It was like watching a video of those leaves fast forwarded, showing how they shrivel up in just a matter of seconds, showing how the faded to black, then holes started appearing, and soon nothing was left except that black goop. Only it wasn’t a video, and everything happened in less than a few seconds.
Michael felt weird. He thought he would feel cool, discovering that he had such an awesome superpower like those Heroes on television or the X-Men, but he just felt weird.
“This is wrong, just so, wrong.”
Michael turned and began to run, he didn’t know where he was going to, all he knew was that he had to get out of that place or he would puke his guts out and start screaming hysterically. All of a sudden that friendly, usual atmosphere of the soccer cage seemed ominous and dark, like a monster watching its prey silently.
Although it felt like an eternity to him, Michael ran only for about 10 minutes before slowing to a stop on the sidewalk. He could no longer see the cage, only small trees that dotted the sidewalk periodically.
‘This is stupid, it can’t be real. I had one of those, hallucinations. Yeah. That’s it.’ Michael grinned to himself.
‘Haha, maybe the leaves were already decomposed in the first place.’
Michael’s grin grew wider, now he started to feel embarrassed at having run off in the first place.
Michael started to turn and go back, swiping his hand past a tree absent-mindedly. He had barely walked for a few minutes when he heard a groaning sound. Michael whirled around; his mouth open in a silent scream as his fear came rushing back to him.
The groaning sound came from that tree he had just swiped. If the sight of leaves decomposing was horrible, the sight of the tree was revolting, atrocious and disgusting at the same time. The groans emanating from the tree seemed to vibrate in Michael’s head, and sounded to him like the scream of an old man.
The tree started turning black all over. Leaves turned to black sludge immediately and for a moment it looked like the tree was raining oil from its branches. Then the branches were bare and started snapping off on their own, landing in the sludge beneath and seeming to melt into it.
The stem itself started to grow huge white holes in the midst of the black. Michael stared, enthralled at the holes. You could see the living cells of the tree turn black at an amazing rate. And the white holes oozed sap out of them. Then tree started to melt into the ground, and soon nothing was left except the black sludge which was also fast disappearing. Michael couldn’t bear to think about even breathing particles of that sludge.
In fact, Michael didn’t think at all. He simply stopped and started, thinking of nothing, feeling nothing, hearing nothing. Slowly, comprehension started to dawn in his eyes. His eyes started to widen with shock and his mouth started to emit a sharp scream.
‘Let’s run we have to run please run oh please get away from that thing I want to go home please run.’
His legs were rooted to the ground and nothing he thought could move them. But even as he started to scream, his eyes noticed movement. The black sludge on the ground was moving slowly towards him even whilst seeping into the sidewalk.
That was enough to get his legs moving. He turned to run, this time not stopping, not looking back, and definitely not thinking that it was all a hallucination. He thought of nothing at all except running.