#Writober Day 21: Finding Sanctuary Under a Canopy of Dead Leaves

The Beauty of Decay by Maria L. Berg 2022

Study of Contradictory Abstract Nouns

Finding the life in death and death in life. The moment of birth is the first step toward death, every breath oxidizes and ages, moving life toward its end. Every death is teaming with life. When the spark of life extinguishes, a thriving ecosystem gets to work: bacteria, microbes, fungus, ants, worms, seagulls, vultures, coyotes, all work together to recycle the lifeless. Though many humans dream of a life eternal, fearing the unknown of finality, they also show a fear of the unnatural possibility of eternal life as demonstrated through stories of vampires, jinn, ghosts, zombies and other undead or undying monsters.

This morning I began thinking of poisonous mushrooms as a symbol of the life in death and death in life, though any of the lives in my list above could make interesting images. I’ve got a couple more days to think about it.

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is leaves. For today’s images I used a leaf I found last season that had decomposed to only its veins. It feels almost like cloth. I picked a couple aging leaves from the cherry-plum tree too.

I enjoyed this morning’s photos so much. I want to thank Tourmaline for the inspiration I get from this Halloween challenge.

Autumn’s Veins by Maria L. Berg 2022
Falling Leaves by Maria L. Berg 2022


Today’s prompt is about Sanctuary.

Finding a Safe Place to Hide

I had a choice of rooms
but only one offered sanctuary
small, confined, two windows filled
with leaves, branches and vines
sunrise-side towhees shuffle along my eye-line
until I close the thick blackout curtains
then yellow
yellow curtains, yellow walls, yellow carpet
like daffodil fields edged by a wood
faux wood closet doors, veneers on
built-in cupboards and drawers
and in the center a private island
with a quilt, wavy sea-green
cozy in warm blankets
supported by pillows
supporting a laptop, typing
but there’s more than this
comfort and solitude
a property only present here
like a bubble of silence
impenetrable by doorbell or phone
or voices, or boats, or chainsaws or mowers
or ghosts,
like a bomb shelter or lead-lined box
like a force-field, a sound-shield, a safe
sanctuary of calm

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s inspirational image is “The Wide Carnivorous Sky” by Ian Hinley.

I noticed something was odd right away. Nothing that looked like furniture came off that truck, only wooden crate after wooden crate, all rectangular, uniform. I thought of an IKEA warehouse, or a mausoleum. I imagined an aggressive A-personality with intense Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I went back inside and scrounged around for something to eat.
That night a small bat swooped back and forth along the porch where I sat petting the cat. I hadn’t seen a bat since the giant fir tree fell during the storm. I felt so sorry for that little bat circling and circling my deck then flying back and forth in front of the windows before circling again. I was sure it wasn’t the same bat, and yet I felt that same sad longing watching it, as if it had lost its home.
The next morning, before the sun came up, while I was just settling into work in my home office, I was surprised by the doorbell. I froze, felt a pain in my chest, and tingles in my arm. The only people that came uninvited were either trying to sell me landscaping or pest removal. I crept toward the door and looked through the peephole. An extremely tall man in a green and black checked flannel shirt, straight black hair flowing down his back trudged back down my driveway toward the street with his hands in his pockets. I continued watching, excited to see if he entered the house directly across the street, the only one I could see from here, but then he turned, suddenly as if he knew I was watching.

Maria L. Berg Writober7 Day 21 2022

#Writober Day 20: Dangerous Drinks in the Shadows

My Tea Smells Funny by Maria L. Berg 2022

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is “drink.” This made me think of transformative drinks, like potions, or mad-science, like Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Those drinks usually bubble and smoke, and taste foul. Or, of course, there are the terrible things that are put into drinks: poisons, pills, or powders. I think I’m feeling darker this year than I was last year when my drinks were failed cocktails of fruit-juice ice-skulls, vodka, and candy-corn pumpkins.

Stop Drinking That, Dr. Jekyll by Maria L. Berg 2022

Today’s Poem


Today’s prompt is Shadow Jumping, moving through our “shadow aspects” by examining our triggers.

dVerse Poets Pub

For today’s Meet the Bar, Laura Bloomsbury challenges us to write a poem in The Roundabout form, a twenty line iambic poem of specific feet and rhyme.

Jump Shadow Jump Shadow Jump

And when I jump from shadow low
to next dark trigger find
a void like night
from blocking light
to next dark trigger find

where painful mem’ries fill my mind
in glaring neon bright
to overcome
vibrations hum
in glaring neon bright

the slant of time that lengthens sight
and pulse a pounding drum
deep waters flow
but change is slow
and pulse a pounding drum

and jumping lifts my dark mood some
as growth no shadow knows
recall refined
is less unkind
as growth no shadow knows

Writober Flash Fiction

I couldn’t find any information about today’s image of two women with pale arms in black ballgowns floating over water’s edge with their heads completely consumed in flames. I tried Artist Ninja (reverse image search), but got nowhere. If anyone has information on the artist and title, please share in the comments. Here’s the beginning of today’s story:

I had planned to rent this one-room cabin for a month, believing a focused retreat without distraction was all I needed to finish my screenplay. My concept was a supernatural mystery, so the isolated boggy setting with no electricity really appealed to me. The first night of writing by candlelight changed my romantic notions right away. I barely wrote half a page before I gave up and started a small fire outside at the water’s edge, and stared at the star-filled sky.
I believed I was the only person for miles, but that night I saw lights flickering along the bank to my right and thought I heard music and laughing. The bugs were thick and irritating even with bug spray. I tired of swatting at the buzzing around my face and ears, so I threw dirt on my fire and tried to sleep. But the night noises startled me, I kept waking to screeches and what sounded like women or children screaming. When I did finally drift off, I awoke in a cold sweat and thought I saw eyes peering in the only window, but I told myself it must have been moonlight reflecting off the water.

Maria L. Berg Writober7 Day 20 2022

#Writober Day 19: The Haunting Decor of Mal-Nourished Souls

Head of Each Household by Maria L. Berg 2022

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is “decor.” For today’s images I scoured some old home decor magazines I found in the cupboard, looking for decor I found creepy. I cut them out and turned them into filters.

Decorative Fox Cleaver by Maria L. Berg 2022
Creepy Grecian Bust by Maria L. Berg 2022


Today’s theme is “Nourish the Soul.” I nourish my soul in so many ways: morning cuddles with kitty, reading, writing, learning, creating my images every day, music, fabric art, and sharing my work with you here at Experience Writing.

Speaking of nourishing the soul, what better way than a meal inspired by poetry? This week is week 7 of ModPo, and I’m starting my close-reading essay on the poem, “Having a Coke with You,” a love poem by Frank O’Hara. While doing a little research, I stumbled upon this PBS episode of Art Cooking which I found really fun.

Art Cooking “Having a Coke with Frank O’Hara”

An Artist Always Starving, Never Sated

After voraciously tasting a breakfast of New York poets
always walking, she’s still hungry
After second-breakfast consuming synchronicity
found in the cupboards of curiosity, she’s still hungry
After a bike ride, drinking in new definitions of efficiency, she still thirsts
After devouring a lunch bursting with color and form, she’s still hungry
After circling back for an afternoon snack combining new flavors
in enticing experimentation, she’s still hungry
After a light, fresh dinner, licking dressing from flat, round plates,
she contemplates confidence, yet she’s still hungry
and when the sweet final course comes, she admires it
longingly, even swipes some icing with her finger
but pushes it aside, not that she isn’t hungry
Busts by Maria L. Berg 2022

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s inspirational image is “Mind Twist (Invocation)” from a Magic: the Gathering card from the Amonkhet Invocations Set. I like the desert sand setting and the idea of being attacked by one’s own shadow—what a betrayal.

“. . . and as I watched, though the cruel sun was overhead, his shadow stretched out behind him like tar pouring over the sand. Then like a thick, toxic smoke, it lifted behind him, and hovered for a moment. He didn’t turn. He stayed on his knees in the burning desert sand, holding his head. The shadow appeared to find form. I saw white eyes in a black almond-shaped face, and long, spindly fingers reached from over the man into his bald scalp which began to writhe and twist. It was horrifying to observe, but I couldn’t look away.” ~Maria L. Berg Writober7 Day 19

#Writober Day 18: Deadly Desserts Under the Perfectly-Imperfect Moon

Last Bite by Maria L. Berg 2022

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is “desserts.” Last year I had fun thinking of desserts literally and creating Halloween chocolates. This year, I want to think of desserts more figuratively. Using the definition of dessert as the sweet last course of a meal, I started thinking about the finality of dessert—a sweet ending, a final enticement—like a Jinn’s cursed wish or a deal with the devil. I thought of one of those huge rainbow suckers, but with a poison symbol on it, or the poisoned apple covered in caramel. I set up the floating studio since this may be the last warm sunny day in a while, and I may be taking my final lake swim of 2022.

Rainbow Radiation Suckers by Maria L. Berg 2022

Deadly Candy Apple by Maria L. Berg 2022

New Poem


Today’s prompt is Perfectly Imperfect and talks about the concept/philosophy of Wabi-sabi: a Japanese aesthetic concept that finds beauty and serenity in objects, landscapes, designs, etc., that are simple, imperfect, and impermanent (dictionary.com).

I was discussing the problems of perfectionism with my parents just yesterday. It’s hard to say if its nature or nurture—genetic, psychological programming,or both—but I got it from both of my parents.

This idea of the perfectly imperfect ties in nicely with finding the confidence in fear and the fear in confidence. The fears of the Halloween season are fears of the unknown: fear of the dark, fear of monsters, fear of nightmares, fear of death, the undead, spooks, frights, and surprises. Confidence comes through knowing what to expect, through experience, learning, shining light into the dark, being prepared. But a perfectionist wants, even needs the impossible. No matter how prepared, the perfectionist will find imperfection, and thus finds the fear in confidence, and is confident of her fear.

dVerse Poets Pub

Today’s Poetics prompt is about names for the October full moon. Sarah gave us a list of what this moon is called around the world to inspire our poem.

I once wrote a song called “I Want to Swim to the Moon.” It talks about the full moon in June. Hard to believe that this year, I could have been singing about the full moon in October—doesn’t have the same ring to it. 😃

Ways We See The Same Moon

Thick fall vines flow from the blackberry moon.
Berries shriveled and long gone, its thorns pierce
searching, hungry flesh, drawing blood
staining its round, white, blemished face.
The blood moon haunts the horizon
flushed with pride of its scarred visage.
The horrors it has evoked in the crazed haze,
planting seeds of discord, the seed fall moon
spreads, lighting the way for the wind
to scatter and spray dreams through the dark.
The harvest moon collects the aging and decaying,
perfect in their grace of time’s ravages, ripe
and sweet in their browning blemishes, fueling
an ice moon’s warm glow.

This Sucker Glows by Maria L. Berg 2022

Writober Flash Fiction

I couldn’t find any information about today’s inspirational image of a young woman being held in a chair by scary arms. Here’s the opening of my story “The Candy Behind the Curtain:”

Taffy loved spending time in Mr. Kaffrey’s old-timey Candy Shoppe. If rainbows had a smell, they would smell like opening the Candy Shoppe door. And they would sound like the bell over the door. Every wall was floor to ceiling shelves with beautiful glass jars containing candies of every color, shape, and size. Mr. Kaffrey had his candy’s coordinated by country. He imported confections from every country in the world. Taffy had to beg her parents for a new globe because she learned some of the countries in the store weren’t on her dad’s old globe, and the computer wasn’t as fun as spinning the world around and stopping it with her finger. It was because of the Candy Shoppe she was fascinated with regime change and borders.
But there was one border that fascinated her the most, and it was within Mr. Kaffrey’s Candy Shoppe itself. In one corner there was a thick velvet curtain hanging from a golden rod. She never saw anyone come out from behind it, but when she subtly lurked by it, pretending to be fascinated by the strange black salt licorice shapes from Sweden that smelled and looked like tar on a hot summer roof, she heard sounds behind the curtain, happy sounds, like laughing and clapping. She imagined kids tasting new candies, the best candies. She salivated imagining a giant chocolate tiger roaming around, or the biggest gummy worm giving kids rides. She wanted to see back there so badly it became an aching need. It was all she could think about.

#Writober Day 17: Fear the Pontianak

Female Ghost Vampire by Maria L. Berg 2022

This Week’s Contradictory Abstract Nouns

So we made it through “the big 5:” beauty, happiness, wisdom, love, and truth. I have to admit, combining those big contradictions with all these other October challenges was hard, but I like the honeycomb and mask symbols that came from the work. Since there are only two week left until Halloween, I thought we would look at some appropriately spooky abstract nouns.

I looked over an abstract noun list and came up with four categories that I thought fit as Halloween themes: fear, death, evil, and weakness. I decided to split each week in half to look at two each week. So this week from Monday through Wednesday, I’ll be exploring the fear in confidence and the confidence in fear. Then Thursday through Saturday I’ll look at the life in death and the death in life. Sunday, I’ll review my findings and share my images.

The weather is supposed to change drastically by the end of the week, so hopefully this is the week to really get into the Halloween spirit.

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is “vampire.” I’ve never been a big fan of vampire stories. I have a physical pain reaction to seeing blood, so as you can imagine, vampires do not equal fun for me. So for today’s prompt, I turned to Monstrum for some inspiration. I found an interesting video about the Pontianak, a Southeast Asian female vampire ghost.

Pontianak by Maria L. Berg 2022


Today is Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub, and the prompt for a poem of exactly 44 words is “bell.”

Violently Denied Her Motherhood

The Pontianak alarms like a cracked bell
ringing echo of betrayal’s grievance
sharp and unhinged vengeance
transformed to unfocused blood thirst
like a wind lifting dry leaves
she is swooping overhead
to perch and prey
on those whose final
vision will be her scars

Pontianak II by Maria L. Berg 2022

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s image is by Nan Fe. I like this imagery of haunting music. And the lines on the face of the spirit make me think of the Pontianak’s scars (though she is said to wear white robes).

Misha glared at her violin. She hated it.
Every day since she was five, her mother forced her to practice for four hours. When she started to rebel, her mother put a lock on the music room door, standing outside with a bag of cookies and a rock. For each mistake, a cookie was ground to dust. Misha hated cookies as much as her violin.
When her mother unlocked the door, and she emerged fingers bleeding and cheeks wet with tears. Her mother would grab her shoulders, stare into her eyes and say, “Someday, little one, you will thank me for saving your babies from the Pontianak.”
“I’m never going to have any babies,” Misha would yell.
Then her mother would poor all the cookie dust on the floor and tell her to clean it up. “Then you will be sad and alone, and spend eternity as a Pontianak yourself. When you’re done cleaning your mess, do your homework and go to bed.”

Maria L. Berg #Writober7 Day 17 2022

#Writober Day 16: Masks of Truth and Fiction

So Many Masks by Maria L. Berg 2022

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is “mask.” Masks are not only fun for Halloween, I think they are a great symbol for this week’s contradictory abstraction: finding the fiction in truth and the truth in fiction. Humans use masks to both hide the truth and create a truth they want others to believe.

Festive Masks by Maria L. Berg 2022


The Masks Unseen

magnified imperfections
amplified by rejection
scaled to infinite
knives, carving
slicing, and dicing
character and courage
honest appearance for
accepted alterations
normalized through farce
glamorized falsification
eclipses objective reality
fantasy-focused manipulation
altering perceptions of beauty-truth
creating masks upon masks
eviscerating will and sight past
shape and skin

Masking Nature by Maria L. Berg 2022

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s image is “First Circle” by Shahab Alizadeh.

As we climbed up the jagged rocks to the side of the enormous steps, approaching the giant doors carved into the mountainside, Alex lost his footing and cut his knee. When we collapsed on the top slab, the blood from Alex’s wound began to pool. I pulled a belt from my pack and cinched it around his thigh, trying to slow the flow. The red puddle wasn’t growing, so my dread subsided. Then the ground beneath me rumbled. The blood sank into the slab, as the doors slid apart into the rock on each side.
Rosen had already scrambled to the far corner and behind a stone. I pulled Alex under his shoulders and dragged him to the corner near Rosen. He yowled in pain, but it was a powerful, angry sound which gave me relief that he wasn’t as bad off as I had feared. Alex’s eyes went wide and his mouth dropped open. I followed his gaze and froze horrified as monstrous, gigantic humanoid fingers clawed through the crack in the door.
As if we had been shrunk to the size of flies, I suddenly knew the fear of being swatted. I imagined my bones crunching, pinched between a thumb and a forefinger. I covered my mouth with both hands to stifle a scream. Alex’s head lolled on his chest in a faint. More and more unbelievably enormous hands and forearms reached through the opening as if trying to escape. I began to imagine that all of the hands belonged to one multi-armed god. And not the benevolent, forgiving kind.
Rosen’s voice quivered behind me, “Are, are, you, see-ee-ing this? Tell me you’re not seeing this.”

Maria L. Berg #Writober7 Day 16 2022

#Writober Day 15: #SoCS Busy Spiders Fill My Happy Place with Webs

Ghost Spider by Maria L. Berg 2022

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Today’s prompt for some stream of consciousness writing is “happy place.”

My happy place is filled with stinky smoke. Frustrating sunny days full of sharp, acrid haze make me long for rain. This time of year, here, wishing for rain feels so wrong. My happy place all summer has been at an old picnic table on the porch, writing, pausing to stare out at the lake, hearing the splash of jumping fish, the scream of eagles, and brisk clicks of the kingfisher. Today it is in my room with the fan; even the living room smells of smoke. And yet, this is such a happy place, far from the fires threatening lives and homes. I sit comfortably in safety reading, writing, and watching Arachnophobia. So today, this is my happy place.

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is Spider. After capturing a macro image of one of the local spiders at work, I tried out some of my new filters with the light glinting off the webs.

Spooktacular Spider by Maria L. Berg
Strix in a Web by Maria L. Berg 2022


Today’s prompt is “Surrendering Fear.” I though I’d give the recommended Terzanelle form a try.

The Sun Defeated, Shadows Form

The sun through smoky haze drips red as blood
in early defeat to the powers of darkness
the sun through smoky haze drips red as blood

shadows of trees smooth and barkless
branching fingers reaching toward the moon
in early defeat to the powers of darkness

fears distort like faces in shiny spoons
songs of loons to cries of demon flight
branching fingers reaching toward the moon

to battle fright, flood this world with light
fleeing shadows revert to rational mind
songs of loons from cries of demon flight

in surrendering illusion truth will find
real fears are warnings of survival’s pain
fleeing shadows, revert to rational mind

and until the fires are quenched with cleansing rain
The sun through smoky haze drips red as blood
Real fears are warnings of survival’s pain
The sun through smoky haze drips red as blood

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s inspiration is “Shaman Concept” by Fanny Poulain. This very creepy creature looks like Hellraiser II concept art by Guillermo del Toro.

When we went through the broken gate into the overgrown churchyard, I expected a stream of costumed people ahead of us, but we were alone. “Are we early?” I asked Dahlia, suddenly chilled.
Dahlia hooked my elbow and tugged me forward. “We’re right on time.”
On the steps, I heard fluttering above us, and saw large crows pecking at the bell in the bell tower. I dropped Dahlia’s arm, and hurried to the door. It didn’t matter if some people thought getting shit on by birds was good luck, I did not agree. Dahlia laughed behind me.
The large arched doors were open, and the huge room glowed with more candles than I had ever seen. My eyes had to adjust, but I still didn’t see the other party-goers. “Dahlia, what’s going on? Where is everybody?”
“They’re here, silly. They probably found the treats. Go on.”

Maria L. Berg #Writober7 Day 15 2022

#Writober Day 14: Searching for Spooky on a Sunny Morning

Spooky Moon by Maria L. Berg 2022

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is spooky. It’s hard to find spooky on a pretty, sunny morning, but I did my best.

Spooky Room by Maria L. Berg 2022
Spooky Sight by Maria L. Berg 2022


Where Spooky Lies

When light slants
through cracks
and color hides
Where the dark
is dank and
sparkle dies
While spiders weave,
cawing murders
Who creeps
in shadows
with creaking reply?
What snarls
cold shivers
to quivering spines?
How spooky
every corner
of haunted mind

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s image is “Serpentarium” by Diana Dihaze. Here’s the start of my idea for “The Creeping Vines:”

It had been a while since I slept through the night, and when I did sleep long enough to dream, I had terrible nightmares. One of the many books I read for advice, recommended plants in my bedroom to oxygenate the air. It specified a type of ivy. I didn’t have money for plants, so I dug up some of the ivy growing wild on the bank between my house and the abandoned property nextdoor. The leaves had light-green veins leading to three dark points like talons.
At first the vine didn’t take to the transplant. Though I watered carefully, and opened the blinds to let the sun in, it browned and wilted Then, after giving up and forgetting about it in a dark corner for about a week, I noticed it was growing up the wall, and behind the bookcase. After another week, it was crawling across the ceiling. I began sleeping through the night, but my dreams were even more disturbing than before. Colorful, vivid images of people I knew bursting open with ivy vines growing out of them, or ivy vines encircling and consuming them like boa constrictors.

#Writober Day 13: Nightmare Kitty

Mesmerizer by Maria L. Berg 2022

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is cat. I had some fun trying to make my kitty friend look like a scary Halloween cat.

Imagining How You’ll Taste by Maria L. Berg 2022


Today’s prompt is Faith and Flow.

It’s Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub, so I’m adding this poem to the line-up.

As Seen by Glowing Eyes

Prowling the shimmering line
hunting truth in fiction flowing
through time’s cyclical rhymes, he stalks
the sweetest blades, scrapes and claws
at prey unseen, suckles and shivers
in rhythmic breaths of dreams

Glowing caught in a flash reflected
exposes life in the void of night
appearing still but verily amid
slow-motion pounce, the unsuspecting
skitter and scratch the starlight
admiring the shimmer until too late

Stalking by Maria L. Berg 2022

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s image is “Nightmare” by Nakanoart (Nana). I really like the creature in this image. Here’s an excerpt from “A World of Nightmares:”

“So Raya, headed to your usual tonight? It must be great having a consistent gig. Not having to do the daily research and worry about the smell and feel of new people and places each night. I gotta say, sounds like the life to me.” Golik’s tongue slithered to the viewing screen and flickered near the top right corner. “This looks like fun. Bunch of kids filling up on candy, oil and salt and watching adult horror movies. Nothing like an unsupervised slumber party.”
Raya looked at the screen, the pre-teens in pajamas on couches and cushions, hands from bowls to mouths to bowls, shoveling popcorn, chips, and candy as if they were breath itself. The germs squirming around in those bowls were the real nightmares, and the future stomach aches and line for the bathroom were the real threats. She shivered.
“Raya, you okay?”Half of Golik’s eyes turned to Raya with concern.
“I guess you haven’t heard. Beth couldn’t stand the nightmares anymore. She’s been self-medicating, waking herself up every hours to interrupt REM sleep. I lost her, Golik. She would rather not sleep at all. She’d rather always be exhausted and be totally unhealthy than spend her nights with me anymore.”
“Wow. That’s tough. What are you going to do?” Golik’s eyes returned to the screen. “Hey, this one looks promising.”

Maria L. Berg Writober7 Day 13 2022

#Writober Day 12: Ghosts of Forest Future

Slipping Through the Ether by Maria L. Berg 2022

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is ghost.

Ghosts by Maria L. Berg 2022


I didn’t see a prompt today, so I’ll write a ghosts poem.

That Shiver Out of Nowhere

Specters flow
through time and space
like chilled memories
arriving uninvited
These ghosts come and go
growing from ethereal umbra
to fully encompass
and fill with fear
Spirits haunt
the shattered, creeping
along flesh and spine
searching warmth
Like moth to flame
the spooks will come again
wailing their sorrows
through the midnight hours

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s image is “Scary Forest” by Victor Titov. It shows a very tall, stretched, tree-like young woman at a distance among the trees. From the Monstrum video, this could be a Baba Yaga on her long bone legs.

It was only supposed to be a day trip, a nice walk in the woods, but somehow I lost Trisha when I stopped to tie my boot laces. Now, I’m all turned around and it’s getting dark. I swear I’ve seen that stump before, with that thick white mushroom growing out of it like a wart. And there’s that rock with the jagged crack. I’m walking in circles. Trisha never responded to my calls. Now, my throat is scratchy. I plop down on the stump in frustration and feel the tears pushing behind my eyes.
Just as I’m giving up, I see someone among the trees in the distance. A young woman, I think, but she must be standing on a branch because she’s impossibly tall.
“Trish?” I yell, but it comes out as a shriek. I rub my throat to try to sooth it. The strange figure doesn’t move., but I feel her staring at me.

Maria L. Berg Writober7 Day 12 2022