And the trees sway.

The wind moves them from left and right, with no signs of halting. They continue to sway under a grey, lead-coloured sky. There’s thunder in the distance- two, maybe three hours away? No. Closer. Much closer.

The man shifts his gaze downwards, at the cement road. His car lies on his left, parked just a few centimetres from a wooden fence. In front of him, the road goes on for a bit, then turns to the right sharply. To his right, the lake. And the trees. The swaying trees.


He glances down at his watch. His contact was supposed to meet him an hour ago. The man glances behind him- nothing. No car coming down the road, no solitary figure slowly making its way to him.

He waits, and the trees sway.

There’s more thunder now; he can feel the wind growing stronger and stronger. The storm would come in- one, maybe two hours? No. Closer. Much closer.

He spots a bench next to the lake, just beyond the swaying trees. He takes a step towards the bench, and realizes how cold the air is around him. Like he opened a refrigerator and walked into it.

The wind gets stronger, the trees sway more. The lake slowly consumes the cement barrier that prevents it from flooding onto land in the winter. It’s winter now, and the lake slowly makes its way to something beyond the barrier.

The man shivers. So cold.

He turns towards his car, and grabs the door handle, exposing his pink, once-warm hands in the process.


He curses and stuffs his hand back into his coat pocket. More thunder now. More wind. The storm would be coming soon- in an hour, half an hour? No. Closer. Much closer.

He fiddles his right hand’s fingers around his right coat pocket.


Left hand.


He looks around. There’s no one in sight. But he could swear that he felt something with him, around him.

Just then, he spots it.

The keys.

They’re inside the car, lying on the dashboard.

He curses again and brings his right hand out, exposing it once more to the freezing air. He makes a fist and punches the front window.

He brings his hand away from the window, and notices a slight crack, along with a smear of red blood.

He makes contact with the window once more.

It smashes in. His hand is covered with his own blood, but he doesn’t feel a thing. He attempts to move his fingers.

The fist is frozen solid.

No time to react.

He brings out his left hand and gropes for the car key. He unlocks the driver’s door as quickly as he can- he needed to get out of here. There was no sign telling him to, there were no secret messages engraved in the freezing puddle of blood forming beneath him. He just knew that he had to get away from the lake. Now.

He takes one more glance at the trees.

They’re reaching towards him.

He screams and gets into his car. He shuts the door and tries to turn on the engine as branches smash themselves against his right window. Some are even reaching through the open front window.

The engine is dead. The cold is unbearable.

The thunder is louder now, and there’s a slight drizzle pouring down from the skies. The trees no longer sway, they no longer reach- they are a hand now, and its fingers reach under the man’s car and lifts it into the air. The storm is here, now.

The rain comes down from the heavens as the man screams, and the trees throw the car towards the lake, its boundaries already far beyond the cement that the city built to keep it in.

A car pulls up next to the lake. A man in a tuxedo and wearing a pair of sunglasses steps out from the car, shutting off the engine in the process. He shivers from the cold, and tries to open the door to get his coat lying in the backseat.


He shrugs, thinking that his contact would come in a few minutes, and leans against his car.

And the trees sway.