Conflict.

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Minnie Avery thought she knew better.

I’d been having a bit of trouble with some of the older elms on the eastern side of the property. A pair of giants had moved in, and they’d made themselves comfortable as their kind are wont to do. They found a bare patch in a valley deep enough to hide them on most days, and the stream that rolled through was enough to water their crops and give them a goodly supply of fish. On occasion, with my blessing, they went into Blood Lake and took their catch of merfolk, too.

Once the giants arrived, I made it a point to close off the road that led from the back orchard to the valley. When I did so, there was a bit of a scuffle with some of the elms. They’d lived close to the road for the better part of fifty years, and they occasionally snatched game foolish enough to traverse it. With the coming of the giants, the animals were scared off. To make matters worse, the giants had taken some of the deadfall and used it to fashion their utensils and cookware.

The elms, employing their saplings and a few sympathetic dryads, stole one of the giant cups. While they were seeking to transport it away, Minnie Avery came along with her fiancé and the trees and dryads were forced to stop where they were.

Minnie saw the giant’s cup and convinced her husband-to-be to take a picture of her in it.

Both, I suspect, thought it was great fun.

The giants did not.

From what I learned later, the giants assumed the couple had stolen the cup from them, and since Minnie had felt the need to be in a bit of their cookware, the giants obliged her and her fiancé.

I was working ‘round the elder tree and some of the tree’s saplings when word of Minnie reached me by way of one of my ravens. Leaving my work half-done, I hurried off toward the giants, but it was too late by the time I arrived.

The giants were gathered around their cookfire, adding potatoes and bits of apple to the cookpot while stirring the brew now and again. Off to one side was a pile of clothes and entrails.

The giants asked me to stay for dinner, but I declined.

I hadn’t finished my work with the elder tree.

#trees #horrorstories

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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