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A Single Branch

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I haven't payed particular attention to what I pass when I drive. Everything always goes by too quick, fast to where taking a close look is useless. I decided to start being more attentive to the woods around my area when I listened to a news report.

A child, age of eleven, had gone missing around the woods of the road I commonly drove. I had no success in finding the child, but I did discover something unusual, something that quickly caught my eye. The report stated that the child had been known to climb trees, sometimes quite tall, so I would typically look high. The trees lining the road led my eyes to the power lines, which were right next to the trees.

The sight of the object was dark, difficult to see closely, but I believed I confirmed it correctly:

It was a lone branch, resting on the power lines.

I say "branch", but it could've been considered a small log for its size. There were a few lines in a row for it to rest on, yet my mind was still puzzled as to how it still remained there, draped over the lines. It had a large base, with several smaller segments extending from it. I would only see it from one angle when passing by, which limited my full view. It still remained to fascinate me.

My workplace was a good hour's drive, far enough to where it would be rather dark driving home. It was because of this that I could never see the branch in full, colored detail. I only saw its silhouette, as it loosely dangled over the road.

I initially speculated that the large branch must of fell from the towering tree directly above, and yet to be knocked over because of its size and weight. If it were causing an issue with power, it would have been removed far earlier before. I would occasionally see a bird or two resting on it, picking inside its base and extensions. I always had a tight schedule to keep balanced, which never gave me the proper time to stop and better examine the branch.

There was an evening where I was able to leave my workplace early, enough to where the sky still had some remaining daylight. I had nearly passed by the branch, when I noticed that I could see it better, in more detail than I had since I first noticed it. The last, dim moments of sunlight revealed that the branch had a stripped texture on its base, but more defined, smooth textures on its extending segments.

The day was another windy one, and the branch looked as if it was finally going to fall. I've always had a side interest in photography, and the day was the perfect one to capture the obscure, mysterious sight in unrivaled detail. As I approached to the spot of road below the power lines, I pulled over and readied my camera.

Three birds were rested on the branch. I stepped out of my car, found a position of view, and immediately took a few snapshots. I was satisfied quickly with the results, and looked back down to return to my vehicle. I saw a small object in the middle of the road. It was directly below the branch, as if it had fallen, so I assumed it to be a broken segment. It was faded, dirty, but looked as if it once had a color to it. I stepped back when I identified it, and I could only look back up at the power line, frozen.

The object on the ground was a shoe, degraded and worn by countless days of wind and rain.

I looked at the branch above, for more potential remnants of the lost child. I had only hoped that the boy had not fallen from the tree long ago, with his shoe remaining on the broken branch. I still saw the three black birds, picking away at it, tearing scraps away. Shreds fell down near my vision, and I held a piece in my hands.

It was a piece of fabric, belonging to a orange shirt. It was singed, burned and scrapped from the energy from the line.

I looked up at the line, for the last time, even slower.

The child hadn't fallen, yet.

Written by Emeryy
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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