's 2017 Horror Write-off:

The Trees

Submitted by Regis Ethell (email)

They came without notice. Without.. warning. The trees. An icy, jet black, without shadow, without form, a hole cut into the world. As thin as a strand of thread. They reached up, up and up and up, no end in sight. Up and up and up. Empty. And they dig down, too. That must be the worst part. The.. rumbling. The trees dig down, shake and shudder, they pull themselves out and plunge back in, deeper. They break open concrete, rock, anything, anything. Pray to god you aren't in their way. The casualties were reported the same day as they appeared. Germany, a car was pierced and pinned to the highway, causing a six-car pileup. Canada, a propane tank was struck and exploded, killing three and injuring two more. Liberia, a man's shoulder was impaled, torn from his body as it was pulled into the ground. Children go to touch them only to have their fingers severed, the wounds cauterized. The rest blend together. I stopped watching the news fairly quickly. More come every second. And the sound.. by god, the sound is worse than anything. Worse than the screaming, the death. That rumbling, the.. moaning. The more there are the louder, that howling, rumbling, orgasmic moaning. None of us.. none of us can take it. Cing tried earplugs, then headphones, blaring music as she held her hands over her ears and wailed. I can't take it. I can't take it. I hear the roof crack, the house getting ripped apart... It's getting louder.