The Story of Witches Tree

Only Stella knew why the branches of Witches Tree wound painfully in and out. Only she had seen the feuding families agree on their quick, dark deed: to stop the naïve union of the young lovers, one from each tribe.

Silent unless called upon by Gaia, Stella had watched the lovers be slaughtered and their hearts buried. Apart. Trees sprung from the hearts in gnarled twists, reaching -forever reaching- to meet.

Decades later, Stella still heard speculations; the witches cursed the forest, witches were the forest, or some children ate a magic mushroom and turned to wood -which was also because of witches.

Her leaves sighed in the wind as she saw the unmet loneliness, even now, of lovers long ago. Sometimes people, she knew, were worse than witches.

© Chel Owens

In response to CalmKate’s prompt, “Bent.”

30 thoughts on “The Story of Witches Tree

  1. johnlmalone April 23, 2021 / 11:44 pm

    you did well writing to that photo of gnarled and twisted branches frozen in some sort of gothic dance —

    Liked by 2 people

  2. johnlmalone April 24, 2021 / 1:22 am

    your snippet of a story is aptly gnarled and twisted as those branches in that Gothic photo —

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bruce Goodman April 24, 2021 / 10:13 am

    Great story! Do you know what the species of tree is called (in real life)? as my house is surrounded by them and I have never been able to find out what they are!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens April 24, 2021 / 12:59 pm

      I don’t! My husband found some kind of site or app where you could take a picture of a leaf and it would tell you what it was. You could try that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • calmkate April 24, 2021 / 5:27 pm

      paperbarks! Many do artwork with the colourful paper-like bark

      Liked by 1 person

  4. calmkate April 24, 2021 / 5:27 pm

    wow Chel you really twisted this story, gruesome with a hint of romance!

    Totally love it, you engaged me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens April 25, 2021 / 10:28 am

      Thank you, Diana. I did, too. It needs a whole Romeo/Juliet background, and then some.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Miriam Hurdle April 25, 2021 / 7:28 pm

    I could see this analogy, Chelsea, “Sometimes people are worse than witches.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens April 25, 2021 / 9:25 pm

      I see it often. Hopefully, most people are better than nobles.


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