My house is surrounded by cats. They stalk the boundary, singing soulful laments to a star-filled sky. Unforgiving amber eyes gaze inward, goading me to abandon my shelter. Vines insinuate tendrils in every gap, rupturing plaster as they consolidate their hold on my territory, a fist slowly clenching in a war against stone. The eyes of passersby glance off my property like rebounding rubber balls. My cries dissipate in the air like dandelion seeds.
A woman approaches in silence, body encased in writhing shadow, eyes aflame. Merciless, unrelenting, an inescapable force of vengeful nature. Her woods fell victim to the swing of my axe and now I pay the price.
OCTOBER 2023 AUTHOR OF THE MONTH at Spillwords.com
Caroline Ashley is a clinical psychologist who works for the NHS in Scotland. She was a finalist for Globe Soup's Science Fiction Short Story contest and two of their 7 Day Story Writing Challenges. Caroline is currently posting a serialised young adult fantasy novel on her website and also writes a monthly blog about the psychology within fiction.