Susi Liarte is a multilingual writer and artist. She loves fantasy worlds and speculative fiction, and is currently working on several short stories as well as a novel. She has an MA in Translation Studies and is interested in languages, creativity and technology. She writes best to music, preferably with a large mocha nearby.
Extract from ‘The Gift’ from the Writing Tree’s ‘Forest’ anthology.
“Oh! There you are,” Tamsin said to the grand oak as it came into view. She gazed at it for a moment before getting her phone out to take a picture. In the end, she took three. She checked the time and then slipped the phone back in her pocket.
Tamsin wanted to sit with it for a while. She was making good time, and there was no reason to rush in a place like this. She sat beneath it, making a seat of its big, solid roots, and leaned against the trunk. Hello and goodbye, Tamsin thought. It was like meeting a stranger and sharing a smile, knowing you’ll never see them again. For that brief moment, it would be her shrine to the world, a place where she could rest at one with it, and feel like she belonged. She uncapped her water bottle and took a sip, looking around. A blackbird hopped nearby, keeping a wary distance. Tamsin was hoping for a squirrel or even a stray cat that had made its home here. Once again, her heart filled with worry about what would happen to all this.
Well, moping wouldn’t help. She got up and dusted her jeans off, and soon continued on her way. The oak was the final landmark before the shrine, so she looked all around her as she walked. The only description Amy could give was ‘stones’ with a vague hand gesture towards the ground.
The path was more defined now, or it seemed that way from the flowers growing either side. They led Tamsin through a different kind of beauty than had surrounded the oak; this one more vibrant, more riotous, as if summer was emanating from a concentrated source. Tamsin stopped. She could feel the atmosphere Amy had mentioned. A good feeling.