by Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik
Are you, are you, coming to the tree? They strung up a man they say who murdered three. Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree.
A lonely hillside stood shrouded in mist and a thick veil of darkness as a chilled dusk closed in from the foaming sea, tossing with Poseidon’s fury as a harsh cold rain beat down as a pounding drum. And yet there was an unbreakable silence lingering in the air as a departed spirit that could not be shifted. A small clump of pure white daisies held each other tightly for support as if attempting to withstand some unfelt wind, some secret untold force in the sickly grass. They were failing. The daisies were blackening, decaying and dying. Above, a thing of great deformity stood knotted and gnarled in a deep shade of umbra. The thick bark crawled over itself in the darkness as if attempting to escape its inevitable destiny. Halfway up, the trunk opened up wide to create a gaping oval; a void which no light dared enter. A cavernous mouth eager to consume any life that was foolish enough to enter its inky blackness. Above the void, the bark curled and swirled further as it stretched out as desperate arms drowning in the thick dewy unbreathable air and formed crooked sickly leafless branches with points like daggers. Something was suspended from the thickest, most twisted branch; it itself was thick and twisted. Its end bore a loop. What it could be remains unclear.
Are you, are you, coming to the tree? Where I told you to run, so we'd both be free. Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree.