The Snow Tree
“Daddy, let’s go! Let’s go!”
My youngest daughter Terri was bouncing up and down with impatience. I could understand. The weather was broiling and the whole world was sunnyside up.
We walked to the cemetery slowly, keeping under the shade of the trees. Then we saw it up ahead, the snow tree, gently shedding its delicate frozen blossoms.
It seemed like half the town was there already, making snow cones and throwing snowballs that melted with a hiss as soon as they left the shade of the tree.
It was amazing how incurious our town of Gooseneck was. The tree was obviously magical, but there it was, dropping snow all year round, so what were you going to do?
Terri and I played under that tree every day that summer. But it was the last. The town ran into budget problems and sold the tree to a casino for fifty million dollars. We were sad to see it go.
Although, not as sad as we were when we realized that the tree had been planted to keep a pack of ghouls that were buried in the cemetery frozen for all eternity. They were pissed when they thawed out.
Nobody saw that one coming.
This week instead of a Visual Fiction piece, I have done a 150-word flash fiction story for Alastair’s Photo Fiction challenge.
Why have you forsaken us? I thought.
Across the valley, the ghoul army was massing, a roiling corruption spreading along the once-pristine slopes of the hills.
I summoned Huzon, the prophet. “What is the word from the Most High?”
“It has not changed,” he replied. “Stay firm, and have faith. This is not your fight.”
The swarm crossed the small stream and began scaling our side of the valley. Arrows whined around us. I began to pace but Huzon merely held up his hand.
The first ghoul had almost reached the base of our walls when the clouds split and a shaft of light shot from the heavens. The sunlight spread, enveloping the forces below us. There were screams as many fell and died and the rest fled back to their underground lairs.
“The word of the Most High,” Huzon said. “My timing is perfect; I will never forsake you.”
Another story for the Friday Fictioneers writing group. I had several ideas for this picture, but ultimately went with this one. I have another one that is a bit longer I might post later, which is also based on this picture.
Bruce looked up from the note, to the high stair where a scrap of cloth hung. He started forward, but then hesitated.
What if the shirt was an illusion too?