If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write - Stephen King, On Writing, p. 147

The Knotty Tree

She could hear the distant voices of laughing children and admonishing parents but she travelled abandoned ways, alone.

She crossed a mossy glade and her face filled with adoration as she reached the knotted tree. She spent several minutes stroking the bark, crooning a hypnotic chant as she caressed the trunk. Her pitch deepened and became ecstatic as she knelt in the damp leaves and kissed the mound that swelled there.

The wind whistled about her and she snapped out of her reverie, aware of the tree’s spirit’s desires.

“I have what you need” she whispered and produced a flask from her backpack, enjoying the aroma of rich blood that assailed her senses as she poured the ruby liquid around the roots of the apple tree. She also withdrew a paper sack and emptied the ashes onto the damp roots, casually flicking a piece of femur into the undergrowth. She tucked the containers away and rose, hugged the tree firmly and smiled at the profusion of blossom in the branches.

“Grandpa told me that blood and bone were good for fruiting trees. I have a new source in my sights. I will not deny you for long my muse.”