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The Tree Of Life And Death (Horror) (Flash Fiction) (1 Viewer)

CatOfNoir

Senior Member
So I've posted this elsewhere but the word count limit is 500 words which is why this is pretty short. I'd be really grateful if someone could critique it. Let me know what doesn't work and how I could improve. If possible, it would be really helpful if they could give concrete examples of how the changes would help. I hope the story won't be too bad of a read regardless. Thanks to everyone who reads this in advance

***

Making my way through the forest, I reached the clearing and was beguiled by the golden glow that stretched across the horizon in a magnificent sheen of brilliance. The maelstrom of pain and negativity I felt, after the constant bullying at school, receded beneath the surface of my soul. The sight of the golden sky was almost as beautiful as my destination in the middle of the meadow. But the positive feelings faded to nothing when I heard the sound of children’s laughter. Several kids, that couldn’t have been older than ten, were frolicking under the canopy of the grandiose tree.

I turned back toward the forest and was met face to face with a little boy whose eyes mirrored the sky. He didn’t say anything. Just reached out his small palm, inviting me to join the others. I don’t know why but I took it. As I rested against the trunk, under the huge tree that stood like a sentry, all of the kids doused my injuries with leaves gathered from the branches, the sap alleviated the pain of my wounds. Welcomed by open arms, we played through the evening late into the night with only the fireflies to guide us. I didn’t leave until the afternoon the next day.
My parents were likely worried, or maybe they were relieved that their outcast of a son was missing, either way heading home would have to wait. Standing across the street from the school, I waited until Tom and his gang of cronies walked out the front entrance.
He laughed when he saw the state of my clothing, but that quickly turned into a scowl when I flipped him off. I took off in a mad sprint, luring them through the forest and meadow until I was under the shade of the tree.

“You’re really gonna get it!” He panted out, not realizing that the twisted, looming branches that hung above the group were encroaching upon them like gnarled hands. Amy was the first to scream and to die, as one of the branches slammed into her eye, skewering her brain, leaving blood to drip down the bark. The others followed a similar fate.

Tom was the last person alive. Weighed down by the branches, he fought tooth and nail as I retrieved the rope from my backpack. I tied the rope to one of the sturdy branches and formed the noose, slipping it around Tom’s neck. He tried fighting but I guess being stabbed several time from jagged twigs was enough to turn him into a sniveling baby. He flailed as the branch elevated and the rope bit into his neck.
Life got better after that. I was questioned by my parents and the police regarding Tom and his friend’s whereabouts, but that was a small price to pay for a happier life where I was always welcomed with open arms by my new friends. And now there are more of them, with familiar but much kinder faces
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
It's a good start. I am imagining one of them escapes and is accused of the murder of the kid. I read this with my dyslexic eyes and brain. So if you want a more detailed critique it will have to wait since I can't turn on the computer since I will wake up my parents with the light. Also, he could get lost and return to the woods to prove his innocence. The outcast kid is intriguing.
 
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CatOfNoir

Senior Member
It's a good start. I am imagining one of them escapes and is accused of the murder of the kid. I read this with my dyslexic eyes and brain. So if you want a more detailed critique it will have to wait since I can't turn on the computer since I will wake up my parents with the light. Also, he could get lost and return to the woods to prove his innocence. The outcast kid is intriguing.

I'm happy you found it interesting. I have considered expanding the story into something a bit longer. But I wasn't sure if my execution with something this short would even be enough to garner interest. I'd definitely love the story being critiqued when you get some time :)
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
Sorry, no critique. I got to my computer and read it this time with assistive technology and word (immersive reader). You deserve lavish praise for this story and piece of work. I liked the descriptive style that shows the forest and the children. The ambivalence toward liking the main character who is an outcast is a great character. He's letting them die was one of a few interpretations I had. However, if you decide to expand the piece there's plenty you can think of in your spare time for making it longer. I also liked the small narrator's note in that his life was, more peaceful. I read somewhere that all writing stories based on real-life are revenge stories. So if you got bullied once a long time ago this would count as a revenge story. It is a useful way of thinking about one's life and material and subjects to write about. Count me in I got bullied. This is the perfect story of revenge against one's unfortunate past. Again revenge is a great way of thinking of personal material that resonates with you. That is writing what you care about.
 
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