Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A is for Arboreal

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It's time to go," his mum called from somewhere far below. He couldn't really see her through the foliage, just a glimpse of her pink t-shirt as she moved back and forth, trying to attract his attention. He didn't want to get down. The tree was like a fantastic kingdom where he was safe from marauders; a mossy branch had become a comfortable vantage point and he was king of all he surveyed. In the distance, across the field, a group of kids playing football were like mere insects to him.  There was a soft scratching and a squirrel was gripping the trunk right by his face, it's startled tail pointing up, it's nose practically touching his own. For a few seconds they watched each other then it recovered and darted inside a small hollow just above. The boy pulled his feet up and stood on the branch and peered into the hollow. It smelled earthy and animal. He put his hand into the opening. The space was bigger than he expected and the wood inside was smooth to the touch. He took his hand back out, or tried to, but the hole was small and his hand would no longer pass through. He pulled, but that made it worse, the opening tightened around his wrist. Tiny tendrils of green began to trace from the bark onto his skin and he felt the hollow close down around his hand until his fingers were crushed into a tight fist. Within moments the green travelled up his arm and the skin began to thicken and crack like bark, and as he watched a shoot emerged from his forearm and two tiny leaves unfurled from a bud.
"No" he shrieked in alarm as the transformation reached his shoulder, but he could not pull away. His legs kicked frantically and one trainer dropped from his foot, bouncing between the branches and landing in the leaves beside his mum. She looked up and called again, but there was no answer.

(Words for my flash fiction A to Z supplied spontaneously by Monkey)

(Linking back to the A to Z challenge)


  1. I invented all kinds of worlds in massive trees like this when I was a kid. Nice post. BTW, I'd love to have a python! Not sure my cat would appreciate it.
    Marlene at On Writing and Riding

  2. Oooh, creepy. Is this the beginning of a story or complete in itself?

    Thanks for visiting my blog today. By the way, you need a hyperlink signature with all those blogs, didn't know which one to choose. On the A to Z website recently there was a description of how to make one.


  3. What a chilling write. I think come November (or sooner) this would be a brillant opening for a novel!

  4. thanks for visiting folks. I am playing with flash fiction here, but stories can always grow i guess.
    Thanks for the advice Jo I will go check it out.

  5. This was diabolical. At first, I'm transported back to all the time I spent in trees as a child (a crazy amount of time, really) and feeling all warm and fuzzy and nostalgic. Then, everything turns dark and creepy. Well done!

  6. Your write-up was quite descriptive ! Is there a continuation to the story?

  7. Ahhh and *that* is why I don't touch nature! lol NIcely done :)

    Happy A to Z-ing!


Thanks for stopping by. Thoughts, opinions and suggestions (reading or otherwise) always most welcome.


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