• Alexandra Petropoulos

Mechanic's Institute Review #16

Updated: Dec 24, 2019

The latest edition of The Mechanics’ Institute Review (MIR16) is out now and I’m so excited to be one of the authors!

The year’s theme is Climate and MIR says: ‘This collection is a call to arms: to debate, to engage, to empathise, to reconsider what we think we know and to acknowledge that the “climate issue” can no longer be ignored.

My story, ‘Tree of Life™’, is a musing on what the afterlife might look like. Here’s a short excerpt:

There are a lot of things I did not expect to experience after I died. I did not expect to be conscious, I did not expect to fall in love again, and I certainly did not expect to become an ash tree. I knew my body would feed the tree, but I did not expect to be the tree. I did not expect to hear that noise, a grating, grinding, growling, at the edge of our forest. I did not expect to feel as though I was running out of time. Again. Death has been full of surprises, but I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that. I imagine it surprised you too.

You are new and settling in. It will take some time to adjust, but don’t worry, you’ll learn to love this life, I promise. I was once a little sapling just like you. I was one of the first, you know. Tree of Life™ had only recently started when my doctor told me with her sad eyes that my time was up. It wasn’t a hard sales pitch. There was something much more appealing about being donated to a tree than old-fashioned embalming or cremation as a method of travel into the afterlife. The dying were sold an eternity of peace and a clear conscience. Our bodies, buried in a seed pod, would feed trees planted on our graves. We were promised we’d nourish mighty forests rather than rot in cemeteries. Their slogan: From Corpse to Copse. Very clever.

I thought it all sounded lovely. Why spend forever in a pine box when you could be a pine?

More details are available here. Or you can buy a copy from: