The Tale of the Pale Tree

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Where once the Widow stood, where once she wept. Where her ghost was kept, before the grave of her love. It was her lover that died. Fever some say, and no one could save him.

Pale and torn, a tree did grow, past greying hills without bloom. Clouds that would cover as winter would, and leave all in sunless shade, and let once green grass, running hares, and babbling brooks disappear.

Gone and abandoned were all that lived in the lands around of her. None could bear the Widow’s tears. They stained every heart with such grief. Such noise, if ever heard, changed a man forever. Make him sad until the end of his days.

They say the tree grew from the grave of her lover. Some say it is misery itself seeking her company.
Each wail let loose from her became a branch, every sob a foot higher to the sky. It’s very bark but the color of bloodless flesh, all too much like the face of her departed before the coffin closed one last time.

This tree soaked all her loss. It sucked the azure from the sky, the light of stars so there would be nothing but inky dark at night.

It could grow to be blight.

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The sky itself grew tired of the misery. It fought back. Light, warmth, its only weapons. None that could pierce the veil that the widow threw upon these lands.

The Tree relished in this battle. Every tear shed under the widow’s veil, every cloud that denied the sky to be blue. It would be years before even the pale tree found this war to be dull. Always the stalemate, always the battle.

If trees could smile, this one would.

In the strife the Widow weakened. Her sorrow soon became fear, for the tree now held her still. No longer was she bound by the grave of her lover, a thing long since gone under root and soil.

No longer the sun and sky cared to touch this realm, and left the tree and Widow in darkness.

Still, something does shine, some light in the Widow’s heart. That flicker of memory of better days with her love.

When first they held hands, when first they kissed, when first was spoken their vows together.

That glimmer seems no more than a tiny candle within that gloom. That single light beams through.

Some brave souls have brought their axes to chop the tree down and free the Widow and these lands of this curse.

None have returned. Perhaps it is less a beacon but a trap by the tree. That dwindling light from the Widow’s heart.

Under that starless patch seen at the night’s edge, that cruel domain that time will not tether.

That elsewhere of forevermore, and she is lost to the grief that grew the Pale Tree.

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