Quills Nominee for 2022 - Winner! Daily Flash Fiction 5/20/22 W/C 297
The Hand Tree
“You can find that tree that's got a leaf like a hand. It’s pretty weird. It only grows where that witch lives. They call it the enchanted tree. Those leaves’ll reach right down and grab ya, pull ya into the tree, never let ya go.”
I listened as Mike told me this story. I was skeptical. He often told tall tales, old wive's tales.
“You’re lyin’, I don’t believe there’s such a thing.”
“I’m not lyin’. There is too such a tree. It’s up on Crazy Woman Mountain. Been there for as long as I can remember. I hear pappy talk about it. And his pappy before him.”
“Alright. Come with me on the next full moon night. We’ll go on up there. You’n me. We’ll find that tree. I’ll prove it to ya’.”
So sure ‘nuff, next week it was full moon, and Mike took me up Crazy Woman Mountain road, a hell-hole road full of ruts and rocks. He stopped the old truck at a turn in the road.
“We walk from here.” I followed Mike.
Reaching a clearing, a large tree with hand-shaped leaves shone in moonlight.
“There it tis.”
I ran to the mythical tree. Those leaves reached to me, brushed my face.
“Watch out, it’’ll catch ya.” Mike grabbed my arm. I pushed him.
Suddenly Mike disappeared. Into the tree. I stood amazed, unable to do anything for a time. Then I ran. Back to the truck.
I truck it down the mountain, went home, told no one.
Mike’s disappearance is still a mystery in town. Some say he ran off with someone. Some say he went to that witch. I’m afraid to say anything, still afraid of that tree.