Telling The Tree

I’d come here to tell the tree. It was our tradition. Anything important, shared. Rosie had gone and I couldn’t silently swallow her betrayal. 

 An age ago we’d shimmied up the trunk like young koalas leaving ludicrous notes, meaningless as morsels of fruitcake, to make each other laugh. The tree had been our confidante, green, with whispering leaves that tickled our bodies. Sweet sap had been sticky on our fingers.

Now I encountered a desiccated ruin. I tried to climb but brittle branches snapped. I fell into a cat’s cradle of knotted roots. The tree and I moaned unheard, unremarked.

This story was shortlisted in the June 2023 monthly micro fiction competition.

About the author: Jane Broughton won Beaconlit Festival’s 2019 flash fiction prize. Her stories have been published in a variety of magazines, and online by FreeFlashFiction and Reflex Fiction. She’s been a LISP and Edinburgh Flash Fiction Award finalist and had pieces shortlisted by Retreat West, Writing Magazine and Flash500. She tweets @janeb323.