A story a day until there’s a sleigh! This holiday season, I’m sharing a new flash fiction piece inspired by a holiday song every day of December until Christmas. Today’s story is inspired by The Holly and the Ivy.
The day the king fell the thud was heard throughout his kingdom. It echoed out to the valleys. The snap came first, an awful breaking of his brittle trunk, which had swayed steadfastly through centuries of windstorms but could not endure one more.
He’d taken that long to grow too becoming higher and higher until his leaves seemed to be paintbrushes for the sky, coloring it a robin’s egg blue. Generations of birds had taken refuge in his branches, some species that were no longer surviving, gone extinct with overhunting. The logging camps had come close to the king but luckily his kingdom had been put under protection before his bark was sliced open by the lumberjack’s saw.
On the day of his demise, the way he fell was the way he’d leaned as his authority was declining. Other trees had grown up alongside him stretching up and up in attempt to overtake him, and their roots had grown closer and closer to his depriving him of nutrients. Make no mistake about it–this was a coup.
As Shakespeare once wrote, “heavy is the head that wears the crown.”