Interstellar by Jasric, Deviant Art
Ash Hawthorn spent his childhood climbing trees in the village meadow and watching the world below. Settled comfortably on a branch, he daydreamed or read books, and made friends with countless birds and squirrels who approached him without fear. At night, he mounted the towering oak tree in the garden and perused the sky, naming the constellations and the planets he learned at school.
For higher education, Ash debated between studying astronomy or botany. In the end he opted for plant biology because of his passion for trees. The celestial objects were far away, yet he could touch and feel the woods, identify their leaves and fruits.
Ash became a spiritual man as well as a plant biologist. He travelled the world to acquaint himself with exotic plants in various terrains. Each morning, after his yoga meditation, he hugged a tree and continued a ritual he’d begun so long ago. At home, he wrapped his arms around the magnificent acacia in the garden. When abroad, he found a local tree to exercise his routine. Trees talked to him, he felt their vibes and communication lines.
On the way back from The Aokigahara Forest in Japan, which some called the suicide or talking forest, he was thrilled to have successfully made it through the challenging trail without a guide or using markings. The trees had guided him as his feet pounded the lava rocks and edged around perilous pit holes.
Ash clicked on the notification from the NASA website he subscribed to and read:
A small, recently discovered asteroid — or perhaps a comet — appears to have originated from outside the solar system, maybe from a distant part of our galaxy. If so, it would be the first “interstellar object” to be observed and confirmed by astronomers.
‘How exciting,’ Ash thought, interstellar, as in science-fiction movies and books. He wished he could see it, and wondered if it would have an impact on earth, perhaps strike it. Probably not, as most space stations were equipped with devices to repel such a happening. Yet, in the event they resorted to such action, what effect would this create on the entire universe? These thoughts occupied his mind as he continued his tours.
Trekking in the Valdivian rain forest between Chile and Argentina, Ash felt thirsty and hot. He took off his safari jacket and hung it on the branch of a towering Araucaria araucana, better known as the Monkey puzzle tree. Leaning against its trunk, he drank water from the thermos and rested. The air was still, though on its languid current he detected a hint of expectancy. Under the cerulean sky, the tree whispered. He wrapped his arms around it and listened. “Interstellar” it said. Ash smiled and repeated, “Interstellar.”
He smelled burning, and raising his head, spotted a massive fireball approaching. That was the last thing he saw before his interstellar journey transported him to another dimension.
Happy Fall Equinox!