Dana drills the shot and pumps her fist. She runs back on defense but her mind wanders. Down in stance, hands out. Her grandmother died. She didn’t look at the body. It frightened her to know that this woman, this kind woman, who gave her candies and told her stories, was gone forever. She didn’t accept it. Katie, her cover, beat her off the dribble when her eyes went up into her head as she tried to remember what her grandma looked like.
She turned around and tried to foul Katie at the rim. Katie powered through her grab and scored. It was then that she realized that her grandma was dead and she would never be able to conjure a complete image of her again. She could close her eyes and bend her brain into loops, but there would always be something missing.
As she stood outside the key, a seed was planted in her mind. Someday this will grow into the plant that fears death. It controls her actions forever.
After making this layup, Clive lands on the ground and crouches. Hands hands feel the hardwood. He feels the spirit of the trees this hardwood once was. He grabs onto the spirit and yanks it out of the floor and devours it, right there, in front of everyone in the gym. Tree sap flies off his face and rains from his pores. It keeps coming and coming. The sap in his body hardens. He is stuck to the floor.
The gym is abandoned. Can’t play with the tree there, can’t chop down what was once a human to make room.
As the centuries progress, this tree that is combined with Clive’s spirit becomes the centerpiece of a mighty forest. Soon, humanity perishes in a horrible war.
Before the sun explodes, her spirits visits the tree the last remnant of humanity. She asks one question:
“What were they like? Did they deserve to keep living? Was the war something deep and dark and inherent, or the malfeasance of a few horrible people?”
The tree stands silent for a second. It delivers its answer in a moan:
“TWOOOOO POOOOOIIINNNTTTTSSSS MAAAAAARK IIIIIIT FOOOOORRRR YOOOOUUUR BOOOOOOYYYY CLIIIVVVVVVEEEEE.”
Laurie rebounded the ball and dribbled in transition. She has an open shot at the rim. But she kept driving, right into the wall. Both of her arms were broken. She collapsed to the ground screamed: “I NEED TO BE BROKEN MORE! MORE MORE MORE! BREAK ME, GOD! PULVERIZE ME UNTIL I AM DUST! I WANT ALL OF ME, ALL OF MY SELF AND MY SPIRIT TO RETURN TO THE EARTH! I WILL BE IN ELEMENCE ONCE MORE! PLEASE, DISSOLVE ME!” She hit her fists and he feed on the ground until she started to bleed. She was restrained and drug out of the gym. “CAN’T YOU SEE THE PRETENSION OF HUMAN BEING!? WHY DO WE ASSUME WE ARE ANYTHING AT ALL!?”