Here’s a piece of fantasy flash fiction about a magical woods and environmental destruction. It’s about 600 words and has an estimated reading time of 2 and a half minutes. Let me know what you think!
I often came to the Wesbour Woods to clear my mind. The lush woods were a skip and stone’s throw from my cottage, where I lived alone after my beloved wife died. I traveled the woods most every day in my solitude, getting lost in my reverie and communing with the great trees.
About a year ago, during one of my walks, I met a prodigious creature of the woods, and he became a dear friend. He introduced himself as Mishee, the guardian of Westbour.
Mishee was quite tall – about nine feet high – and he seemed to be made of the woods itself. His skin was all green vine, and his head and face were made of the bark of the pines. He sometimes scared me, as he’d blend in so well with the greenery of the woods.
Speaking with Mishee became a ritual, and I’d seek his company every day. He’d appear on my walking path and share his great wisdom.
Lately, though, Mishee had become quite sad. He said the men of the nearby town had turned against the woods. The trees of Wesbour suffered, and Mishee heard their screams throughout the days and long nights.
“Wesbour is dying,” he told me in his deep voice. “The other day, I spotted a great many humans with terrible machines. They’ve begun chopping down the trees, bringing great devastation.”
“This is awful, Mishee!” I replied. “What can we do? Say the word, and I will defend the honor of Wesbour!”
“These woods are ancient, my friend. And it will defend itself,” Mishee said.
I didn’t understand Mishee’s remark, and when I asked him to clarify, he told me to just wait. He told me to refrain from taking my walks for a while because there would be a great battle.
I trusted Mishee, so I did what he asked.
I stayed in my cottage for a month straight, listening to the sounds of the men cutting down the trees with their appalling machines. My mind and body screamed to defend Wesbour; I wanted so badly to do something.
But I knew the wisdom of Mishee, and his cryptic remark about the woods defending itself kept me waiting for something to happen.
It was on a sunny afternoon when the great battle, as Mishee called it, commenced. The lumber company was doing its frenzied work when I heard yelling and screaming all of a sudden.
I looked outside my cottage window, but I could see nothing. Instead, all I heard was the shrill cries of the lumbermen. So it went on for about thirty minutes, and then there was a deafening silence.
I waited another hour, then I ventured into the woods. All was quiet, a very eerie quiet. I walked for quite some time before I came upon the spot in the woods where, most likely, the screaming came from.
There in the clearing, corpses were scattered about, but they looked as though they’d been dead for ages. Moss and vine covered them as they sunk into the soil and forest floor, along with their big machines.
All around me, the great pines and oaks that had been chopped down were slowly but perceptibly growing back into the afternoon sky. Wesbour was healing itself and regenerating right before my eyes.
“Wesbour always defends itself,” said Mishee. I turned and saw him behind me. “Many humans have tried to destroy Her, but they’ve always failed.
“I told you: these woods are ancient. And they’ll never die.”
4 thoughts on “The Woods of Wesbour (flash fiction)”
Liked the image of the forest’s foes covered with plant growth as if they had been there for a long time. Lends a certain majesty to the battle.
Thanks! I enjoyed writing this one. I love stories about enchanted forests. Such an awesome motif in mythology.