The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Not For Sale
by Melissa R. Mendelson
The bet was simple. Spend one night on top of Rover Hill by the monstrous tree. If nothing happens, the land was mine. What could happen, I asked, but nobody would answer that. Some said a shadow of a swing would appear by the tree when no swing was there. Some said that children had disappeared by this monstrous tree. An old man said that a very long time ago, human sacrifices were committed by this tree. It was bullshit, and I didn’t mind spending a night outdoors. By tomorrow, this land would belong to me.
It was after six a.m. I heard a child laugh. My eyes opened, and I sat up. Again, I heard a child laugh. I looked around, noticing strange shadows moving across the ground. One looked like a child had drawn in the dirt beside the tree. Then, something moved past me. It looked like a swing.
Suddenly, branches wrapped around my ankles and yanked me forward. I slammed down onto the ground, but then I quickly sat up, wrestling with the branches wrapped tightly against my skin. As I did, the shadows started to move, changing into children. I turned around just as they pointed their arms at me, and they pinned me to the tree.
The tree beneath me grew warm. It began to vibrate, and my eyes started to roll up into my head as my body shook. I gasped a shrieking breath, realizing that I was sliding into the tree. I leaned forward, struggling to push my body out, but some kind of force pushed me further in. The wood crawled and scratched across my face, and my eyes darted from side to side. As I struggled to release one last breath, the shadowed kids took turns on their swing.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Melissa R. Mendelson: