Whimsy Wednesday: Tree of the Dead

For the last several miles, Johnny swore he saw the light cutting straight between the red mountains, giving him a beacon after an eternity of crawling in the dark. It had to be a fiction, a fantasy he'd imagined, something to give him guidance. He had no map to lead him to the tree, only have remembered fairy tales and local superstitions. He'd thought about turning back time and time again, but the path had disappeared, subsumed by the ever lengthening fields.

Despite being in the grip of spring, these rolling hills had adopted an autumn hue. He kept his eyes trained on the pillar of white light, fearful it would vanish if he lost sight of it, a more fickle beast than a rainbow after a fresh rain. But he was in luck, the oddity held its grip, as if calling him forward, whispering promises of reunion. He'd shed his pack, anything that would slow him down. Thirst burned his throat, his muscles ached, the wind whipped at his ears, but he trudged forward through the amber grass.

As he crested the final hill, he saw the motionless tree, stark white amidst the crimson stalks and saw a figure there, impossibly dark, but waiting. Waiting for him.

Tree of the Dead by Kenn Yap

Tree of the Dead by Kenn Yap

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Justin D. Herd

Justin D. Herd is a purveyor of the weird and strange. He occasionally squawks at friends and family, but does so only under the cover of night. Okay, that's not true. He squawks in full daylight. Drinking games have been built around his peculiarities, but the truth of it is this: he is a loving husband, with two wonderful dem--children. One growls at things he likes, including pretty women. The other has started to learn hand-eye coordination. Neither had made it to the tender age of three. From there, things will only get more interesting. He spends most of his writing time either at a coffee shop or sitting at one of his many desks around his house. Any other place makes it nearly impossible for him to write. He uses horror movies and rock music to help get the juices flowing. His favorite authors are Jeremy Robert Johnson, Alan Campbell, Terry Pratchett, Justin Cronin, and Patrick Rothfuss. He consumes most of his books through audiobooks, but still loves his personal library and getting lost in the printed word.