The Tree by Dragonfleet

General fiction short stories not related to Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror.

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The Tree by Dragonfleet

Post by Dragonfleet »

Just thought I might post one of my non-fiction short stories. This one was chosen for a presentation for my creative writing class. Enjoy. :)

The Tree

On the grassy hill I stood amongst the vibrant wildflowers that filled the valley. The flowers swayed in the light breeze, their petals wavering slightly as the sun’s rays beamed down on their delicate skins. I had never seen so many colours in one place. I glanced over the floral vista and beyond to catch a glimpse of our small village below, through which a meandering stream threaded its way to the coast.

It was a strange feeling being on this hill. I felt as if I was on top of the world, bearing witness to the land that the gods had sculpted from their very imagination. As a youth I would often climb up here, an explorer in waiting, seeking new sights and adventures, but over time visits became rarer and rarer. I stopped climbing up the rocky cliffs and exploring the caves. My passion had withered away as my life trailed towards old age.

I turned to the gnarled apple tree standing amongst the flowers. My father had planted this tree when I was about two years old, and every month he would climb the hill to inspect its growth. After all this time it was still not fully developed, and the manner in which its skeletal branches sagged towards the ground suggested it might never be. It had never borne fruit, but my father had insisted that with care, it would one day flourish.

“It’s just being stubborn,” my father had said, “like a mule.”

Our family had laughed at this but deep down we really did hope that his faith was well founded. I reflected on this as I sat by its scabbed trunk, musing away the afternoon.

Eventually, the sunlight waned and the shadows advanced, and it was time to go home.

As I rose to depart, something caught my eye.

It can’t be! Is that an apple bud? The tiniest burgeoning of life on one of the stunted twigs was indeed poking through the bark. Surely not, after all this time?

As I gazed at the tiny renewal of life, it brought back a childhood sense of promise, and the certainty of good things in the future. The tree was finally realising its promise, just as my father had believed it would! Could his faith in me also be well founded? Maybe there were more mountains to climb and caves to explore, and visits to the tree with my son ahead?

© Chris Montgomery 2005

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Post by Neurolanis »

Not bad, old boy. I liked it I guess. Not bad. Perhaps not bold enough to please in a commercial sense, but nice. :)

PS, the "@" is a smart idea. I must do that to mine! :o

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Post by Magus »

The copy-write symbol isn't necessary. Every word you write is automatically copy-written by you the moment you type it, and protected by international law as well.

But, yes, the story was nice. I agree that it might be not quite bold enough, but the promise and renewal was touching in a way that would make me want to read it again if I was having a bad day. It's concise and simple, wherein lies its unique charm.

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Post by Dragonfleet »

Magus wrote:The copy-write symbol isn't necessary. Every word you write is automatically copy-written by you the moment you type it, and protected by international law as well.


Thanks, but I feel better with it being there. :)

Since you guys are saying it's not bold enough, is there any improvements I can make on it? My creative writing class said it was good but I personally don't think it's up to scratch. Think I have to work on voice a bit more. =/

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Post by Neurolanis »

Different people have different tastes and style. Here's how I'd rewrite the first paragraph:

On the grassy hill I stood amongst the vibrant wildflowers that filled the valley. The flowers swayed in the light breeze, their petals wavering slightly as the sun’s rays beamed down on their delicate skins. I had never seen so many colours in one place. I glanced over the floral vista and beyond to catch a glimpse of our small village below, through which a meandering stream threaded its way to the coast.


I stood over vibrant wildflowers upon a hill. The delicate petals swayed in the light breeze. I had never seen so many colours in one place. I glanced over the floral vista and beyond to catch a glimpse at my village below. A meandering stream threaded its was through the small village, to the coast.

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Post by Magus »

I'd describe the setting better... more intimately. This is a short story among short stories, no that it's a bad thing, but that so I think you really need to paint your picture as vividly as you can. Perhaps venture into other memories of his childhood concerning the tree... maybe ones not so happy. Maybe a loved one's buried beneath it? You can describe the tombstone then and what their loss meant to the character. Perhaps he fell from the tree and broke his leg and was thus bedridden for a few weeks during the height of summer? Are there engravings in the tree? "J.K. hearts W.L. 4-Ever"? Maybe you can go into a story of love lost?

by making the story a darker one the ending itself will be all the brighter. The darker the night the more brilliant the dawn.

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Post by Ariel »

Great job dragonfleet!!! :)

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Post by Dragonfleet »

Magus wrote:I'd describe the setting better... more intimately. This is a short story among short stories, no that it's a bad thing, but that so I think you really need to paint your picture as vividly as you can. Perhaps venture into other memories of his childhood concerning the tree... maybe ones not so happy. Maybe a loved one's buried beneath it? You can describe the tombstone then and what their loss meant to the character. Perhaps he fell from the tree and broke his leg and was thus bedridden for a few weeks during the height of summer? Are there engravings in the tree? "J.K. hearts W.L. 4-Ever"? Maybe you can go into a story of love lost?

by making the story a darker one the ending itself will be all the brighter. The darker the night the more brilliant the dawn.


Yeah, that's certainly an interesting way to approach 'The Tree'. The problem I face is that it has to be 400 words so I'm not sure how I'd fit something like that into my story. =/

Thanks for the suggestions guys. Really appreciate it. I'm a long way from getting my writing up to scratch but getting feedback like this helps me to understand where I'm going wrong. :)

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Post by Magus »

So how's your creative writing class going? Well? Must be aggravating with them putting such tight constraints on your stories.

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Post by Dragonfleet »

Sure is, since I tend to write more than I'm supposed to and cramming it all into 400 words or less is a pain. =/

The class itself is not bad. We get to look at a number of short stories from different authors as well as presenting our own amateur work. :P

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Post by Magus »

Which ones did you look at? Poe? Ya' gotta love the Poe.

More historic ones or more contemporary?

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Post by Bread Butterbeard »

Nice story dragonfleet!
"The world you know is over Grandmaster Shard, will you stand and fight for your people, or let them slip into darkness?" Tartikoff Greenwood to Brayan James Shard

Fifthwind, Terry Brooks, Legends

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