The Burning Tree
Burning Tree (Completed in draft)
Presented for Halloween
(Mature Read - graphic horror)
"Damn, it's hot!"
Looking up at the sky, I couldn’t help but feel an ominous presence all around me. With sweat running down my face, I quickly wiped my brow before letting it sting my eyes. Feelingl the burning heat of the asphalt penetrating the soles of my shoes, and each step, a mindless droning effort dragging on.
It is a strange highway; and yet, I feel I have been here before. I can’t remember when or why, or even whether I was here at all.
All I know is that I have to get out of this damn heat!
I am so thirsty! I can feel my tongue starting to stick to the roof of my mouth. Angry, I realize that I haven’t seen any cars on the road since, ... wait, when did I get here. And why were there no cars?
And HOW did I ever get here ... and where is here, and where was I going?
“This is crazy!”
How did I get out here in the middle of nowhere, with no water, no transportation ... or anything?
“Damn! ... this fucking heat is messing me up!”
Staggering forward, I almost fall, but catch myself in time. I can’t think, ... It must be this heat.
Looking out over the highway I can see a big tree in the distance. ... “Shade! Yes!”
But that tree?! ... It looks familiar, ... ? But No, I must be hallucinating or something. It can’t be. I must be dreaming?
NO! This DAMN HEAT! ... It is too real to be a dream.
Walking, almost running to get to the Tree, I look around, and nothing but desolatio. I have to slow down. The heat is about to cause me to pass out. Looking for a cloud, I see the sky, .... it looks so strange, almost as if a storm is coming, ... but with no clouds. Listen to yourself! Your ARE delusional! It’s this incessant heat that’s sucking out every ounce of my life. Is that tree even there or a mirage.
It is so hot. I need water. I can’t think, ... I have to get out of here. God help me? ... Awe, He doesn’t hear me anymore.
What’s happening? I don’t understand!
Why am I so afraid now. I feel sick with fear, like a vice is gripping my chest, crushing me, and my gut twisted.
This HEAT is killing me. ... Why aren’t there any cars?! Damn!!! ...
Wait! ... ”Who I am!” ... My God, I don’t know who I am. I can’t remember anything! ... Oh God help me!!
Oh, ... Yes, a cool breeze is coming! Yes! I can feel a slight breeze creeping across my face! At last, ... Thank You God! I felt a feeling of euphoric relief coming over me. Looking up, I take a deep breath, and see the sky still looking strangely surreal. I sigh for a moment.
Suddenly, my mind is swirling and I feel myself being taken as if to another world by a force within and then with a jolt, the euphoric feeling is gone, with the breeze; and my pain and fear return destroying any hope of comfort I had.
Instead, dizzy with my eyes closed, I feel myself being thrown into a spinning darkness, with a horrible feeling of finality and a force that has overtaken me. I feel myself being pulled inescapably into an utter blackness, my soul spinning and swirling being drawn down further and further. It is a darkness where both light and goodness are gone, shrouded by a cloak of evil and consumed by a foreboding judgement that has gripped my soul.
What was happening to me?
As I fell into this swirling darkness, a voice came from it saying, “It is Done!” And with a thundering echo, I find myself being caught up in a horrible torrent, opening my eyes, I see myself crashing into the hot pavement. ..."
Burning Tree - Part 2
As I woke, I found myself on the hot highway, just as I fell.
“Damn It! ... my face!” I felt the side of my face and it was burned and my hands blistered. I feel the excruciating pain of my burned face in the rays of the sun, and my blistered hands not wanting to touch anything. Struggling and staggering, I get up from the asphalt and try to dust off my clothes with my burnt hands.
Immediately, I feel that thirst and desperate need for water again! Panicking, I look for any sign of water, but there is none to be found. Just an empty highway with thorned thickets along side the road ... and that tree in the distance. I need to get to that tree. Maybe there something there. At least shade anyways.
I couldn't get over the unusual sky. Never seen anything like it before. This whole thing was hellish. Quickly, I began hobbling toward the tree. But then, I was reminded about that horrible feeling and dark vision I had before I passed out. I am afraid. But I don’t know WHY?
Parched, I was starting to get cotton mouth. It was so hard to swallow with very little spit. My feet were burning and the side of my face blistered from the hot asphalt. Each step was dragging. Even so, I had to keep walking, and while I knew it, strangely, it was as if by another force, not my own.
My mind was weary, and I felt like I was grasping at my thoughts, but my pain and circumstances were all that controlled my very existence. It was disturbing how little I cared about my past, almost as if I had no past. But it didn’t matter now as I couldn’t remember anyways. Then with a blast of the hot wind, as if to jar my soul awake, it dawned on me, I was somehow being punished for something I did, but can’t remember.
Who was I? Where was I from. Why was I wearing gym clothes?
Oh God! As I realized that I didn’t even know who I was, With knew I was someone. The heat was insistent and was killing me. Water! I need water! This is torture not having water in this heat!
“God! You are good. You don’t torture people!,” I desperately cried. In a sudden violent outrage, I screamed, “Damn! God! Help Me! Tell me who I am! What I did!”
Suddenly, just up ahead I saw what appeared to something on the side if the road. Shuffling quickly I saw it was a simple cross, carefully placed painted in the purest of white. Tied to the cross was a pink ribbon thoughtfully tied to it in a bow. Etched in perfect black lettering was a name and dates.
Bonnie S. Connor
2001 - 2014
Nothing else. Becoming more afraid, and thinking was this coincident, or an answer to prayer. Still, the name wasn’t familiar, I think?
Distracted by the heat and the need for water, shade and salvation, the highway was beyond any of Hell’s misery. Looking for a car or a truck, water or shade I focus again on the tree. I need to get out of this infernal heat! I am going to die here.
I need to make it to that tree.
Yeah, I can at least get out of the sun and this burning highway. In almost a jog manner, I made my way closer to the tree, but it always seems to just keep getting a little further. Strangely, to the side of the road there was something else. Looks like clothes that were just thrown to the side of the road. As I approached the aged objects, I saw that they were a young girl's dress and her shoes tossed and soiled by time as if they had been thrown from a car as it drove by.
But even as those thoughts left my mind, I was startled by my own awareness that I was simply recalling it from memory. With that, fear struck me cold, and deep within my soul I felt death coming for me. With a sickness in my soul, my stomach sank with terror! Somehow, I knew that the dress belonged to Bonnie. Even as I thought that, I could feel a sense of judgment coming upon me for the death of Bonnie. The depth of fear for which I am feeling is more than any other transcended form of fear I have ever known or experienced before. This whole thing is about me! But why?
Did I kill the girl?
Afraid to remember, my soul is nauseous with fear! But I have a bigger problem. I am being killed right now by this incredible heat and thirst for water. I have to get to that tree. There’s got to be some water there for that tree to be so big. And SHADE!
Finally the tree starts to get closer as I approach; it is mammoth. Hurrying to get myself under shade of the tree.
Aaah! The shade!
What a relief, as it finally shielding me from the torturous sun. Still, I am still thirsty, and about to go insane without water. I am hours from unconsciousness and death.
Searching around the tree for a source of water I find a small patch of soft grass. Yes! ... but I need to find water. Looking just a little ways out, I see something.
“What is that?“ But I didn’t want to know what it was. Something inside of me told me not to look.
But as if by suggestion, and not curiosity, I was compelled to look further.
As I got closer, I could see something on the other side of the tree. I had a ominous feeling about it, and it wasn’t going to be good. They were some soiled and aged clothes. Looking more closely there were two socks and some torn panties from a young girl. As the evidence is mounting in my mind, terror is consuming me.
Just a little distance further from the tree a white object is sticking out of the ground. Compelled to search it out, I walked up to it was a bone that had gotten bleached out. As I reached to pull it out of the ground, a strange thickness came over me. Aware it was the bone that made me to feel that way, I dropped it. These bones were of a human, that got dug up by an animal from what appeared to be a shallow grave. A little further away and I could see the partial remains of a rib cage of a small child.
In horror and dizzy reality, I ran back to the base of the tree. Spinning around to run back toward the highway, I am confronted by an ominous image of a flooding darkness driving straight for me.
Suddenly, like a Hammer striking the Anvil, a deafening blast from Heaven crushes me to the ground, and looking up at the the Darkness, an Angel of Light breaks through the rapidly approaching tide of darkness, sweeping up with it all the history and articles of the murdered child, spinning it up and up into the Heavens, guided as if by the Angel, up into the entrance of the Light piercing though the darkness and there it vanished altogether from sight.
Utter fear is strangling me. I can hardly breathe. But why am I so afraid? Why!? And this Angel? Why and what is his reason for being here.
Damn! I don't even know who I am!
From the dark approaching clouds, the Angel returns and lites down near me with a foreboding presence. He is a giant, at least 12' tall!
Afraid beyond my senses, I turn my head down falling to the hot ground with a fear and trembling that is engulfing me, praying that he will leave me alone. And then like thunder, the Angel speaks. Each word strikes out like Lightening, each sentence in Thunder.
“See O man your judgment!” Pointing up to the tree, up it's heavy branches, I follow his finger and looking up, I see .... me!
Aawwee! I scream in horror!
It was me, hanging dead and lifeless. The Angel possessed my soul and is raising me up high into the tree where I can see my face up close. Death has disfigured me and left my face colorless. My head wrenched out of my neck and was stretched about 6". With my mouth, gasping open in horror, my eyes bulging from my sockets, and yet wide open with a look of unforgettable horror and the fearful judgement of the unforgiven. Unable to turn away, by some force within me, I was made to look as my tongue was choked out of my mouth.
Just then, a flock of ravens were called to devour my body. As they Angel pulled my soul away, he stopped so I would see the ravens feast on my body and crow my doom. As the first raven lighted on my shoulder, it turned as if to look at me, then it jerked its head back, as if to say, watch. With a quick thrust the raven jabbed its beak into my eye, and then with another quick second deep peck the raven pulled and tugged at my eyes yanking it out. Then in a cluster, all the ravens descended upon my body and began to fight over my flesh and tear at my face.
Why? What did I do to deserve this? Why doesn’t he tell me?
I am so thirsty and hot. I can’t take it anymore.
End Part 2
(Mature Reader - horror graphic death)
In horrid gasping, I held my breathe as I watched my dead body being eaten by a conspiracy of ravens.
Forced to watch such a horrible end to myself, conjured so many emotions, so many thoughts. How terribly shameful it was to see my body be picked apart like Thanksgiving turkey. It thought I could hear people celebrating and applauding, and then some crying and wailing at the same time.
When the ravens had finished with me, and only sinewy flesh hung off. Satisfied I had consumed the vision, the Angel brought me back to the ground with a hush. Yet, the ground was different now. The highway was gone and replaced by a gentle dirt road, overgrown with clover. At the bottom of the tree a soft patch of grass mixed with clover. Off to the side a single a pathway led to a cemetery over grown as well, but with thorn infested vines.
Trembling and disturbed, the Angel continence was unaltered and with a breath he was about to thunder at me once more.
Fearfully, I asked, “Who are you?”
The Angel, with a disturbing tone, shocked me with his answer, “I am your Guardian Angel, Maqor, by name!”
Then, without so much as a breath, the Angel charged me as with a guilt and judgement of eternal torment.
With echoed thunder, he said,
“Look O man!"
Pointing to a Dark grave that seemed to have suddenly appeared in the nearby cemetery filled with thorn vibed. But as was appropriate, the grave was away from the shade of the tree. Turning my eyes toward the ominous and monolithic doom, I began to feel the eternal weight judgement and the reality of the consequences for my choices. Now, a grave and headstone would mark the highway of lives who had turned to evil and wickedness. For next to it were many others on both sides of the highway.
As if time stood still, I wondered who I was and what I did that deserved such judgement. Awaken from a moment of horrid reflection, the Angel broke into my mind.
"Go! Look, and see who you were!", the Angel added with contempt.
Shaking in utter fear, I asked, “If you are my Guardian Angel, why are you not helping me?”
Angrily, the Maqor declared in a contemptuous tone a response that left me silent.
“While you were mine, I was Charged by the Will of God for all that was meant for your life, and to make it so if I could.
You O man, chose a Path that I could not follow.
You O man, chose a Test set for you on that Path by another, to reveal in yourself a destiny I could not change.
You O man, willfully ran deep with lust and secrecy into such a heinous sin that my destiny with you was Confirmed to be this end here. My final work from God as your guardian.
“My Guardianship was to guard God’s Will for you! Not your will against Him.”
In fear, I leaned forward, afraid for what I already knew was to be true, my judgment was coming.
Getting closer to see, I could see a name appear. A name to what has been to me a nameless and empty life. But now I would finally have the truth about who I was.
Focusing, I read the headstone.
Edgar James Kramer
Beloved Husband, Father and Coach
1961 - 2016
My name was Ed Kramer! Yes, I remember now! My God, I remember now.
Bonnie was my favorite gymnast.
“Oh Bonnie. O Bonnie, I am so sorry. I am so very sorry. Oh my God! “
Then, like a flood, all my memories came pouring back in, one after another, after another.
“Oh God! Why did I do it!!! ... Why?!”
Memories of my life and all that I had accomplished were burning away like chaff in a fire before me. Replaced now by only the savage memories of my actions against a trusted young girl. Hearing Bonnie suffer and cry out for help against me for the things I had done to her was haunting. My own judgment hung over me like a noose. A noose that I was fearful but glad to put on. How utterly wicked and deserving I was for any judgement sent by God.
Forced to watch these memories as God sees them. Full of lust for Bonnie, I now remember now how I planned it and how I tricked her into getting into my car. Poor trusting Bonnie. How as her beloved coach, I suddenly turned against her, like a snake in the garden, and willfully raped and murdered her.
Why? For what? For those brief moments of pleasure?
“O God, how utterly wicked I had truly become!”
Then with a flash, visions came to mind, as if somehow captured from the eye of God, ...
I could see the gymnastics team practicing, and my scheming to catch Bonnie and the others girls in the locker room. All through a small secret remote camera I had installed in a vent of the locker room. Lustfully seeing an opportunity to film these girls changing and showering possessed me. But now, caught, I was ashamed of the vision I was shown watching me view these films at home; enjoying them privately over and over, each time deepening my lust for Bonnie.
Another vision showing me when I tricked Bonnie into my car, and convinced her to go with me on a drive to talk about a special tournament where she was selected to attend. How innocent and trusting she was. Then, how I drove her down a deserted road in the middle of remote part of the forest, and there dragged her abruptly out of the car. Lust taking over, I dragged her deep off the dirt road, and into the forest, where I was shown all that I did against Bonnie.
I tried to look away in shame and hope this was all just a bad dream; but it wasn’t, and the Angel compelled me to watch it all, everything, until the last moments I was satisfied. And the vision of when as the drug of pleasure wore off and the spell of lust faded, I could see my face change at the very moment when fear overcame me, and the awareness struck me for what I did to Bonnie. Transformed by by that fear, my lust faded and anger and panic became my master.
Forced to watch it, I saw the look of murder in my eyes as I reached for Bonnie’s neck to hush her voice forever. I knew she could not live after what I did, but it was as if I hadn’t thought it out completel. I was so focused on what I wanted, I didn’t have a plan after I was done with her.
But I knew what had to happen. Panicking, I reached and grabbed her neck hard and began strangling her as hard and quickly as possible. I didn’t want to give myself the chance to change my mind, or out of some strange sense of mercy, I didn’t want her to suffer long.
With the Angel towering over me, I tried to look away again, for the acts that were of my secret despicable self. But the Angel would not let me look away, but instead compelled me to watch everything I was shown, and had added the thoughts in my mind and even the feelings in my heart. How desperately wicked I was as I was choking the life out of her, watching her eyes until they dilated, blank with emotion and then seeing her arms drop, as she had been grabbing onto my arms trying to break free. Releasing her neck, she fell on her back to the forest ground.
Leaning back, I rested, and sighed with relief, Saying to myself, “Now, no one will ever find out! I will bury her out here. No one will find her here!”
There was no doubt that I murdered Bonnie to try and cover my horrific deeds. But there was no significant sense of remorse. Instead, the next vision showed me watching more films of the girls locker room while they showered. Enjoying them over and over.
But I did not account for God, who I should have feared. For who can escape God’s All Seeing Eyes or His Ever Hearing Ears. Our actions and thoughts are never far or hidden from Him. Now, only the frightful feeling of being in the Hands of an Angry God remains.
It was His to bring me to justice all along and He would use another to exact that punishment.
Oh horrid is my judgement!
Then more visions came. Visions at the court, all the hearings and testimonies, all my lies to protect my shame and guilt. But they could never prove their case, as they never found the body. I hid it so well and I saw how proud I was that I got away with it. So I thought.
Then the vision flashed again to a man, Bonnie's father. He knew that I was the murderer, but they failed to convict me. He was not about to let me get away with raping and murdering his daughter.
So, Bonnie’s father devised his own scheme. His own trap. Captured he tied my hands behind my back, duct taped my mouth and dragged me into the forest and waited for me to regain my consciousness. The father wanted me to experience all the pain of death that his beloved Bonnie suffered.
The vision flashed forwarded to the time when I just awoke. But Bonnie’s father was just waiting, leaning up again his truck for me to awake. He looked at me with hate and the satisfied lusting of revenge. With a smile he throws a noose around my neck and yanks it tight, so we both can feel it crushing my esophagus. With both hands he pulls me backward, dragging me to a tree by the rope of his classically constructed noose. Kicking and squirming, trying to breath and get free, I choke in crushing pain. I recalled how painful that was and how Bonnie must have felt. But without a word, the father looked at me again, and with a knowing look and smile, I knew he was thinking that no one will know or find out about me.
At that, fear gripped me for the fear of my body’s pain and my soul’s condemnation. I still recall how painful that whole thing was.
With the accuracy of a cowboy, Bonnie’s father threw the rope over the lower branch and pulled it down for use. Strangely, I wondered if this was the same tree that was on the burning highway. Yes. It was!!!
Patiently, he yanks the noose tight again around my neck. This time harder and without a smile. I could tell he wanted me to feel it crush my neck. Casually, he walks to the back of the truck to tie the rope to the hitch. The visions kept coming, painfully revealing my judgement.
There was no one around to stop him, just as I thought, and all I could see was the desperate fear in my eyes of my inevitable horrifying death which I would have to endure and the conspiracy of ravens that would feed on my flash destroying the evidence. There was a strange irony of the name for a group of ravens. Conspiracy.
A sign was hung around my stretched neck, saying, “Beware - Here Hangs a Man of Doom, a Child Rapist and Murder”. The shame of my flesh hanging there with my name and my crimes, for all to see, was beyond embarrassment. But the fear and thought of my eternal judgement crushed my chest and sickened my gut like nothing else.
Visions were relentless, for next was Bonnie’s father tying the end of the rope tightly to the hitch on his truck. Truck running, he looks back with one more menacing smiles, yet with hatred, anger and disgust all bundled up in one outrage. With a final glance of triumph, he jumps into the truck and starts pulling forward.
All of a sudden the noose cinches even tighter at an increasingly rate around my neck; choking me harder, as I could feel each pound of my own weight being the source of the ever tightening noose. Catching my footing, I quickly jerked toward the tree for a slight relief, as the noose only loosened for a moments, but then as it began lifting my body from the ground I remembered the incredible pain.
Ironically, like Bonnie, it was my body, that was the executioner that was strangling me.
The noose kept tightening, even harder than the moment before. It felt horrible as the pain shot throughout every part off my body and brain, and even my soul was fearfully in pain, for as I knew I was going to die very soon, God’s eternal judgement for my soul was coming. This was but a precursor. Recalling from memory, the pain was so excruciating. All for what I had done.
The pain became so intolerable. I could feel the skin of my neck stretching under the rope and the tearing of my flesh underneath that. But it was my esophagus crushing under my own weight that became the central center of pain. The feeling of building and deep strangulation that would inevitably kill me was caught in a freeze-frame of time. My complete inability to breathe, as my feet had left the ground, and the shooting pain throughout my body, left me with stunned horror.
Finally, the worst moment of pain was coming. The incredibly excruciating pain of my neck muscles slowly giving way of my control and the transfer of those forces onto the stretching my neck spinal column was becoming imminent.
Recalling the acts I inflicted on Bonnie, and how when I was satisfied, and how I strangled her to death and what she felt left with an eerie realization of how just this was and how right I should suffer.
Oh God I am sorry!! Oh God help me!
Then as if by a small mercy, as I kicked to try and get one more breath, and was denied, I recalled I was about to let the final shearing pain happen.
But then suddenly, again the Angel broke into my mind and moved me away so I could see the last of my death. And with the power of his wings, I was cast back into my own body at the very moment of my last death throes.
As judgment it was decreed that I was to once again feel that actual excruciating feeling of strangulation and pain of my esophagus being crushed and the powerful pain of my neck shearing, knowing shortly I was going to die for what I had done. With that truly deep anguished fear and horrid eternal judgment claimed my body and soul.
And now I was there again. Not memory! But really there! I can feel it all over again. That horrible and intolerable moment of just pure pain and to see how my life come to this horrible end.
All for the lust and secrecy of a few brief moments of pleasure.
With a snap, the vision ended, as did I, ...
... or at least that is what he thought.
Damn, it's hot!"
Looking up at the sky, I couldn’t help but feel an ominous presence all around me. With sweat running down my face, I quickly wipe my brow before it stings my eyes. I can feel the burning heat of the asphalt penetrating the soles of my shoes. Each step, a mindless effort dragging on, ever forward. .....
Sent from my iPhone
© 2017 Silva