It’s finally happened. I’ve published my first children’s book!
Tree Soldier by Sarah M. Flores
Being able to hold in my hands the very thing that’s only been a vision in my mind is an incredible feeling.
My story of Tree Soldier came to life through magical illustrations by Max Stasuyk. He is an unbelievable artist and a true visionary, and I can’t thank him enough.
Tree Soldier is about a little boy who goes on a journey with an unlikely friend and discovers that spending time with family is more meaningful than a big home overflowing with toys.
Tree Soldier is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook. Hardcovers will be available in January.
I’d be a fool to say I didn’t know it was coming. Something this perfect couldn’t have lasted. I just didn’t expect it to come so soon.
I watched as he put his belongings into a bag. As one item, and another item, disappeared from our lives together, I felt my chest tighten. He was packing the most fragile pieces of my heart.
He said it wasn’t because he’d found someone else. He said he wasn’t happy, and that I was the only person who’d given him a shred of hope for a good life when he moved to Texas for work. His contract ended, and he said I wasn’t enough to sustain a life outside of the world he grew up in. He said people were different back home. He said there he knew a different kind of happiness. He said I wouldn’t fit in.
He was my happiness.
With a packed bag over his shoulder and his back to me, I thought I heard pain in his voice. “I want you to know that you own a very deep and personal part of my heart. You always will. But, I don’t love you the way you need me to. I’m sorry.”
Through watery eyes, I tried to memorize every last detail about the man I’d vowed to love forever. I knew I’d never see him again.
My knees couldn’t withstand the heaviness of my heart, and I fell to the ground. I dug my nails into the carpet and looked up at the ceiling. I begged, “Please God, help me.”
Alarm clock, off. One foot in front of the other, just like the doctor said. I shower, brush my teeth, look in the mirror, and hate myself. Twenty-three hours and nineteen minutes left in the day.
I get dressed, microwave a breakfast heart attack, and turn over an empty bottle of depression meds. Shit, not good. Five months of refills and the pharmacy doesn’t open until 8 a.m. when I need to be at work. I hate that job and everything about it. Why did they hire me for customer service? I don’t sound happy. I’ve never sounded happy because I’ve never been happy. I hate the fake chit-chat, the “How are you doing?” every Godawful morning without a second’s wait for my answer, though I never respond.
I start my walk. My pharmacy is a block from work. I’ll clock in late at 8:10 a.m., someone will notice, and they’ll tell the boss I’m slacking again. I’m always screwing up somehow.
I pass Rusty’s Drinkery. Good thing it’s not open this early – Jack Daniels is a great kisser.
I feed my brain its anti-depressant and start the path to paycheck Hell. I make it two steps, and I see the exterior of my building rupture into a tidal wave of glass and fire. Blood claws at the sky, and I shield my eyes from the smoke and death. No one survived that.
Jealousy burns inside of me. Of all mornings, I had to run out of meds today.