Forest: microfiction

Yesterday I had a big push, flush with inspiration for the final Wormholes story. I’m past the half-way mark and the whole weird and wonderful story is beginning to have a kind of sense.
I also wrote a hundred word story inspired by this painting by Левитан Березы. Опушка леса (not sure how much of that is the name). Then I wrote another one, and a third. It’s the time of year when the worlds meet and nothing is quite what it seems. If anyone wants to use the painting to write their own interpretation, be my guest. Think of it as a writing challenge…


It was no path between the trees, nothing that human feet had trod, meandering back and forth between the trunks made by tiny patterings over aeons of time. He touched the earth laid bare and the soil was dry as dust. The grass that edged the pattering winding earth was damp with rain or dew or tears perhaps, but nothing touched the non-path.
Step upon this way and sorrow will end, the voice said in his head. No more drowning in tears of grassy green.
So he stepped, tiny and insignificant, into the meandering dust and joined the infinite desert.

At twilight it started, the twittering among the trees. I peered into the lofty canopy and saw only darkness, black underside of heavy green leaves. Light faded and the twittering became a muttering. I walked, bound by the trickle of a path between the grass tussocks dripping with an ocean of dew. The muttering grew to a howling, keening like the wind over the skerries, and in the darkness the trees leaned together for comfort or to make me a cage. In the howling I heard voices and feet stumbled when I tried to leave the path. The ocean heaved.

She thought she saw him and then she didn’t. Light flickered with the dying day and nothing was certain. If ever she was to find him it was this eve when the day slid into night, the year slid from death to birth, she and he slipped from life to death and back again perhaps. All was uncertain in the dusk, slippery as eels in a bucket. The leaves whispered his name, her name, and the path guided her wandering feet, guided her to the edge of the wild cliff. Below, she saw him, arms outstretched, and with a joyful cry, she fell.

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Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

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