Short Story Thriller Thursdays- #5 Happiness
Sun shone bright through the trees, but you couldn't see it much. The leaves absorbed most of the light before the sun could warm the damp earthy ground, riddled with roots and scattered with old leaves. The day was warm though. The Birds were happy, and there was even the occasional insomniac Owl that made a twit and a twoo every now and again.
Most trees were recovering from a recent storm. Especially the Beech trees, with their huge trunks and branches, without much keeping them together when the wind caught them off guard. Some of the branches were merely attached by light, milky colored needles of broken wood. Others stayed strong. The Oak trees were always strong, but the leaves seemed to have a mind to travel, as they were still floating around in the light breeze.
Above the woods, on a hill with a wild field, was an old Elm tree. It was the oldest tree of them all. Struck by lightening twice, it was now no longer a tree of rarity, it was a tree of memories, where the farmers' mothers and fathers used to spend their time having picnics beneath it and listening to the sound the branches made when the wind passed through them. Occasionally the children would try to climb the tree, but it usually resulted in tears and a sore elbow. It was those children who later owned the entire woods. But you would never see a No trespassing sign or a Private no entry sign nailed into a tree.
Back in the woods, a Deer grazed on an old antler, gnawing at the tips and edges for calcium. It was surprisingly peaceful, considering the recent storm. But the Birds were peacefully loud and the Owls were wide awake, what reason did the Deer have to be nervous when the day was so beautiful? The wind picked up slightly. It wasn't enough to be an uncomfortable wind that blew your hair onto your face uncontrollably, but it was enough to part the branches briefly and allow the sunlight to fall onto the Deer, making it look very vulnerable.
The Deer eventually scampered away. Something had disturbed it, but it was a peaceful flee, not the type where she was truly threatened, but the type where it didn't want to be seen eating an antler. A child emerged from the overgrown pathway, skipping and humming. Short moments later, two proud parents emerged behind her, smiling to each other. The Dad held a blanket and the child's coat. The mother held a picnic basket and a doll with strange features.
The clouds gathered their rain, and traveled through the sky, bringing a daunting shadow over the woods. The Birds fell silent, and the Owl fell asleep.