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Rain turned the greenfields into a wetland. Lightning struck dragons, unicorns and fairies until their bright bodies faded grey. A cyclone swept away their skins and left bones underwater. Emily held the only sign of life in this disaster plagued place. A giant fruit tree, cloud high, sprouting vibrant apples, pears, oranges and peaches along its branches, but even the wood was being stripped. She couldn’t let go. It was the heart of this world. Animals grazed from it and its vein-like roots cleansed the dirt for the soft green grass. Let go and she’d have nothing.

As the roots of the fruit tree cracked and lifted from the ground, the storm paused. Lightning and raindrops stopped midair. Wind calmed and held its animal victims in place. The cyclone was painted in the background. Was it over? Is this the end? Would this pause last forever, or would the storm continue its terror?

“I hate to see you like this.” That soft voice was unmistakable. It warmed her, taught her compassion, and warned her of life’s dangers. If only she had listened to her mother more often.

“I’m sorry.”

“Sorry is for wrong things, not uncontrollable ones.” Her mother examined the chaos. The bones, flooded grass and the tree being pulled from the ground. “This place is you, but people change. Yesterday it was green fields and magical beasts. Today, this. Tomorrow, whatever you want, but tomorrow takes time.” Her eyes scaled the bare tree trunk. Colourful fruits were the last hope. “It’s beautiful" her mother’s hand fell gently on her shoulder. “Let go. Create something better or worse, but don’t sit on the fence. It goes nowhere.”

Emily sighed as tears filled her eyes. She reached for her mother’s hand, but it wasn’t there. The storm began again. Lightning struck the tree as the cyclone pulled fiercely and water softened the exposed roots. There were no animals to eat the fruit or graze the shrivelled grass. It was only Emily and chaos. Wonderful things follow chaos. She released the tree as it flung from the dirt and was shredded by the cyclone. It left behind a hole of dead roots that quickly become a pond. Maybe tomorrow fish will call it home.

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