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Maple Tree

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It was so hot that day even the leaves of the maple tree drooped. I sat under their lifeless, speckled shadow and kicked off my sneakers. This was my thinking tree, but as I rested my head against it’s craggy bark, no inspiration came. I closed my eyes.
There was not a breath of life anywhere, it seemed. Not even the faintest whisper of wind in the treetops.
All the neighbors had abandoned their summer yard work long ago in favor of air conditioning and lemonade, so each lawn sported spiky dead grass. Flowerbeds consisted of shriveled brown petals and stems strewn across dry, crusty earth. Bushes that were normally kept neatly trimmed now looked like odd creatures, with various branches sticking out in every direction.
I sighed. I was sure I lived in the dullest neighborhood, the dullest town, and probably the dullest state in the entire world.
Nothing exciting ever happened, nor even anything remotely interesting. Even less so, if that was possible, in the middle of August, when it was so unbearably, stiflingly hot. I wiped the beads of sweat from my brow for the hundredth time that afternoon.
It was agonizing, remembering how I’d wished for summer to come last winter as I’d shivered my way to the bus stop each morning. Now I knew I would give anything to feel icy cold winds race past me.
I squeezed my eyelids tightly shut again and whispered, “Please.”
Life would come eventually, I knew, sooner or later. The air would turn chilly again, with the lingering smell of apples, the leaves would change into their brilliant colors, and vividly orange pumpkins would appear on the neighbors’ doorsteps. But not until the summer was over. Not until I got out from under the maple tree.





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