Charlie Banana could transform into a giant banana phone when needed. George uses this power to attempt to contact Duncan, knowing he would be late for dinner again. Probably fish tacos or some other fish product, bleh. Best to stay here with Charlie; partake of the fruits of the garden. Clare sure makes some mean melons!
“Hello?” An answer on the other side, but not Duncan.
“Charlie,” George whispered above and beyond the all the digits now fronting his body, knowing his friend was still in there. “You sure you dialed the *right* numbers?”
Charlie hadn’t told young George the secret to any telephone call. You dial all the numbers at once and then wait for an answer. Whoever you are suppose to talk to will be on the other end.
“Hello?” the strange voice said again. The central tree? Could be. Or perhaps one of those differentiated wood spirits Charlie foretold about already showing up.
“Hi… is this… Duncan?” George asked, knowing it wasn’t but not figuring out anything else to say.
“Duncan… Avocado?” The person on the other end of the line hadn’t heard that name in a long, long time.
Now every time George looked out at the western woods he saw trees staring back at him. Good neighbors? Let’s hope!
“Neighbor,” spoke Charlie Banana later about the wood creatures, knowing them quite intimately apparently. “They prefer to be considered a collective spirit. For now. Differentiation will come later.” Charlie sure knows a lot of big words for a banana, George considers while listening to his yellow friend out in the patio again. The rain had let off except for that one spot under the umbrella, ironically. Holding the man it must be instead of visa versa; inner exchanged with exterior. Thinking of this, George realized the western woods could be haunted and not in a totally good way. And what of Charlie Banana? Perhaps not totally good himself.
“Where is that central tree again?” he asked after a period of doubt about his moral compass.
“To be determined,” came the fruit’s answer.
After bleeding out then coming back to life (the stump *did* say not to sit on it, pheh), George spots them. “Kodama” he reads aloud the description after being able to highlight one through the grass and tree prims.
He knew they were there but had just ignored them until now. Tree spirits!