The Treetops

Thin Places



Our house sat on five acres of undeveloped property in the foothills of the Rockies — in addition to that big yard, we had a small grass yard directly behind our house that had a short adobe wall going around it. Behind that wall sat an old trailer. In between the adobe wall and the trailer, there was a small gap where a handful of trees were growing. It wasn’t a good spot for them to grow — they were tall and lanky, not super strong trees but they did manage to have enough leaf cover to make some shade in the yard. One day, I was playing in the driveway when it suddenly got very loud outside. It sounded like there were hundreds of birds over our house, but there was nothing. The sky was clear, there were a couple of birds around, but not the number that there should have been to make sense. I thought the neighbors would come out to see what was going on, it was so loud. I was eight years old, and was horribly confused, but it was not scary, just very simply loud. I looked up in the trees, expecting one of those huge flocks of little blackbirds to be occupying all of the space there; there was nothing. The sound was coming from those droopy treetops, but there was nothing there. I stood there perplexed, when I began to notice there were faces in the trees. The faces were not human. They were quite literally theater masks, the white masks that you see with the smile and the frown, except all of these had smiling mouths and frowning eyes. They were not actually colored white, but they were the shape of those masks; there were hundreds of them, morphing through the leaves of those trees, their mouths moving slightly as the deafening sound of so many birds continued. For some reason I thought of monkeys talking to each other, pointing and chattering, while I stood oblivious to their conversations. They seemed to know I couldn’t understand them, and so continued to talk loudly amongst themselves, morphing in and out of the branches with their smiling mouths and unsmiling eyes. I knew they were talking about me in front of me, but I knew they were not evil, that they didn’t mean harm. They simply seemed different. Almost trickstery, but with no intent to actually do anything. I was not scared, but was overwhelmed by the sound. Eventually, when it became clear that no one else could hear what I was hearing, I left and continued on my way, leaving the faces in the trees to chat away amongst themselves. I never saw them again.

Submitted by Adler C