The leaves whispered above me as I laid under the cool shadows of a tree.
“Rest, rest.” The tree called through every breath of wind. I found myself lost in the moment, unaware of all around me.
Which is why, when I heard the screaming, I didn’t immediately leap up from where I lay. Something dripped on my face and arm.
Curious I opened my eyes. Above me leaves swung in the late afternoon breeze. Their red-gold bodies radiant against brilliant sunlight. Beyond them an unrelenting blue sky lay juxtaposed against the autumn colors.
The screaming continued.
Another drop fell from the bows above, splashing down onto my nose.
A metallic tang filled my senses and I raised my hand to my face.
I wiped the liquid clean from my skin, or so I thought. It smeared over my left cheek and hand. Exuding warmth the stuff clung to my skin unlike ordinary liquid that fell from the sky. I looked down at my hand.
No, it couldn’t be. I thought, beyond the tree more voices were screaming and shouting.
More drops fell on me as I stood up, careful not to trip on an exposed root. I looked up scrutinizing the innocent leaves. Straight above my head something beaded up on the end of a leaf. With a languid flick it fell landing square in my open mouth.
Gagging, I staggered back, heart racing in my breast.
It was blood. Blood. Blood was falling from the tree.