No Trees Passing – Friday Fictioneers

First, let me just apologize — I am sorry — these last few weeks, and last week in particular, have been very difficult for me, and last week I just couldn’t really manage anything. I thank those of you who expressed concern or wished me well — as an update, I have sought medical help, and TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY blah blah blah… you know what I mean, darlings.

So, I can only hope that I am on the road to Eldorado… I mean, recovery.

I didn’t get a chance to read anything last week — I may have to do double duty this week and go back and read last week’s, too! (We’ll see….)

Anyhow, I don’t know how many of these stories are going to be like mine this week — I ignored my own policy of not going with my first idea, and so I’m sure there will be other John Wyndham inspired stories; but I hope I gave it my own flavour.

This is, of course, Friday Fictioneers, a communal activity wherein participants are prompted by a picture to create a story inspired by the image. You can read all about it HERE, and find other stories to read as well.


copyright Randy Mazie

copyright Randy Mazie

“Trees are not gen’rally known for their lit’racy skills,” the old man said whimsically. “I just never knew they was so sensitive.”

They had been barricaded inside their house for days; ever since the first tree unrooted itself and launched an attack on their home. Now the scratching at their walls became unbearable.

“They’re here, grampa,” the younger man warned.

“All right, you charry bastards!” the older man yelled. “I never meant to offend ye with my sign; but by god, I’ll not let you harm my kin over your lack o’ sense!”

Torches held high, they stormed outside screaming.


100 words

David Stewart is typically brilliant, this week especially so. Don’t stop for coffee, don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, don’t stop for a rest, go read The Dog, The Clubhouse, and The Cookies

Okay, you really MUST go read KZ’s fairy tale flipped on its head.

Outsider’s Eulogy is a must read. So much beautiful language and imagery, and the overall message is breathtaking.

Seeking Redemption by Jeremy Milburn is a glimpse into Hell on earth, and a mother on a Dante-like quest to save her daughter.

misskzebra has written what I feel is her best piece… Some Culture For You.  I’d frame this on my wall, it’s so good. This is as good as it gets, darlings — taken literally it is a creepy tale of a prisoner — but the levels of entrapment in this story are myriad — it makes an stark and terrible metaphor for being trapped in an abusive relationship or just a horrible situation caused by trusting a charming sociopath. Can’t gush enough about this one.

Mike Olley wrote a wonderful bit of metafiction with No Plot For Sale that I’m sure you’ll love. I did.

Zombie stories often lack sympathy; or else they’re overly dramatic… either way, poorly done. Brainsnorts wrote some wonderfully human and believable characters in a terrible inhumane situation with his tale The Hungry. Excellent piece of writing.


76 responses to “No Trees Passing – Friday Fictioneers

  1. haha, seems like we’re listening to the same muse this week, Helena. Glad you’re feeling better, or at least can see the time when you will. Off to read David’s now as instructed…

    • Thanks, Jen. Something inside me winces even when I see a sign spelled poorly; even if it’s graffiti. If you’re going to take the time to do something permanent, then by god, I say do it correctly! (ha ha)

  2. Ah,a great tale Helena!He may be old but won’t take it lying down-good for them-hope they can get those “illiterate,insensitive” trees 😉

    And am glad to read that you are doing better -wish you all the best and may your recovery be quick and complete,tc xx

  3. ha! loved this. yes, the dialogue was great. i like the grandpa. seems like a nice guy. glad to hear you’re doing better. take care. 🙂

    • CURSES! Take that back, you! Penny will never forgive you for comparing me to Tolkien (and I’ll never hear the end of it!)
      I insist it’s John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids that was the inspiration. And I stand by it. You might even say I insist insistently.

      • Er…I mean to say…Tolkien would be highly disappointed and would never even read your story for fear of being proved not as great a writer as he thought he was!

        I’m unfamiliar with John Wyndham…which I’m sure I should rectify.

        I’ll just go snag an over-sized flying plot device…er…eagle to save me from my faux pas!

  4. How chilling was the thought of trees scratching against the walls? Great take on the prompt Helena, and glad that you’re turning the corner.

  5. I was thinking more of trees trying to be kept from being turned into paper or some other such thing. Must have been my trip to both library and bookstore. I like “charry” and now think I have to work “jammy” in somewhere soon. Glad you’re back!


  6. I loved this! The guy’s dialect was great – brilliant story 🙂
    On a more serious note, I’m so glad that you’re on the road to recovery.

  7. I admit I never heard of John Wyndham or The Day of the Triffids , so thank you for the introduction. Love the Grandpa’s dialogue. I’m also happy to hear you’re doing better. Great story!

    • John Wyndham is one of those guys like Philip K Dick who I’m sure you have seen stuff by him and just didn’t realize it. Children of the damned is based on his book the Midwich cuckoos. He is kind of a sci-fi icon.
      Thank you for reading. I really enjoyed your story this week.

  8. This is wonderfully crafted and inventive. This may be my favorite so far. Somehow, the way you wrote the opening words, made me hear Bill Nighy in my head. Excellent piece!

    • Wow! What a compliment! I love Bill Nighy! I must watch Shaun of the Dead now! His character in there is the very epitome of stuffiness. When I originally started writing it I was going to have a very David Attenborough-esque narration, but I quickly ran out of words. Nobody narrates a documentary like David Attenborough. Well maybe Morgan Freeman!

  9. Attack of the killer trees. Perhaps grandpa needs some killer rabbits to chew them up. Nah the old codger seems plenty capable on his own. Charge! I read subtext in here but that’s just how I role. Go get it Helena.

  10. Dear Helena,

    I saw the Triffids right away. Good build of tension. I loved your characterization of grandpa.

    As for El dorado…It’s a process, not an event. Good for you in seeking help. My thoughts are with you.



  11. Nature rises up against us! You and I took this theme to heart this week, but I fear my story’s a little dry and preachy compared to your colorful dialogue. Well done!

    • Thank you so much, darling! I usually come up with a huge backstory in my head, but sometimes I feel that makes me write a story that means more to me than it does the reader… in this instance, I just tried to capture a snapshot moment and let the reader paint the rest of the picture for themselves.

  12. Gotta say, the line “charry bastards” keeps making me laugh. I never noticed it before, but the trees really do rather aggressive in this picture as they’re pushed up against the building like that.

  13. Oy, oy, oy! I think we are on a similar wavelength – but then I love me a bit of Mr Wyndham…

    On a separate note, I hope you are doing OK. Sometimes, we have to give in and high-tail it to the medics….. Sometimes, we have two of Winston Churchill’s black dogs on our shoulders, and it’s just too much to bear.

  14. “…a triffid that spits poison and kills…at the late night, double-feature, picture show.”

    a very unique angle on the “trees passing.” put your fear aside that someone else might write something similar. well done, and best of luck to granpa.

  15. Darn those trees. Haven’t they heard about invasion of privacy. We should grind a few of them up and for spelling manuals. Where’s my chainsaw . . . ?

  16. I fear a ‘Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid’ ending here, Helena. Great stuff.
    (Aside: thank you for the flattering mention here) and I’m glad you’re feeling more positive; little by little, every day. Good on ya!

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