Story Starter: Magic Tree

The things that happen when you’re not looking….

The fiction team’s Tracey finishes at 2pm on a Wednesday, and as she left the office on Wednesday this week she sent me a text: Check out the tree in the foyer!

Huh? A tree? In the foyer?

Illustrations Ed Sarah and I couldn’t resist. Off we popped down the stairs, and yes, there in the foyer was this glorious artificial tree, all lit up and delicate and magical.

Huh? What was it doing there? Where had it come from? No one seemed to know…

It did start a bunch of us off remembering The Singing Ringing Tree. Not me – I don’t recall it at all. Apparently, it was a pretty scary German children’s story that was on the BBC in the early Sixties?

The tree was still there after five when we went down to our posh reception space for a talk by a guest speaker, something that happens fairly regularly. “The People Hacker” Jenny Radcliffe this week, as it happens. She was fascinating. And scary. All about security and how easily scammed and deceived we all are….

Anyway, she spoke for an hour plus and was really entertaining and interesting. Questions and answers afterwards. And then we were ready to leave about seven. Back through the foyer. And the tree had gone! All that was left was a ring of moss on the floor where it had stood….

Where? No one knows. How? No one knows….

If I didn’t have a photo I’d almost believe I’d imagined it all. Just like a magic tree casting its spell.

So, story starter. You’re bound to get something out of all of that, whether it’s the tree, the lights, its ethereal beauty. The talk on hacking and security. Our memories of the Sixties. Being scared. Or surprising texts from colleagues!

Use our writing tools to help you write that story!

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.