The Weeping Oak – Friday Fictioneers, October 2017

Copyright Sandra Crook

Hal sighed.  Just the one son, and he had to be a weirdo.

“Trees don’t cry, Joe.”

“’Course they do, Dad.  What about weeping willows, weeping figs… elm?  There’s lots of them.”

“Whatever, it’s good as dead, son,” said Hal, fingering the rust brown sap oozing between the ashy grooves, “rotted so’s it’s damn near hollow up the back there, see?”

“Please don’t chop it down, Dad.”

Hal flexed his shoulders and swung his axe, shaking his head as Joe crashed headlong out of the forest.

Come nightfall, Joe was still missing.

But the Baxter twins weren’t.

Not any longer.

This tree, growing in the coastal village of Kimmeridge a few miles from us, reminded me of a weeping reindeer, with an elongated nose.  Thankfully I resisted going down that path – you wouldn’t have enjoyed it.  I have used a theme I’ve used before though, bodies hidden in trees.  I have a thing about that… 🙂  Thanks to Rochelle for all her hard work – sorry I’ve not been around for a couple of weeks.  Inspiration is still in pretty short supply but I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

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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57 Responses to The Weeping Oak – Friday Fictioneers, October 2017

  1. There is an ethereal twist to your story, Sandra, that appeals to me. That opening line is such a good hook, says so much about both characters. Hope that light at the end of your tunnel brightens quickly for you, Sandra.


  2. ceayr says:

    For such a lovely lady, Sandra, you do very dark rather too well!
    Your usual 100-word masterpiece.


  3. Iain Kelly says:

    It is too tempting isn’t it? It looks like the perfect place to hide a body or two!


  4. michael1148humphris says:

    I enjoyed how you put this story together, hollow trees do have a certain fascination.


  5. Dear Sandra,

    Woe to the son who doesn’t live up to his father’s macho expectations. I hope Joe hasn’t suffered the same fate as the Baxter twins. Not what one wants to find when chopping down a tree. Chilling and well written. You have a knack for layering your stories. Thank you for the lovely photo.




  6. granonine says:

    It’s good to see you again, Sandra. Your story is one of those the intrigues and repels at the same time, just as any good mystery should 🙂 Enjoyed it very much.


  7. Spooky stuff! I have often wondered about that same thing myself. All my daughters made fairy houses near trees such as these. Sometimes they reminded me of crypts.


  8. beautyswot says:

    Sinister and intriguing …


  9. James says:

    Uh oh. Sounds like Joe has joined the twins in a rather unhappy situation.


  10. So that’s where they were! An intriguing tale indeed.Thanks for the picture Sandra.

    Click to read my FriFic!


  11. neilmacdon says:

    This is so you, Sandra.Darkness with an icing of the everyday. One of your best, I think


  12. Maybe I understood it a bit differently but I thought Joe was just acting… maybe he has something to do with the disappearance of the Baxter twins…. To go from weirdo to fugitive is a small step.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Caerlynn Nash says:

    Oh, nice twist. I suspect they won’t see young Joe any time soon. Great story.


  14. Ooh, I can’t help but visualise those twins stuffed in that tree. Macabre.


  15. pennygadd51 says:

    I wonder if the son’s hideous crime reflected how powerless he felt in the face of the father who despised him as a weirdo? Well written chiller, Sandra.


  16. Yikes! I’d thought about putting things inside the tree ~ more like diamond rings and baseballs. You did the idea proud. Well done.


  17. Joe. it seems is more than just a weirdo. Yikes!


  18. Thanks for the photo and your story to go with it perfect. Wasn’t expecting the twins at the end. Think I’m glad you didn’t tell the reindeer story.


  19. draliman says:

    Loved the first line! And a gruesome discovery and missing child to boot. Nice!


  20. MrBinks says:

    Oh that raised a devilish grin from me. Superb!


  21. Liz Young says:

    Oh my word! What a ‘killer’ last line!


  22. rgayer55 says:

    My father had four sons, but I’m likely the only one that’s weird. This story would have really been tragic if Hal had found the bodies of the Keebler Elves inside the hollow tree. You know, no more cookies and all that.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Lynn Love says:

    What I want to know, Sandra, is did Joe know about the twins? Is that why he was upset at dad chopping down the tree? Truly creepy and a wonderful description of character, how father and son can be so different. A good opening to a supernatural crime thriller 🙂


  24. That’a not a light – it’s a blazing sun!
    Great job. Nice to read your stuff again.


  25. Whatever did the Baxter twins do to Joe that he dispatched them so deceptively. You could do a novella on this.


  26. Whatever did the Baxter twins do to Joe that he dispatched them so deceptively. You could do a novella on this.


  27. Joy Pixley says:

    Creepy discovery! But hm, Dad was clearly surprised by it, and Joe was begging him not to chop it down, and now he’s run off… Makes me think “weird” Joe knew about the secret hidden inside the tree. Maybe the neighbor kids teased him one too many times? Even creepier!


  28. plaridel says:

    it looks like cutting the tree had revealed a secret that joe had been hiding all these years. great story as usual.


  29. Pingback: Just Returning the Favor: Fiction Friday | It's a long story …

  30. Sandra, you have an amazing way with words. I did read this twice and then hit my head. Brilliant!


  31. Dahlia says:

    Wow! No wonder Joe was so keen not to have his dad chop down the tree! Awesome murder mystery. Beautiful photograph too!


  32. subroto says:

    That is a terrible thing to do. Cutting down a tree I mean. Now the dad has rust brown sap on his hands. No wonder the kid ran away. Glad the Baxter twins came back. Totally get this one Sandra.


  33. LucciaGray says:

    Great flash! Really effective. Poor twins…and what’ll happen to Joe?


  34. Thom Carswell says:

    Oh wow! A great twist to go with a great photo prompt. Thanks for both, Sandra!


  35. Indira says:

    Great story and great twist, dear Sandra. It took some time to understand.


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