JUNE 2022 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO CHRISTINE WHEELWRIGHT!

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Ursa major

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RULES:

Write a story inspired by the chosen theme and genre in no more than 75 words, not including the title

ONE entry per person

NO links, commentary or extraneous material in the posts, please -- the stories must stand on their own

WHEN WRITING YOUR STORY, PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS A FAMILY-FRIENDLY FORUM

All stories Copyright 2022 by their respective authors,
who grant the Chronicles Network the non-exclusive right to publish them here



The complete rules can be found at RULES FOR THE WRITING CHALLENGES

The contest ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 23 June 2022

The voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 28 June 2022


We ask all entrants to do their best to vote when the time comes
but you do not have to submit a story in order to vote
as we encourage all Chrons members to take part in choosing the winning entry



The Magnificent Prize:

The Dignified Congratulations/Grovelling Admiration of Your Peers
and the challenge of choosing next month's theme and genre


AND

The option of having your story published on the Chrons Podcast next month!


Theme:

Trees and Plants

Genre:

Fantasy


Please keep all comments to the DISCUSSION THREAD

We invite (and indeed hope for) lively discussion and speculation about the stories as they are posted,
as long as it doesn't involve the author explaining the plot



** Please do not use the "Like" button in this thread! **
 

Astro Pen

Write now.
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Unintended.

The tree was never struck by lightning, despite its hilltop location.

Buried beneath it was a golden chest containing an ancient book written in 1427 by the wizard, Arencad. It consisted of 'shield' spells to protect all forms of life, all except man. Man could not be protected because he was the giver of spells, not the receiver.

Arencad was turned to ash by diverted lightning as he carried his spade away down the hill.
 

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
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Oak and Adze

She used an adze to deepen the tree’s knothole. This was the right oak, Nuell was certain, though her Sight unraveled as her cancer ravened.

Nuell placed coins within the tree, sealed the hole with sawdust-dense resin.
She’d seen her newborn son becoming a for-hire woodsman, unable to marry as he couldn’t afford forests of his own.
She closed her eyes. Threadbare visions overwhelmed her – Kollin felling this tree, finding gold, living well and long.
 

Christine Wheelwright

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Jan 3, 2022
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Oh Canada!
The Weeping Willows

“Hegnir, the gardens are beautiful,” said the princess.

“My green fingers,” he replied.

“You’re a troll! You have green everything!” she laughed, running down towards the lake. He lumbered after her.

“My mother kissed a frog here and it became my father the King,” she said.

“Kiss me!” replied Hegnir. “See what we become!”

She did, her lips playfully finding his, their hearts becoming wood, their skin bark, their screams the wind in the leaves.
 

Guttersnipe

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Cocagne
Pruning the Family Tree

"Just the ghostly branches," said old Mrs. Teak, "The golden
one is mine. Don't you dare cut it." She walked off.

When the gardener was sure she'd gone, he looked at the golden
branch. Dark humor prompted him to lift the scissors to it.

Mrs. Teak cleared her throat.

She held a potted plant with his name on it, clutching its stem.

"If you try that again, you'll be in a very lonely place indeed."
 

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
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Trading Places


"You've done what!?"

"A trade, dearest."

"A trade, you say. Magic beans for a cow?"

"But it seemed like a good offer at the time..."

"Hah! Of all the men I could've married. Mother warned me, but did I listen?"

"Do you ever?"

"Less of your cheek, my lad! Now get out there, and don't even think about coming home until you've swapped them back."

"But..."

"And take that b****y cow with you!"
 
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Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
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Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Revelation

A rose asked her sisters Why do we have thorns?

Hush,
they replied. Be grateful the Creator has given us rainbow hues, velvet petals, and sweet perfume.

The rose grew old. Her petals fell to the ground. At the moment of death, she beheld the countenance of the Creator, as bright and beautiful and fearsome as the sun.

I did not give roses thorns for defense, She said. I gave thorns roses to attract victims.
 

Perky

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Dec 28, 2021
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An Angel

That morning, Jules was glowing and had just metamorphosed.
The sun's rays beat on its wings of robust leaves and its branches with few yellow tulips. Its white chest with vivid blue lines, just like a Japanese fish, opened with a fury. From inside, scarlet ants came out that echoed an old song, which Jules often didn't remember the lyrics, not even who recited them. Soon he falls asleep under a milky river.
 

Aknot

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Dec 30, 2021
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93
The Rooting

It started with nightmares. My son had dark dreams of dirt and twigs and leaves.
“It’s your elven blood”, I said, tears burning.
Soon it got worse. Swaddled in soil and rotting matter he sprouted roots, screaming in pain.
Then stillness. A bark encased pupa.
“Elf or tree, what will it be”, the wind whispered.
I wait, hopeful and fearful.
Will I hold him in my arms once more, or find shade under his leaves?
 

Elckerlyc

"Philosophy will clip an angel's wings."
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The Greenery Convenes

Order, order! We now have,
We the Foliage hold it self...’”
“Objection! The word ‘Foliage’ excludes Needles.”
“Not at all. To continue,
‘…self-evident that all Rootbound are created equal. That Verdure holds...
“’Verdure’? That's demeaning! As if we’re mere vegetables for the Rootless.”
“Nonsense.
‘...holds unalienable rights to sources of Water, Light, Nutrients and suitable Environments…’”
Suitable? Natural, unaffected!”
“’...TO FURTHER their pursuit of Well-being. That whenever destructive…’
WHENever!?“
Oh rot. Meeting adjourned!”
 

mosaix

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Seed of Doubt...

“So, Goblin, you admit murdering the laurel?”

“Yep. What yer gonna do about it? Yer a tree, a talkin’ tree!”

“An eye for an eye is our way. The axe awaits. However, we are not without mercy. You can still save yourself if you win a race against one of our kind.”

“What? Vegetation? Easy.”

“Really? Let me introduce your opponent - a Russian Vine. More commonly known as Mile-a-minute. And you’ve got short legs.”
 

THX1138

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Land Locked Ocean Dream
Never Move a Fallen Tree

“The Orcs will never again use our wooded flesh to forge their blades.” Tree Ent stated casting the last of them afar.

High Elf bowed solemnly. “Thanks to your help, we defeated them all.”

“What!?” Ent roared looking back angrily. “We defeated them?”

“Ah, you defeated them?” He stepped back as Ent turned, then advanced.

“And how do you fuel your forges?” Ent demanded, limbs thrashing elves asunder. “With wooden bones taken from my Ancestors!”
 

BT Jones

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Australia

The Ends that Justify

For thirty-one long years Garisto killed for king and country. So many homes razed. Lives obliterated. And Garisto never took a penny in payment. Just food, board… and arbor tonic.

Finally, on the eve of the latest war, Garisto absconded. The latest conquest-driven regent, incensed, ordered Garisto’s execution, only to find him living atop a thirty-year-old, fully mature Elixira tree – un-burnable, un-fellable, brimming with wholesome edible fruits.

Garisto could finally reap the peace he’d sown.
 

Daysman

this way comes
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east of gornal wood, south of weddell wynd
Helping Hands

Hearing the trundle of wheels, I turned to see a potted plant on a trolley.

The plant had two multi jointed limbs and long fingered hands. Carrying a seed bag, it pushed off along the garden path and began planting.

Our local Mage followed it from the greenhouse. "What d'you think?"

"I said I needed extra hands," I complained.

The Mage replied, "And that it wasn't as if they could plant themselves… seems they can."
 
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BigJ

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Off to the Tree for some Trees

The shop was carved into a great elder tree. I hesitated; the king had only just made this legal. I stepped inside.

“Can I help you, sir?”

“Just, something to take my mind off things.”

“Hmm. Rough winter?”

“Well, I . . . I lost both my sons in the war.”

“I see.”

The proprietor grabbed a small shrub that glowed green at his touch.

His eyes twinkled as he said, “I think this should do the trick.”
 

AnRoinnUltra

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Why I HATE writing fantasy stories

Hobadink Gobblewacker is the reason I hate writing fantasy stories.

He ruled Oolanyeasp for three hundred years.
With rigid instructions dispatched from his Ivory Tower.
Everything had to be neat and tidy.
Forestry, for example, must always be:
  • Evenly planted
  • Trunks uniform and round
  • No branches
  • Harvested regularly
So it was.
Until I made him stand outside.
With outstretched arms.
Palms facing skywards.
And become a tree.

Which is how I should’ve started the story.
 

johnnyjet

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Pennsylvania
Willow Braids

Gilda ran through the farmhouse, long golden braids flying.

Her mother snagged her.

"They're willow braids, mama. Aren't they beautiful?"

"Who did that?"

"Old Baucis."

Her grip loosened. Gilda bolted off.

"Gotta go. She needs me."

Trembling, she gazed through the window at the big weeping willow on the hill, its shadow like pointing fingers. Long ago Old Baucis had offered her willow braids. She refused.

That old tree never spoke to her again.
 

Stomalomalus

Writer to Marketer and back to writer again
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Budapest, Hungary
The tree and the dandelion

The wind blew. The leaves rustled. The great oak stood proud and tall, showing off his strong, stable branches.

He looked down. The wind blew the little dandelion. Her clock span in the wind, shedding her hands until she stood there barren and naked. The oak laughed and went to sleep.

Morning came. The oak looked down. Forty dandelions greeted him cheerfully: “No laugh today, old oak?”
 

Bowler1

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High Wycombe
Luck never made a man wise

‘A lucky four-leaf clover you said?’

‘Aye,’ answered the Leprechaun, with a sly smile, ‘and right now you need all the luck in the world.’

‘For a single silver crown,’ added the Merchant.

‘A bargain of a lifetime… that I promise you.’

‘What nonsense,’ answered the Merchant as he stepped out into the road, slipped in muck and was flattened by a passing coach.

‘While bad luck,’ muttered the Leprechaun sadly, ‘has always been free.’
 

Bren G

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Formidable Foliage


Merlin sought the king’s garden to settle his troubled mind. How to stop Queen Mab’s golem army? They had slain Kilgharrah and would soon breach Uther’s walls! Merlin fainted in anguish. He awakened, covered by leaves and brambles.

When Merlin’s magical plant-army marched that day, only the Royal Gardener knew they’d prevail. For she knew from experience that the proud ranks of Hosta, Raspberry, and Mint were thoroughly ineradicable.

Pendragon no more. Hail House Pen-planhigyn!
 
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