Whispers on the Wind

on April 15, 2011 in Horror

They call it the hangman’s tree, and creeping fingers, and stranglevine. It isn’t a vine, though. It’s more like a sort of willow. From this resemblance is where it gets its most common name, the whispering willow.

What it is in fact is the world’s largest known carnivorous plant. Like the sundew or the Venus fly trap, it lures in its prey and then closes its appendages around them in order to supplement the poor nutrition in the soil with what it can plunder from the corpse.

Unlike its smaller cousins, the whispering willow does not subsist on insects. It requires larger prey. Its scent is said to be inviting, but as scent markers do not have as strong or direct a hold over humans as they do over insects, the willow offers other inducements and this is where the other part of its name comes from.

In ages past, travelers walking alone through boggy parts of the world might have heard a soft voice on the breeze bidding them to come and rest their heads in the shade of an inviting tree, or one promising love and riches and all the secrets of the universe. The trees are fewer in number these days, but they are still out there, still whispering, still tempting travelers to stray from the path, to stumble in closer.

“All natural male enhancement,” whispers the hangman’s tree. “Fuck her like a pro today. Work from home. I made fifty-seven thousand dollars from Google. You can, too. Your insurance company doesn’t want you to know. Housewife’s secret: whiter teeth today. Learn the one method to a flat stomach. Cialis tabs…”

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4 Responses to “Whispers on the Wind”

  1. drudge says:

    I have to admit I giggled like a giddy schoolgirl at that last paragraph.

  2. Just a typo: subist should be subsist

    Thanks for sharing your gift,
    João Miguel Neves

  3. […] Today I had a call for submissions for flash stories about weird plants pointed out to me. I don’t have anything on deck for it yet, but I’ve certainly done my share of flash fiction about dangerous and menacing plants. In fact, just glancing at Fantasy In Miniature to refresh myself on what ideas I’ve already worked over, I’ve realized I have no less than three flash stories about forests menacing mankind.  My favorite weird plant story, though, is this one. […]

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