It was then that Sophia noticed the other trees in the area. The park was small and served as the front yards for some of the homes that bordered it on the east; the stand of trees there seemed to be watching, accusing the women of being a part of the abuse they’d suffered for years.
The tree closest to her pointed the remainder of a branch that had been snapped off four years ago, while the tree closest to the house stood waiting for someone to sit on the swing it had been holding for generations. The youngsters in the area now were more interested in carving their slang into the trees than they were in swinging on them, but many an adult still liked to sit there–she had seen them, ridiculously pumping their plump legs and laughing as the muscular branch held under their weight. Sophia laughed out loud as she envisioned the very next adult being unceremoniously dumped in the strange mud puddle beneath the swing, strange because there hadn’t been any rain in their area for months.
“For crying out loud, Sophia!” Martha shrieked, still on the ground and trying to remain modest as her skirt attempted to stay up in the sudden breeze. “This is not funny. Now help us up, please?” Sophia grabbed Martha by her gnarled hand and one elbow in an attempt to brace her as she tried once again to stand. The others were similarly trying to regain their footing but the ground continued to shift around them; only Sophia noticed but she kept her silence as the trees did their work.