~As the first streaks of light bled into the sky, and dawn showed her rosy cheeks over the horizon, he awoke to a heavy pain in his torso. Not a dull, aching pain, but more of a sharp sensation, like hooks digging themselves into his tender flesh. It seemed to be the worst in the centre of his chest, and it radiated out, to his back and all the way down to his lower abdomen. He felt his whole body shudder as his frail form was wracked with every laboured breath he took. His lungs burned with the effort and his stomach churned mercilessly. He felt dreadfully warm, yet the feeling of the air against his bare skin felt clammy and cold.
He squeezed his eyes shut and his face contorted into a grimace.
He wasn’t quite sure what the pain was.
It was pain worse than anything he’d ever imagined. He couldn’t even compare it to anything he’d ever felt. The closest thing he could think of was grief.
That dreaded grief you get whenever you lose something that you loved. But how can you lose something that you never really had?
He had no name to be remembered by. He’d never been given a name at birth. Come to think of it, he didn’t really remember his family. But something deep inside told him that he didn’t really want to, for they didn’t love him. They never really did.
The no-name boy released a scream of agony as he felt something tear through his back.
He felt the colour drain from his face as he realised what was happening.
A tree had sprouted from his back.
It was just a small tree, without many branches. Blood trickled from the areas of his body that the tree had penetrated. By now, it had begun to pool beneath him. It was strangely thick and sticky, like tree sap, like reddish liquid amber leaking from a hole in a tree’s protective bark.
Fat, hot teardrops streamed down his face as wooden tendrils of roots spiralled down his arms and legs and dug into his body.
For a few minutes, he continued to cough up the sickeningly sweet tree sap, until his body could simply take no more, and he stopped. H
The boy allowed his fingers to coil into a fist, knuckles turning nine white. He felt his body buckle with the heavy weight of the tree emerging from his back.
It was still growing. It’s branches had twisted and cooled around one another, around his limbs, some hanging over and burrowing into the ground, others cutting through his skin. He was unable to move now, and he could do nothing but stay there in the puddle of his own fluids and tree-sap blood.
He was grieving, grieving for a family he never had.
Long curtains of leaves draped over him now, hold like the sun and blossoming into flourishing pink at the tips. The light wind caused the branches to gently sway; Only bits of sunlight shone through the branches, casting light onto the shimmerimg pool of liquid. It was like he’d been trapped in a prison cell of his own family tree.
The sounds of giggling children swam around within his mind. Why couldn’t he had been like that? Why did he have to have parents like his?
He hated it.
He hated feeling so helpless, held down by his family. He hated how the leaves brushed against his skin. He hated the warm stickiness if the blood beneath him.
He hated all of it. But he couldn’t do anything about it either. He knew nobody would hear him if he screamed. He knew even if they did, they probably wouldn’t come. He didn’t even know if he could yell, or if he’d already shredded his vocal cords while writing and crying out in agony beforehand.
He didn’t bother to try.
He just layed there and waited for the tree to take over.