Tree of Life: Branching Out Featuring C. Lee McKenzie

treeoflife_branchingout_badgeWelcome to the TREE OF LIFE: Branching Out collaborative writing challenge, where creative minds meet epic movie music. To read the collective story in its entirety as it unfolds and for more details on this groundbreaking collaboration with Audiomachine click HERE.

Today’s featured guest author, C. Lee McKenzie, captures the pulse of great storytelling. If your searching for The Write Game, look no further.

* Listen to the inspiring track from Audiomachine’s Tree of Life album featured in the sidebar music player

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine – Tree of Life


And this stillness spread until there was no sound except her heartbeat. Her breath.

She faced the wizened woman, the woman called Sophia that she knew as Gaia, Mother of all Earth.

“What does this mean?” Zoe asked, and her voice shattered the silence.

Gaia held out a single leaf.

“Speak to me,” Zoe said. “Tell me. What is this about?” She’d flown with dragons, she’d been strong against the serpent, but this silence frightened her. Gaia frightened her. “Is this the final transition?”

Gaia placed one finger against Zoe’s lips, and then took both her hands in hers.

Within Gaia’s grasp, Zoe remembered the story: the pain of giving life and dying, the joy and sadness of change, the ecstasy of love and the misery of loss. And when Gaia released her, Zoe pressed the one leaf to her heart in gratitude. Gratitude for Gaia’s gift of truth and the silence to recall it. The silence to hear her heartbeat. Her breath.

A tear trickled from her cheek to her chin and fell onto the earth. She let go the leaf and it flittered to a place just beyond where she stood. It fell onto that one small damp spot of tear stained earth. And then the tree she had thought was lost forever, was once more.

It stood before her in the dawn light.

It became the silhouette against the sky at dusk.

And the music of the Tree of Life sprang forth from everywhere, banishing the silence.


© 2013 C. Lee McKenzie

ATTENTION FANS: You can WIN an autographed TREE OF LIFE Audiomachine album by LEAVING COMMENTS! On August 17th, two lucky readers will be chosen at random from the comments section of the story excerpts. The more you comment–the better your chances are of winning a piece of cinematic history! We want to hear from YOU!

Tree of Life_Album Cover

TREE OF LIFE is available NOW! Click on the following links:

Purchase a CD from CD Baby
Download it from iTunes
Stream it on Spotify      Download it from Amazon       Purchase a CD from Amazon 


17 thoughts on “Tree of Life: Branching Out Featuring C. Lee McKenzie

  1. This has been a very interesting and enjoyable experience. I hesitated to join at first because I thought, “How can so many diverse writers create a story with continuity?” It seems that’s possible and I’ve loved watching it happen. You’ve all been great.


  2. Greetings Lee,

    Ah thou words doth sing with the wonders of your vibrant articulation. I’m in awe and your beautifully crafted instalment resonates within the hearts and souls of those who doth read this.

    Thank you for your contribution to this almost over collaboration.



  3. Oh! So, SO beautiful! The language is just as beatiful as the theme in conveys. “Gratitude for Gaia’s gift of truth and the silence to recall it.” Love it, and such a perfect penultimate installment, leading the way home.


  4. Just gorgeous, CL! The fact that I was able to read and listen to one of my favorite musical experiences (I defy anyone to label Audiomachine as just a “group” or “band” lol) at the same time was just cake.

    Thank you for sharing this, and for participating in such a cool project. 🙂


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