Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.
Jacob brought the machete down on the thick, tangled vines. The well-used blade sliced through them easily – which surprised him. The sweltering heat, humidity and the explosion of foliage he had just battled through had played havoc with his strength.
Damn plants, he thought. They think it’s their world.
He smiled to himself. He knew that couldn’t be true. The postcard he found several days ago was proof of that.
He stopped for a moment to peruse his adversaries.
"Nothing will keep me from my destination," he told them. “You hear me?"
Destination was a place called the city. It was a word he learned from a decaying dictionary given to him by his long-dead father. It was a silly fantasy, until he found the postcard while scouring for anything of value in a dilapidated structure overrun by weeds.
He saw the towers, the strange four-wheeled beasts, and metal-skinned mega birds in that postcard. Most of all he saw something that grabbed his imagination: people. There must have been thousands of them, stomping the paved roads without one plant to be seen. This must have been the way things were before the great fire in the sky ushered in the age of the plants.
The plants. He shuddered just thinking of them. They clogged the fields and hills. They covered vast plain. They smothered all human endeavors and turned them rubble.
He got a better look at what was ahead of him. The severed vines had something to hide, after all. A gray path cut through the spindly and knotted fingers of the tree branches. And, at the end of this arboreal tunnel, he saw towers!
At last, he thought, my destination, my salvation from the forest.
He raced down the path. The trees, thorns, and prickling twigs couldn’t stop him. His destiny, his dream was there. Within minutes, he reached his destination.
A gray path cut through the spindly and knotted fingers of the tree branches. And, at the end of this arboreal tunnel, he saw towers!
His heart stopped at what he saw. The sting of it coursed through his veins.
He pulled out the postcard, comparing his hopes and dreams to stark reality: “No, it can’t be.”
The mighty towers were decaying. The four-wheeled beasts were rusting. There were no people, hustling and bustling on paved paths. He stood in what remained of a grand avenue, inundated by fields of green grass, saplings, and vines.
He fell to his knees, dispirited. For the first time he had to admit a horrible truth: the world now belonged to those damned plants. And those pesky humans -- like Jacob -- were in their way.
It Never Fails
Smog covers L.A.
like some kid went crazy
with Rust-O-lium spray.
Tallest tower seen,
glass panel glitters
in rays of red, gold and green.
Ocean claims Rat Beach
with every crashing wave
on its icy white sands.
Rain splatters green house,
cascades over the edge,
distorts the view outside.
Weeds grow on trailer,
between fiber-glass panels.
Nature... never... fails.
Plants will take over? It's the Most Probable Outcome
Plants taking over the world? It's not as far fetch as it seems. For thousands of years, foliage covered what remained of ancient civilizations. New evidence suggest that some of the thickest and most dense parts of the Amazon Jungle had gobbled up abandoned villages, settlements and farms once used by the indigenous people.
And what about your own backyard? No matter how many times you spray weed-killer, those plants have an uncanny way of returning and destroying the well manicured lawn or delicate flower garden.
In a sense, it doesn't matter how much humans alter the landscape. Plants, trees, and grass have a way eradicating nearly everything humans have created. Nature doesn't go away that easily.
© 2014 Dean Traylor