One of the amazing things about Friday Fiction is how many widely varied stories one prompt can produce. In the region of 100 writers respond to the prompt and while there is often some overlap in themes and subjects, there is always a huge spectrum among the pieces. I’m sure this week will be no exception.
What’s different this week is that the picture generated three very different ideas in my head, all of them crying out to be written. I posted my first story yesterday and commented there that I had other ideas. I’ve now had a chance to pen them into stories and I can’t even tell you for sure which is my favourite, but in case you are interested, here are the other two, all based on the same picture prompt.
“She was beautiful. Gnarled, craggy and deformed, but absolutely beautiful.”
“So why do it?”
“It was her time.”
“Euthanasia? You’re telling me this was an act of kindness?”
“Absolutely. You’re too young to understand, but us old folks, there are some places we can’t stand to be.”
“You cut down a centuries-old tree because you didn’t want to hurt its feelings?”
“If I left her there, how’d she have coped? Concrete tower blocks all around; kids hanging swings from her lower branches; dogs crapping on her roots and pissing all over her bark… I couldn’t bear to see that happen.”
She’s always been there, shared everything: my first kiss with Lily Spacek, when she told me afterwards my sister paid her to do it; the time my brothers dared me to swing out over the creek and I came home with one missing tooth and a mouthful of blood; when Amy agreed to marry me and the tears I cried when our daughter was born.
That tree comforted me after Amy’s funeral and now they say it has to be cut down? Well, they can use it to make my coffin. Bury me with the best friend I ever had.