Wednesday 24 June 2020

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 163

This week's photo is from a Russian photographer called Mikhael. They've got some really great photos. I wasn't sure which one to pic, but I thought this offered the most. They called this one Global Warming.

I have used this prompt to try and thrash out some ideas I am working for a novel I am writing. I think it works quite well with the picture.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

The Tree

‘What is this place?’

‘This is how the world would look, Michael, if I hadn’t continued with what I had started.’

‘What ravaged by drought?’

‘Yes, and famine and pestilence.’

‘But that tree is surviving.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Have you looked closely?’

Michael lifted himself up from his prone position, and pulled himself further up the incline. He had no strength for anything more. He was totally spent. Days of shifting from time to time, parallel to parallel, place to place. He was confused, disorientated, and exhausted mentally and physically. He had no idea when he last ate or when he last had something to drink. It took all that he had left to crawl on the dried cracked ground.

‘It’s a mirage, isn’t it?’

‘It could be, or it could be a figment.’

‘What’s the difference?’

‘The difference is whether you believe this place is real or not.’

Michael’s mind swam. ‘Why are you playing with me? Why all these riddles?’

‘I need you to understand why I do the things I do. If you don’t understand, how can you continue it?’

‘I don’t want to continue it, I want to end it.’

‘Then this is the end.’

‘But the tree?’

‘Arh, then there is hope. The tree typifies all your hopes and dreams. Everything you wish this place would be, that you wish life would be, but it can’t survive in a barren, desert. It needs water, it needs sustenance. We all do. And most of all it needs roots.’

‘Please just get to the point.’ Michael was parched. He was struggling to swallow. He just wanted to go home and have a long, cool drink. It’s all he could think about.

‘You ask me why I do what I do. I do what I do to sustain worlds; to keep people safe. Give them somewhere to belong, to exist, to stay put. If I don’t do that, then what you have experienced is what happens.’

‘But you caused it. You caused the imbalance by uprooting them all in the first place. Everything was fine and balanced before you came along and ruined it.’

‘Ruined, Michael, really? Are you sure? I simply found a way outside of it, a way to work around it. A way to influence it, and bring a different kind of balance; a way to stop the self-destruction.’

‘Self-destruction? But you push people out of it, you knock them through like dominos falling: one steps into another, and into another, until it doesn’t stop, it goes on forever.’

‘But it doesn’t, Michael, your own world proves that. And here, Michael, look around you, do you see those dominos here? Are they falling here?’

‘No, there’s nothing here. This is the world after you ravaged it.’

‘Me? You think I did all this? You think I’m capable of it? I have my fun and games, but to bring a world to the brink like this takes a collective, Michael.  It takes mankind.’

‘But the tree?’ Michael couldn’t take his eyes off it. ‘How can the tree exist here?’

‘It’s a good question, Michael, it exists because you want it to.’

‘I don’t understand.’

‘What you believe is what will be in this time and space, Michael, it’s that simple.’

‘Nothing is that simple.’

‘Really? Try it.’

And then Michael was there, standing in front of the tree and touching it. It was real, it was here, and he was standing under it. It began to rain. Water poured through the leaves, and he opened his mouth to drink.

‘See? It sustains you. You believed it could, so it did. Just like I believed I could be outside of the worlds and I was – just as you have been in your pursuit of me. You can have whatever you want.’

‘But I just want to go home and be left alone.’

‘Really, Michael? Twice now you have come to find me; twice now you have wanted answers.’
‘But all you do is taunt me, and torture me.’

‘You do that yourself, because you won’t accept your future, your legacy. Let me give it to you.’

Michael wanted to keep resisting but he knew The Jester spoke the truth. In the end it was inevitable.


  1. Bet you didn't see this one coming. Triggered by a friend on Twitter. And something she keeps saying, "write what scares you."

    She Followed Me

    1. I love this. It's completely open and heartfelt.