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This was my entry for Cracked Flash Fiction Competition on 18 June 2016. The prompt was: It began with a whisper. Perhaps the migraine I’d been suffering all week long, fuelled by veldfires, had been in charge when I wrote this… This story won the competition! Which perhaps gives credence to Hemingway’s quote: “Write drunk. Edit sober.” For those who ever had a migraine, you’ll know that awful feeling of neither being here nor there…

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By Ronel Janse van Vuuren

It began with a whisper. The wind rustled the leaves; leaving a message for those who can hear it. The whisper flowed, caressed, cajoled until it could no longer be ignored. Flowers, acorns and others awoke. Stretching, they opened their eyes to see what the wind wanted.

‘Look. Look carefully,’ it whispered.

Slowly they crept closer to the corruption of nature. The more they looked, the sadder they became. Their tears renewed life in the ground it fell upon.

Gradually it turned into a roar. The awoken no longer cried. It was time for action; to attack those assaulting their home. Some used their roots to bury the offenders alive. Others used their amassed strength to drown the wicked. All of the awoken gave their lives to cleanse the earth of humans and their pollution. Blood, flesh and bone became one with the ground.

And it ended in silence.

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So? What do you think? The rustling leaves of the copse of acacias next to the house gave me the idea of the wind whispering. And I’m sure the creaking bottlebrush had told me to come closer…


“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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