The Soul Snatcher (Friday Fictioneers, August 2012)

This week’s photo prompt from Madison Woods’ Friday Fictioneers.

I watched as it rose slowly from the centre of the blasted oak, sated.

The setting sun loaned life to its evil countenance, dappling the broad, smooth forehead, throwing spirals of light from cavernous eye sockets, and glinting on its horns.

The barking of tracker dogs and the shouts of the other members of the search party faded as they pushed further into the forest, and I longed to be with them.

I turned to leave; and, hearing the plaintive cries of the Dexter twins deep within the tree, I knew that although alive, they were not of our world now.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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54 Responses to The Soul Snatcher (Friday Fictioneers, August 2012)

  1. The end really threw me off! Beautifully done!


  2. janet says:

    “Sated” is such an excellent word and I loved the second paragraph. I didn’t expect the Dexter twins but then, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition, either. πŸ™‚ Nicely done!


  3. My type of story. Well done.


  4. JKBradley says:

    I think we shared a similar interpretation this week. Nicely done!


  5. Chilling! I always feared mr. willow in Lord of the Rings and here you’ve created another predator tree with an attendant fearsome spirit or something. Poor Dexter twins! i love the word “dappling!”


  6. vbholmes says:

    I had not initially seen the central image as rising from the tree, but after reading your introduction, I can easily see it pulling itself up. Fascinating how differently each person sees the same picture and how each tale is unique. Good story with unexpected ending.


  7. Creepy, atmospheric, just the way I like it. πŸ™‚ I enjoyed this one.


  8. nice story… nice ending. Randy


  9. Ooh, spine-tingling, Sandra! Really enjoyed the imagery in your second paragraph, too. Well done indeed, and thanks again for your comment on ours.


  10. Janet says:

    Wow Sandra, very creepy. The last line took me a bit by surprise. Here’s mine:


  11. keliwright says:

    Cool! Great reverse perspective–the skull rising from the tree.


  12. billgncs says:

    rich, expressive prose, very nicely done ( loved dappling, haven’t seen that used in a long time.


  13. erinleary says:

    creepy – you did a lot of painting the scene with very few words. I like it!


  14. Jan Morrill says:

    Eery, and beautifully written, especially: “The setting sun loaned life to its evil countenance …”



  15. Anne Orchard says:

    Woah, creepy! It was a scary picture and you certainly did it justice.


  16. Hi Sandra,
    Ew, spooky story. Wouldn’t want to meet one of those Dexter twins in a dark alley after what’s happened to them. Thought this was an imaginative take on a challenging photo. Thanks for reading and commenting on my story.


  17. Sandra….you sure come up with some “spooky” ones. What’s in that drinking water in the UK? Tks for visiting mine.


  18. Brian Benoit says:

    Excellent – I love that second paragraph “spirals of light from cavernous eye sockets” – and scary to imagine hearing those voices coming from inside. Nice job!


  19. Beatrice says:

    really liked the line, “I longed to be with them”


  20. elmowrites says:

    Wow, Sandra! Vivid description fills so much of this piece, you really shouldn’t have room for plot in here as well, but you pack it in with so much grace, I feel like I’ve read a whole novel and this is the final page. Well done!


  21. Russell says:

    You left me spellbound with this one. Beautifully descriptive language threaded through a tightly woven plot. What more could a reader ask for?


  22. Trudy says:

    You had me at ‘The Soul Snatcher’, and the story didn’t fail to satisfy. I loved ( not the right word, I know!) the description of the twins trapped inside, a really scary tale.


  23. Pingback: Lamb to the Slaughter (Friday Fictioneers, July 2014) | castelsarrasin

  24. Dear Sandra,

    Apparently I didn’t read this the first time around. Glad I came back to read it this time. Seriously vivid and chilling.




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