They left me by the shore of a beautiful emerald lake. The water glistened the morning light that was siphoned through the valley sides. I could tell that they were planning something as we sailed down stream. Their eyes kept shifting, like bodies in restless sleep.
I was bundled onto the mud bank and tied to a tree. A willow. They didn’t look back, fear of their deeds kept their faces forward. The boat set sail to the rising sun and was soon swallowed into the horizon.
I sat by the water and watched the world grow dark and light again and again. My hair grew long and turned to leafy willow-tails. My toenails curled and twisted into the damp earth. They became the roots that fed me. I began to understand the slow language of the trees and the willow that was my prison guard. We became lovers and the bonds broke. My skin turned to bark and my eyes closed to the world I had so longed to be released to.
When they returned to bury my bones, thinking that would absolve their guilt, they found only two willows where they had left me. They couldn’t remember if there had been two there before. But we knew. My lover and I wanted them get into the boat once more. This time I was glad to see them go. Left with my willow. We spent an eternity by the lake and watched a million sunrises glisten on the emerald water.