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10theconcordpoet

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By chance, an acorn landed on an unmarked grave of a serial killer.


*


The crow had been gone for a day now. The tree, who called itself Lorvan, was expecting its return soon. The next morning, just before the sun was high, the crow hopped into the forest, carrying a shiny necklace.


A cool breeze swept through the forest, carrying with it the sound of people crunching the dry leaves underfoot. Suddenly, a large man crashed through the bushes, pushing branches out of the way, trampling down saplings.


The crow hopped ahead of him, mockingly out of his reach, then, it flew into the air and landed on Lorvan’s lowest branch.


“Stupid crow,” the man mumbled, catching his breath.


“Ben! Where are you?” a woman yelled as she entered the forest.


Ben dropped his backpack and sat down on a large rock. “Over here. I got the crow in a tree.”
The woman stopped and picked some leaves out of her hair. “Wait for me!” she whined.


“I am. I’m right here.”


The woman put her hands on her hips. “You know, you could be a little nicer to me.”


“Sorry, Marci,” he said, bowing his head in resignation.


Marci stepped over roots and loose rocks, pushing branches away from her delicate face, swearing every time she stumbled or a branch caught on her long, blonde hair. Finally, she entered the clearing, spotted Ben and glared at him. “I told you. I knew you couldn’t catch it.”


The crow, still holding the necklace in its beak, tilted its head to the side and stared at him with one beady eye.


“Stupid bird,” Ben mumbled under his breath. He picked up a pebble and threw it at the crow, missing completely. He turned to face Marci. “I wanted to get it for you.”
“It’s fine. Just buy me a diamond ring or something to make up for it,” she said in a serious voice. “What a nice area. Why don’t we eat here?”


“I don’t know,” Ben said.


The woman sat down on a large rock, ignoring him.


“Come on,” he complained, “I want to show you the summit. We can come back here afterwards.”


The woman jumped off the rock. “Fine.” She put her hands on her hips and stared at him with a pouted lip. “You always have to have your way!” Marci turned and
marched toward the edge of the forest. Lorvan pushed up one of its roots, just high enough to trip her. She hit the ground hard.


“Marci, you okay?” Ben was immediately at her side.


“No! I twisted it. I can’t walk!”


“You sure? What do you want me to do? Get help?”


She was holding her ankle, clenching her teeth. “Call my dad. Use your damn cell-phone!”


“Good idea.” He unclipped it from his belt loop and flipped it open. “I can’t get a signal!” he yelled, pacing.


“Try out in the field, you big ape!”


“Good idea. Be right back.”


Ben hurried to the edge of the forest, pushing branches out of his way and ignoring the ones that scratched his face.
Marci sat, cradling her foot, whimpering softly. When her eyes fell upon Lorvan, she took in a sharp breath and crawled across the ground, digging her expensive nails into the dirt, dragging her limp leg, panting at the exertion.


“Ben!” she yelled. There was no answer. “Ben! Get the hell back here! Now!”


“I’m coming!” he entered the clearing, panting, bent at the waist, grabbing his sides from the exertion. “I got a hold of my father. He said that if it’s a sprain, it should be better in a while—”




“Look!” She pointed to Lorvan.


Ben swung his head to where she was pointing. His eyes widened when they fell upon Lorvan.


“What the hell?” He looked at Marci for an answer.


“Get me out of here!” she demanded.


Ben ignored her and walked tentatively toward Lorvan. He stopped, a few feet in front of the old tree and turned to Marci.


“It’s fine,” he said, “Weird, but fine.”


He reached out slowly and touched Lorvans face, running his big fingers over every detail.


“It’s just a knot, or a carving. It’s just so…realistic.”


“Come on! Just get me out of here. It’s…scaring me.”


The crow flapped its wings loudly and flew away with the necklace still in its beak.


Ben said quietly, “I’ll carry you.” He stepped backwards slowly, staring at Lorvan’s face the whole time.
Marci gasped. Ben spun around to look at her. “What?”
She pointed to a different tree. It had the face of an old man, one of Lorvan’s victims. “Ben,” she said, quivering, “Carry me out of here. Now.”
Ben went over to her and scooped her up. “What’s going on?” she whispered into his ear.


“Probably someone carved the knots to look like faces.”


A cold breeze swept through the trees, moving their mighty branches, causing their moans to sound like words. Ben stopped in his tracks and turned around.


“Hello?”


Lorvan was silent. Ben searched the forest with his wide eyes.


“Get me out of here!” Marci spat.


Ben turned back and headed for the edge of the forest. The tree called them again, causing Ben’s face to give away his feelings of horror. Forgetting his backpack, he started jogging.




The tree reached up with one of its roots and wrapped it around his ankle. Marci flew from his arms as he fell hard.


Ben struggled to stand but Lorvan pulled his feet from under him. Ben landed on his stomach, rolled over and saw the roots wrapped around his ankles. He couldn’t hear Marci screaming as he stared, trance-like as more roots slithered across the ground like evil snakes. They wrapped around his legs when he finally broke his trance and started pulling at them desperately. He didn’t notice the ones coming from behind him.
Marci’s pleas for Ben’s help were stifled when his roots wrapped around her mouth and pulled her under the soil. Soon, her face would be on one of Lorvan’s offspring.


Roots wrapped around Ben’s chest, squeezing air from his lungs.


A murder of crows landed in the branches, cawing loudly.










*
The crows, full from their meal, flew out of the forest. The tree waited. Several days later a group of police officers—two men and a woman—came into the forest. They had Hounds that were sniffing around, looking for Ben and Marci. One of the policemen found the backpack.
Lorvan had left it there to lure them closer. An old Hound led a fat policeman toward the tree. The dog sniffed around, wagging its tail wildly.
“I think he’s got the scent!” the policeman yelled. Then he looked up at the tree and covered his mouth. The face of the serial killer was watching him, smiling wryly.









THE END


------
Thanks for reading :^ )



Comments

The following comments are for "The Old Oak Tree"
by whitewolfe

Serial Killer
This is creepy! I'm sure that what you intended. My imagination is in overdrive, picturing this face- Wow! This reminds me ofa part of a story written by Brian McNaughton- The Throne of Bones. You should check it out, if you haven't already.
Good Write!
Re

( Posted by: Cynical_Scribe [Member] On: January 2, 2005 )

re: Old Oak
I haven't seen a lot of horror around this site in a while...and it felt good to read it. Nice detail, the middle of the story might have been a little slow, but overall it was enjoyable.

Pythagoras

( Posted by: Pythagoras [Member] On: January 2, 2005 )

Delicious Menace
A delightful read, Whitewolfe, and a thoroughly enjoyable story.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: January 2, 2005 )

thanks
It makes me so happy when people like what I've written--it's basically the reason why I write.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

( Posted by: whitewolfe [Member] On: January 3, 2005 )

Hold out on the face
I loved the story and think you writing shows obvious skill. I would only suggest that if you were to re-write you should consider holding out on showing the face to soon. I think you really have a great opportunity to build the suspense if you were to have the tree's evil intent be seen (the wondering roots, or even hearing the voice of the tree) before we see its face. Just a thought.

Jeff

( Posted by: Jeff [Member] On: January 4, 2005 )

your story
I really enjoyed reading this imaginitive story. The concept was unusual, and I like the way you've left the ending open so a reader is almost forced to wonder what might happen next. Perhaps the opening dialogue could be tightened up a little, but other than that I think it reads well. Thanks for sharing it!

Adele

( Posted by: AdeleCosgroveBray [Member] On: March 4, 2005 )





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