I sat beneath the Storytelling Tree. I look up to the branches which weave like the game pick up sticks above me giving a relaxing shade to an otherwise intense sunlight. Where I was on this mountain under this storytelling tree protected me from my problems, because when I stayed in the storytelling tree I could reminisce about good memories I’ve had. I could hear the excitement of when I got my license, tears of when my first child was born, and music of when I drove home on a summer night with the windows down.

In the distance I could hear farther away in the storytelling tree off in the whispers of things that I have tried to ignore and buried, “ . . .Why didn’t you slow down? Look out there is a train!”.

I turn away from that side of the storytelling tree, but I am met with a wall of branches stopping me from moving forward down the mountain. I look around, but don’t see any way out of this tree, its branches weaving together creating a room where I could stay. I could stay in this room, and never have to worry about the dark end of the tree.

I could hear a voice coming from a beam of light from the top of the tree branch dome, “You have a choice. I can let you stay here in this room, and you will be alone, but be able to live in your happiest thoughts. You can also go to the dark end of the tree, and try to find your way out, but it’s your choice.”

I look around, I look at my wife, and kids, but I can’t hold them. There is where I made a decision.

I spoke to the storytelling tree; “ I think I’ll stay here and I can’t go over there”.

The storytelling tree focused its intense light on me, and said “What if you didn’t have to go alone? What if I gave you someone to guide you through this tree to help you off this mountain? Would you go then?”.

I saw a man appear from the thick branch wall. He was about thirtyish and wore all white. He spoke one word, “come”, and he placed his hand on my shoulder. Unlike the cool storytelling tree room his hand was warm and inviting. He led me toward the dark end of the tree. My knees started to buckle, but his warm hand guided me farther into the tree branch hall.

In the beams of light you could even see the specs of dust floating around. In the hall giant black, muscular figures popped out, and grabbed my leg, and another one grabbed my arm.

I tried to run, but with them holding onto me I could see flashes of being sick, fights I had with my wife, and the speedometer going up to one hundred miles an hour.

The man who was with me took my open hand, and pulled me past the creatures trying to hold me back. I see a glimpse of a train coming out of the wall in front of me, and I try to grab the vision of my wife staring back at me. I can hear the sound of the intense powerful steam coming out of the top. I grab for her, but my hands go through her.

I fall to my knees into a fetal position with my eyes closed, and all the sound stops. The man lifts me up off the wooden floor. I open my eyes to see him. “You need to let go of this moment. It is devouring you.”