#writephoto — The Perfect Tree

2B5433D4-9F88-4FF7-9F71-C0ABFC709848”Dad, let’s go. I’m cold,” Doug said.

“Yeah, me too, Dad,” Dana said, echoing her older brother.

“Steve please,” Arlene said. “We’ve been out here for hours and you still haven’t found your ‘perfect’ tree. It’s going to be dark soon, the kids are tired and, quite frankly, so am I.”

“Just a little while longer, hon,” Craig said. “I don’t want to have to come all the way back out here again. I’ll know it when I see it.”

Arlene looked at her watch. “Kids, let’s give Dad another 15 minutes,” she said. “If he hasn’t found his perfect tree by then, we’ll go.”

“Aw Mom!” the kids said in unison.

After about five minutes of walking deeper into the woods, Steve stopped abruptly. “Look,” he said excitedly. “Look at the way the late afternoon sun is shining directly through the branches of that tree and down upon us. It’s a sign from the heavens that this tree, this perfect tree, was meant to be our family’s Christmas tree this year.”

Steve took his portable, gas-powered chain saw out of its sack, and went to work on the base of the tree. It was almost dark by the time he had the tree down and was able to maneuver it onto the large sled. He hauled the tree-laden sled back to where they had parked the family’s pickup truck.

The drive back to town would take a few hours, and both of kids and Arlene had fallen asleep shortly after Steve started driving. Despite having poured himself a cup of lukewarm coffee from the thermos he almost always had with him, Steve, himself, was struggling to keep his eyes open.

*****
It wasn’t until mid-morning the next day when the park rangers discovered the overturned pickup truck at the bottom of the steep ravine.


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. Sorry about the dark turn this story took. I didn’t expect it to go in that direction, but that’s where it went.

24 thoughts on “#writephoto — The Perfect Tree

  1. Sue Vincent November 22, 2019 / 9:11 am

    Striving for perfection is not always worth the cost.
    (Lucky I follow your blog as I didn’t get a pingback 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. newepicauthor November 22, 2019 / 4:09 pm

    All the time I was reading this, I thought that there was going to be a squirrel in the tree.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. waywardsparkles November 22, 2019 / 6:07 pm

    I knew…I just knew that I shouldn’t read this. Now that my heart is in my throat…I think you captured tragedy in all it’s angst and horror. I want to hit something now. (The fact that I want to, that’s a helluva compliment to what an amazing story this was and how much it affected me.) Wow. Now I need to go have a good cry. Mona

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 22, 2019 / 7:50 pm

      I really had a tough time with this. I was tempted not to post it because of the tragedy at the end and I was worried that it would upset or even anger readers. I appreciate your compliment and all I can say is that sometimes a good cry can be cathartic. At least that’s what I tell myself.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 24, 2019 / 10:03 pm

      I know. I don’t know what came over me!

      Like

  4. leigha66 November 25, 2019 / 9:20 am

    Loss any time is sad, around the holidays it is so much harder. Great writing Fandango!

    Like

  5. willowdot21 November 27, 2019 / 9:36 am

    I don’t like this, for some reason it made me cry. You are a master story teller. It also reinforced my long held opinion that the search for perfect causes nothing but grief ! 💜💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

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