The Gnarl

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Copyright John Nixon

The Gnarl
GENRE: Fantasy or possibly magic(al) realism
WORD COUNT: 102

Meab had dared me, so I had to.

Cruuunnnchh.

In an auburn sea my footsteps cracked open midribs and sound mingled with mossy smells. Each gust drizzled my courage on the receding forest floor.

“Stay away from that cage of crape myrtle,” Grandpa waylaid us as we were leaving.

I could imagine little Meab’s back melting into Lookinglass Rock. His words knelled yet: No one’s ever come back from inside. It steals breath, you know.

As I neared the edge of the tangle of trees, my chest cinched. Are my still-wet wings enough to keep me from eternal silence in the Gnarl?


If you are a writer, I encourage you to participate in Friday Fictioneers, for which this piece was written. Thanks for stopping by, and please visit again.

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11 thoughts on “The Gnarl

  1. You’re right could go either way into fantasy or MR, and it read like a strong enough hook to hang a book off. My only quibble was the long crunch. Show, don’t tell, as my editing buddies keep saying.

    • I agree, Ali. I struggled with just that word choice, more so than any other part. Thank you for your input; it’s great when writing/blogging is not in a vacuum, and more the better when I get advice from a skilled writer like you.

    • Thank you. It’s not often that I get to write fantasy, though I have been known to read quite a bit of it at times. Your story for the photo prompt is very ethereal, then turns quietly dark; I enjoy how it leaves me with so many questions (plus, I learned a new word; mudras; thank you for sharing that).

  2. Leigh, excellent story. My favorite section was this: “In an auburn sea my footsteps cracked open midribs and sound mingled with mossy smells. Each gust drizzled my courage on the receding forest floor.” I really liked the description there. And there was just enough unknown to let our imaginations wander.

    janet

    • Janet, thank you for sharing what you thought worked well in the story. I truly appreciate you taking time to comment–and what a cool coincidence that you have some shots of Chihuly pieces on your blog (I did a photo challenge recently of reflections where I shared a couple I had taken of his Walla walla floating art glass).

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