The Witch’s Trees

by Kathryn Reilly

To silence her coming screams, the priest shoved an apple into the witch’s mouth. As the kindling caught, she chewed, seeking the seeds. Consumed, she whispered a curse to kill God’s lying faithful.

In spring, seven apple seedlings rose seeking vengeance.

Lured by delicious golden, red, and pink apples, everyone believed this grove God’s gift, forgetting its geography.

But the eaten seeds sought soil, twisting toes into roots and screaming mouths into rough knots. Arms’ viscera split into branches and bloody veins pulsed until pink-tinged flowers blossomed.

The beautiful orchard thrives, adding tortuous trees whenever the faithful eat its apples.


Kathryn Reilly

Kathryn’s speculative tales resurrect goddesses and ghosts; her rescue mutts hear the stories first.

Twitter: @Katecanwrite

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