This story is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt. As usual, she has prompted something unsettling.
If you like this story, why not dip into a whole collection of them? There’s The Spring Dance, folk tales and fairy tales, and Tales from the Northlands, dark and Nordic and utterly free today and tomorrow…
There was a bit of woodland between the dual carriageway and the leisure centre, right after the Tesco roundabout, where the dairy farm had been before the industrial estate was built, and the dual carriageway, and before Tesco. It was just a scrubby bit of leftover, a reminder that there had been a whole wood in the shallow valley between Alcot’s big cabbage field and where the meadow of the dairy farm began. Those were the days when cows went outside into fields now and again. When they ate grass and the farmer kept a bull in another field and a lad with a terrier to bring the herd in for evening milking.
The wood had been there since forever. Elms and ash were grown spindly and broken-boughed with neglect, and the oaks, too many and too close together, were small and scrubby. There was a plan to level the woodland site and build an entertainment complex. Land was too valuable to leave it unused. The developers came up from the city and take their measurements, sound out the subsoil, work out their costings. There was no one left from the time of the farms and the woods to explain to them why it was a bad idea. No one had ever really known what went on in the wood anyway. But they all knew to leave well alone.
Continue reading: Flash fiction #writephoto: Forest – Jane Dougherty Writes