Preface: Shadow Tree
Unnatural Recollections #1
It was a bright, nocturnal day, believe it or not. I stood in front of the hut, looking at the horizon where five trees were lined up at equal distances. They all belonged to the same species, stood tall and majestic with branches spreading on every side. The delicate leaves, grouped in clusters, hung down like umbrellas, brushing across the air. You could tell there was a slight breeze. Because of the backlighting, the trees were all silhouettes.
Then one of the trees, or rather half of it, left or right, suddenly caught fire, illuminating the leaves with a jade-colored glow, like green flames. This continued until the leaves fell like a shower of sparks, dimming into bare branches. Then half of another tree started to burn.
Half and half, the trees succeeded in fire, and the leaves that had previously been burned out grew back, I didn't know when, nor how, such repeated life and death, the wheel of fire never ended. Glancing left and right, I became even a bit anxious, trying to pick out the tree to be burned before it was ignited. Then I started to doubt, in fact, the fire was in my own eyes. It was not my gaze following the fire, but my gaze made the tree I looked at burn. However, whichever it was, I had no way to be certain.
For introductory remarks about the work, see “Coming soon! Strange tales from V City”