Heart of Blackthorn

Alyson Faye

Born of the earth,
ancient as stones,
melded and entwined
by the villagers,
driven by their myths.

Heart of blackthorn
with rowan limbs,
a hawthorn head.

Taut and lithe,
tied by
supple willow,
bent to will.

Its leaves tremble
in the
westerly breeze,
blowing from
the direction of the crypt.

There it is buried,
created, re interred.
To pacify, to honour
their ancestors.

Blessed, bled upon,
the willow frame shudders,
draws a breath,
raises its blind head.
Stones weight its willow guts.
It lurches,
new born,

Willow tendons
bend, flex, stretch,
feel for the earth.
Water feeds it.
The villagers cut the ropes
which stayed it.

It has no voice,
no conscience,
it will take what it is given,
willingly or by force.
It obeys only the
crypt’s call
and the voices of the dead.


Alyson Faye lives in the UK, with her family and 4 rescue animals,she teaches, edits and proofreads part time and enjoys swimming, singing, and eating chocolate. She writes flash fiction and horror/supernatural short stories – her fiction has appeared on line on varied sites, most often at the Horror Tree, Horror Scribes, zeroflash, Tubeflash, Ellipsis mag, Siren’s Call ezine, and in print in Women in Horror Annual 2017. Her debut collection of flash, Badlands, is out from indie publisher Chapeltown books. Her blog is at www.alysonfayewordpress.wordpress.com.