Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
scratch would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

A short discourse on the cultivation of bonsai

By scratch All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror

A short discourse on the cultivation of bonsai

Bonsai. A plant in a dish. But if only it were that simple. It’s an art form, a meditation. It is always a work in progress; always just a little change to maintain perfection, to maintain life.

I start with a suitable specimen. It has to be mounted, firmly, then it can be formed, sculpted, and teased towards its final shape. See, I have chosen a willow, young, lythe, pale, and supple. Unfortunately I had to pin the roots down, so they learn to follow the shape of the rock it is to grow over. This discomfort is necessary for the willow, but only until rock and root flow as one, as I demand.

And this is how you will learn, my little Willow, how I will form you into the most auspicious shape, a shape that flows sinuously from your feet, through your body, upwards and outwards along those slim, smooth arms.

To get the willow to curve sensuously I bind the trunk with heavy wire. This only stays in place until the form is set and my little tree no longer resists me. The boughs, too, are held in place with binding wire, until they, too, are happy to be where I place them. Look how your arms are poised, like a ballerina’s in the - I think - third position. So elegant. I think the wire will have to remain a little longer for you.

As my willow grows, so do the leaves. These must be kept in check. I don’t want large, gross leaves, so I always pay attention to pruning. Don’t worry little Willow, I will trim your nails often, oh, and your long, henna hair, too. That autumnal colour compliments your skin so well. You will always be preened and presentable.

No! Don’t speak! Look what you have done! Your head is sagging. Chin up, chin up! Wire. I need more wire. It’s no good. I need to make sure your head is held high, and your mouth, just so. Lips slightly apart. That’s it. There, I can give you water now, without too much dribbling.

Let me look at you. Both of you, my willow, and, my Willow. Almost a perfect pair. But what's the matter? I’ve made you beautiful. Your body is just so, head positioned thus, arms - well - perfect. Yet you cry and your face contorts in a grotesque fashion. No, obviously I haven’t finished yet. There is more to do.

Why are you so difficult? My willow bends and complies with my lightest caress, but you tense and become gnarled and sinewy before my fingertips even touch you. Surely you don’t hate me? Can you not see that it is only love I have for you? That is why you must be perfect. Like my willow.

I have a pine, and a maple, too. See, they are on the window sill, enjoying the sun. I have company for you as well, Willow. Here, I kept them behind the curtain as a surprise.

OK, they are dead now. But I learned a lot, so you mustn’t worry. Open your eyes, see how their lovely shape remains, even in death. Look at them. Look! Must I force your eyes in to the correct position, too? I have pins! If you can’t move your eyes, then I will do it for you!

There. That’s better. Now you are beautiful again.

A well trained and cultivated bonsai tree will, with the correct care, survive for many years. The young trees gradually take on the appearance of old, twisted examples seen growing naturally in the wild. The formal style, upright, stands proud; the literati has a more, shall we say, avant garde look. My personal favourite, the informal or moyogi style, gently curves in both trunk and branch - like you, my dear. Just to gaze and meditate on their form is reward for the time and attention I have paid to their training.

There are many trees suitable for bonsai. Pine is popular, so are maple, plum and acer. But for now my greatest pleasure is … with Willow.
Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, scratch
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...

Keith R. Pharis Jr.: Thoroughly enjoyed the novel. I was drawn in and stayed intrigued throughout the entire story. It was full of drama and emotion. Very well written. It left me wanting more. I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone. It will certainly leave you wanting more and more. Excellent job.

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

Someone: This was a fun, entertaining read. Although the novel wasn’t stylistically polished, and although the first couple of chapters struggled to hold my attention, the rest of the novel was engaging and beautifully done. You had me fooled until the end. The rest of this review will contain spoilers fo...

Evelyn Alonzo: I was up till three in the morning just so I could finish the story! It just really grabs your attention and you can't stop reading it at all! Lol great job, Nick! Can't wait to read your other stories!

warehalleyr: I usually have a difficult time staying interested in books long enough to actually finish them. This story however, had me so caught up that I'd only stop to sleep at 3am when my body would no longer allow me to keep my eyes open. What I loved about this was that I could actually imagine the rea...

Ben Gauger: Kudos go to Karissa, author of Elements Of Engagement, an otherwise dark and twisted tale of love and workplace intrigue, very 'Fifty Shades of Grey' to be sure, her writing style being very graphic ad otherwise sexually-charged, hence the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' reference, and as for her use of g...

Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...

europeanlove: I gotta hand it to you. I love reading. I read books everyday. When the book is good I can read it in probably 13 hours. Your story was amazing. Great prose, very imaginative. Incredible dialogue. I am deeply impressed. Keep it up.

More Recommendations

Jan Imonti: Loved the story, but didn't like the delivery...had to read this on my computer on line. Wasn't able to download it to my kindle. Excellent story, lots of twists and turns. Fairly quick read. Love the versitility of Mitchell's writing. Keep up with the great mysteries.

Kalyan Shobhana: There is not a moment in this book where you think...let me stop now. this book cast a spell that compels you to finish it. in the end...you just hope and pray that may it turn out to be a series and the author keeps writing more and more. Let's just say this books makes me want to be selfish ,so...

kaac127: Personally, I loved this novel so much. You developed characters well, and your plot advancement was at the perfect pace. I've recommended it to several people so far and will continue to recommend it for some time. I want a sequel!!!!

Shifa Gohar: this book is my first on inkitt and I love it thoroughly...but i guess this is not the end. The characters were amazing the plot too. At times it scared me more than a horror movie would. Love the plot something i had not read in a while.