Why was his stomach feeling so irritated? Why were his eyes getting blurry? And WHY was the already tight hollow of the tree seeming like it was getting tighter? Just then from outside he could hear those voices again, that of the leaves in their sing songy voice,
"Climb up, climb up Sam!"
The squirrels had changed from their gentle demeanour to something quite different and their once yellow eyes were turning color, fading into a sort of a burnt orange but then finally into a fiery red. This was indeed alarming!
"M..my....f....feet are hot!" Sam looked down to find that where there should have been the bottom of a tree was nothing short of a flaming red pit of fire.
"Dear Sam climb up!" the song rose from all sides of the tree.
"Climb what!!?" there would be no stuttering this time. His feet were scrambling to find a hold, which was a lot harder INSIDE the tree. Therefore, his emotions were raised well past the peak that usually forced the words out clearly......and LOUDLY.
Sam looked around for a grip on anything, at the same time battling the squirrels that were now biting and scratching him. He felt the walls of the hollow, scraping and pinching frantically, and finally found with his fingers a kind of ladder, so he began to climb. And he kept climbing, climbing for what felt like miles. He found it odd that the ladder didn't bend or move in branch like directions, nor did his space get any smaller. It wasn't a luxurious amount of space, for sure, but it was weird that it stayed the same. He also felt cooler by degrees, and the squirrels suddenly gave up trying to grab at his feet as if the direction he was headed, itself, frightened them. Sam didn't know which. He could feel the night air increasingly unabated upon his skin as he climbed, it filled his lungs and the exhalation took his fear with it.
A sudden burst of starlight revealed and entirely different scene. There he was, way over the earth sitting on what seemed like a bench in the clouds. Sam stood there for a moment in utter awe. All his fears and his tiredness, angst and insecurities spread out from him and dispersed over the landscape that was in front of him. He could see the hedge it went on and on as far as he could see. He saw what he thought was the river, though the only light was what was gifted by the bright and lusty moon. He had almost forgotten that a previous night had past without sleep and this one was bent on the same result, and perhaps this was the perfect place to lay down and rest but all he could do was stare into the darkness with an emboldened soul.