I wrote this one a few years ago, but I really want to return to this world for a short story…
The Souls of Trees
The buyers stared at the last of the acorns enclosed in the
pen. Rising from each was a wispy, humanoid figure veiled in green light. They
flickered as they danced to hidden music. Only the chosen could hear the music
this far from the forest.
“Got them new from the forest just yesterday,” the tree-soul farmer said.
“They look…” one man began, teeth chattering. His words curled pure white in the air. The farmer struggled to read his lips.
“Sickly,” the second added.
“They become strong when planted,” the farmer said, opening the pen.
The figures danced around them to the music that charmed people into the woods with fairy lights, will-o’-the-wisps, and wilis that made you forget about a world beyond the forest. But the town needed their light to survive winter. They were hope.
“I’ll take this one.”
The farmer sent the fluttering figure sleep with a few words and wrapped the acorn in a cloth. He took the last acorn for himself and planted it in the corner of his room, where it flickered and danced and grew into a strong sapling. Where it lit the long dark of winter. Where it sang to him of spring every night until he fell asleep.