FLASH FICTION FRIDAY ~Lover’s Knotty Tree~

Posted: June 26, 2014 in dark, fiction, writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


This prompt brought forth a story many of you have already read. It was placed into Madison Woods’ Anthology and selected as the Editor’s Pick. If you are unfamiliar with the publication here is the link:


I remember writing this story very specifically. My family and I had just finished with a research trip disguised as a vacation to Maine. So beautiful. I was typing notes into my laptop while sipping a thick cup of coffee on my couch. I flipped over to see the prompt for the week and this story fell on me like an avalanche.

So I say thank you to MadisonWoods for all her work.

She passed the torch to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to whom I’d also like to say thank you for all her work and organization. You can visit her site and read through the other Flash Fiction postings at:


For those who are new, Rochelle shares a photo prompt to which several #FridayFictioneers will compose a 100-word flash of fiction. Come and play, damnit.

Here is my contribution:

Lover’s Knotty Tree

Seamus gouged letters into the body of the behemoth, his blade old but capable, swiped from the tool shed. Digging, twisting, he outlined with a heart, deepened the grooves, declared his love for Ginny.

He whistled.

He smiled.

He whittled away.

The outstretched arms above shivered as if capturing some invisible breath. Seamus, still working his knife, peered upward.  Leaves spiraled.

Seamus’ world trembled.

The tree groaned, arose, a bleeding heart pulsing on the sleeve of bark. Dirt and rocks flung high, roots poised like octopus tentacles.

A hush.

Seamus stumbled, fell. The giant pounced.

Horrid shrieks echoed through the woodlands.


  1. Liked it then, like it now. Revenge is so sweet.


  2. Your wonderful descriptions made this come to life for me.

  3. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear JK, I really enjoyed your story. The tree is “fed up with people carving on it?” I don’t know but that’s what I first thought. I think I can still hear him screaming when I go into the woods! Great story! Nan 🙂

    • JKBradley says:

      Yes, I believe your interpretation is correct, however, I haven’t explored deeper. Was this tree that one that always gets carved into? Or perhaps the tree was new to this type of assault?


  4. Serves him right! Great story.

  5. Cheryl-Lynn says:

    Enjoyed this intriguing story!

  6. Can one blame the tree? I wonder how Ginny felt about what happened.

    • JKBradley says:

      Maybe the story is really the tree feeling sorry for the impulsive act which destroyed love and the attempt to find Ginny to reunite them in the ever after? Maybe.


  7. writeondude says:

    I struggle to fit in both story and descriptive prose, but you manage it beautifully. Well done.

    • JKBradley says:

      Thank you for those kind words. I find reading Ray Bradbury helps me think in those terms…action within the story and finding interesting and descriptive ways to say it. Something Wicked This Way Comes can be read 100 times.

  8. AH. yes I read this one.. in the anthology.. loved it.. and what a great story it was.

  9. Well he didn’t see that coming! Great read!

  10. Bradley, That was different. We usually see it from the lover’s POV. The reader doesn’t stop to think how the poor tree feels. Looks like he picked on the wrong tree. You don’t pick on one that’s having a bad day. Well written. 🙂 —Susan

    • JKBradley says:

      I still don’t understand why people feel the need to write it down or scratch it into a tree, but they sure do. And it scars the tree. But this tree had had enough of carrying the scars of failed love.

      Thanks Susan!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s