The Dead-Head Tree
It was the strangest tree Victor had ever seen. The bark was heavily textured like coral, and it was dark—almost black as pitch.
The fruit was the most provocative and disturbing feature. It drew him closer, one step at a time. He was afraid but was so entranced by the faces on the hanging fruits. Yes, yes, faces. He could see them now. Each fruit a tiny human head.
“Help me…” a fruit whispered into the wind. Should he eat it? Would that save it?
“Don’t come closer…” another one whispered, its voice feint, strangled to quietness.
He sweated profusely, for he was warned to refrain his approach… yet he could not stop walking towards the tree!
He stood at the dead-head tree. It was a husk of something magnificent and foreboding in the night. A hundred faces swayed hypnotically in the wind.
He had to eat one. He had to consume the mystery.
His elation was such that he never even felt one of the tree’s skeletal branches pierce his back and protrude from his abdomen. He just kept eating as he died.