The Problem’s Root

The song began with a slow murmur. Crouched under the trunk of a towering but barren pear tree, I felt the symphony before I heard it. The ground shook beneath my feet. I felt the damp undergrowth push up against my fingertips, as though the roots of the trees were pulsating.

In my ears, that pulsing somehow turned into singing. Soft, angelic voices swam around me, playing a melancholy melody just for me. It tore at my heart, reminding me of a requiem.

By the time the music ended, my vision had gone blurry with tears. I held my breath. The pulsing died down into an uncomfortable silence. Not even the crickets dared to breathe. 

“You feel it too, don’t you?” a voice said behind me, causing me to fall back. My heart leapt out of my chest faster than I could turn around. 

A frail woman had appeared out of nowhere. She wandered passed the trees, touching each one tenderly as though memorising the bark on each trunk. She appeared more focused on the trees than me, and it almost felt rude to answer her question and break the silent display of affection I was witnessing.

“I remember when this garden was first planted,” she said wistfully. “I was there for the first seed. The first hedge trimming and pruning. I watched this garden grow, flourish and then be forgotten.”

Her sadness was palpable. Usually, I would have quickly wiped my tears away and jumped into a flurry of questions. What was that song? When did it start? But the woman’s presence had rooted my tongue to my mouth. 

I instead watched her pick her way through the trees one by one, mulling over her words. The garden was in disrepair – I had seen it on the way in. If you combined the efforts of all of the tree pruning services around Melbourne, it would still be hard to manage the sheer amount of overgrown roots.

The woman paused at the base of the largest tree in the grove. Its bark was barren and charred. She didn’t touch it like she had with the other trees. Instead, she turned toward me, her face grim. 

“This tree, once the heart of this grove, is the key to the curse. Years of neglect have made its roots hard and black.” She frowned. “The trees sing out of sadness. They know the curse will infect them all soon.”

The Deforestation Begins!

Melbourne tree cuttingThis is it. My nerves can’t take any more. I’ve just had a Week of Our Lives binge and I’m feeling totally frizzled. Frazzled to the max, one might say.

Of course, I should’ve expected something like this with the season 47 finale, because they’ve been building up hints for the entire season that Kellie was bad news and she had a massive secret. As it turned out…she WAS bad news! Who could’ve seen it coming!

Her secret plan was to woo Raul into marrying her, which gave her a 25% share in the Melbourne tree removal industry. Afterwards she managed to worm her way up to the higher levels, becoming a tree pruning expert to enact her ultimate plan: the complete deforestation of ‘Realsville’. When Kellie was a child she was bitten by a bull ant, and she’s secretly hated nature ever since. Of course, this put her in direct opposition to Lira, who runs the local mysticism shop and worships trees. Everyone thinks Lira is nuts, and to be fair, there was that time she invited everyone to a barbecue and served up her sautéed possum in gum-nut juice.

But also, Lira knew from the start that Kelsie was trouble, and not just because of the mysterious arsonist who kept trying to burn down the shop. Apparently Lira talked to the trees, and they told her of Kelsie’s plan to summon a host of Melbourne tree pruning professionals. And then it was revealed that this contravenes the deforestation act anyway, which Kelsie failed to look up because she was too busy making Raul and the entire population love her.

They finished on a cliffhanger in which Kelsie has just told Raul she never loved him, leaving him to be crushed by a falling tree. Meanwhile, Lira has met with the tree removal people, who’ve confirmed that yeah, you can’t just remove all the trees in an area, that’s illegal, and now Kelsie is armed with a blowtorch and planning to burn everything. And Fergie might be late for her date with Brendan because she’s locked herself out of the house and can’t apply her lucky perfume!

What happens next?