At the crack of dawn Shadow awoke. He stretched out his tall skinny body in the morning sun. Hot desert sand was all around him, but he lay in cool shade cast from the dead branches of an old tree.

A breeze came brushing across the desert, and whistled its way through the tree’s branches. The branches swayed back and forth in the gentle wind, and Shadow danced rhythmically, arms waving to the west.

As the sun climbed in the sky, Shadow slowly crawled to the other side of the tree and sat at its base in a dark rage. He dreamed to be free, to dance with the wind away from this dry desert. He glared at the tree with spite. He had been a prisoner in the middle of this desert all his life, shackled by his feet, from sunrise to sunset to this dying tree.

The wind picked up a little, and Shadow’s dance grew a little wilder. The tree’s frail branches groaned softly in the wind. Shadow looked back at the tree. As long as it was still standing he would always remain a prisoner. He beckoned the wind to blow harder on the old tree.

The stump moved with the stronger wind, and Shadow’s legs began to sway. As the branches blew, he gestured the wind wildly with his long thin limbs and skinny fingers, urging it on. Faster! Faster! Break me from my prison. Unleash me! With a swaying staggering motion Shadow pulled against his shackles. The wind screamed as it wove through the branches faster and faster, listening to Shadows urgings.

The tree groaned ever louder as it swayed more violently, while Shadow danced in excitement, heaving and pulling with a wicked grin on his black face.

Shadow laughed as he heard a shattering crack from behind him as the trunk gave way. He leapt free from the falling tree, but then suddenly tumbled. Arms outstretched, his tall body fell.

The tree met the ground with a heavy crash, but Shadows fall was soundless. Branches snapped in two and the trunk cracked. Shadows limbs broke, and his body tore till he lay in a motionless heap on the desert floor.

The wind turned to a calm breeze. And the sun began to set. Shadows broken body lying on the ground turned to the broken tree lying beside him. And with terrible sadness and regret in his dark face, he faded away with the sunset.

Journal Comments

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