The Sound of Destruction

Imagine being shown the picture below and asked to write a short story about it. You have 2-hours. Oh and by the way…it’s a contest.

Taking up the challenge, I came up with the following story. To my surprise, I one first place. A gift card to Barnes and Noble. A fabulous place for a writer.

The Sound of Destruction

There was a strange smell in the air that overpowered the aroma from the wet fall leaves that lay on the ground decaying, the damp earth, and the distinct smell of autumn mushrooms. An unfamiliar sound of buzzing, chewing and grinding could be heard for most of the day. From time to time a loud crash could be heard—accompanied by a vibration that comes from an old soul dying. The gentle inhabitants of the woods kept as far away from the noise as they could, for they did not understand. Only the majestic stag comprehended what the sounds meant for he had encountered them before—and the knowledge filled him with sadness.

As the sun was nearing the end of its daily journey across the sky, the sound stopped and the regular sounds of the forest returned, softened by the rising mist. The birds resumed their singing to the squirrels, who chattered to the frogs, who croaked to the doe, who cautiously approached the noble stag. Slowly rising beneath the songs of nature came another sound. It was a melody that was not made, nor heard before by any of the animals.

One by one, the siren song pulled at their hearts—beckoning them to come out of where they were hidden and eased their fears. The wild boar came first followed by the rat. The doe and her timid fawn soon trailed. Finally the regal stag hovered at the edge of the small clearing. What they saw broke their hearts.

The tree was old. Its arms had reached higher than any other. In the summer the leaves were the shade of emerald and the fall saw a deep orange that rivaled the sunset. All that remained now was a low base with roots extending deep within the warm earth. Those on the surface branched out as ripples on the water and gave shelter to the smaller woodland animals.

Sitting on the stump, now a raw wound, was the source of the music. Out of an elegant moon colored shape resembling the trumpet flowers that grew in the summer fields, came the sound of splendor. Destruction filled their eyes—yet beauty filled their ears with wonder.

Avie Layne 2012