writing

Story Time

Inspired by something I saw the fabulous Cathy Cassidy do over on her Facebook page, I thought I would try something a little bit different for my Girls Heart Books post this month.

As some of you know, I have a short story competition running until the end of April (judged by the fabulous Cathy, Karen McCombie and our very own Kelly McKain), which has got me thinking about all the stories  that we’ll have sent into us. So I thought I’d get your creative juices flowing by setting you a little challenge. Look at the picture below and come up with a story about it.

image

It can be as long or as short as you like. You can start however you like or you can use this sentence to get you going:

The tree had been there longer than anyone could remember.

Write your story in the comments below. Go!

7 thoughts on “Story Time

  1. “Suzy, come away from that tree!”
    Silence.
    “SUZY!!”
    Suzy stood up in still in her day-dream. She loved that tree. Something about it helped her to realax and just do nothing. A good excuse for getting away from her aunt and uncle. They were really strict with her, and she came to this tree in her feeling of sadness.
    She was never alone though, out here.
    Animals were here too.
    Frogs called the rocks home, and Magpies nested in the branches above her.
    She smiled to herself as she trailed into the house, not an eye on her aunt as she passed her. The door was slammed shut once she was inside too.

    (I hope this was ok?)

  2. I used your sentence and it’s not really much got much of a story, but I had fun writing it 😀

    The tree had been there for longer than anyone could remember. Its knots, like gnarled eyes, stared out across the watercolour surroundings with a kind of horror that comes with seeing too much. Birds had nested in its stable boughs, insects had burrowed through its bark to nestle in its earthy heart. Children, in play, had pulled its twigs from the trunk, imagining the sticks into swords and staffs, wands and spoons and umbrellas. Small lads with scraped knees and caps at jaunty angles, had climbed up into its lofty heights and waged battle with the village girls; swings had been strung and fairy lights had weaved their way through the maze of its branches. Girls and boys had met under its canopy at midnight, taking refuge from the rain or the rest of the world, the sky above a patchwork quilt of stars and black velvet. Plans had been made to cut it down, to build a tree house, and had never come to fruition.

    Once upon a time, soldiers in blindingly bright armour and heavy red fabric, brown leather sandals and long shields, had marched determinedly past it. Once upon a time men and women in long white robes had held hands in prayer around the tree trunk and danced the night away. Once upon a time, a hunched, beaten-down figure, made of rags and stringy hair, had placed a baby in its embrace, and scurried away into the night. Once upon a time, a highwayman who entreated his victims for a dance, swung from its bough, his polished brass buttons drooping in the dusk.

    And once upon a time, a girl with glinting eyes the colour of mirrors and fire crackling through her bones, had her life ripped away before her eyes and was thrust threw its hollow into a world unknown. Behind her a woman, with wild eyes and hair braided with sparrow feathers, had screamed blue murder to the skies and collapsed to the rain-swollen ground in sorrow. In front of her, snow had swirled down in eddies and flurries, and a carriage had drawn up in silence, its ornate doors swung open to reveal a gaping black mouth and a beckoning gloved hand.

    Since that day, that fateful day, the trees had held no cloak of leaves, the branches bore no fruit, animals had veered away from its refuge and boys no longer scrambled up its blackened trunk. The tree had rested, alone and forgotten in a barren field, and soon enough all forgot why. In Elsewhere, the fire-struck girl wiled away her years in toil and the tree, the tree looked on at the world, with crumpled eyes that had seen too much.

    • Fantastic writing, Faolan! I love all the things that the tree saw and I think you captured the passage of time especially well. I wanted to read it again the moment I reached the end, which is a very good sign. Excellent – and I’m glad you had fun with it too.

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