The Evil That Men Do… Friday Fictioneers, February 2017

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff Fields

In accordance with my father’s wishes, we planted the biodegradable cylinder containing a mix of his ashes, an organic nutrient and the precious seeds. Sentimental clap-trap?  Or something more sinister?

Throughout the ceremony my siblings sobbed uncontrollably, casting speculative or accusatory glances at me, whilst I stood apart, dry-eyed.

I’d been his favourite; everyone knew that.

But only my mother knew why.  And she wasn’t saying.

Today the ash tree stands forty feet tall, boughs reaching out for me.  Once again.

And we’re all sharing the same thought.

No way should it have grown so tall in just twelve months.

A re-tread from me this week, slightly edited.  How could I have forgotten it was Wednesday?   The Friday Fictioneer’s photo this week comes from our industrious hostess, Rochelle.  Is there no end to her talents?

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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109 Responses to The Evil That Men Do… Friday Fictioneers, February 2017

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Two threads in 100 words – a family scandal, and magic seeds. Well done, Sandra

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Sandra,

    This is still a stunner. You left me wanting to know more. Brilliant as always.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Iain Kelly says:

    I’m not sure what to make of him – a bad father, an evil man, but able to grow into a magnificent tree. A complex story in what has been left unsaid. Intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reena Saxena says:

    Leaves a lot to the imagination, and therein lies the beauty of fiction.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Now I want to know what nasty little story lies behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mumpoet says:

    So complex and well-written. So much going on here in so few words. I love this! Well done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A thought-provoking piece indeed! Simply delightful Sandra.

    Click to read my FriFic!

    Like

  8. Moon says:

    I am wondering why she was his favourite.
    Such an intriguing tale in 100 words.
    Brilliant, Sandra.

    Like

  9. Beautiful story. I was reminded of that experiment where they weighed everything that went into a tree (water, soil, etc) and found the tree was several times larger than what it used. It was impossible to explain where the mass had come from.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. James says:

    Now that was interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This story made me shiver, and I’m still trying to rub the goosebumps from my skin.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. pennygadd51 says:

    I’m not surprised she was dry-eyed. You’ve crafted that carefully and artistically to give us a very satisfying story.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sue says:

    Oh, my…… what a hideous hidden tale

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Martin Cororan says:

    Tree-mendous…and roll on Bonfire night…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. michael1148humphris says:

    This tree needs caging, or better still pollarding.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Indira says:

    What’s the mystery behind it dear, I would love to know?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dale says:

    This was so good! And yes, leaving us wanting to know more… so much more.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh I loved the magical mystery of this little tale! Left me wondering, as all good flash should.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Anna Rymer says:

    This is beautifully told, lyrical and illusive. You achieve so much with the 100 words and leave so much mystery 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Intriguing indeed. I want to buy the book!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. granonine says:

    Jack and the Beanstalk, revisited? Sinister, though.

    Like

  22. Varad says:

    This could be interpreted in a couple of ways, but somehow my mind is leaning towards the sinister side. Nice bit of writing, Sandra.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Magical and mysterious. I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Lynn Love says:

    Well, that’s very sinister, both magically and personally. You told that so well, hinting at the disturbing undercurrents of their relationship without spelling it out. Beautifully done. I fear your character needs Iain’s lead from his FF – Agnes with her chainsaw

    Liked by 1 person

  25. draliman says:

    Creepy – lots of intriguing questions left to answer! Nice one.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Lata Sunil says:

    Wow.. I want to know why the father loved her, and the crazy seeds.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. An intriguing tale! I love the way the boughs are reaching out, once again. This really fires the imagination.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. … and I have an uneasy feeling about the way this links to the title!

    Like

  29. rgayer55 says:

    You tease 🙂
    The title leaves a lot to the imagination. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Sinister and deep. Open to so much speculation. Reminds me of King Lear!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. EagleAye says:

    Oh my. I think she was a favorite because of something awful he liked to do to her. Seems the tree was still “reaching for her.” How horrid to watch that evil tree grow so fast. I would happily supply her with some matches. How you wrote so much into so little I’ll never know. Brilliantly done!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. I think there is a difference between favorite and “favorite”…. a ghastly thought to have those branches reaching for her…

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Ohhhh, why was the narrator the favorite? Was the narrator a creation as well? And the tree reaching out. Well done. So many questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. What a powerful 100 words Sandra. The father is evil even after death. I hope she has that tree cut down quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. plaridel says:

    i’m also wondering how it could grow tall that fast. maybe later we’d know. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Rowena says:

    Mysterious, Sandra. I’m not sure whether I like mystery or having the answers and being able to n ut it out. Now, I’m wondering why the tree grew so quickly and why she was his favourite. There’s so much going on here and no answers. Perhaps, it’ll take Agnes from a previous flash to saw the tree down to get some answers.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Well, as we’re so far through this week’s exercise, Rowena, it won’t spoil it for too many people if I give you the literal version you seek. The father had requested that a tree be planted in his memory, and that his ashes be mixed with the soil in which the seed of the tree was sown. The father had abused his daughter, the siblings sensed that he favoured her for some reason but only the mother knew why and she stayed silent (as some mothers do) because she was afraid of her husband. The daughter is dry-eyed at the funeral because she hated him. The title – the Evil That Men Do…(from Shakespeare) continues with the words … ‘lives after them’ and so the ashes of the father caused the tree to flourish at a rapid rate, so evil was he. The boughs reach out for her, pretty much like his arms did during life, because, I hope the reader infers, he still can’t bear to be parted from her.
      It’s hard to tell a story in 100 words, so sometimes it’s necessary to leave enough clues for people to fill in the gaps. Perhaps there aren’t enough in this piece. Thanks for reading, anyway.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Wow. Just an amazing story in its entirety. The word count is difficult, but I think you did the story justice.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I should have taken notice of the title.

        Liked by 1 person

      • wildchild47 says:

        Sandra, I think you did a brilliant job with this – to me, it was clear, right from the start. Just enough details, and yes, “blanks” left to tease and allow the mind to question. And in my books, this is a good thing – especially in FF. Precise but with just enough hint of the vague – as it should be, in my thoughts.

        What I really appreciated was the “odd details” – how you’ve incorporated these newer ideas, like ashes and cremation and mixing them with other things, and how it then becomes a “new recycled and recyclable product’ – which is a current trend, so this sets this piece well, being more contemporary etc.

        All in all, a most excellent write. And thanks for having stopped by at my piece. Hope you have a wonderful weekend 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  37. So much story in so few words – stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. So much left unsaid but understood in a short amount of space. Very nicely done! =)

    Liked by 2 people

  39. So many questions! Why was she his favourite? Why was the mother quiet about what she knew? And what is the sinister evil behind all of this? So much mystery here I’m just dying to know more.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Such a gripping story! So sinister. I’d be taking a chainsaw to that tree.

    Like

  41. Anita says:

    Wonderful story.
    The boughs wanting to touch & hug maybe!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. liz young says:

    Wonderful! We know what he did, but what makes his ashes so fertile?

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Bravo. A saw, a wood chipper, 44 gallon drums and a lot of ready to pour concrete. Transport to Windscale for disposal with nuclear waste.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. That’s a great take on the picture! Well written story – I was intrigued.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Laurie Bell says:

    Oooo omg the creepy vibes in this one… and then the branches reaching for her… i say cut it down and burn it!

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Dahlia says:

    An intriguing story shielding more than it reveals.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Dan Bohn says:

    I like the mystery. Super story Sandra.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. ahtdoucette says:

    Creepy! I didn’t see the first one. I wonder what happens now.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. amiewrites74 says:

    This is so well written. You give us enough to get the story, but there is so much between the lines as well. Deep, dark story. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  50. subroto says:

    Wow! So much left unsaid and yet so eloquent. The abusive father still reaching out after his death.
    Great story.
    But I think I like the idea of having the ashes churned with a seeding mix. Might need to rewrite my yet to be written will.

    Liked by 2 people

  51. There is so much left for speculation in this. Was he evil or was he just simply playing favorites that didn’t end with his death. Love how it left it open to the reader to create his/her own story as to reason.

    Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

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