Flash! Halloween Edition

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium


A short story written by Imaginarium House member, C.A. Exline. You can find his profile and portfolio at



https://www.booksie.com/users/c.a.-exline-211085

Chapter 7 (v.1) - The Destiny Tree

Submitted: October 06, 2017

Reads: 144

Comments: 2

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Submitted: October 06, 2017

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The Destiny Tree written by C.A. Exline

 

The locals had warned us.

"Don't go into the forest," they'd said. "Avoid the place where the destiny trees dwell."

We went anyway. Lilith always was incorrigible.

"Oh, come on!" She had urged, tugging on my arm outside of the little cabin we'd rented on this backwater world. It was supposed to be a vacation, a retreat to celebrate our third wedding anniversary.

I still remember like it was yesterday.

"Come on!" she shouted again---over her shoulder this time. She was already scampering off, into the verges of the forest. "Hurry up."

I glanced back at the little cabin once more, with its polymer windows aglow in the settling twilight beneath many moons. We were young and Lilith was an adventurous girl. This was supposed to be a fun trip, after all, and spending quality time on the outskirts of a colony was not her idea of exciting. I knew it, but I still had my reservations.

The green-and-white pleats of her dress disappeared into the dusky recesses of the forest. "Come back," I yelled. But there was no reply. I gave chase at once, charging through the brush. Catching fleeting glimpses of green and white fluttering through the boscage, I pursued her deep into the interior---and there the fauna began to take on a new and peculiar aspect.

The trees there were strange and beautiful, with large azure fronds, trunks like crystal and long, glassy thorns. I slowed my pace, peering about in wonderment at the canopy and the boles that glistened in the dim light. These must be the destiny trees, I thought.

Deeper and deeper I ventured, as the trees grew closer and closer.

"Lilith! Lilith, where are you?" I called.

A faint response reached my ears, dampened by the thickening foliage ahead. I was cautious as I picked my way through the verdure.

Upon breaching the screen of tangled undergrowth I saw her. She stood next to one of the crystal trunks, holding her finger.

I hurried to her side, taking her hand.

"I pricked my finger," she said. Her voice was trembling and, as I gazed into her eyes, I saw a glister of fear.

"It's just a little thing," I said. "Nothing to fret about. It'll be okay."

"It stings!"

"Come on, then. Let's get you back to the settlement; maybe they have something for it."

"I...I can't move."

What I saw when I looked down at her feet has been etched into my mind for thirty long years.

I still come here, to the place where the destiny trees dwell---every year, on our anniversary---to visit. "I love you, Lilith," I say.

I've brought her flowers: chrysanthemums. Her favorite.

She is still beautiful, in a way, after all this time. But now she is strange and beautiful...with large azure fronds, a trunk like crystal and long, glassy thorns that I dare not touch.

END
 

 


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