Ground roots

Ambleside, 2019

Ambleside, 2019


She watched the tree roots begin to wind around his legs creaking and groaning with every curl.

She dropped some popcorn in her mouth as the screen flickered in front of her. The buttery taste coated her mouth with a hint of slightly rancid dairy. She picked husks out of her back teeth with her fingernail and felt around with her other hand for her can of coke.

She’d seen this maybe thirty times. A B-movie horror made in the 1950s. A woman strode across the screen wearing a tight all-in-one with a waist cinched onto her rib-cage. The woman wore her hair long in perfect waves and brandished a whip which she flicked and snapped at the ground causing the roots to screech and recoil. The boy fell forward onto his knees thanking the goddess who had appeared from nowhere and saved his life.

The woman disappeared in a haze of green smoke and the credits began to roll.

Vanessa sighed and looked into her empty carton of popcorn. She licked her fingers one by one the sugar sweetening her tongue. The heavy red curtain rolled across the screen and the house lights shone out from the darkness. Vanessa squinted and blinked. She pushed herself up from the chair which flipped back up behind her. She brushed down the back of her skirt and checked she had her bag.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.