Rochelle, host of Friday Fictioneers, challenges her community of writers each week to compose a short (100 word) story in response to a photographic prompt. This week, the prompt is provided courtesy of Connie Gayer.
When asked to draw a family tree she sketches a forest. Charcoal pines stalk the borders of her page, their blackness billowing behind them like warnings. With each smudge they creep closer; a crowd sneaking towards the centre.
There, another pine. A sapling, perhaps. Smaller than the rest. Slight. Leaves curling inwards around arms that cross, that say NO WAY, that say GO AWAY.
Bark and branches crackle. The sound fills empty spaces and slaps into subservience words that dare defy their desires.
When next asked, she again sketches a forest. This time: a hole where the sapling once stood.