He had forgotten his own name long ago. They tricked him with sugar and rum. They strapped him to salt soaked planks of oak and pine. Into a hole – twice deep his godly stature – he was buried alive beneath unforgiving clay and soil. There, his blood and tears seared his cracking skin and burned the ground with radiant heat. Over time, he was bound to the roots of trees – encapsulated like a walnut, a bezoar in the guts of the earth.
His jailers encircled the principal trunk with wrought iron links. They cast a spell and tethered his spirit. Yet, his time would come. Though his lips were still sweet with their treachery and his tongue numb by their deceit, his throat ached for the taste of freedom. From the protection of his shell, he suckled at the life above him. He drained the very essence from the land around his prison. He grew stronger and he waited.
After many winters, they returned to the barren grove, having left for new and verdant plains. They sought reassurance that the past injustice would not resurface. Examining the tree, perhaps they overlooked the fissures winding around its barkless base. They certainly did not worry about the thin vine creeping about, undeterred by the weather. The bindings remained untouched – biting into the wooden flesh, holding fast to an ancient oppression. They had faith that there was nothing to fear.
Just below the frosted ground, he longed to prove them wrong.