05. Behold the trees!

AN: Read at your own risk! Might include bad language or disturbing images. The 5th story of the 10 small stories. You can find the rest at my blog. Enjoy and comment! 

“You are a nice guy”. That phrase was the one that hurt the most. You are a nice guy. Her trying to convince him that dating a coworker is a bad idea did not matter. Her reassurance that she was just not interested in having a relationship right now didn’t register to his heart. It hurt that he was a good guy.

He laughed when he thought of her face when she would see the results of his plan. You are a nice guy, he thought.

Matti had met Lena when he was hired the first day. She was gorgeous. Tall and light coloured with long, heavy hair and stunning green eyes. Her beauty was what caught his eye, but what made him mad for her was her intelligence. She was quick witted and with a sharp eye that could catch every small error in a code within minutes. Lena could outsmart everyone in their group. She was their brightest star, the one who convinced all the big pharmaceutical companies to fund them. And Matti was just the nice guy.

He always hated Christmas parties. This time he got an extra reason to hate them. Who wouldn’t hate them if they had been humiliated like that? Matti opened up his heart to his lady, he offered her his soul, and what did he get in return? You are a nice guy. It sucked being the nice guy. All his life he was the nice guy, the one who would be kind and helpful and understanding. In high school Maria rejected him for Janne, the cool guy who played football. During university, the gorgeous Elina dumbed the biology geek for the cool pilot. All his life had been the nice guy. But no more.

Matti would not be the nice guy. For once in his life, he would be the cool guy. He would be the badass guy.

Matti’s thoughts were interrupted by a soft whistle. He turned around to see a young boy, around the age of fifteen years. He was scrawny, with boyish features in his face that every teenage boy hated to notice on the mirror. He had started growing a moustache, but he still needed a couple of years before being able to do it properly. Matti passed his hand through his greyish hair before he continued talking.

“Are you Ikka’s friend?” They had to go on as fast as possible, but he had to make sure that the boy at the docs’ pubs did not play him for fool. Especially since he abandoned him.

“Yes. Where is him?”

“He left. He met a veiled woman and joined the fucking procession”. The boy’s face darkened at his disrespectful tone, no one talked like that about ancient traditions. But he gave no shit for silly superstitions. He was a man of science and he did not believe in curses.

“Do not talk like that! The procession is pure and important. All the souls truly are happy when they see their flaming shops sail down the river. Matti felt a pinch of remorse at his words, but he did not apologize. He would not be the nice guy anymore, whatever the serious eyes of the teenage guy said.

“And how do you know?” he passed his hand through his hair once more, hoping to hide the shake of it.

“The same way I know what you want. I dreamed of it” came the answer in a whisper. He waved a paper in front of his face.

“Dreamed? Seriously? And how do I know that I will get the real deal? Science is principles, is the foundation of the word. It is the only thing that can lead us to the truth of life. The rest is stupid and ignorant lies!”. Matti really hated dreamers, witches and their lot. They pretended they knew everything, that they hold the mystery of the world in their palm. That was a lie for fools.

“Dreams are always true. Dreams never lie” answered the boy in a weird tone. He looked like a huge burden was rested on his shoulders that he could barely lift. Matti almost asked him about it, but he mentally slapped himself. He was not that guy. Not anymore.

“If the code is not true…”

“It is”.

“How do I know you do not lie?”

“You have no other choice. You take it, or I go. For me it is the same. But I do not lie.” Silence fell between themselves.

“How much do I owe you?” Matti finally asked. He had to try, he had no other choice. And if the boy had lied, there was no way he would have made himself a worse fool than already was.

“Nothing, just tell Iikka the debt has been paid. Do not forget”. And with these words he left as silently as he had come, leaving behind a piece of paper. Matti snatch it up, what if he has lied to me? Oh well at least I did not pay him anything. After a quick look it looked like the real thing. It would have been so much easier if he had used Notepad++ and then brought a memory stick. It was too much code to type and it was already 1AM.

The scientist drove like crazy. Had he stopped for the red lights? Did he obey the traffic law? He could not remember. None of that matter. What mattered was to reach the lab on time. He had passed through the whole town like a ghost, with the code as his passenger and her words as the background music. You are a nice guy. You are a nice guy. You are a nice guy. And for some reason each repeat was more painful than before, harsher than ever intended to be. He could not take the phrase out of his head. It had grown like a tumor, it was now the motto of his life. You are a nice guy.

Now he was standing in the growth chambers. In front of him there were long rows of young trees, all cared by Lena’s competent hand. All those plants that helped rule the company and his heart. But no more. He said no more to her magic, her rule over his heart. Matti approached the small computer at the edge of the room. There he started writing the code that Iika’s friend had given him to a special program they had in order to control the plants’ growth. Everyday Matti tried to focus on his work , he tried not to do a mistake, but it was so hard to be perfect. He could hear her words as an echo to the back of head; You are a nice guy, was now the drum of his heart.

After fifteen very long minutes Matti finally stopped typing. He thought he should check the code again, see for possible mistakes, but he shook his head. That was the geek’s way, the cool guy just did not care. He pressed the magic button and waited. He would have liked to see green fluorescence water be sprayed upon the trees, he would have liked to hear the plants screech, break their roots, fireworks to be fired and drums to echo in a triumphal song. But this was biology, even though it was revenge biology obtained by a dream, and so he had to wait in order to see the results; if there were any.

As the clock passed, Matti dozed off in his chair. High humidity in the air and high alcohol concentration in his blood could be blamed. He found himself lost in some  very weird dreams. He saw trees moving. The earth was trembling and the water drops sounded as her words; You are a nice guy.

When he opened his eyes he found out that the reality was not so different, except for the silence.

The rest however were true. All around him the young pine trees had arisen from their pots and were moving around, silent as ghosts. Their roots had turned into legs and they could move their branches as hands. Or so Matti understood, he could not be sure what was that he saw, it could the other way around and never know it.

What have I done? Was his first thought. He had created a monstrosity. He had created something that only God should be able to be. Monsters…or evolution? He watched the moving pine trees and felt strange. He could define it, could not describe except with one word, God. He must have felt the same when he created the world. Matti was not really religious, but after seeing his babies walk outside from their roots, he felt like there was a God. If he could do it, someone else could, right?

He laughed like a maniac, he laughed and laughed till a thought came into his mind. A smile formed into his face as the thought took form. Yes, that should do, that should win all their hearts and all their minds. But first he had to control them.

How do you control trees? Do you play the flute? Do you call them by their secret names? Uncertainty crept into his heart, maybe… but he would not give up so easily.

“Trees? Pine trees?” he asked softly. There was some steering among the trees but he could not understand if they listened to him. I will not give up! Not now! He tried calling them by their scientific name and other two of the most closely related species. He called them by the common names in all the languages he knew, he even googled some more. He made up new names. He read to them Darwin’s masterpiece, he read them from the bible. He played the lute for them and sung Bohemia Rapsody. He was so focused to his task that he never paid attention that dawn had arrived.

He was looking through internet to see more details about pine’s phylogenies when he heard the trees move together behind him. He raised his eyes and saw her. She was there. Lena was standing there, right next to the door with a sock look in her face. He wanted to say that he felt satisfaction on her horror, but he felt hollow.

“What… is going on?” her voice was barely heard.

“Behold the trees!” said Matti, showing the trees all around him with a broad movement of his hands. “These are my creation, my millestone for science!” a fit of cough made him stop his speech.

“What did you do to my babies?” Lena asked terrified. The trees seemed to recognize her, they were driven by her voice. The pines were sensing her mood and unrest rose among them. They respond to her. They just saw her for the first time, and yet they charmed.

“What did you do to my plants! You no right!” now her voice was screeching, her eyes glittering with anger. “I wish you were done!”

“I…” he could not find the correct way to say anything, he was lost. He thought he had to respond somehow, but damn this woman, she had a huge effect on him. It did not matter though, it would never matter again. Well, Lena always gets her wish. He thought as one tree started beating him with his branches.


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