Tree of Life



The Back of the Bus

As Aaron stood in the corner talking to Michael, a long-term friend of his parent’s, his eyes shot a glance across the crowded kitchen. The party was already in full swing, people pouring out shots of expensive vodka and chasing them with generous glasses of wine filtered through the aerated decanter, the centerpiece of every party thrown at his Parent’s house. Buried in the beat of the music, Aaron could hear Michael railing off the pros and cons of Steven King. Aaron nodded and smiled, putting enough attention into listening that he could recognize the social queues in which he was required to respond, but secretly his attention was in watching the room full of people. As surprising as it may be to everyone he met, when he told them he was a writer, it didn’t mean he had read every forgotten work of every author in existence.

Michael started laughing, reaching out and putting his hand on Aaron’s shoulder, jolting him back into the conversation. Aaron laughed as well, nodding in agreement without any understanding of what Michael found so wildly amusing.

“I’m glad you agree!” said Michael, “But I’m telling you, read the Tower series and you’ll understand exactly what I mean.” Continue reading

If I Were Asked

If I were asked, I’d say that it must be like buying one of the first televisions ever invented. As the family sat down and gathered around the tiny little screen, they must have been so fascinated by the world trapped within it. There, in the large brown box that held the insignificant screen, danced images of grey from all over the world. The family must have watched in silence as they witnessed something so far away, so distant, so beautiful from the comfort of their own home.

And as they stared into the gateway of the universe, they would have seen things that they had never seen before in their lives; Mountains in distant lands, beaches in tropical locations, the world beneath the sea, the universe beyond the stars. And they would stare in awe, having never before seen such incredible images flashing before them as if they were real. It would become a sensory overload, something so completely fixating that there’s almost no way to escape it. But why would you ever want to escape?

Instead, you would sit back and let the images flash before your eyes, let the pictures capture your mind and soul, pulling you in deeper and deeper until you’re so lost in the unimaginable that you forget what life was like before the tiny box appeared in your home. It becomes a staple part of your life, something you look forward to every day. It makes you happy, shows you the world, and promises to always, always keep you entertained no matter how bad your day has been.

If I were asked to describe the impossible, that is what I’d say; If I were asked to describe what I saw in your eyes.

The Jade City

The couple lay in the tangled sheets of their king sized bed, wrapped in each other’s arms and breathing in the intoxicating smell of their partner’s sweat soaked body. Even in the aftermath of their passion, they timed their breathing to rhythmic harmony, inhaling and exhaling as one combined lung gasping for air. Jacob reached up and stroked Lara’s hair, staring into her ocean-green eyes. His mouth broke into a grin and he began to laugh, not because the moment was funny, but because the sheer ecstasy had rendered him incapable of anything but utter joy.

Lara gently ran her fingers over Jacob’s rising and falling chest. He would never tell her, but the touch of her fingertips slammed all of his senses together in a mess of confusion, making his entire body tingle, his ears ring, his sight flicker, and his breathing to elevate and consume all the smells around him.

“I can’t do this anymore,” whispered Lara, her fingertips still gently grazing Jacob’s skin.

“Well too bad, we’re going again in fifteen,” responded Jacob with a laugh, grabbing her body and pulling it into a kiss that collided all the love of their entire relationship with the span of a single moment.

Lara let out a quiet little moan, kissing him back with equal passion and devotion. Then, she pulled away, her eyes wide as Jacob stared into the glowing jade city of light and love that resided within the ring surrounding her pupil.

“No, I cannot do this anymore. Us. You. Me.”

She held her face inches from his, still breathing the same air. But now the harmony was broken, and as she lay beside him sharing the oxygen they  breathed together, Jacob knew that there wasn’t enough for the both of them.

“I don’t understand…” he said, completely incapable of moving anything but his mouth.

“I’m sorry, Jacob. I just can’t.”

Lara did not move. She simply lay beside him, staring blankly into his face. And as he sat there, he noticed that the city of jade that he would stare at for hours in the eyes of the woman he loved had burned to nothing, leaving behind a green he had seen a thousand times before, in a thousand different eyes.

Copyright. First published at The Mitchener Chronicles