Franklin Pratt lives in a special house of his own design. It is a living thing that senses and responds to its owner’s needs by growing rooms as needed and reflecting the owner’s emotional state with bioluminescent blossoms. Once it’s mass-produced, Franklin’s invention can provide housing for millions and help heal the environment.
But since his stroke, Franklin is unable to share his creation with the world. He feels he’s a prisoner in his own home and distrusts Carrie Masada, the woman who supervises his team of caretakers. Franklin fears she only wants to steal the secret of his house.
And he’s right. Carrie wants Franklin’s secret. But why?
My love and concern for nature has inspired a number of my posts and published stories, so while honored by this acceptance, I am especially pleased my story promotes a cause I believe in deeply. The title comes from one of Ezra Pound’s early poems, “The Tree“:
I stood still and was a tree amid the wood,
Knowing the truth of things unseen before;
Of Daphne and the laurel bough
And that god-feasting couple old
That grew elm-oak amid the wold.
‘Twas not until the gods had been
Kindly entreated, and been brought within
Unto the hearth of their heart’s home
That they might do this wonder thing;
Nathless I have been a tree amid the wood
And many a new thing understood
That was rank folly to my head before.
As in Pound’s lovely poem, my story explores how love of the natural world is the essential foundation for understanding, connecting, and caring — in other words, for becoming fully human.