The Bone Tree

“I sacrificed a cow here, many years ago,” my grandmother said.  “The roots of this tree drank the blood.  See the skull?  That’s all that’s left of her, now.”
“What did you want?” I asked.
“I prayed that your mother grow up healthy and strong, and so she did.”
“What are you asking for now, grandmother?”
She sighed.  “Your sister cannot conceive and the rains are months too late.  So I have returned.”
I looked around.  “But where is the cow?  Did you forget her?”
“No cow, this time,” she said.  “I think I need something more precious.”


I return!  A month of crazy preparations for, and execution of, fieldwork have sapped all free time from my addled schedule.  But on the plus side, I got to press the “detonate” button on a big explosion.  I love my job. Anyway…Every Friday, writers from all around the world write 100 word (or thereabouts) flash fiction based on a photo posted that Wednesday on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.

I welcome constructive criticism; without it I cannot grow as a writer.  The weekly photo that inspired this story is below:


About glossarch

The word "glossarch" doesn't exist. At least, not yet. But let's pretend it does for a second. The first part is "gloss," a word that comes to us from Ancient Greek via Latin and English. It means "language." The second part also comes from Ancient Greek and can mean "having power over." So "glossarch" means simply "language controller." So what am I doing making up words? Well, I made up an entire language once. It's called Angosey. So I'm the Glossarch of Angosey. I'm currently a doctorate student in volcano seismology (a branch of geophysics). I enjoy writing fiction and poetry, launching balloons, programming, and hanging out with my lovely wife! Follow me on Twitter! Writing and language creation: @glossarch Balloons and science: @bovineaerospace
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13 Responses to The Bone Tree

  1. Mike says:

    Ouch!! Run Boy, Run Now . . . (Great story – got my attention)

  2. Nan Falkner says:

    Run Away Quick OR, Grab the weapon from CRAZY GRANNY and then do what you want. Hey, I wouldn’t think you’d be in the will though – at least don’t get your hopes up! Nan 🙂

  3. Oh my, Grandma is crazy!!! Such a great story.

  4. I have my doubts this will end as well as it did for Isaac. Good story, Danny. Glad you had fun with the explosion. 🙂


  5. Oh goodness… more precious?

  6. Good story. There’s still so much superstition abroad. Children are still being sacrificed here, usually in one of the villages. A well known man was shot and killed on his morning walk recently because he campaigned against superstition. The police still haven’t found out who the killer or killers were. They were probably hired. It’s believed they rode up on a motor bike, shot him, and rode off. Well written. —Susan

  7. Sarah Ann says:

    Beautifully written – very well set up for the unexpected ending.

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