Chosen Ones

He led her by the hand deep inside the forest. Sitting beneath the shade of an ancient banyan tree, its branches reached to the ground and embraced her.  A serene expression fluttered across her face, and then she was gone.  

No one in the village believed him when he said, “The tree took her.”

Years passed.  He was set free.  Sitting in front of the banyan tree, he listened to the ethereal voices of the Chosen crescendo and begin again.  He heard her bell-like voice among them.  

Before leaving the forest, he promised the ancient tree, “I will find another.”

~~ 

This story is my contribution to “Friday Fictioneers,” a weekly challenge hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff Fields. With the help of a photo prompt to inspire, we’re to write a 100-word story. The photo this week was provided by Liz Young.

If you would like to join in with this encouraging group of writers or read their stories from this week, visit here.

Thank you for stopping by! Be safe, stay well.

58 Comments Add yours

  1. trentpmcd says:

    Yep, I agree, that tree wants a sacrifice…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just finished reading yours. Great minds and all. The tree needs a sacrifice indeed! haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. trentpmcd says:

        There is just something about that tree…

        Like

  2. Tannille says:

    Ooo there is so much more to this story! I’m digging the demonic tree!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed! Banyans are intrinsically spooky to me. =) Thanks, T, for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. draliman says:

    It is a pretty hungry-looking tree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is! Thanks for commenting, Ali. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oo brilliant and quite spooky!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, what a nice comment! Those trees are certainly spooky, couldn’t help myself. =) Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always enjoy your tales 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. GHLearner says:

    Oh, well done, scary and uplifting at the same time. Who would not want to have the beautiful music… but at what price?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! The music does come at a high price. =)

      Like

  6. ceayr says:

    A tree whose bite is worse than its bark, hmm?
    Charmingly sinister, Brenda

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It certainly is. Thanks so much, C.E. =)

      Like

  7. plaridel says:

    i think he really killed her and in a kind of weird way he was blaming the tree for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, interesting twist. It’s up to the reader to decide (haha). =)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not so sure I’d sit there, ethereal voices or not! Excellent Brenda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a bit of a risk indeed. Thanks so much for the kind comment, Keith. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Iain Kelly says:

    Magical and scary and sad all in the one go. Well done Brenda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Iain, for your kind comments. Hope you have a nice weekend! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. athling2001 says:

    Starts off so mellow and then what a chilling end. Well, chilling for people, not so chilling for the tree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, the tree is quite pleased. I’m glad you found it chilling! =) Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  11. Nobbinmaug says:

    Ooh, the scapegoat becomes the disciple. I guess recruiter is better than being one of the Chosen in this scenario.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think he likes the music. =) Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. pennygadd51 says:

    I love the ambivalence of this story. Her serene expression, and the bell-like tones are positive images. I could almost imagine that she sang there joyfully. Very well written!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you for the very encouraging comments on the writing. Hope you have a lovely weekend, Penny! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Michael says:

    I hope that he is not feeding this tree, It is bad for it😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, possibly. =) Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  14. Dora says:

    Treacherous mortal and a devouring tree: the stuff of horror.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, but those chosen seem happy? Thanks so much for commenting, Dora! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Ann Coleman says:

    Once again, you told a deep and complicated story with very few words. I was feeling sorry for him until I read the last line…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is indeed a complicated character. Thank you for your kind and encouraging comments, Ann! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  16. James McEwan says:

    My goodness, this is began with a sense of injustice until I learned the truth. How many more will the tree devour before he stops.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure, it’s been at it for a very long time. =) Thanks for stopping by, James!!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. jenne49 says:

    Ooh, feeding the tree! Going back and re-reading, ‘He led her by the hand deep inside the forest’ took on a whole new tone! I felt quite sorry for him. Now I think they shouldn’t have bothered setting him free! Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, maybe they shouldn’t have. More villagers will certainly go missing. I’m happy you enjoyed the story and re-read it. Thanks so much for letting me know, Jenne.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Ooooh loved this! How a short piece can create such a journey is awesome. I felt sorry for him and then the end was such a twist. Great vibes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed, Emine. Thank you so much for your kind comments! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Laurie Bell says:

    Ooooooooo so the tree is the evil one or is he hearing voices. This is all kinds of spooky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad the story made your wonder, Laurie. Thanks so much for letting me know. =)

      Like

  20. msjadeli says:

    O.M.G. I got tingles on that one. And who is to say it isn’t so…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The reader decides. =) Oh, I’m glad you got the tingles. It’s a mysterious story, even to me. (haha)

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Dale says:

    I’m with Penny. While I feel we should think ill of the tree, it appears the chosen are happy within. Love this, Brenda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are indeed happy, so who’s to say…? I’m very glad you enjoyed the story, Dale!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Dear Brenda,

    I didn’t find this to be sinister. Obviously it’s what she wanted. I felt his sadness at the same time. Delightful.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He did care for her and enjoys hearing her voice among the others. I’m glad you picked up on his sadness. I found it difficult to communicate… =) Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments.

      Like

  23. oneta hayes says:

    Seems a lot of fluctuations between these trees as devourers and as protectors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true, you’re either one side or the other. Thanks much for commenting, Oneta!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. subroto says:

    That tree is making us branch into a dark side this week. He really needs to find the root cause behind the mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly is. Banyans are quite intriguing and mysterious trees. Thanks for commenting!! =)

      Like

  25. Sandra says:

    Sinister, but with an uplifting conclusion. Well done, Brenda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m very glad you enjoyed. Thanks so much, Sandra!

      Like

  26. I can see why no one believed him. If he finds another, I hope he doesn’t show her the tree.

    Might be a good way to get rid of someone you didn’t like though . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha…good point. Thanks so much for commenting, Russell!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. A spell binding story Brenda, with a serene mood. felt as if both the man and the woman accepted things that happened. Well told.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful and encouraging comments, Francine! =)

      Like

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