The old burnt tree

gnarled tree

From Scott Vanatter with permission-Copyright- Indira

It had been a stormy night when the Musgrove brothers had been lynched and strung up for their crimes, to perform the dance macabre.Β  Once the priest had finished praying, there had been an almighty clap of thunder, and a bolt of lightning had struck the tree setting it ablaze.

After decades the stumps of the old burnt tree had regrown, as if nothing had happened that night.

The old man stood before the tree, leaning on his wooden cane, listening to the creaking sound as the bodies swung from their ropes, back and forth, twisting and swaying in the wind.


About TheImaginator

35 year old sciolist living in Tokyo. I like swing dancing, Twitter word games, writing, using, reading, and watching movies. I write stuff on my blog occasionally.
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59 Responses to The old burnt tree

  1. ah very good. The ghosts entombed in the tree / now that’s punishment

  2. Is the old man the priest? I particularly like this–“to perform the dance macabre.”


  3. I considered doing a story on a hanging but my muse took me else where. I enjoyed your story it had an old time feel to it.

  4. Penny L Howe says:

    This is good. Well written and a most enjoyable read as well, excellent use of the prompt!

  5. yarnspinnerr says:

    This is very innovative. A stream of esoteric thought runs parallel to the plot – do not know if this is intentional or just my imagination. πŸ™‚

  6. Really a good tale. And the lynching tree rev rowing, mighty fine

  7. Sandra says:

    A great take on the prompt with a lasting image of the ‘dance macabre’ and a light dusting of the supernatural. Nicely done.

  8. Alastair says:

    I was going to do a hanging tree. Glad I didn’t, yours is better than mine would have been πŸ™‚

  9. 40again says:

    Loved the imagery of the ‘dance macabre’
    Well written, I enjoyed reading.

  10. Shreyank says:

    a great story .. this prompt i think has resulted in some great dark stories from FF ers’ πŸ™‚

  11. Powerful tale, powerfully told.

  12. kz says:

    a great story.. the image of the bodies swinging back and forth made me shudder. great descriptions πŸ™‚

  13. elappleby says:

    Dark and spooky. I can hear the bodies swinging and the tree creaking. Excellent stuff πŸ™‚

  14. There is something about this picture that says “lynching tree” isn’t there? I like the ghostly sounds twist. πŸ™‚ My kind of thing.

  15. jwdwrites says:

    I was looking forward to getting round to yours this week and it didn’t disappoint. I thought about doing a hanging story and now I am glad I didn’t, it might have paled in the comparison. Nice work. πŸ™‚

  16. Parul says:

    And they lived on..

  17. Dance Macabre. Put me down as one who liked that line. Creepy.

  18. camgal says:

    You painted a very calm and peaceful picture, i found myself reading it slowly over again πŸ™‚ well done.

  19. Looks like a hanging day, today and everyday! Nice moody use of the prompt.

  20. This was an especially beautiful take on the tree. Like nothing had ever happened, which is exactly how history keeps repeating itself. Damn.

  21. zookyworld says:

    I like the length of time here, that you continued the action beyond the stormy night. Downright creepy that the bodies were still hanging after the tree regrew.

  22. Such a haunting story for such beautiful writing! Nice work!

  23. Joe Owens says:

    The tree survived the lightning strike to continue its role in the punishment of the guilty.

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