Wednesday 23 February 2022

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 240

This week's picture prompt is from Serbian artist Vladislav Pantic. He calls this one The Wood Spirit. He also has a lot of Harry Potter fan art, on his website. Worth checking out. 

My entry this week brings a potential scenario for a Tricky story. You can tell I'm immersed in her tales at the moment. Just an endless stream for MWF entries. Last one was Week 238

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.

An image of a forest at night in dark inky blue with tall trees, and a glowing figure amongst the bases with a star shining down. Created by Vladislav Pantic.

Sneaky Spook

Tricky hadn’t spent a night in the forest for a couple of years, and especially not this part. She knew her home terrain well, but although she’d visited and passed through this area many times, it wasn’t as familiar to her. There were trees here that were new to her and some variant species. They weren’t the new purple and blue trees, but they were loftier and wider in trunk and had a hardened energy she’d not come across before. They towered over the other trees, their bark giving off a red tint.

From her place up in the canopy of a sprawling oak that had been a young sapling at the time of the shift, she took in these giants. She knew they had existed before the shift and clearly some of these had survived it; you didn’t grow that big in just two hundred years – well not if you were a tree. Although maybe they had accelerated growth, Tricky didn’t know. She pondered the possibilities from her nook in the branches, distracting her mind from the reason she was up here in the first place.

A light caught her eye. She thought it was a firefly. They were making a comeback in these parts. They liked the warmer climes up here in Ferriston; not that it got very cold anywhere really, but a couple of degrees affected these species. But she realised she was wrong as she watched the light grow and a figure appear.

It wasn’t a tree sprite – at least not one she’d ever experienced. It had no defined features, just an outline: a human outline, with head and arms and an impression of legs. It seemed to be moving through the trees as though looking for something.

Tricky took a breath and reached out her own energy to it, to try and decipher who or what it was. She felt a tingling at the base of her spine that ran up to her neck. It left her feeling cold. Whatever this was, it wasn’t good.

She shifted her position, so she could keep it in view. It stopped around the base of the tree opposite, one of the giant reds as Tricky liked to think of them. It stayed hovering there. She couldn’t work out what it was doing. Was it waiting for someone or something? There was no indication in its ethereal state.

She leaned over the bough she was resting on, and tried to get a closer look. A few leaves and a bit of bark loosened, falling to the ground.

The second they landed the figure swept up into the air towards Tricky. She pulled herself back sharply but the sudden movement caught her off guard and she fell, landing heavily on the ground below.

The wind was knocked out of her and she struggled to take a breath, the bright light of the figure appearing in front of her, causing her eyes to water. She blinked rapidly and within the head of the energetic body that floated in front of her a face emerged. It was him; Dimitry Stanislav. He’d found her.

She scrabbled to her feet, but it was too late. She felt his dark energy wrap around her, pulling tight, binding her, and she was lifted off the ground before she could engage any protection. She’d be returned to that hell-hole below for another round of beatings and there was nothing she could do about it. 

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