Chapter Twelve: The Tree�s Hymn:


Another night and I can't sleep. Well, actually, I'm half asleep, sort of. Asato-kun wore me out moments earlier. I'm trying, but my body won't let me sleep. I glanced over at my husband. Lucky jerk, he just sleeps so easily. I frowned at him. It's tempting to wake him up right now�

Suddenly, a high pitch whistle fully woke me up. I winced and turned to the window. The tree stared me down again. What is it with you? Why won't you leave me alone? Why? What do you want with me? What? What? I froze with my questions. Wait� Is that tree� calling to me? I shut my eyes. That's not possible, trees can't talk! I really need to sleep.

Sama� Sama� Sama�

No, that's not you! You're a tree, you can't talk. Stop it!

Sama� Sama� Sama�

Shut up!

I huddled my knees to my chest. Lack of sleep can cause someone to see and hear things. I'm hoping that's what I'm experiencing here. Otherwise�

I shook my head. Stop thinking about that damn tree! Get to sleep, moron! I drew in a breath. Okay� I took slow breaths and thought about sleep. It almost worked last time. Maybe it'll work this time? Just relax� One� Two� Three� Four� Five� Six�


Seven� Eight� Nine�


Ten� Eleven� Twelve� Thirteen�


Fourteen� Fifteen�


I pressed my eyes together. This isn't working; I can't focus. That stupid tree keeps calling me. That or it's all in my head. I opened one eye and glanced behind me. Damn it, he's still sleeping. It's so tempting to wake him up right now! Wake him up and make him suffer too.

I huddled into a tighter ball. Cut it out and go to sleep already. You probably have work tomorrow! Energy shots won't do you any good. Go. To. Sleep! I took another breath. Okay� I closed my eyes and tried my exercise again. One� Two�

A loud buzz interrupted my counting. I ripped my eyes open as I gasped. Those demonic crickets have gotten worse. Though, they aren't crickets anymore. I don't know what they are. My eyes darted back to that tree. I am no longer in doubt. That damn tree is making all of those noises. It's not me losing my mind. The tree is really making noises at me.

I sat up and crawled over to the window. The pink blossoms blinded me so badly that I had to shield my eyes. I put my other hand to the glass. The warm vibrations from outside were enough to make me draw back.

"What the?!" I whispered. My hand felt so cold afterwards. Almost as if I had laid it down in ice water for a long time. What is this? I looked at the tree again. Is that� doing this? An uncomfortable burning formed in my chest. Right off the bat, I confirmed that this was not a normal tree. But, what was it? Why was this� thing calling out to me?

I crawled away from the window as fast as I could. I wrapped myself in the sheets in our futon. My eyes stayed on those burning pink blossoms outside the whole time as I trembled.