Thy Branches by Mike Murphy


It being the season, Dad hauled the display up from the basement. It looked a little the worse for wear from last time. He put it into the stand and then tightened the screws while Mom held it steady. The kids brought the festive decorations.

They hung the baubles where they could, but the sturdy places were limited. One of the ornaments slid from its perch and shattered on the floor. Mom swept it up before the kids hurt themselves. The broken decoration was special to her – one of the children had made it in school. She asked her husband about getting a new display. Sadly, it was too late. They would have to make do.

Dad impaled the flashing topper into the thing’s uppermost point. Bathed in the festive light, the kids excitedly hung ornaments on the display’s ribcage.

They’d need a new corpse next year. Fortunately, lots remained from the fir people’s subjugation of Earth. He’d order a replacement when he returned to work.

The kids would love it.


Mike has had over 150 audio plays produced.

He’s won The Columbine Award and twelve Moondance awards.

He’s written two short films, Dark Chocolate and Hotline.

His screenplay Die Laughing was a semi-finalist in 2020’s Unique Voices Competition. His TV pilot script “The Bullying Squad” was a quarter-finalist in 2021’s Emerging Writers Genre Screenplay Competition.

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Published 12/27/22

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