Sunday Photo Fiction: Not To Touch #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction

Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 


A Mixed Bag


I’m reminded of a science experiment my class did in grade five. We used chalk to grow crystals on them. The exact process I don’t remember, but I do recall feeling proud upon removing a piece of chalk from my container and finding various coloured crystals on it. 

I thought back to this day when I saw the trees begin to glitter with crystals. It had been extremely cold and blizzardy, so we all assumed it was naturally, the accumulation of ice crystals. But then the trees became covered in crystals of all colours.

 There were bright lavender crystals and cyan blue crystals. There were even bubble gum pink crystals. Everyone thought this was the most beautiful and unique oddity. Journalists came from every city across the country, to report on this rarity for themselves. 

Then, scientists in the area starting testing the crystals and while they were lovely on the trees, the were not so lovely attached to your skin. They crystals once fastened, would not unfasten from one’s skin until a person was completely covered in them. Until their body was frozen, stiff, and dead as the trees which never budded in spring. 

Our town was nearly deserted by the time the military took over. The colourful forest was burned to the ground. 

The most heart breaking aspect for everyone was that the small children were the first to touch the trees. They had the smallest bodies and didn’t last long. I think it’s the reason so many people started over, the unbearable misery they left behind. 


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

25 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction: Not To Touch #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction

  1. Cattie's World December 6, 2016 / 5:34 am

    What exactly was that on the Trees? So dangerous a simple ice crystal can be ? What happened to the small children who touched the crystals ? Please tell us in detail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 December 6, 2016 / 5:44 am

      That’s the thing, you don’t really know. It popped up out of no where in this one fictional town and the military/gov’t probably made sure little info got out about what happened. The crystals killed the trees,scientists who touched them, and sadly the little ones because they of course would be drawn to colourful things and would still touch when told not to. They covered a person’s entire body and killed them. Made them rigid, froze the life from them, stopped their hearts. People were afraid they left and of course it was terribly sorrowful and sad about the small kids. But it is all fiction thank goodness.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Simon December 6, 2016 / 5:51 am

    Thank God that was just fiction. I thought for a minute it was real!

    Liked by 2 people

    • mandibelle16 December 6, 2016 / 5:54 am

      I think my last commenter did too. Just the first paragraph about making crystals on chalk in grade five. Then my imagination ran with it. Thanks for reading Simon 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Simon December 6, 2016 / 6:11 am

        It was very good how you joined the dots… I’m impressed! ☺

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sunday Fiction December 6, 2016 / 9:30 am

    I love how you made it look real. The poor kids, and the parents must have been must have been devastated when they went. A good story Mandi. Although that isn’t surprising, all your stories are good.

    One minor typo. In the fourth paragraph, you missed a y from they.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 December 6, 2016 / 4:46 pm

      Aw, thank you so much Al. I really appreciate your compliment. Yeah, the first paragraph was real (my own experience in grade 5) then I got stuck and the fictional story developed from there. Thank you for pointing out the typo, it’s very helpful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sunday Fiction December 7, 2016 / 12:06 pm

        I love when fiction develops from reality and the two combine to create something new and interesting 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. shaunkellett December 6, 2016 / 11:27 am

    An enchanting story! Would make for a great fantasy forest in a piece of larger fiction, I think 🙂 But still, works great as a short tale all of its own!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 December 6, 2016 / 4:41 pm

      Thank you so much. Yes, it’s one of those pieces which could grow, for now I think I’ll leave it as a short piece.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Joy Pixley December 6, 2016 / 1:26 pm

    What a creative (and scary) idea! I really like the science-gone-weird sense to it, and also how you make the colorful crystals on the trees sound so beautiful and magical, and yet they turn out to be deadly, especially to the children. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 December 6, 2016 / 4:39 pm

      Thank you Joy. I’m really pleased you liked this, and the science gone wrong thing came through.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jesse Raven December 6, 2016 / 2:22 pm

    Loved this! Especially how you circled around your innocent childhood memories with this not-so-innocent phrasing “They had the smallest bodies and didn’t last long.”


    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 December 6, 2016 / 4:38 pm

      Thank you Jesse. Yes a grim ending unfortunately.


  7. Copper Cranes December 6, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    Lovely write Amanda. The forest in your story must have been beautiful, so sad that it was so deadly for those that touched the crystals. What a fun experiment to do in grade 5, I didn’t know that chalk could grow anything! 😉 Stay warm and away from crystals! Have a fun day. ~ Mia

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 December 6, 2016 / 9:17 pm

      Thanks Mia. Yeah it was fun back then. The crystals just imagination. My lunch was nice, good to see an old friend. It’s cold but not so bad if you bustle up. Glad you liked the piece. Take care Mia

      Liked by 1 person

      • Copper Cranes December 7, 2016 / 12:36 am

        You’re welcome Amanda, I’m glad you had a nice time. Take care too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Iain Kelly December 6, 2016 / 5:57 pm

    Powerful take, Mandi, really caught the beauty and the tragedy. Heartbreaking. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. patriciaruthsusan December 11, 2016 / 1:42 am

    It sounds like an easy way for aliens to take over. Let’s hope they die as in The War of the Worlds from bacteria they pick up on earth. Good writing, Mandi. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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