Awhile back I posted a photo prompt and a call for stories. This will be the final story I publish unless I get another submission before next Wednesday (hint, hint).
Without further ado...Scott's story--
The rain fell unobtrusively on a chilly March morning. Drops splished onto the still-frozen dirt around the towering tree, still naked without its summer cloak. Each drop wormed its way into the soil. All but one. This drop, so perfectly formed, had a tiny voice inside-- a little spark.
Spark was jubilant as he sailed through the air, plummeting down. The cold wind threatened to glaze him into ice but he was too happy to pay much care. When he dropped down to the uncaring earth, he didn’t splish like the other drops. He bounced up just once and reformed into a jiggly little water-ball. Spark rolled over the cold ground, looking for just the right place to let go. He felt it inside that he didn’t have much time remaining in his water-ball form, and that he soon would be Absorbed. But he held on a little longer.
Spark wasn’t afraid of the Absorbing. He knew it was part of life. A chance to be part of a larger whole. Everything was Absorbed sooner or later, by ground or water, or by air. He was looking for the perfect place. He rolled over the earth, and felt a tug. It was almost time. He was starting to unform. Beginning to let himself unwind from a water-ball to a drop, Spark let go.
Then he saw it. Oh, how perfect! Just a little farther. Another ten rolls away. A tree root lying on top of the dirt. “If I can get there,” Spark thought, “maybe I could go all the way to the top of the towering tree!” He pulled himself into a water-ball again. It was harder this time, much harder. Spark felt his watery body unwilling to re-form. He felt the cold earth attaching itself to him, small offshoots of his form started to tendril down, seeking their place in the dirt. Spark fought. He willed his quickly diluting structure back together. He started to roll again when he felt a ripping, tearing pain. A small patch of wet earth lay where he had stopped. Spark soldiered on. He was halfway to the tree root when the tearing sensation overcame him once more. Another wet bit of soil lay behind him. He was losing himself to the Absorption. Spark thought this was supposed to be an easy process. Not pain like this.
Spark was there now, at the root of the towering tree. He let himself go, feeling himself move slowly into the tree. It was the last thing Spark was conscious of for a long time.
Later, he felt himself slowly, inexorably moving upward. It smelled different here. Overwhelmingly woodsy and musty. Like a woodpile in a basement. Dark and cramped and stuffy. It could have been minutes or days, but it felt like months. Spark was moving upward still. Slowly. Needles of light shot at him. Spark attempted to escape from his slow, upward channel, but found that he was too big now to approach the light dots. They had a faint green cast to them. As he moved upward, the dots became more frequent. By the end, they were nearly overwhelming in their number and intensity. Was the air getting airier? It didn’t seem as stuffy now. All of a sudden, Spark was swished down a different channel, then he stopped. It was dark again.
Later, Spark was sure the air was fresher. He didn’t feel contained anymore. Then, a blast of the brightest, purist light he could imagine. And the air was all around him. He felt a new, tingling, tickling feeling. He was ruffling! In the breeze! At the top of the towering tree! Spark was inside a leaf, green and smooth, with a blush of pink at its center. Spark was the blush. He could feel it.
Spark waved happily through day and night, through wind and delicious warm sun. He was tethered at the top of the towering tree, surrounded by his fellows. On warm, still days, he stretched out his new, leafy form and soaked in the sun. Spark ruffled to the other leaves and they ruffled back to him. He felt content until his very last day, when he broke free of the tree’s fetters and slowly floated back to earth.