Are Usually Lawful Good.

Seed's picture
The Index
Chapter 3: In Which Seed Forgets His Greek Mythology, With Unfortunate Results

Seed's Story, Chapter 4: In Which We See That While Squirrels May Be Evil, Butterflies Are Usually Lawful Good.

“Why are you doing this?” In her stillness, The Oak knew many things. Her branches were as wide as the sky, and through them, she saw the world. So she turned to her fellow trees, who had once, every last one of them, been acorns on her branches, and asked. “What on earth do you hope to gain from the little thing?”

“We want to gain nothing.” “We want to gain.” “To Gain.” “To Gain.”

“Cut the bull.” The Oak stared them all down. “What do you want him for?”

“Want him? What makes you think,” said the trees with an innocent tone, “that we want him?” “Want him.” “Want him.” “Want!”

“Your back-up singers are singing a different tune,” she said, matter-of-factly. “Tell me. Is it to start sapping all the deer from the forest? Or is he some sort of funky tree messiah? Stop me if I’m getting close.”

In the distance, the Oak could hear the trickling river and the croaking of frogs. There wasn’t even the sound of real rustling, the wind moving through the trees. They were silent and still as stone. No leaves fell in the forest, for a second; no flowers, either.

“We want…to know,” they whispered, in truly perfect unison. “We want to know his life. To know doing. To know running, and soft touches of friends. What we are missing.”

The oak struggled for something to say to that. She knew those longings – how could she not, watching deer move in and out of her, cuddling close in the rain, dancing around her? They were so pretty and bright, like little stars. Like the candles they wore on those rainy days that made her heart feel so warm. She could only imagine what it would be like, to glow like that. At last, she answered,
“And you’ll destroy him for that?”

“He will be better off. Happier. And we will know.” “We will know.” “We will know," the echoes in the trees exalted. “There will be no losers. Goodbye.” “No losers?” “No losers?” “Goodbye…Loser.”


Seed drifted through the woods; his hooves barely seemed to touch the ground –the roots, which had sprouted from his ankles some time the night before, however, firmly trailed it, holding him down like a balloon’s string. He hadn’t noticed them, yet. He wasn’t in the business of knowing – the world had faded into a pretty green and white blur, indistinct, like some sort of impressionist painting. If he tried, very hard, he would remember he was going somewhere important. It was like walking through quicksand, but the idea would stir that there was something wrong with him. That he was walking in a place – a place where the lights and shadows danced slow waltzes between the trees – but he wasn’t trying to imagine the words for it, the pretty words that would add to the waltz an elegant quickstep. That this place wasn’t home. Every now and then, he’d skip across the grass, soaking in the light without thinking about it.

Then he noticed a little flickering shape at the edge of his vision. Then a few more, trailing after one another. He slowly realized they were butterflies. He could hear their small, tinny laughs as they swayed up and down.

“Hello, little butterflies,” he said pleasantly. They swirled around him without saying a word and kept going. He followed them. They kept close, brushing up against his scales and fur, swirling around him like a bright violet cloud. They beat their wings, sending silvery dust into the air. Seed laughed, seeing them move. He felt the music that made them fly like that – it was in the beat of their wings and his pulse, it was in the swaying of his body and the sound of running water; and for a moment, it all seemed so very bright, he could just stay here forever, listening to that –


Seed blinked as the spells ran off him and into the river water. He glanced to his left, where this world’s version of The Bridge was. And a lotus. Lotuses. The Lotus Eaters. That’s what he had been trying to remember.
“Of course! Flowers that made the sailors forget their…” He stopped as his thoughts became clear as the river water. “Home. You fool, wandering all over the place like your head’s come unscrewed – you need to get home!” He kicked at the water, pushing himself up until he reached the shore.

“So the bad spell is gone now, yes?” One of the butterflies came fluttering down to sit on his bare nose. Seed crossed his eyes to get a look at him.

“Yes, yes I think so… Thank you, I suppose.” He sighed. He’d miss his pelt – it made him feel stronger, to have a bit of protection. He looked down at himself…and noticed the roots. “..No. No-no-no…” He tried scraping one of them with his back hoof. It stung like getting cut. “Because I weakened…” He sighed. “I guess that means I’m not as safe as I thought. But I can fix this. I just have to find my way back.”

“Why not ask the Twin Gods to get you home? That is what my ancestors’ stories said you did before,” the butterfly said.

“You’re related to that butterfly? That must have been…loner here than where I’ve been, but years ago!” Seed laughed.

“Butterflies remember old debts.” The butterfly shrugged its forelegs.

“Well, thank you. And for the advice. You’re free of any debt to me – you always have been.” Seed smiled. At least he had some allies here.

“You think they will help you…again?” “again?” “again.” The Trees spoke up. They laughed, in echoing unison. “You know better.” “Know Better.” “No.”

“The Twin Gods may see fit to have mercy on me,” Seed replied as he started off. The hill wasn’t far off. He could see it, the pure white stature.

“After you’ve sullied their precious gift…with your weakness?” “weakness.” “weakness!” The trees chorused. “Make your way to their hill, if you think you can… But we’ve already won. They can’t help you.” “Help you?” “They can’t.”

I love how the trees talk in

I love how the trees talk in this...I could go on listing all the stuff I love but really that would be all encompassing. Can't wait for more!
Seed's picture

The Trees, I must say, are a

The Trees, I must say, are a lot of fun to write. I love trying to find a line I can spin in multiple ways through the echoes.

I love the "...Loser" part,

I love the "...Loser" part, snippy those trees Sticking out tongue
Seed's picture

I like to think that whoever

I like to think that whoever said that one will soon be enough of an individual to be booted out of the collective for his excessive individualism and snark.
Iaurdagnire's picture

"The butterfly shrugged its

"The butterfly shrugged its forelegs."
= Instant image, much smiles =D

The Oak is so sassy, I love her in this <3