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 Category:  Horror and Thriller Fiction
  Posted: May 23, 2020      Views: 57

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 ABOUT
DIANA L CRAWFORD 

Diana is a poet/lyricist who has been composing love poems and lyrics for over 40 years. She has had several poems published over the years in such publications as the Purdue University Skylark: The Fine Arts Annual of Purdue Calumet (Hammond, India - more...

She is an accomplished poet and is currently at the #27 spot on this years rankings.

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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
A Horror Club challenge story...
"Tree Lady" by Diana L Crawford



It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in a sleepy little Indiana town. Joey, 14, and his pal, Robbie, 13, decided to don their masks and head off to the local county park to walk the trails.

"So you wanna walk or ride bikes?" Joey asked his friend.

"Let's walk! We have all afternoon."

The county park was only a ten minute walk from Joey's house. They arrived and found the park empty. Most people were staying inside, so the park was theirs.

The boys brought a basketball and stopped to shoot a few hoops before venturing off into the woods. After a sweaty game, the two raced up to the water fountains to quench their thirst.

After cooling down, they walked to the Sensory Garden where a small area was sectioned off and various plants /flowers filled each with sight, smell and taste attributes; there was even a little brook and waterfall that supplied a small Koi pond that had a little bridge over it.

Joey and Robbie both removed their masks so they could enjoy the fresh perfumed air as they headed off towards the walking trails. They chose the longest trail, which wound around a much larger pond in the middle of the park. As they rounded the pond, they stopped to sit along the bank for awhile.

"So Rob, can you imagine if the plants got infected with this stupid Coronavirus?" remarked Joey as he tossed a rock into the pond.

"Creepy thought!"

The boys howled at the thought of it.

The sun was beginning to set, so the boys decided to move on their way. It got quite dark in the woods as the sun set.

"Come on, dude! You're walking like an old lady!"

Joey just laughed at his friend and quickened his step.

Upon entering the thickest part of the woods, they noticed the plants around them were swaying, yet there was no wind. Eerie haunting sounds like coughing got louder with each step they took. Instantly struck with fear, they stood frozen in place.

"Dude, what the ....?" Robbie quivered as he spoke.

"I don't know, but let's just keep going. We don't have much farther to the trail's end."

Slowly they moved through the strange sights and sounds while the sun continued to descend. Soon it became very dim with barely enough light to see each other.

"Should we run?" Joey asked.

"Heck yeah! Best idea yet!"

And off they sped.

Suddenly, ferns, poison ivy and other forest plants came to life and began chasing them down the trail.

"Oh My God, dude!" Robbie yelled.

Running even faster, they stumbled; and Joey fell to the ground. Robbie stopped to help him. As they stood up, they saw in front of them what looked like a 'Tree Lady' whose hands were on fire.

With a flick of her wrist, the Coronavirus infected and mind-controlled forest plants attacked the boys, binding them tightly with their diseased roots and leaves. Following the 'Tree Lady', they carried the trapped boys deep into the thick woods.
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