Coming to you from forestdale in Logan. I did a quick google before I started writing and apparently the suburb is prone to bushfires and “dale” means a man who lives in the valley. That plus the awesome forest tunnel road I drove through inspired this:
Smoke pools in the valley. Grundtal sprints through the trees, trying to escape the roars and screams of the burning trees. He is a mere blur of scruffy hair and muddy feet as he jumps over logs and hops through gaps in the thick undergrowth. But he’s no match for the fire. It spills around him. Trapped, he assumes defeat, but then he sees a clearing. Grundtal streaks toward it.
As he reaches the entrance he realises its a tunnel of trees with a smooth earthy floor. Grundtal stops in his tracks, he’s lived alone with only the valley for company since he was 10 and never seen anything like this before. A loud crack reminds him of his pursuer and he speeds off into the dark tunnel.
Minutes later and with the fire still hot on his tale, Grundtal sees a glittering mass up ahead. As he approaches he realises it is a lake. With one final leap, he shatters the glassy surface. Moments later he sees animals appear from every side of the lake, each emerges from a similar tree tunnel. More splashes and the lake fills with small fury valley residents. They float along side him, watching their home burn. But Grundtal can’t help but smile, he never knew the valley was so smart, and so strong. He is convinced now, the trees can rebuild.
PS. I tried to take a picture of forest tunnel road, but my camera phone and night time roads don’t mix well.