Mistica Chronicles

Welcome to Issue 47

Pastiche Winning Entry

The first memory I can recall is of the creaking sounds of wood, the pungent smell of green, and the incessant chirping of birds. What happened before I turned green is beyond me.

I can't imagine a different life. Each slow, creaking step I take ruffles the feathers of a few indignant flickas - their hoards of treasures constantly on the move with me. The gentle sway of the tree on my back; the quiet rustling of the leaves whispering of all the colors of the forest.

My hearing is muffled by the leaves' whispered words and promises of brighter blossoms. My muscles let out a sigh as I settle into a new spot, my legs collapsing slowly beneath my weight.

I'm aging, I know. My steps are slower now, the weight on my back growing. Yet... I can't stop growing. No, I don't want to stop growing. This ever-increasing weight isn't mine alone. I musn't stop, I can't stop. Not for my sake, but for the sake of those who find solace with me.

Their whispers grow heavier and heavier. The tree flourishes under their ceaseless demands for attention and praises.

"Oh, how beautiful and strong your branches are!" the robis call.

"How delightful and inspirational your blossoms are!" sing the roobees.

For their sake I must grow. Oh but it's tiresome. Their praises lavishing expectation upon expectation on me; I must seek richer sunlight, crisper water, darker soil... so I cannot stop.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I wasn't an overgrowth mandoran. What if I was oceanic? Free to fly the seas as I pleased. Or perhaps zodiac? Roaming the night sky without abandon.

But alas, even if I were given that chance, I would not take it. Would anyone take on my weight? Would anyone be willing? I cannot leave the birds out in the cold; they believe in me, trust me. How could I betray them?

And so I continue to grow. My roots plunging deeper into the soil every step I take. Every step a greater struggle than the last but I cannot stop. I must bloom brighter, grow larger, and become stronger all for the sake of those who rely on me.

For if it isn't me, who else could it be?