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The Elmoar Tree

A Faerie Tale

By Kenny PennPublished 6 months ago 2 min read
Top Story - September 2023
47
Midjourney + Kenny Penn

Appledew watches the human child stumble into her grove. She doesn’t want to kill it, but the decision won’t be hers to make.

The child’s overcoat is dirty and torn, the garments underneath spotted with rust-colored stains. It’s unshod, allowing Appledew to see a human’s feet for the first time, which she thinks are misshapen and ugly.

How do humans move wearing so much? Appledew thinks. She flutters her opalescent wings, giving herself a quick burst of speed and floats to a closer branch.

Suddenly the child falls to its knees before the great trunk of the Elmoar Tree and begins to wail. Its pain is raw and terrible to behold.

“Why?” It cries. “They never hurt anyone!”

Appledew frowns as it collapses onto its arms, shaking in anguish. Never hurt anyone? Humans hurt everything. They trample beautiful flowers, steal food from hardworking bees, and worst of all, cut down the great trees.

Humans live in carcasses that had once given life to the world. They aren’t trustworthy, but Appledew can’t help feeling sad. Whatever its people’s flaws; this one had not yet caused harm to nature.

The child freezes as sudden barks fill the air far behind, its eyes terror filled. A moan escapes its lips as it struggles to its feet.

Dogs! Appledew’s mouth twists in disgust. Animals submitting to humans. Worse than horses, who at least had to be broken.

“Gods above, please, help me!” It steps forward and leans on the Elmoar, sobbing.

Wind whispers through the Elmoar’s leaves, tickling Appledew’s ears. She stares in bewilderment at the great tree, hardly believing what she’s being asked.

To question the Elmoar’s will is foolish at best, so Appledew does something she never imagined. She hops off her branch, floats down and lands gently on the child’s shoulder. Focusing her will, she merges her mind with it, sees with its eyes.

The child’s recent memories become Appledew’s. Her heart breaks. She’s hiding behind a cluster of bushes, watching as evil men use sharp metal weapons to murder her father. A beautiful crown of woven branches and flowers falls from his head. They’ve already done the same to her mother and brothers.

They are coming for her next. Choking back sobs, she flees to the forest. Perhaps she can hide there.

Another memory surfaces. A beautiful rose garden. A grove of cherry trees tended with love, far away from here. A bright, tender face lined with age.

Appledew separates her mind from the child’s, eyes brimming with unshed tears. She whispers a few words. The air nearby shimmers and coalesces, forming a connection.

The child looks through the rift and gasps. The cherry trees are full and ripened.

The wind whispers again. “Go,” Appledew says.

The child passes through. The connection fades. Appledew turns toward the human party growing closer to her home.

The wind surges, the Elmoar groans. Appledew’s eyes glow green with purpose. Those, she must kill.

Short StoryFantasy
47

About the Creator

Kenny Penn

Thanks for reading! I enjoy writing in various genres, my favorites being horror/thriller and dark/epic fantasies. I'll also occasionally drop a poem or two.

For a list of all my work, and to connect with me, go to www.kennypenn.com

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  4. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  5. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (25)

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  • Jazzy 10 days ago

    I can see why this was a finalist, bravo!

  • Ken_kudu22 days ago

    let's engage with each other’s content

  • Hannah Moore28 days ago

    Ooh, she seemed so Swiss at first, a neutral observer, but...

  • Congratulations on your Top Story🎉

  • Excellent Creation-😉📝✌️💚

  • very good

  • Donna Fox (HKB)6 months ago

    Kenny, I was initially drawn in by the striking title page you chose but then stayed for this wonderfully written story! Appledew is such a unique name for your main character and I actually really appreciate the creativity behind it. I like the way you constructed this character and how you are able to give us bits and pieces of her while still progressing the story. The ability for her to meld her mind with the child was in interesting add, unexpected but a great touch! I like the perspective you chose and how you use their narrative voice to push the story along, while giving us insights into this world you have created. I also appreciated the personification of both the forest around the child and the wind, beautiful done! I would be interested to see if you write a part 2/ chapter 2 and to see where this goes! Great work Kenny and congratulations on Top Story!

  • Jaslynn6 months ago

    Ooo I loved this! Thank you!

  • Rob Angeli6 months ago

    Crystalline beauty, love that. Very moving. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • L.C. Schäfer6 months ago

    Good, always nice to see tossers get their comeuppance

  • Babs Iverson6 months ago

    Impressive & creative!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Sian N. Clutton6 months ago

    Loved this! I wish there was more.

  • ANFAS6 months ago

    nice

  • Alexander McEvoy6 months ago

    That was brilliant! Conflict within Applewood, and the care shown by the deific tree to the child are amazing. This was a great piece of fantasy fiction with a wonderful bit of silent menace as we don't know what Applewood is but know that those hunters are in for a world of hurt. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on top story :) well deserved

  • The innocence is sublime. Your story is beautifully crafted. 👏

  • Celia in Underland6 months ago

    So delicately written-Stunning! I am in love with the world ' opalescent'. I have never heard it before so thank you! Congrats on top story! 🤍

  • Lamar Wiggins6 months ago

    Awesome! You took me to that world and held onto me until the end. Loved the message of greedy thoughtless humans inserted. Congrats on your top story!!! Happily subscribed!

  • K.F. Wheeldon6 months ago

    Very well done!

  • Dana Crandell6 months ago

    Congratulations. A truly worthy Top Story.

  • Melissa Ingoldsby6 months ago

    Truly fantastic reminds me of Pan’s Labyrinth

  • Mackenzie Davis6 months ago

    Read it twice! Holy wow. So much to praise here, and so much I missed the first time. I adore Appledew’s arc, going from simple idealism to nuanced empathy. And the role of Elmoar, breaking the rules to give that to the faerie and to save the child…wow. I am sensing a much deeper role that the tree has in this world, a god-like role over life and death perhaps. I wonder—had there not been memories of the cherry tree grove, would Elmoar have saved the child? Im assuming that Appledew sends the child back in time, though it could be just back to that place, which still exists. Grandparents, maybe? I am craving a novel! I hope we get to see more from this world. You wrote this so so well.

  • Judey Kalchik 6 months ago

    That took a turn quickly. Great pacing. Yes- more, please.

  • Rachael MacDonald6 months ago

    Always leave them wanting more :) I enjoyed this one ❤

  • Appledew is a badass! Will there be a part 2?

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