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The Sycamore

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Kristopher’s legs swung back and forth too quickly to allow for any form of deceleration. His boots kicked up moist, sludgy mud that clung to his pants and even the bottom of his loosely dangling shirt. Kris’s arms were held tightly to his body as he fought against the expanses of his microcosmic universe in search of the sycamore tree he had planted long ago. His fingers were curled tightly into a fist as to never let go of the fertile seedlings he imagined in his unbelievably sweaty palm.

The humidity was of the suffocating type. To Kris, it had seemed as if he was surrounded on all sides by an invisible field wrapping itself around his body. The faster he moved, the tighter the warm wrapping became—
—tighter.
Squeezing.
Oppressing.
Suffocating.
Restraining.
Drowning.
Killing.
Dying.


As Kristopher became more focused on finding his beloved sycamore, the humidity faded as if it was being stretched until every fiber was torn into inconsequential sullen strings. Kris’s eyes scanned the landscape, making him believe he could see miles ahead of him, but he could also see the miles past and covered. The earth was not spherical in his eyes—the perfectly flat plane reached into the tiniest corners of the fickle universe surrounding him, much like the blanket of humidity. His insignificance was baffling.


Kris had never considered how insignificant he was.








He was guarded—

—with a mind sealed at every seam from the realities of his society.


Kris knew nothing of the evils of humanity, nor did he know anything about the goodness he so hoped for in the world. —Optimistic.

Kris had never considered how selfish he was.

He felt a rupture. The image of a black carnation infected his mind as he ran through the field. The blighted petals burst from the protective bud and couldn’t bear the toxic humidity of the surrounding air. Within seconds, the once protected scarlet petals curled inward, stretching out their arms for the shelter the bud couldn’t offer them. The petals shrieked with sorrowful cries. They begged for acts of kindness and forgiveness. They prayed for—

Kris had never considered how miserable he was.

The thoughts of the carnation were replaced by the rupturing Kris felt festering in his chest. He was running too fast—the humid air could not invade his lungs and swell them with the outside world that seemed so foreign.
Kris’s legs gave out. He collapsed into the soaking wet ground with his clothes absorbing all of the mud around him. The chilled fluid expanded across his body, which contrasted heavily with the warmth of the humid air. Kris writhed in the mud.

A miniscule grasshopper found its way to Kris’s cheek. Its legs tickled his face, and Kris forgot about the disgust on his body. His mind solemnly returned to his insignificance. The miniscule grasshopper held the utmost importance in the seemingly infinite field of simulated reality. The vivacity in the twitching legs of the grasshopper released a burst of scintillating joy into Kris. The insect was his friend. The insect made him smile. The insect gave him hope.

Kris had never considered how lonely he was.

The insect positioned itself to face the everlasting inferno perched far beyond the cosmic breadth of anything Kris would ever come to know or understand. The insect projected itself off of Kris’s cheek directly toward the incandescent inferno, no longer in sight. The insect was lost in the limitless field of grass—vanished. Kris’s eyes scanned the immediate area surrounding him, but the insect was gone. A slight rustling in the grass out of Kris’s field of vision caught his attention.

Kris had never considered how blind he was.

His eyesight was incompetent of uncovering his miniscule green friend. Kris placed his rather large, yet comforting hands perpendicular to the tolerant earth holding him up. He felt a sweet, harmonious unity with the earth. The ground was his ground, the dirt his domain. Kris knew he had come from the forgiving ground, as did his sycamore—his tranquil, sagacious, breathtaking sycamore.
The jagged stones pressing into Kris’s hand—stamping a temporary imprint that sorrowfully withered away—reminded him of the youthful seedlings he so lovingly placed into the warm and cradling ground. The seedlings Kris had once known erupted from the ground and ripened into his remarkable sycamore. His everlasting sycamore, thriving in the purity of innocence, love, and bliss.

Kris had never considered how lost he was.

Kris’s vision became warped from forming tears. Through the muddy flickering refractions of light, the branches of his sycamore were reaching for him.

Kris did not know where they were coming from. He knew they were offering all they had to offer for the sake of his happiness. He knew he belonged with the scarred bark and the fickle leaves. The flaws of the sycamore defined its good nature—everything about it.



After closing his eyelids to disperse his tears, he felt insignificant. With his eyes closed, he imagined how he must’ve looked in comparison to the continual fields all around him. The eternality of the very earth he barely inhabited was far too ethereal to grasp between his childish hands.


He opened his eyes, and found his dear sycamore. His creation stood before him, strong-willed and potent. Its branches were reaching for Kris, who joined together in union with his sycamore. Tears poured out of Kris’s eyes—he had not been with his sycamore in more years than he could remember. The small little seedlings had grown into what thrived before him.


Kris had never considered how happy he could be in the tender arms of his sycamore tree.



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