In Fiction on April 4, 2013 at 11:37 pm

gnarled tree by scott vanatter


Despite this darkness and the uncountable years that have passed, the scene is still before me: the hill running up into nothing, the grass yellowed with mustard flowers, and the swollen tree standing deformed and defiant against the blanching sky.

Snapshots taken by my mind in panic as they pulled me into the car.

I am not me, I remember thinking. I can’t be.

And now I understand: The boy I had been was taken by that tree and hidden away in its gnarled trunk to keep him from evil.

Someday I’ll go back and I’ll find him again.

Another Friday (basically) and another Friday Fictioneers story for you! (This week’s photo was taken by Scott Vanatter – click to check out his site).

You know the drill by now, yes? Click the little blue dude for more stories, and click in the comments section below to leave me your warm fuzzies and your sharp… not so fuzzies.

  1. A powerful and haunting story idea and strong writing. I imagine life took him down a horrible road but he’s a survivor and hope he can recover that innocent and unscathed part of himself that he left behind with the tree.

  2. This is a brilliant idea and a well crafted story. I love the idea that the tree keeps the boy safe in a way. You’ve got my mind whirring!

  3. It sound like rite of passage. As by that tree he grew and age takes over he returns to find that boy he was. Great story.

  4. I really like your opening paragraph, which so vividly describes the scene he remembers. The idea of the tree protecting some part of the boy is a unique idea. I hope he finds his way back.


  5. One day the tree will tell – yes indeed

  6. You wove a lovely tale with a dark side. I wonder what happens next?

  7. Dear Brian,
    A well written piece. You left me with questions and wanting to know more about the boy who was and the man who is.

  8. Brian,
    Vivid details that painted the scene. Great job.

  9. Nicely done. I had so many possibilities for this one I came up with several interpretations of what had occurred. A good piece of this type of short fiction has you filling in for what isn’t said, and that is just what this one makes you do. 🙂

  10. Wow. That’s heavy. Sounds like a really complicated SVU story. When they finally locate the kidnapped kid and interview the him, he tell them he’s all right, Nothing happend. The tree saved him. He’s still as innocent as the tree. Really imaginative.

  11. yes. if only we could go back and find him.

  12. Hmmm..Interesting, someone else wrote something similar.

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