|The man opened the door of the car. He felt dead.
He looked across the intersection and saw the woman lying upon the road.
Her legs were in the car, but her head was on the road. A crowd of people
were beginning to gather. The man was afraid. He walked across the intersection
and looked at the woman. She had silver brown hair and a small face. Her
eyes were closed. The man was afraid. He began to walk away. The people
murmured as he passed. He began to walk faster. The murmur became a buzz.
And the people closed about him in a ring, forcing him back towards the
car. The man began to cry. Cold, salty tears began to fall from his eyes,
and he turned back to the woman fallen out of her car. A pool of blood
was spreading around her head. The blood was dark brown. The man had always
thought that blood was red. A large, strong man had approached the car
and was looking at it. There was blood on the door jamb, and on the floor
of the car where the woman had fallen out. The man was afraid. He looked
at the green car, and the road, and the woman’s car, and the woman. He
had done this.
The strong man turned to him and was about to
speak. The man did not want to hear what he was going to say. He knelt
down and picked up the woman. The strong man started to shout, but the
man did not care. He picked up the woman and walked towards the crowd.
They stiffened for a second. The man pressed the woman towards his chest
and ran into the center of the people. They parted easily as he ran, but
they started to shout, and run after him. The man was afraid. The
man began to run with the woman in his arms. Blood from the woman’s head
was on his shirt. He tried to straighten her in his arms as he ran, but
the blood fell down her hair and dripped onto his jeans. He tried to keep
her forehead level with the ground, facing up to the sky, but it kept slipping
as he ran from the crowd down the street, across the estate towards the
beach. The woman was difficult to carry. The man could not run as fast
as he was able because he was carrying her. But the man knew what to do.
He had to get to the beach, and talk to God. God would understand. God
would heal the woman. God would make the blood go away again. The
people shouted and began to give chase. The man was afraid and ran faster.
He flexed the muscles in his legs, and pushed off on the balls of his feet,
and breathed with his nose. One, two, three and four he counted in his
head as he ran. The man could hear the crowd running behind him, but they
were not catching up. He turned his shoulder as he ran, steadying the woman
against his elbow. Some of the crowd had stopped and turned back to the
cars. Only some people continued to run after the man. The man could see
the strong man in the midst of them. He turned his head and ran for the
God was not on the beach. The man ran across the
sand calling to God. He could not find him. God was not in the running.
The man was afraid. He clutched the woman tighter to him to make her easier
to carry, and made to continue running across the sand. She stirred and
made a small sound of pain. She was not dead. The man laughed aloud with
relief and turned to thank God. He could not find him. God was not in the
turning. The man looked back along the beach and saw that the crowd had
stopped following him, except for one man. It was the strong man. The man
was afraid. The strong man would take the woman away. He would bring her
to the hospital where she would die. The strong man would bind the man
with chains and throw him into a house forever. The strong man would walk
around the house all day shouting murderer, murderer, murderer. The woman
was not dead. God could heal the woman. The man knew he had to keep running.
He turned and cried to God one more time before he started to run. God
was not in the cry. The man was afraid. He began to run. He ran across
the sand. The strong man ran across the sand after the man. The man sobbed
and continued to run along the sand. The strong man followed the
man. He did not get closer, and he did not get further away. The strong
man followed the man.
The man ran. He ran across the beach and up the
road. He ran along the road and across the river. He ran up the side of
the hill and across the plateau, trying to keep the woman’s head level
with the sky. He cried out to God, but God was not on the road, across
the river, or on the plateau. The strong man ran after him, and the blood
dripped down on his jeans. The man ran across the plateau. He ran down
the mountainside into the valley. He ran along the dry river bed and scraped
his hand on the furze bushes. The woman’s head slipped from the crook of
his arm now and again, and blood splashed on the ground. He could not support
her head all the time. The man cried out to God, but God was not in the
valley, along the dry river bed or in the woman’s head. The strong man
ran after him, and the woman’s head lay over the crook of his arm, and
blood splashed on the ground. The man ran along the dry river bed to the
head of the small stream. The man ran by the small stream as it flowed
into a watercourse coming from the east. The man ran along by the watercourse
as its height rose, and its banks widened, until it was a great river that
could not be crossed. And the water flowed out into a lake. Beside
the lake there grew a tree. And the man thought it was the tree that grew
at the center of the earth. The tree grew great and strong, and its top
reached to heaven. And it was visible to the ends of the whole earth,
and its foliage was beautiful. Its fruit was low and sleek and green, and
it provided food to all. And the man called to God, but God was not in
the tree. And the man was tired, and he laid the woman down by the foot
of the tree. And he thought - Here I will wait for the strong man to come,
and here I will be safe if God will not protect me.
The man turned to where the strong man had been
following him, but he could not see the strong man any more. He looked
as hard as he could, but he could see nothing. And a mist rose out from
the ground and came towards the man and the woman by the man’s tree. And
in the mist the man could hear a voice, and suddenly the man was afraid.
And the voice said, cut down the tree, and chop off its branches, and strip
off its foliage, and scatter its fruit. And the man clung to the tree,
for it would protect him from the strong man. But he could not save it,
and the top of the tree was cut off, and the branches began to fall down.
And the woman began to cough, and blood came from her mouth, and she was
dying. And the man could not see through the mist, and he cried out to
God. And he could hear him, but God was terrible now. And the limbs of
the tree were falling off behind him, and the trunk was razed to the ground
with a band of iron and bronze, with only a stump and roots left. And the
man was weeping aloud to God, and the woman was coughing, and blood came
from her mouth, and her life was ending. And there was a terrible crack
behind him as the earth opened up across the roots of the tree. And the
man fell to the ground in agony, for his heart was torn in two. And he
wanted to die, yet he wanted to live, and his life was ending, and he could
not save her. And as the man lay dying on the ground, by the roots and
stump of the great tree, a shoot rose up from the crack in the ground in
the old tree. Faster than the man could see, a shoot grew into a branch,
which grew into a trunk, which split in three. And one branch grew to the
North, and one to the south, and one straight up. And the woman rose, and
lay by the foot of the new tree in the old tree, and died. And the man
wanted to die too, but he couldn’t because his heart was still tearing.
And he could see the new tree forcing apart the stump of the old, as it
grew north and south, and straight up. And the man wanted to run to the
new tree, but he couldn’t. And he wanted to walk to it, but he couldn’t.
And he dragged his arm and knee towards it, and crawled along the ground
to the new tree straight and tall, and north and south, and fell down on
the land in front of the tree.
The man could hear the horn. It sounded loud and
continuous. He heard a voice talking to him. It was not the woman or the
strong man. It was not God. He opened his eyes. He could see a policeman.
The policeman was talking. The man looked past him. He could see an airbag
and a tree that had many branches, but one thick branch from the trunk
grew straight up, and one grew north, and one grew south. And the front
right nose of the low sleek green car was in the tree that grew straight
up, and north and south. And the car was wrapped around it, and the tree
was holding up the car, and stopping it from smashing into the house behind.
The man looked behind him. There was the intersection, and a patch of oil,
and the open road. He lifted his right hand from the wheel and the horn
stopped. It was quiet, there was no one else talking. The policeman was
saying patch of oil, incredible escape, and the tree saved you, and you
should thank your lucky stars no one else was hurt. The man said, I think
I died. The policeman said, you didn’t, but you might have. And you should
be careful, and where do you live. The man said, “I think I live in that
tree”. The policeman looked at him strangely, and took out his phone to
make a call.