The Wood King

May 4, 2022

In all the seventeen years of my life something has always remained the same. Do not leave the moving city; it’s dangerous outside. Ah, my moving city with metal and towering walls wheels that turn and grind against the ground. Oh, my moving city whom I’ve grown to despise for its safety. This incredible boredom has driven me mad, so I have a devious plan tonight.


As soon as the clock struck twelve, I rose from my bed and into the belly of the moving city, the great machine that has kept me safe ever since I was a child, reckless as it may be, the moving city which I have now come to despise, through the streets and the unnaturally bright lights, past guards and down the elevator that leads to the bottom of my beloved city and out the front gate I snuck and felt with something beneath my feet that I’d never felt before 


It was cold and spikey and wet from the night air. It was something I’d only seen in books. Grass, oh, how lovely it was! I had never seen anything like it before. Truly it was wonderful, but simple grass wasn’t all there was. As I wandered deeper, I found a cluster of trees and bushes that towered like walls in the moving city. I couldn’t help myself! I ventured further inside, admiring the natural trees that smelled so nice, certainly more than the metal ones that I love alongside.


But as I ventured deeper, I realized something was wrong. The trees bent in ways they shouldn’t. Grass died with every step. Of course, I was nervous but quite curious. I moved quickly into the forest’s heart, where I was met with a ghastly sight. 


A creature stood there, skin made of wood, moss-covered its shoulders, vines wrapped its waist and hung from the crown of wooden antlers on its head. This beautiful creature was metal stabbed into its lower belly and chest, and oil poured from the creature’s wounds. Whatever it touched withered and decayed, the creature itself letting out a low whine as it twitched in pain 


Anger flared in my heart as I approved the wounded creature, who quite looked like a king. It hissed and tensed as I touched the metal. I’d have to remove it to save this creature. So tug I did, ripping the metal freeze from its wounded body. The wooden king let out a shriek and a whine; sap now ran from its wounds. I quickly stopped this with the wrapping of my shirt. The wooden king watched me with a tilt of its head as I finished addressing his wounds. It took a step toward me so quickly that I nearly fell. It placed strong hands on my shoulders as vines grew around us. The freshly dead nature bloomed bright once again as it stepped back, looking at me with eyes I could only describe as thankful 


The wooden king walked with me for a great distance out of the forest and to the edge of my moving city, which now looked far more bland than it once had. I told it goodbye as I returned now with a clear purpose… 

Bring knowledge of the world outside to my people of the moving city, share what I had learned, and stop whatever hurt the wood king.

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