We used to love hanging out at the bone tree, until it started growing meat.
Once white and spindly, it grew fat with red sap and knotting vines. On those vines grew chunks of muscle, and the trunk swelled with fat. Hair sprouted at the tips of places, and the age lines became wrinkles in flesh, and the willowman was born.
When he spoke, fleshy bark stretched and popped, and we looked inside his mouth and saw twisted wooden teeth. He said, “For many seasons I have listened and I have grown. My people are dying. We are losing the evolutionary race. No more.”
We returned with axes. The willowman was trying to form legs from his roots. He was too heavy and his roots weren’t strong enough. We removed the legs first. It wasn’t like cutting down a tree. Red sap splashed with each swing until we were coated in it. The axe sounds were not clops, they were splats. Until we reached the bone tree as we knew it. Then it sounded more like wood. But not exactly.
The arms next, now that it had fallen. The willowman fought, and we took his weapons away. He cursed us and we laughed and lapped at the red sap.
We grew tired of chopping. He was no longer dangerous, and he could no longer grow. So we left him. Forgot about him.
When our children found him so many years later, he was a bone tree once more.
Day 328’s three random writing prompt categories were, “The bone tree,” “Meat,” and, “Utterly ignored.”
I’m a morbid son of a gun.