The Temple of the Spirited Tree

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There is a ghost in Maria Aden’s home. It has always banged on the walls and slammed the doors, but now it has left a mess in Maria’s home. When Maria finally sleeps that night she dreams that it whispers to her. It tells her that she is a Fire Child. She is a leader. But Maria is afraid of the ghost.

She wants to leave this house. Selda agrees to find a new home, and they find this sweet cottage with trees and chickens.

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Maria feels at home and isn’t startled when it seems like the wind in the trees sounds a little like whispering. She can’t understand what the trees might be saying, but she is curious.

She tells Raheem that she hears the trees. He tries hard to listen to them, but Maria doesn’t know if he can hear it or not. She wonders if any one can hear the trees like she can? And she starts telling more and more people to listen to the trees, and they listen to her. People start gathering to listen to the trees.

Temple of the Spirited Tree

The trees are safety, and Maria and Raheem spend much time dedicated to listening to the trees, and telling more people to listen with them. Maria is still afraid of Selda, but feels a sense of comfort while listening to the sweet whisperings. It slowly becomes clearer to her, that she is special.

She sits quietly to the side during the ceremony. A ritual that she has talked about with many of her new friends, a ritual that they say binds a man to a woman. A ritual that Selda has arranged for her and Raheem. Maria is afraid for Raheem, her love for Selda has slowly become a dark shadow, it no longer held any light, it was blocked by the beast that slowly licked her neck in the night.

Raheem had confessed of being afraid of Selda too. And he had reason to, Selda was hungrier than usual. She swore her love to Raheem, held him gently and kissed his lips. Pulled him even tighter and quickly sank her teeth into his flesh. He collapsed to the ground as she wiped her mouth and walked away.

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Raheem’s body isn’t as young as Maria’s. He grows weaker and weaker and the trees tell Maria that Selda is feeding from Raheem far more than she should. Raheem doesn’t speak much about it. He waters the garden and cooks Maria tasty dishes.

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She is sitting at the table munching when she feels the trees whisper her name. She goes to them and they stop whispering when she finds Raheem’s lifeless body in the mud of the garden. It is she who whispers now, she whispers one word. Selda.

Now the trees whisper Selda. Now the villagers chant for Maria. Now Maria incites the growing crowd to listen. She believes now that anyone can hear the trees if they sit quietly. If they open their hearts.

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They gather in small dark rooms. The whispering trees are a source of hope and comfort to a frightened village.

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