Wednesday 8 June 2022

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 253

This week's picture prompt is a photo taken by Sci-Fi author Gareth Powell over on twitter. He wrote alongside it, 'When you stumble across a doorway in a forest, do you open it?' A brilliant prompt question. 

It's been a while, but this was perfect for a Tricky snippet, and may even help with a plot line. It's been a while since I have provided one. The last time was Week 246

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 base of a large tree trunk where there is a roughly cut little wooden or stone door put into it. Taken by writer Gareth Powell.

Secret Door

Tricky marvelled at the huge red giants as she wandered through them. They dwarfed the oak and ash trees that lived here. This had to be one of the oldest areas on the landmass. They must have survived the shift, although she couldn’t rule out that they weren’t super growers too. She knew it was possible for some species to grow a few feet in a year – the purple tyrians did. She couldn’t be sure about the blue deviants as they moved about so much at night, sneaky buggers that they were.

These red giants had not only height, they had girth. Their trunks were wider than the double front doors at the Lansdowne house. You could live in it, although she didn’t think they’d want you to.

Tricky turned a corner and came to a sudden stop. She’d been thinking about doors and there was one in the side of a giant red.

She looked up at the tree. It was still living and seemed to be undeterred by what must be a manmade hole in its trunk. She laid her hands on the bark and sure enough a jolt of burnt orange energy rushed through her. The red seemed unperturbed by the invasion.

The door wasn’t that big. It was smaller than Tricky, and she wondered if it was actually a door or just a piece of shaped wood propped up against it. But when she got closer she could see that was set into the trunk and had a small wooden handle.

She paused, looking around her. She didn’t know why she thought that someone might be looking, there were only trees here, and no other people had passed through for some time from how the foliage laid. So what exactly was this? Could it lead down to Stanislav’s lair?

She put her hand on the wooden handle and pulled. The door came away easily; it wasn’t locked.

She peered into the darkness behind and saw a steep incline down into the ground. Could it lead into the network of bunkers, or was this just a hidey hole of sorts? Where did it lead? And was she foolish enough to find out without any guidance or advice?

She stepped back and closed the door, her mind spinning. She could easily travel down it unseen – that would be easy with the peridot and leaf. But what to do once she got down there? If she found Dufray, then what? Or worse if she bumped into Stanislav’s people? So many questions, none of which she could answer without being nosey and taking a trip down there. But she could be walking right into a trap, giving herself to them, when she was only meant to be looking for the obsidian.

She looked up at the tree. It might know and be able to guide her.

She put her hands on its trunk again and embraced the strong energy it emitted, opening up her own energy for it to mingle. She held an image of the door in her mind’s eye and waited. The tree showed different people going in and out, none of whom she recognised. They could also be from any time period: recent or past.

She focused on the incline going down under the tree, wondering if the tree had an idea of where it went underneath. It showed people going up and down with lights in their hands. Tricky saw herself walking down with one of these people and the tree picked up on her intention, leading her down in a spiral, until the light they held was overtaken by a larger light below. Then she saw it: a concrete encased tunnel, like an underground corridor and several rooms. It was one of the bunkers, and she had no doubt that although the face of Stanislav might not be amongst them, these were his recruits – his network.

She thanked the tree by sending out her energy as a token of her gratitude and lifted her hands from its trunk.

She didn’t think it prudent to investigate this alone, but she had mapped it in her mind and knew how to return. It might be a way in later, after she had found the obsidian and had garnered Tumelo’s support.


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