They found him the next morning, tangled among the branches of the topiary tree.

It appeared Father Reg had managed to stagger back from the local pub despite severe inebriation.

However, on reaching the monastic retreat where he had been living in meditative isolation, Father Reg had confused the symbolic door of the religious installation with the concealed door he had been using for regular excursions to the outside world.

The door in the ‘Tree of Our Church’ opened onto thick branches, a blocked passageway, representing the hard work required to find a path to our Lord, the tangled and twisted road to fulfilment, the many obstacles to be faced along the way.

Father Reg decided, with religious certainty, that the best way to surmount such an obstacle was to take a good, long run up and batter through head first.

Impressively, he made a good dent into the branches of the tree, so much so that he couldn’t extricate himself and fell asleep in the trees embrace.

As a result of this incident, the door on the topiary installation will now include a lock, providing yet another obstacle in the metaphorical path to spiritual enlightenment.

Copyright John Brand

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Susan Spaulding. For more details visit HERE.

To read more of the stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.


  1. I have read it twice Iain, and enjoyed it twice, but I feel like I am missing something, so I will just have to read it again later when my head is clearer.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many paths… so many distractions.
    Sometimes the rules need a little bending?

    (Most of but not all of my fiction is at another place…Strands is for poetic rifts. I know my icon goes to a closed site. Too long of an entangled story.)

    Liked by 1 person

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