He watched from the shadows as they came with their machines and their axes and their ropes, cutting and grabbing and pulling. The tree groaned and shrieked, but they kept on, tearing at it until it toppled in a storm of green needles. They cheered, their voices carrying through the still air to the silent place where he waited, folded like origami in the dark.

They had broken the deal, these little humans, the deal sealed long ago with an acorn and old bones. The living contract was being hauled across cement, dragged away to be unceremoniously hacked apart, all just to build another parking lot, another cold temple to commercialism.

He tapped knife-sharp nails together as he unfolded from his hiding place, slipping from shadow to shadow, unseen by living eye.

They had broken the contract and now he was free to do as he pleased.

Word Count: 147

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Shivangi Singh for providing the prompt photo!

  1. Iain Kelly says:

    Chilling, will he target those that have harmed trees only? In that case he may have a few humans on his side with whatever revenge he has planned! Excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joyfrida says:

    Oh my! I smell revenge, Give him my contacts please šŸ™‚ nice build up to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I fear they have unleashed something sinister by cutting down the tree! Great story, J.A.! Chilling!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Graham Lawrence says:

    Love it. Super take on the prompt. Lots of possibilities.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shivangi says:

    The tree should have been left alone. Warning for those who play with nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think have a problem! Delightfully dark.

    Click here for my FFfAW

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mandibelle16 says:

    Sounds frightening as if they have released some terrible demon. Contracts I think should always be in writing, maybe it was on the tree, or parchment long ago?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maybe they knowingly released this creature of the shadows…hmmm….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. afairymind says:

    I wonder what they’ve unleashed… I think that’s one contract they’re going to wish they hadn’t broken! Great story, JA. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Singledust says:

    we have a folklore about a spirit that is trapped in a tree – with a nail. and if the nail is pulled free the spirit is free to find a new host – this reminded me of that story – good story telling here!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ameena k.g says:

    Ohhh Boy… Things are going to get messy and difficult for the tree cutters.

    Liked by 1 person

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