A Broken Promise
The cold winds blew into the woods, whispering the end of the scorching summer and the arrival of the autumn. They whispered a lullaby among the trees, a sorrowful tune of the white sheet that will soon crown the bleak, barren land over which it blew.
A birch tree stood in a small clearing in the forest, its scarred, white bark shivering in the cold as it readied itself for the long harsh winter to come. All its leaves had lost the shades of green, that once were the its pride.
The tree knew and dreaded what was coming, but calmed itself by remembering the caress of the spring it pined for.
The winds swept in from the the north and murmured to the leaves;
“Listen now oh weary ones, forget thy pain, loss and harm,
come to the dawn of a hundred suns and to the lands of calm,
let me carry thee to the warm embrace thy soul had yearned for,
leave behind this marred life, return to the heart’s loving shore.”
Upon listening to this rhyme, the leaves cried in joy. They thought that their savior had come to rid them of the horrors of winter they all had heard about since their birth, in the warm spring.
Little did they know that they cold winds of the north were double-dealing and deceitful, beautiful on the outside but hollow on the inside.
Only the tree knew this, as it had seen the white snow drown all colors of the woods. It had heard the gales’ shrieks kill the chirping of the mirth-filled sky wanderers. It had smelt the steely rime cover the pleasant smell of the herbs. It had tasted the bitterness of the winter’s reign, felt the pain of icy shards.
Slowly the dusk fell, until only a thread of gold marred the cloudless sky, and the dying light brought a shudder in the forest. It was as if the entire thicket sighed at once, lamenting the passing of the sunlit summer and fearing the coming of the bleak winters.
The pale moonlight slowly slipped away as the eastern sky tinged with pink. The woods tried to hold onto the silvery light, tried to make the night linger on. But it slipped away like oil between fingers, futile to try and grasp on.
The cold morning brought with it the premonition of death, a dreary feel of the coming of something dark.
Then suddenly the winds blew again;
“Listen now oh weary ones, this I promise to thee,
to take thee to the land of colors and mirthful glee,
come with me as i caress thee,close thy drowsy eyes,
hearken to my song, travel to the shores of blissful tides”
The leaves rejoiced and said to the winds;
“Oh our savior, mighty wind, takes us in thy embrace,
take us to the lands of love, to the tranquil skies above,
rid us of these earthly woes, let us see thy loving grace,
we embark with thee on this journey and a harbor thereof.”
A gale of icy winds came from the dreary hills, and blew through the forest. All the leaves of the birch blew in the gust and left the tree naked and forlorn, shivering in the cold.
The leaves exulted in utmost joy, as they rose with the wind and away from the winter. But the deceitful winds suddenly ceased blowing and leaves dropped slowly. In the arms of rime-covered soil they descended unable to believe that the winds had lied. Unable to believe that they had been betrayed. The winds had promised them love, promised them care, promised them light at the end of the blackened path.
As the night settled in, stars slowly came out and the silvery moon glided skyward, the birch tree sighed in remorse. Sighed for the poor leaves, deceived by the liar, cheated by the perjurer.
Underneath the blanket of blue stars, snow descended onto the woods, coating everything with a fine, brilliantly white cloak. Throughout the silent night, the flakes quietly fell into the fondling arms of the earth,the serenity so complete, so beautiful.
The winter closed in on the trees and by the austere dawn, a thick coat of white had covered everything. The leaves that had fallen onto the soil, were no more to be seen, hidden away under the kiss of the winter.They would wither away and decay under the snow, all traces disappeared. All clues to the winds’ sins lost in the wrinkles of time, all witnesses muted, all evidences removed – The perfect crime.
The birch tree knew that another winter would come after this one had passed. The winds would once again lie to the new-born leaves. Promise them adoration, freedom and hope. The merciless white would once again destroy the innocent green.
The tree sighed to itself;
“Amidst the wisps of evening mist, rise these poor souls,
their weeping lingers in mellow darkness,of a broken trust,
hearts forsaken, hopes abandoned, an all-encompassing cold,
never knew of the cruel fate written in the stars, faith built on dust”
The winds would then laugh amongst themselves, about the trust that was crushed.
The belief that was lost.
The hopes that were shattered.
The love that was betrayed.
The promise that was broken…………..