I put my hand against the bark. It was warm, like it remembered.
Well, maybe it did.
I was surprised the tree was still alive. After all, I was certain it had been an awfully long time, because nothing here looked, sounded or felt familiar. Something had been unleashed upon the world, a force dark and violent and destructive, and it had warped the terrain into something unrecognizable, almost alien.
Yet in the midst of the wilderness stood this strange tree – strong, tall and beautiful, the only visible living thing for miles around. I could see why it had become the stuff of legend, the people of this age calling it the World Tree.
My fingers found indentations on the bark that felt too geometric to be natural, and I leaned in for a closer look. What I saw took my breath away.
They were numbers.
At first I couldn’t make out what exactly they were supposed to be, but the longer I stared, the clearer I could see the faint traces of magic within the lines. Most days I cursed my Sight, but today I was grateful for it.
I was looking at coordinates. Dates. A code of some sort, but nothing I couldn’t crack.
And the magic’s signature was his. He’d been here, to the tree.
For the first time in a long time, hope seized my heart, and I wept with joy.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.