Fiction Friday – 2 May 2008

This Week’s Theme: Write about a Tree

I remember as a boy, a few years younger than you mind, when my father used to take me to see the tree in full bloom. We’d walk a good five miles or so, out past the parish church. A grand sight, all the townsfolk used to come to see. Do you know, they used to hold a fair on the Common, the night before? There were stalls with fine meats, and sweet cakes, and the smell of the fires… Aah, they don’t hold them anymore lad…

Come the morning it were all sombre mind. After the fair came the serious business. The priest, come down from St Colman’s, would get hi’self up to say the blessing over the tree, and we’d all bow our heads. Then it would unfurl, each branch would have one, fluttering away like there were a gale blowing. We’d all watch, until the tree was still, and the men would come to pick up the fruits. We’d all be reminded of what we had, and we’d leave knowing we were blessed.

We haven’t seen the tree blossom for many years now, not since… not since Old Crookneck passed. It’s a sign they say. Times is better now. The tree don’t need to blossom. I think it’s a curse – we’ve fallen away from the law, from what we know is right, and the tree don’t get a chance to blossom.

But it will tomorrow lad. I’ll take you there myself. It won’t be like the old days. Just a single bloom, for you.

Don’t be scared lad, it’s a blessing. Making things right again, with god, with the world. It’s quick, you’ll be at rest, and god’ll have mercy on your soul…

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2 thoughts on “Fiction Friday – 2 May 2008”

  1. I’m having a second crack at commenting on this … perhaps the ether decided I’d written undesirable things in the first one (or ones that just plain made me look dumb!)

    I love the ye olde worlde feel of this … and the harkening back to times that were perhaps more simple, more connected to community and the earth. Sadly I know that most people laugh off all of these old traditions and ‘superstitions’ … and I agree with your main character … we are worse of from it.

    And I couldnt help but think the Priest coming down to bless the tree had such heavy pagan overtones that the ‘church’ had probably adopted them from the pagans who came before.

    Have you ever been to a well dressing? I’ve read that they still do them on certain days (escapes me which now) in the UK.

  2. This scared me- pagan sacrifices and all that! Got me thinking about The Wicker Man.
    Excellent stuff-very evocative of a different time and I can clearly see the old man in my mind’s eye.

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