The Hanging Tree #CCC

Ben looked at the bent tree branch and saw the bodies hanging there. Sacks covered their heads and long dress hung on skeleton frames. Only the feet and hands stuck out and they were little more than skin covered bone.

The wind twisted the frayed ropes that went around the necks and upwards to wrap around the bent branch. The bodies spun eerily.

The boy prayed that they had no faces.

‘Go away,’ Ben whispered, ‘it’s not real.’

Shutting his eyes, Ben took a deep breath then looked once more. The hanging bodies was still there, twisting on ropes which let out painfully creaks.

Someone called him and Ben turned sharply away. His friends were waiting for him to play. Ben ran off to join them but other things lingered in the woods, waiting to be seen.

Inspired by;

Dear Diary – October

Dear Diary,

The winds are changing, they are colder and wilder and enjoy sweeping the rain and everything else about. Nature is turning; leaves becoming colourful, things are dying back and animals are busy.

Autumn is in the air for sure! Summer has been clinging on all September but now finally, she’s let go. The air smells of burning leaves and wood, mixed with damp earth and slightly rotting of vegetations.

I’ve been breathing deeply every time I’ve been outside. I loved that autumn smell and the cold air in my lungs. The wind caresses me like an old lover wanting once again what we now can’t have.

I walked in the woods today and there the earth and leaves smell so good. The river was cloudy with dirt and rubbish. I saw a shopping trolley- why is there always one in every river? Like a river isn’t complete without a rusting trolley!

The ground was wet with yesterday’s rain but there was a dry crispiness to the air. Some people were walking their dogs and children were playing. It busy but not noisy.

I went to the tree my parents as teenagers had carved their initials in and scratched a love heart around. I traced the shape and the letters with my fingers. Would I ever experience the love they do?

Home and into the bath to warm up. There’s something nice about easing the aches of walking for three hours in a tub of warm water. I had soup of tea and though the clock said it was early, I went to bed because darkness was pressing against the windows.

Tomorrow, I’m going to start my Halloween shopping and I can’t wait!

Shirt Wings #TaleWeaver

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What I happened? I only remember one thing;

Nancy running along the path in the woods. We were chasing each other under the shade of the trees with a grey sky peeking through the leaves. Nancy was laughing and tossing her head back often to see how close I was gaining on her.

My shirt, she had begged to have because it was cold and she was just wearing a vest top, was sliding off her shoulders and billowing out like a cape as she ran. I think my shirt give her wings because I couldn’t catch her.

Nancy flew away.

I heard the snapping of branches, the tumbling of soil and rocks. The ground left my feet and air rushed around me but unlike Nancy I couldn’t fly.

Was that Nancy screaming and crying as the world spun like a top or were they my screams and cries?

The ground was hard underneath me, I was covered in soil and small stones. It took me a few minutes to release I was in a quay crater. Despite the broken bones, bruises and pain, I looked for Nancy but she wasn’t with me.

What happened to Nancy? Do you know?

My shirt really give her wings, didn’t it?

 

(Inspired by https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/07/09/tale-weaver-283-shirt-july-9th/ with thanks).

There is A House

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The house sit in the middle of the woods looking out of place and yet there something about it that made it seem like it had always been there.

Vines and climbing flowers covered the white stone walls whilst weeds grew out of the cracks in the brown roof tiles. Flowers grew at the doors and windows, masking holes and dirt. The trees surrounding made the house look like it was playing hide and seek. The sun just got through to the house and made dapples of light and shadow on the walls and windows.

They called her a witch, a crazy animal lady, a mad woman, someone to void because she wasn’t ‘one of us.’ The children teased each other to go visit her house, maybe knock on the door. The teenagers threw things at her, broke into her house, spread dirty rumours about her. The adults ignored her, muttered about her to their neighbours, shunned her from their society.

I knew different though. She wasn’t some crazy old hippy, hermit lady or a witch making potions and casting curses. She wasn’t mean or in league with daemons nor was she an outcast of society or someone to be feared and hated.

She was a nun, Sister Benedicta.

I visited her about once or twice or a month after we had first met and she had saved my life when I had been ten years old. It had been a stupid dare by my older step-sister and I had eaten poisonous berries. My step-sister had left me there in the woods, being sick and crippled by stomach cramps.

Sister Benedicta or Benny as she liked to be called, heard me crying and thought me a sick animal. I was too ill to escape her and far too sick to worry about her killing me and cooking me in a pot.

She nursed me back to health and told me her stories.

‘But why does everyone make stuff up about you? They fear and hate you but they are nothing like what they said,’ I had asked.

‘Because when I first came here to spread the word of God and help the sick, a man fell in love with me. I rejected him because I was all ready married to God. He spread rumours about me. Called me a witch and made everyone question my nature,’ Benny replied.

‘Was there nothing you could do?’ I asked.

‘No. He was a Lord and everyone knew his power and they trusted him. He was handsome and could have any woman he wanted. Not being able to have me, made him bitter. The villagers cast me out and I found this abandoned woodman’s cottage and made it my own.’

‘And the Lord?’ I questioned.

‘I don’t know. Who rules this land now, Child?’

I told her and with a nod, Sister Benedicta said, ‘that must be his son then.’

‘If he’s gone, why don’t you come out and tell everyone that you are a nun?’ I suggested.

Benny shook her head, ‘I’m too old for that and I am happy enough to end my days like this soon.’

‘The perhaps, I can do something….’

‘Bring me food when you can and books, paper and ink, perhaps wool to knit with and cloth to sew.’

Ten years later, I was still bring things to Sister Benedicta. I was married with two children and had a little farm to run. I brought Benny whatever was in season, wood for her fire in the cold months and crafts to fill her days with.

I tried to get her to move in with me and my family but she refused.

‘I like to be with nature. I like to pray in quietness. Your farm sounds so pleasant but also so busy. I would only be in the way. I’m better here, living out my days until God calls me home.’

‘As long as you are happy.’

‘I forever am.’

Rubiginour #AtoZChallenge

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Rubiginour – rust coloured

I didn’t think it was going to be still there because it had been so many years but the car was right where I reminded it being from childhood.

The woods had grown thicker, the trees ageing just as I had aged. Children and animals still kept most of the undergrowth down though I could tell no one had been near the car for awhile.

The woods ran along the back of the school and also the park. Children came here to build dens and teenagers came to hide out. The car had been for years and no one knew why it had been abandoned but it sure made a great thing to play in.

I remembered all those long hot summers when we would come here. His red rusty coloured hair would flash in the sunlight that dappled down through the trees. He would laugh like the bubbling brook that ran though the trees. He would sit in the driving seat, dirty hands running around the leather steering wheel.

‘Where do you want to go today?’ he’d asked me as I got into the back seat.

‘To the beach,’ I’d say or name some other place as I pulled my summer dress down.

He’d make car brumming sounds and we’d pretend to be driving.

Look around now almost forty years later, I could still sense childhood magic flooding the air. Somewhere children were playing, their voices raising and falling as the wind played in the new leaves on the trees.

Walking over to the car, I could see that rust was doing a good job on the blue paint work. The bumpers had fallen off, the tires were flat, One headlight was missing and the other cover in moss. Autumn leaves lay like a blanket over the front, windows and roof. Surprisingly none of the windows were smashed but they were brown and grey with grime.

I peered inside and saw that time and animals had been rotting down the leather seats. Springs were poking through and there was a lay of dirt across everything. The dials and everything in the dashboard looked intact but couldn’t be read because of all the spider webs.

I petted the car’s roof like an old dog and followed the path I had taken back. I had a team of people waiting for me to give the instructions on the edge of the woods.

‘Did you find it, mum?’ my oldest son asked as I arrived back. He looked so much like his father with his bright red hair flashing gold highlights in the sun.

I nodded, ‘just as I remember she was. Right through there,’ I added and pointed behind me.

‘And you are sure about this?’

I signed and touched his arm, ‘it was your dad’s dream but I feel it’s the right thing to do in his memory now.’

‘I might not be able to restore it,’ my nephew joined in, he’d been to have a quick look.

‘Then I’ll have her in my garage,’ I spoke, ‘she was always there for me and your father when we were children and now it’s time someone looked after her.’

(Inspired by; http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com)

Scary

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They had spent the night telling scary stories and laughing at their fears. Little did they know as the fire died and the forest settled into complete blackness, something was stirring through the undergrowth.

The blade of an axe, a glint of light and spots of blood hit the floor.

White Woods

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Winter was my favourite season. There was something so satisfying about crunching over snow and leaving footprints behind. I spent as much time outside as possible, I loved visiting woods and the countryside. I liked to photograph the snow draped scenery and the cobweb lines of frost on rocks.

Crisp #CCC

Mulch, the autumn fairy, stirred up the fallen leaves with his wings and laughed as he become wrapped in a snow globe like effect. He dropped in a heap against a tangle of tree roots. His mole skin tunic, leggings and mouse skull hat were splattered with dirt but he didn’t care.

A chilly wind shook more leaves down and Mulch dated upwards and danced with them as they fell.

This was his favourite time of year. The woods rang loud with Mulch’s laughter but to human ears it sounded like the babbling of the brook.

 

(Inspired by; https://crispinakemp.com/2019/11/06/crimsons-creative-challenge-52/ with thanks).

The Keeper #WhatPegmanSaw

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I had heard the tales, who hadn’t? but I needed to see. The twisted road to the house was through an overgrown woods and a bubbling swamp. It seemed the perfect for a horrible castle, especially as the full moon was playing hide and seek with the clouds tonight.

The gates appeared and top was the green stone dragon.

I got out of my car and went forward.

Finding my voice, I asked, ‘Hello?’

‘Who disturbs me?’ the dragon’s booming voice rang out as he shook himself awake.

The tales were true after all!

 

(Inspired by; https://whatpegmansaw.com/2019/10/19/ljubljana-slovenia/ and also https://crispinakemp.com/2019/10/21/have-you-seen-our-dragon/ with thanks).

Wish #first50words

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I wish we hadn’t gone to the woods that night. It had been fun at first, playing hide and seek.

In the dark everything was more hyped, thrilling and dangerous.

Hiding under a dead tree, trying not to laugh, I heard something whisper my name then felt hands around my neck.

 

(Inspired by; https://first50.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/i-wish-4/ with thanks).