Flash Fiction: You Aren’t Taking These Trees

Photo credit: Johannes Plenio at pexels.com

Tyler did his best work when the sun disappeared below the horizon. He wasn’t paid for his services, but Northwest Lumber Company (NLC) wanted to talk to him—if only they knew who he was—about some financial compensation.

The slower the lumberjacks worked, the better Tyler’s handiwork. 

The past few nights were extremely tense. NLC had increased its security measures, and Tyler had nearly been caught red-handed, tampering with the machinery that was flattening the forest around his family’s home. 

Tyler possessed zero knowledge about each of the machine’s inner-workings; he’d simply squeeze underneath the tank-like chassis and rip apart any wiring or soft tubing from below its hard shell. What Tyler lacked in knowledge about heavy, tree-clearing rigs, he made up for in a communal pride that had only grown stronger, year after year, for the past dozen years.

Before his recent passing, Tyler’s grandfather would spend countless hours sharing personal adventures, as well as burst with passion while recounting the community’s history, amongst the tall pines. 

These stories fueled Tyler’s nighttime assaults on NLC like a kerosene lamp. 

The mornings after a spree of trying to salvage every piece of timber possible, Tyler would find a quiet spot along the forest’s edge, watch the workers assess the inflicted damage, and sense his grandfather smiling down from above.

Word Count: 224


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #23

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