I wasn’t always so lonely. They sojourned once. I thrived in a state of ideal contentment; my personal Elysium. I constantly reminisce, drawing back to a time when I affiliated with a sizeable community: a time I belonged, in sooth. We were frankly in sync as we danced with the universe’s strong blows, shaded folk with solace and tranquillity for a while and fed our furry associates with fronds of nutrients making up the vibrant crowns we held atop our trunks.

What I miss so dearly is the way we used to hold each other so discreetly, entrapping years of growth, mystique and history in our deep intertwining roots; united, never to be separated. We grew with one another, each and every day, towering over the vast landscape we claimed as our own. From days we attained seasonal buds to the days we were stripped of our embellishments when autumn came round.

We stood firmly together amongst our organic litter and duff as a formidable front, intimidating in our own graceful way. Though that did not seem to account for enough the day I was left as a solitary evergreen. Clouds hovered over a pit of flames, the orange glare flooding through my slender timber frame at the raw of dawn. A soft murmuring looming from afar rapidly took form into a full-bodied buzz of bellowing.

Plumes of heavy black smog diffused in the dewy morning air. It approached us at a fast pace, zagging down the greenish-yellow slope with a disruptive aura. We felt claws gnawing at our flourishing turf, unearthing the soil from beneath the grassy crust. I still feel the fear of my companions, their roots contracting and tightening around my own, sending shivers down my trunk. Our branches reached high, organic detectors anticipating the destruction soon to eventuate.

The noise fizzled out, the scene falling silent for a considerable amount of time. Only as the roots of my dear allies began to loosen, the drumming of a thousand footsteps echoed around us, hedging us in. They were coming closer and continued to near until I felt a warm heavy breath on the side of my body. A thick sap dressed my trunk in the shape of an ‘x’, it’s cold drips slowly descending.

Instantaneously, I heard a clamorous roar of fluctuating revving, charging up in a crescendo of noise. The sound of brattling metal came in contact with something close, something significant. I felt the thump of a hefty object rattle the earth beneath me, shedding a million minuscule leaves of my own. Just when I began to repose, another thump sounded.

Then another.

Then another.

Heavy bodies dropping like falling soldiers. My core was shaking from all aspects and when the last thump rung, it was then when I realised. The air became empty around me, the shadowy evening unsympathetic to my disturbed mood. I held tight to the roots of my companions that once stood by me, no longer feeling alive and exuberant, but now dead and lifeless. Their roots slackened in my own, not grasping back like they once did. What heartless beings would strip one of their family and bliss and strength?… I thrived in the state of ideal contentment; my personal Elysium.