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"The Whisky Tree, Part 1 of 2": In the village of Fetters Hill, Scotland, the Seeder meets with an elderly couple on a bench and asks them what their town would wish for if it could make one - not the people, but the town. The couple admit that the tow
- I wasn't far away. I felt someone performing a work up here, something big. I wanted to have a look. If I'd known it would've ended up with me getting half-strangled by an insane tree god, I would've left well enough alone.
Appearing in "The Whisky Tree, Part 1 of 2"
- Fetter's Hill
Synopsis for "The Whisky Tree, Part 1 of 2"
In the village of Fetters Hill, Scotland, the Seeder meets with an elderly couple on a bench and asks them what their town would wish for if it could make one - not the people, but the town. The couple admit that the town would likely wish for the reopening of the old distillery, as its closure essentially killed the town's economy. Without whisky to make and sell, the village is floundering. In response, the Seeder plants a seed, which grows suddenly into a full tree. The fruit of this tree are huge drops of whisky.
A day later, Swamp Thing arrives in the village, having tracked the Seeder's actions through The Green, whose energy feels somewhat depleted in this area. The ease with which the Seeder manipulates the Green perplexes him, and he decides to err on the side of caution when dealing with this particular case.
Disguising himself as a regular tree, Swamp Thing gets close enough to see the nature of the new tree that has grown in the village. He is surprised to see how happy the people are to have their whisky tree, and they are celebrating by getting very drunk from the fruit of the whisky tree. He is further surprised when John Constantine interrupts his spying. Though Alec doesn't trust him, John explains that they are there for the same reason: this is no ordinary tree. John seems to think that the tree was Alec's doing, and Swamp Thing is quick to disabuse him of that notion. In that moment, though, his own suspicions get the better of him, and he turns on Constantine, accusing him of being the Seeder. Even as his rage makes him consider just how easily he could kill John, a voice from within the Green echoes the sentiment, admonishing Alec for using his power to threaten rather than to heal.
Through clenched teeth, John orders his captor to put him down. Alec finds himself letting John free, aware that some magic influence forced him to do it. John insists that he was only in the area to look, warning that he could have told Alec to do something much more malicious than just to put him down - and he would have had to do it, too. He could have done worse, so he must not have wanted to. With that said, he suggests that Alec and he be friends again. Softening, Alec agrees, but asks a moment to deal with the whisky tree. After all, it cannot continue to exist. John reminds, though, that by destroying the tree, Alec would be destroying the town's future; its happiness. Alec responds that the balance cannot be tipped for long before everything falls apart. Besides, whisky comes from barley, not trees.
Even as he says this, the people of Fetters Hill are changing. A fight breaks out, and their laughter and joy morph into a sadistic kind of euphoria, wherein they delight in committing brutal violence upon one another. By the time Alec realizes it, several people have been beaten and murdered. While he can still return the tree to the Green, Alec looks to John to help the people - but the magician refuses.
He produces a vial of blood as he explains that he has already drunk from the whisky tree, and while it may not really be whisky, it is delicious. With horror, Alec realizes that John is just as deranged as the villagers have become. As Alec attacks the man, John crushes the vial of blood, and Alec feels the Green's power receding from his grasp. Though some small power remains in his body, the land is bereft.
John marches up to the tree, and crowns himself the whisky king, and the remaining villagers are to be his loyal subjects. As his first command, he sets the savage villagers to play with the weakened Swamp Thing.
- This book was first published on July 3, 2013.
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