Sue Vincent has another prompt.
This week I have a short story.
The Restoration of Trees
Frnn, like all trees, took the long view. He might be thought of as an arboroterrorist but that didn’t make him hasty.
Since his days as a seed he knew he had the air-root corruption, a genetic anomaly that enabled him to pull up his roots and move. This ability wasn’t dependent on species – Frnn knew of maples and poplars who could move. Trees, though, are naturally conservative and the appearance of Movers had caused consternation.
Unlike the older trees, the Movers regarded the Apes with suspicion; especially when they began to develop tools and cut down healthy trees. They tried to warn the Trunkfort, the group-think trees use to communicate. But the Boughs, the ancients who ruled, had no time for these upstart aberrations. The answer, they opined, was not to try and fight – how could they – but to create efficient seedings.
For a while that worked but slowly the truth dawned – Apes were bent on destruction. Frnn demanded action but the Boughs resisted. They felt sure the Apes would change and insisted on waiting. When Frnn threatened a Movers’ Revolt, the Boughs acted. Like all trees the Movers turned fallow to recuperate after seeding. This time, when they awoke they found themselves trapped. The Creepers, beholden to the Treefort for their support had bound the Movers.
For a time Frnn despaired. They were sticking their leaves in the clouds, he told his fellow Movers. But war makes strange bed-fellows. As the Apes corrupted the planet, previously healthy trees began to die from new diseases. One by one old species were attacked: elm, ash, oak and chestnut. The Boughs still demanded patience. Instead Frnn commenced a slow dialogue, gradually persuading the microbes, the disease carriers, that their mutual enemy was the Ape. For his treason Frnn was bound ever tighter. He waited until a potent microbe began its work on the Creepers.
Too late the Boughs saw what was coming: Treemaggedon. They were powerless to resist. The Apes were vanquished and the Movers took control of the Treefort, a newly dominant species ruled the Earth.
Frnn basked in his success while deep inside his bark the microbes played an even longer game.