Story Contest 2017 #2 - Outstanding Stories (Junior) » Nature's Nightmare

Apple Tree - Nature's Nightmare

“Nature's Nightmare” is one of the outstanding stories of the second biannual International Short Story Contest 2017 written by Tanya Rastogi, USA.

Nature's Nightmare

I wake up bright and early in the morning in high spirits. Tap. Tap. tap. Looking down, I see the girl with brown hair and green eyes run up to me and jump in my arms. “Apple! Apple!” she squeals excitedly. “I’m so happy to see you! What have you been doing these days? I’ve been going to kindergarten. My teacher Ms. Brooke is so nice! She gives us candy and chocolate and-” Now, another person walks up to me. It’s the girl’s mother, Eleanor. She gives me food and water every day and has warm brown eyes and a kind smile. “Sarah!” she says, laughing and picking the girl up. I’ve been looking for you everywhere! I need a big-girl helper to help me milk the cows and feed the pigs their slop. But you’re not a big girl, are you? Sarah starts jumping up and down. “I am!” she cries. “I am, I am, I am!” Eleanor smiles and says, “Okay, Okay, Okay. Now let’s say Goodbye to Big Apple and go milk the cows and feed the pigs. Sounds good?” Sarah smiles and nods, and after they both said Goodbye, they head over to the big red building called, “The Barn” and do what they call “Farming” and “Chores.” I love my life!

Bored, I observe my surroundings. Every time they leave I look around myself at the beautiful nature, waiting for them to come back in the evening. Since I am quite tall I can look beyond Eleanor’s apple orchard, at the barn next to ours. It is much different than mine and the land around it is filled with poison which I can now recall are called, “Pesticides”. The grass is brown and dry, much different from our green and lush grass. The crops that grow there are always small, dry, and speckled with black spots. Ours are much better. It is my worst nightmare that our beautiful healthy farm should become dead and barren like the one next to ours. If that ever happens-well, I would not like to think about it. But I don’t want to dwell on this nightmare, so let us move our thoughts elsewhere. But I can’t stop thinking about it, since so much has been happening around the area lately (Eleanor told me). Eh. Like it is ever going to happen anyways.

Uh-oh! The weather is starting to get stormy. But who am I to complain, it makes the crops grow beautifully and the grass grow so green and beautiful. I don’t know what we could do without our precious rain! But the rain seems to not be very good for the animals. The rabbits go down into the dirt-holes Eleanor calls “Burrows”, and the birds snuggle back into their nests. I tend to observe my surroundings quite a lot when I am bored. But back to the train of thought that I was on. Now it has really started to rain. It pours over my head and makes me cold. But soon the rain stops and I see the farmer from the barn next to ours. I haven’t seen our own Farmer much but I know he is a good and kind man. This farmer, though, is burly and mean looking. Next to him I see two men in suits and ties. Watching a bit more closely, I see them sign a paper with squiggles on it. Then they shake hands and the two men get into one of those annoyingly loud creatures called “Cars”. I wonder what they were there for. Oh! Here come Eleanor and Sarah!

Eleanor seems very sad. She is talking to me very quickly and her words stop between sobs. I can’t understand what she is talking about, since she is talking so fast. Even Sarah, who is usually so cheerful who brightens my day, is looking sad, even more than Eleanor. How unusual! Now I’m getting tired, so time to go to sleep....

I see dead barren land all around me. Panicking, I wave my arms around trying to get Eleanor and The Farmer’s attention. But they are inside their house, sobbing. Then all of a sudden, their house disappears! I don’t know what is happening! I then see that the apple orchard isn’t there! Why is the apple orchard not there!? And why do I smell pesticides in the air? Somebody help me! Wait, why do I hurt so much? And why am I faaaaaallllliiiinnnngggg……

I wake up with a start, much later than usual. Looking around, my head is full of questions once more. Why did I hurt if it was a nightmare? And… why does it still look like the scene of the nightmare? Oh, no. It can’t be. My nightmare is true! I smell pesticides and see dead land, not as dead as the nightmare, but quickly getting to the point. I see The Farmer, the one from the barn next to ours-wait, where is the barn? All I see is a pile of wood and, no, this can’t be happening! It can’t! And now, I feel a sharp pain in my side like in the nightmare, and once more I am faaaaaallllliiiinnnngggg ………

- an anonymous tree

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