LONE TREE ENTRANCE

It was the big tree that caught my eye.  Sitting in the middle of nowhere, easy to spot on the flat prairie, but in full leaf like an invitation.

So I accepted.

I turned off the county road and drove the rutted lane to the top of the rise, turned off the engine and surveyed my domain:  Corn on the left, soybeans on the right and a huge sky above them both.

I sat down, resting against the trunk and looked up into the green canopy.  How many others had done the same?  Or did they pass it by, hurrying down the road without a second thought.

It was during this reverie that I heard it for the first time.  Funny how I hadn’t noticed it before.  Humming.  And it seemed to be coming from the tree.

I jumped, thinking a beehive nearby, but closer inspection revealed none.  I circled the tree more slowly, alert to any change in the sound’s strange timbre and found myself reaching toward old graffiti cut into the bark:

                                                “H.D.   1887”

No sooner had my finger traced the last number when the ground gave way and I dropped into a brick-lined tunnel that angled downward and shot me a good 500 yards from where I had stood.  I rolled to a stop in front of a wooden door, painted red like a barn.

Maybe I should have turned around and crawled back through the tunnel.  Maybe I should have asked myself how I could see the color of the door without any ambient light.  Maybe I should have wondered why anyone would build such a structure.  I should have done any of these, but I didn’t.  I just couldn’t resist taking a peek behind the door.

So I looked.

Clearly I wasn’t devoured by monsters because I lived to tell my tale.  But what I saw… and what I did once I stepped across the threshold, I’m not at liberty to discuss.  What I can tell you is this:  If you drive the isolated stretch on County Road 9 and spot the lone tree, ignore its invitation.

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2 Responses to “LONE TREE ENTRANCE”

  1. It’s very doubtful I could ignore such a cue
    Thanx for much fun (lovely photo, too)

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