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Forgive Me This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As she stood at the edge of the meadow and watched her mother, the girl felt the old familiar longing that pulled at her now non-existent soul-wood. The earth had been calling her. This year it was harder than ever to resist the pull. But she had made a decision. And once one of the tree people made a decision, there was no turning back.

Though, really, she wasn't a tree-person any longer. For what she had given up, she had been repaid as agreed. Was it worth, she asked herself, giving up her citizenship for the human form? The affirmative echo was a pale song in her mind. Yet the longing to return was as strong as if she had been forced to leave.

"Oh, Mother! Won't you answer me? I had to leave, don't you understand? I didn't belong in the kingdom. This is what I am, this human, this girl. I need you to forgive me, Mother."

The majestic maple stood in silence. Her daughter's pleas ripped her very soul-wood, but she was forbidden to speak. Trees did not speak with humans ever since humans began taking too much from the trees without giving. And even though the maple would have given anything for a chance to say farewell, laws were laws. They were not broken.

The girl stood at the mother's foot and wept. The maple dropped a blood-red leaf to the girl. Stained with her soul's blood, it was all she could give. And it was all the girl needed. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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