Short Story of the Day, Flash Fiction, End of the Line, by Matt Kendrick

“Think of the fierce energy concentrated in an acorn! You bury it in the ground, and it explodes into an oak!”

― George Bernard Shaw

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Conjoined, Roxy Paine

From my blog (I called it an “Online Journal” then), The Daily Epiphany, Tuesday, September 22, 1998

Ground Stump

We had this big ash tree in the back yard. Not a very good tree. It had obviously been cut down once before and sprouted back with these multiple trunks splayed out in all directions. A “junk tree,” it grew fast and weak. Invaded by borers, several big limbs had already fallen off.

The final straw was the summer’s drought. This ash had a shallow root system and was way too close to the house. It sucked water out from under our foundation, helping to worsen the cracking and moving as the drying expansive clays pulled out from under the slab. The tree did provide some nice shade, but the live oak I planted a few years ago is growing up, it will be a stronger, longer-lived tree.

Ordinarily, I would cut it down myself. About a week of work. But I don’t have the time or energy. We gave in and hired a crew to remove the tree and grind the stump, three hundred fifty bucks. Today was the day.

Poor Lee was upset. He is still young enough that all things, especially living things have personality and soul and are valuable. Lee didn’t want us to kill the tree. I explained about the foundation and the fact that it would give us a lot more room in the backyard, but he wouldn’t give in until I agreed to let him plant an acorn.

I came home from work to find an enormous pile of wood and leaves along the front of our house, waiting for the city to come pick it up. It is amazing how different the back yard looks. Bigger and wide open. Almost naked. Lee was out there collecting sawdust, the soft remnants of the ground up stump, in a big bowl that he conned Candy out of.

And digging a hole for his acorn.

And a piece of flash fiction for today:

End of the Line, by Matt Kendrick

from Splonk

Matt Kendrick Homepage

Matt Kendrick Twitter

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