They each swung their axes, blades biting the other’s bark, landing with dull thuds. They grimaced, winced, ignored the blows that hurt most and kept at it. One of them was to fall here, and both knew it, wanted it. Figured with the other felled, there’d be more sunlight, they’d be able to spread their branches up and out, to bloom.
They stood panting, the kitchen floor covered with chips and dust, unable to lift their axes. Bent over, leaning, they fought to catch their breath, certain one more next blow and the other would all, and they’d be free.