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It Took Control

Story ID:2231
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Writers Conference:$500 2007 Family Memories Writing Project
Location:Fort Lee New Jersey USA
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It Took Control

In the corner of our backyard, against the fence, is a huge
forsythia bush. A maple tree rose through its center and towered
over it. They made an impressive team. Birds used them for shelter
when they came to eat at our feeders.

A sliver of grapevine was placed carefully in the dark earth
on our neighbor's side of the fence. It took root. One year it
topped the fence and climbed along its edge. A few years later,
it reached the forsythia bush, and slowly engulfed it. The vine
climbed the bush and reached the maple.

The maple, the forsythia, and the grapevine became a mass
of green. When storms rolled in off the Atlantic Ocean, the tree,
the bush and the vine moved as one. They were a green mass of
leaves, swaying in the wind. We called it "The Green Monster."

One year, I went to Googleİ satellite and punched up our
address. Our home was easily identified by the mass of green
in the corner of our yard. The grape vine swallowed the two trees.
It used them like an addiction


A storm formed in the south Atlantic. For several days, we
experienced heat and humidity in the north. The storm moved in
our direction. The winds began to pick up. Rain began to fall.
The combination of maple, forsythia, and the grapevine swayed as
one. The maple, under the weight of its burden, bent. There was
a loud snap. Its trunk could bare the burden no more. The tree
lay in a tangle on the lawn. Its leaves began to shrivel from
the lack of life blood. It was over.

Georgia, my first wife, had a grapevine - alcohol. She lived
with it for a long time. It engulfed her. Its weight became too
much. It weighed her down. She shriveled and died.

There are grapevines weighing many people down. Is it drink?
Nicotine? Drugs? Georgia should have trimmed that vine a long
time ago. She waited too long. It's too late now. The tree is
down. It took control.

Michael T. Smith