The Face Tree
Publisher: Antony Mann
Dissatisfied with his lot, Stephen Davison drifts disconsolately through his life in Oxford as a poorly paid tour guide. Then, walking one day in the woods outside the town, he meets Sarah Middelton, a slender, ethereal woman who tells him she is a local artist. She shows him the face of a man in an oak tree, and Davison gathers that she has carved it into the bark. Davison is soon beguiled by Sarah, and sees her as possible way out of his dismal existence. But there is more to Sarah than meets the eye. Why is she so drawn to the forests around the town? And what will be Davison’s ultimate fate?
A 9000 word novelette, The Face Tree was first published in Interzone 245, March/April 2013.
“This story had me gripped from start to finish…underneath the fantasy element of the tale is a vivid description of how British town centres have degenerated, Oxford being the example in this case. Clearly narrated with the gift of a true storyteller, this is this issue’s best by far.”