Of course I had heard about it. Everyone in our community has heard of it. The Tree of Madness. The Face in the Forest. The Bleeding Tree.
I just never expected to see it. I mean, I hadn't even seen the Slender Man. I thought it went like "See the Slender Man -> go on the run -> see the Bleeding Tree -> go insane." Me, all I had done was read a bunch of stuff and joined an online community.
Yet, I saw it. I was walking to school, taking a shortcut through Library Park, crossing past the old trees I had seen nearly every day, and there it was. Right there, in between the other trees.
I didn't feel anything, though, even when I looked at its face. I didn't feel like going insane or running. All I felt was curiousity. So I walked closer.
The bark was warm to the touch and the branches were jagged. It was black, but not like a regular black. It seemed more like it was the absence of light, like it was sucking up all the light around it.
I backed away from it and took out my phone. I had to take a picture and show the rest of the community. It was then that I noticed the other two trees, the ones that the Bleeding Tree was between. I glanced at one of them and saw that it, too, seemed to have a face on its trunk. I looked again and both had faces.
I turned around and suddenly Library Park wasn't Library Park. It was a forest filled with trees and each one of the trees had a face.
I dropped my phone. I felt sluggish. My head swam and I backed away further from the Bleeding Tree. I tried to move again, but I couldn't. I felt so tired. I looked down and I couldn't see my legs. I couldn't only see the roots of a tree.
I looked at my arms and saw branches, each finger tipped with black leaves. I opened my mouth to scream and couldn't move it again.
And so here I am. I am a tree in the forest. The Bleeding Tree is gone, but I still have my fellow trees to keep me company.
The wind lets us whisper to each other and sometimes, just sometimes, we get to welcome a new member.