Twittering Tale: Dancers

This Twittering Tale of 246 characters is for Kat Myrman’s prompt.

Photo by veeterzy at


She left the trail and the rest of the group to look closer. They were wrong, it wasn’t a tree. She touched the pale smoothness, skin-smooth, warm, and felt the magic—dancers, horned and masked from an ancient time, dancing in this glade forever.

Flash fiction: Tree magic

An expanded version of the 100 word story for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt.


She loved him from when she first set eyes on him. Easy enough, tall as he was, and his red gold hair falling in a wave of sunlight onto his shoulders. His smile across the hall caught her fast, and his eyes blue as lake water on a summer’s afternoon drew her in. He came to bear arms for her father and was welcomed for his strength and his sure eye, but he came without wealth and was not likely to earn much. The black looks of her father’s men guaranteed that.

She was to marry a king, that she had always known, but had not yet given her word. When she saw him, she knew that she never would. They met in secret and loved in secret. In the darkest hours of the night, in the forest or at her foster mother’s house where no one would question her. They met and loved as the trees came into leaf and the forest grew summer green and full of birdsong. Until, on the eve of the sun’s festival, the bright sun god who had looked so kindly on them, they were betrayed. Red-haired Aodh, jealous and angry at being spurned by her, told her father, and on the eve of Lughnasa, her father was waiting for him at their trysting place.

Her father forbade her to leave the fort, threatened to marry her to the least, the oldest, the poorest of his vassals if she dared follow. But follow she did, for she knew where they were heading. They had caught him on the edge of the forest, her father and his men. Tied him to a tree. She begged for his life, offered her own in exchange, but honour was all her father cared for. Love had no place in his world.

His eyes met hers, full of suffering and sadness, but he smiled. She called his name and he told her he loved her. There was no other choice, no life to look forward to, only death, so she shook away the tears and cast the spell.

Her father’s knife stopped in its cruel arc and he let out a cry of rage. Her lover, one now with the ash tree, raised free branches to the sky. Pain could touch him no more. She ran, pushed aside the men and wrapped her arms around the ash trunk. Her father reached out to pull her aside.

His hands never touched her. She had turned herself into a vine, rooted deep, inextricably entwined about the ash tree, her arms forever embracing her beloved.

#writephoto microfiction: Tree

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt this week is this rather spectacular tree. It inspired this 100 word (approx) story. Yeah, I know I said ‘this’ three times in a line and a half.


They caught him on the edge of the forest. Tied him to an ash tree. She had begged for his life, offered her own in exchange, but love had no place in her father’s world. She looked into her lover’s eyes, full of suffering and sadness, one last time and cast the spell. Her father’s knife stopped in its cruel arc and he let out a cry of rage. Her lover, one with the ash tree, raised free branches to the sky. With a smile, she took him in her arms and turned herself into a vine, inextricably entwined forever embracing her beloved.

200 word story: Forest eyes

The tree watches. In its branches perch a world of birds. Insects trundle and burrow beneath the ridges of its bark. Nuthatches, tits, finches creep and dig, tiny claws clinging, beaks pecking. In the forest silence, the small sounds ring out bell-clear. Sunlight filtered through its dwindling leaves falls softly golden on my face, but I am not fooled. There is no acceptance here, only dull, eternal hostility. Yet I stay because the eyes of the tree compel me.

I shrink beneath the towering silver-grey trunk, hold out my hands to show the watching eyes that they are empty. The implacable stare is unflinching. The pecking stops. Birds flutter and are lost among the dapples of sunlight and shade. Eyes, lidless, dark wounds where limbs once grew, stare at me, the intruder.

No more, the breeze murmurs. No more.

I won’t, I say. I never have done, never would.

But the breeze has flowed on and on and doesn’t listen.

Times change, whisper the last golden leaves. Trees change.

Dusk falls slowly here, dimming light, the setting sun reflected from the clouds along the horizon. Roosting birds shuffle. Yellow eyes blink. Around me, the rustling of dead things grows louder.



Unique in his oneness the robin sings,
Taking no cues, no clues
Or fashionable trills and frills,
He pours his heart’s song
Into the ubiquitous wind,
Raising his throat,
Feathered fire,
To the one sun
In the single, world-arching sky.
The notes flow,
A stream, clear as a mountain source,
From this first and only and forever bird,
To his one and only love.

Photo credit
©Brian Robert Marshall

Like a tree

Like a tree

Love is green growing
supple sulphurous striving
quick quarrelsome querulous.
Passions blaze brilliant
flaming sunflares

Boughs spread strong straight
striving sunward
though storm bends breaks blights.
Vine clings climbs
blazoned with blossom
that twists and twines
embellishing with cupped stars

Calm comes
soft as evening
enfolding encompassing
passions and peace.
Beneath flower festooned boughs
entangled embracing
inextricably entwined
we sit
still fire-fashioned