By the time the noise woke me up early that morning and I rushed down, it must have taken them some eight chops to cut the big branch that was obstructing the hoarding.
It took them only two from the same axe to severe my neck as I ran in screaming to stop them.
When I came to, I was being cradled by someone, something soft. I felt strangely weightless. Then I saw I was on that tree, and I was being cradled by that very tree.
I wanted to scream and struggle but somehow felt very peaceful. “Don’t worry, you will get used to it. You are no longer that,” the tree said pointing to my body below. “You are back to being your essence now, just as I am.”
That’s when I noticed the rest of what was the tree lying in pieces around what was me.
You saved me? I asked in confusion.
“Well, I have been carrying you for a long, long time. Maybe saving you also. Long before you made that axe and started using money. Now you just use the axe on whoever and whatever comes in the way of your making more money. Just as it happened to you.”
Are you God?
“We all are. You just forgot along the way. Now it is easier to use God when it is convenient, especially to make more money. Even use the axe for that.”
Can’t you punish them?
“Why should I? We are all heading for that final punishment that will offer no escape. Axe or no axe.”
But why me? I am the good one. I help others. They killed me because I tried to save you.
“There is no you and them. You are all in it together. You live together or you die together. Not long now.”
Maybe you should make me alive again. I can write about them. Expose them. The story will go viral.
I felt something like a hand gently moving over my head, over my eyes.
“Rest now, child. You will see something. You may write as you are so keen. Then you will forget everything and be born again.”
The last thing I saw was the hoarding. It was to celebrate World Environment Day.
It showed more faces of leaders than saplings. One of the faces looked vaguely familiar.
Had I seen that with the axe?