I feel as though I can no longer bear the suffering of this knowledge and thus find it increasingly hard to go on. Thus, I have turned to drink, my only comfort in a world of anxiety and woe.

Two days ago, I found myself walking at some distance from my home, down familiar, careworn paths leading through the park and on, toward the western end of the city. All around me, the trees seemed to grow darker in hue, and I heard from somewhere nearby, a low hum as though emanating from some unseen watcher. I thought back to the last time I’d watched The Wizard of Oz, and saw the apple trees throwing apples at Dorothy.

These trees looked like they would soon reach out with their spindly branches and strangle me to death. In the still of the cold evening, I thought I saw the features of a scowling face upon one of the trees. I kept walking, thinking of myself as Dante being led through the various levels of Hell. Suddenly, the path forked, and I did not know which path to take: the left path, which was lined with weeds, or the right path, which was lined with roses.

I chose the right path and proceeded past the roses as the sun set on the horizon. When the path forked again, I once more took the right path, in order to remember my way back to the place where my journey began. But as I walked onward, I found at times that the right path was blocked and at some times the left, and before I knew it, I was helplessly lost amongst the roses and trees.

It was then that I spied before me the light of a torch carried by a torch-bearer in robes the color of a deep crimson wine, and the light of his torch illuminated a jet black obelisk, which had upon it ancient hieroglyphics depicting trees fulfilling all manner of unnatural acts—performing coitus with every manner of man, woman, and beast imaginable, and in every possible way and combination. In addition, there were depictions of ritual killings, the hieroglyph trees having decapitated men and pulled their arms from their sockets, one horrifying depiction showed a tree drinking blood from the neck of a decapitated victim. I ran with all the vigor I could muster.

I hardly know how it was that I came to be at home in my bed, waking as though from a nightmare. Straightaway, I inquired with the National Arbor Day Foundation, asking Professor Emeritus Albert Chandley about the particulars of the ancient Roman tree god Silvanus, but soon perceiving that he was hopelessly Boomerish, did not press my questioning further. Instead, I descended into the roots of the bottle and drowned my sorrows once more. In no time, I fell asleep and my dreams had faded into the nightmare of that dread god Silvanus.

Every sound now stirs me, and I await the day when that dread forest god comes once more to have its way with humanity.

Though fear was the ultimate source of my affliction, drink could be the only cure. I woke with an unmitigated thirst for whiskey on the rocks, and as I walked down the street toward the Double Hound Brewpub, I viewed every tree with a sideways glare. At once, I arrived and made my order with the tender of the bar, hoping beyond hope to slake this unquenchable thirst that had all at once overtaken me.

The drink burned my throat like hot gasoline, and its warming presence at once quelled the raging tide of my thoughts from an immense onslaught into a dull roar. The bartender motioned for me to come closer, and then whispered something to me about a particular type of sunblock. I looked down at my arm to discover, to my great shock and amazement, that my skin had considerably started to darken and now tiny lines were visible that made it look vaguely like—dare I say it—the bark of a tree.

I downed my drink in one mighty gulp and felt at once invigorated. But my thoughts still raced to consider the possibility of this troubling situation; some strange sensation had taken hold of me upon gazing at the Rites of Silvanus.

Was I to become like the trees on those ancient hieroglyphs, fucking and killing everything in sight? The horror! I shuddered to think of it.

This revelation is what led me to the police station. The receptionist chewed bubble gum, blowing giant bubbles with it, between calls. “Can I help you?” she asked, finally turning her attention toward me.

“Miss, I need you to lock me up!” I pleaded.

She laughed and then turned toward a male uniformed officer. “Get a load of this, Roger—this whacko wants to be locked up—thinks he’s gonna turn into a werewolf under tonight’s full moon or somethin’!”

“No, no,” I explained. “You’ve got me all wrong. I’m not like one of those lunatics from a late-night werewolf movie. My case isn’t like that at all. Let me explain. Are you comfortable? Good. I am slowly transforming into a tree.”

It was then that I felt a most inconvenient bulge in my pants. Was this the work of that tree god, Silvanus? The woman looked so irritated and lovely—and her head looked so delicious. The woman and the officer both burst into fits of raucous laughter. This ridicule was too much to bear. Feeling the lust and wrath of the forest god coursing through my veins, I pounced upon the reception desk like a tiger and mounted the woman, who screamed as the officer pulled me off and slapped cuffs on my wrists as I howled and frothed in a fit of lust and rage.


They led me to a padded room in the Rock Cottage Sanitorium at the far end of town. “We’ll make you real comfortable,” said the nurse as she strapped me into the wheelchair and wheeled me over to the window, where I had a great view of the trees.