The Intruder

Collecting youth. by alexstoddard on Flickr.

“You do not belong here,” she said, her voice warm yet menacing as it carried through the air.

Darien stopped walking and looked for the source of the voice. The trees seemed clustered together, as if to pin him in.

“You do not belong here,” she repeated. The trees shifted again, pressing closer together. Darien drew his machete, ready to cut his way through, if necessary, and stepped forward again. Unease crept up his spine but went ignored. A tree stopped his advance and a limb stretched towards him, its wood becoming flesh. Her arm was skinny and milky white. He recognized the markings that marred it. A finger crooked in front of his face, its sharp fingernail missing the underside of his chin by mere inches.

“You do not belong here!” she stated once more. He swung the machete back, but another tree stopped him from thrusting it into her bark. The pressure was tight and he released the machete. More twigs wrapped around him, trapping him in a tight embrace, as roots sprang from the soil, beating against his feet.

“You failed us!” her voice wavered as she spoke, the finger stretching further yet still avoiding contact. “You dare to return with the blood of our sisters on your soul. Your very substance is poison to us. You took from us our heart, now we will take yours!”


This week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge: heart–3: personality, disposition <a cold heart> between 33 and 333 words.

The image used in the story above is the picture prompt from Ermilia’s Picture it & Write prompt this week.

And the 3 words of 3 Word Wednesday were beat, pressure, and substance. (well, they were the words until new ones went up this morning. *sigh*)

I welcome and appreciate constructive criticism. Please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment.

Thanks for stopping in!


SubstanceSubstance abuse, drug-related healthcare and social policy diagnosis or label


  1. This piece is intense and spooky. It reminds me in tone of The Woman in Black. I really love the way you talk with your community in the comments about how to make your work stronger. There is nothing more valuable to a writer than an honest community. Love it.


  2. A very powerful ending. I love how this main character wasn’t the stereotype, good boy. A nice story! Thanks for contributing this week. 🙂

    – Ermisenda


  3. I like Lance’s suggestion. This is a really cool flash. I can picture the scene and the evil is just oozing off the screen 🙂

    Another suggestion: remove the word “white” before limb. You don’t need it if you say her arm was skinny and “milky white”


    • I took both suggestions and made the changes. It really is a great picture isn’t it? It could be bigger but right now I’m going to focus on finishing Toxic Lucidity, figuring out my NaNo project for September, and getting the Tiffany story in print.


  4. I like the intensity and the old word quality of the prose, especially their speech. How do you feel about taking “our very being” out of the last sentence to ephasis heart?

    good work, mama


    • I did take it out. I put in to emphasis the definition here for heart, but I’m glad that the meaning is apparent enough it’s not needed. Thanks, Lance.


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