The trees were afraid. The uprooted stumps signalled battles, lost and longed for. The House had held her ground for centuries.
The little girl in the unmarked grave behind her would have had a great many great great grandchildren by now; tiny, upstart footsteps overrunning her hard won stairs, squealing in a babble language to the attic rafters.
The House knew what it was like to be trifled with, her thoughtful inside voice mocked. No.
The little girl talked with the trees. The trees listened and were outraged. But they bent their brittle limbs away now. The trees were afraid.