The dream had changed; I no longer knew the perimeters of what to expect from it. The tree was familiar, true, but it held more menace than before. It was threatening – always had been – but now my stomach was clenched tight in expectant horror.
While nature and I were in shades of black and white, the tree held an ominous muddy shade, fused with red. I watched the vivid colors in horror as the tree shrunk, changing from the skeletal tree into a gnarled man, a sturdy youth, a thriving sapling. I could not move as it shrunk in on itself.
The ground trembled. The earth underfoot shook and turned the color of brick as the tree’s roots threaded across the horizon. It was all very ominous. I stepped closer, curiosity drawing me even when fear screamed for me to run. The ground grew silent, the skies quieted, and then, like a volcano, my dream exploded into a violent dazzlement of colors and tastes – all the scents and textures of red converged upon me at once. The earth bubbled and split open, collapsing beneath my feet and dragging me under. The tree roots had grown around me, wedging me tight so the only focus available to me was the tree and its leaves as they changed rapidly through the seasons, the smooth skin of youth growing old and rough, the bare twigs like frozen veins against gnarled skin.
I screamed and woke.