I watched the Wanderer reach through a portal and tap on a strange device. Beside him, the son of the Child of Magic egged him on. What were they doing? I shook my silver crown. Humans are strange creatures. While they fiddled with technological things, I opened another portal and glided through it onto asphalt startling a young black man holding a parcel.
His jaw dropped at the sight of my splendor, but one flick of my smallest branch removed the memory. Before he could drop the package in his hands, I captured it with a branch. His eyes glazed over when I sent him into soft-edged dreams of trees. What did you expect? I am the Queen of All Trees after all. I’m not here to hand out fantasies of scantily clad women on beaches.
With gentle pressure, I forced the tip of my branch into the cardboard and felt the screams of my nonmagical brethren sacrificed to make the box and its contents. I could do nothing for them. Their suffering had ended, and I would make sure it wasn’t in vain. I lifted the books out of their cardboard shell and processed on my gleaming roots to a metal box, the designated receptacle for recycling the dead of my species.
I resisted the urge to slam the lid choosing instead to channel my anger into propulsion. Moving faster than the human eye can track, I sped south. My brothers and sisters in Central Park shouted for joy when I passed them, and I slowed enough to stop traffic. Collecting stares as I paraded down Fifth Ave, I held my silver crown high and allowed my radiance to caress the crowds gathering to watch.
Streets meandered after awhile, but I and my awe-struck retinue continued until we arrived at a glass window. Behind it lay books by the thousands but not a single copy of the book clutched in my branches.
Threading his way through the crowd, the proprietor came. I lowered the books toward his sweater-clad arms relinquishing a small part of the story of my home and my people. His eyes shone in wonder as he backed away. I raised my branches high and released seed pods to drift on the wind raking the city. While the crowd scampered to catch the tiny lights dancing with the wind, I stepped back across the threshold separating dream from reality. Shayari’s green lands and my enchanted flock surrounded me again. I’d done what needed doing.
—The Queen of All Trees
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