200 word story: Blood-red tree

1178px-Tom_Thomson_-_The_West_Wind_-_Google_Art_Project

Out of the blood-red ground a tree rose and bowed to the ocean. Beneath its bark, blood-red sap surged, each cell a memory. Ocean waves tinged with red picked up the message and carried it to the shore, where it hissed in the foam, the scuttling rattle of crabs, and the sighing of kelp drying in the sun. The great golden fish breathed it in and out through lacy gills, sending it trembling through the currents of the deeps.

On a distant shore, the waves found a peaceful river, rolled landwards, between green banks where kingcups climbed and tall rushes whispered. There the message seeped into the rich earth, following the burrows and galleries of water rats and earthworms. And the fruits of this earth nourished the spirits of the people who lived there, and they understood. They let in the souls of all the dead, those mown down in war and starved in famine, drowned in their frail boats, gunned down in the street, and they said.

We will not let this happen here.

I will search until I find this place where the message of the bloody tree is heeded. Perhaps a lifetime will not be long enough.

Published by

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.

4 thoughts on “200 word story: Blood-red tree”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s