This is my first time participating in Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge. When I saw the promt picture, by the artist Virginia Frances Sterret, I just had to make a story for it. I love it! 🙂 Just look how pretty it is:
And now, here’s my story:
The Red Tree
Ayla had the magic beans and a plan.
Yes, she would have to defeat the giant, but she was ready for it. She had several tricks in her sleeve. With a wide smile on her face, she planted a bean in the ground. Ayla could already picture the gold and the jewels. No more hard work, no more rags, no more, no more…
It took just a few seconds for the tree to start growing. Did the ground move, or was it just her legs shaking? Yes, the tree grew, but something wasn’t right.
A strange plant appeared before Ayla’s eyes, weak and wobbly. Its stalk was a dark, rotten red, all twisted and turned.
“You freed me,” the plant spoke. “So now, I will grant you three wishes.”
“Three wishes?” Ayla was confused. “But you’re supposed to take me up in the clouds, to the treasure.”
“Treasure in the clouds? I’ve never heard of such a thing…”
“Well, not exactly in the clouds… Anyway, I didn’t free you. I planted you,” Ayla was getting a bit annoyed. This was not a part of her plan. “And it’s genies who grant wishes. Or goldfish. Not trees.”
“That’s quite judgemental of you,” the plant sounded offended. “What do you know about trees, anyway?”
“I’m sorry…” Ayla sighed. “I’m just a bit surprised. Three wishes are a great deal!”
“I’m not sure I want to grant them anymore…”
“Oh, please!” Ayla wasn’t ready to give up on her dreams.
“Fine. What’s your first wish?” the plant sounded friendly again.
“Well, I want to be rich!”
“I try not to be prejudiced, but this is such a human thing to wish for. Riches. Always the riches. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with that.”
“I’m just a tree! Money doesn’t grow on trees!”
“Well, what can you do?”
“I can grow fruit.”
A number of different fruits appeared. Yellow pears, blue grapes, red apples. Ayla sighed. It was obvious now that things don’t always turn out like the stories tell. She picked an apple, sat comfortably underneath the tree and tasted it. It was very good. She might never become rich, but she could at least make the best of what she had.