Big Billy

The wind was soft on his face, but the blood was pounding in his ears. He had never climbed a tree this high before. This tree climbing challenge was off the charts. It was even a bigger challenge than asking out Olivia, the most popular girl in the school.

“Climb Big Billy,” taunted Craig.

“Yeah, go on, Brendan. You can do it,” called out Chris.

Brendan had arisen to the dare. Big Billy was the tallest Eucalypt around these parts, and the tree had never been climbed before.

The group of school boys were too scared to scale Big Billy, so they had dared the shy bespectacled Brendan.

Wanting to prove himself had spurred him to action, with complete disregard to his own safety. Now, way up high, he was having misgivings.

All he wanted now was to have his two feet squarely on the ground.

“Um. Hello?” said a timid voice. “What are you doing in my tree?”

Glancing to his right, Brendan almost lost his grip on the bough he was clinging to. There, securely and serenely sitting in a fork, was a girl about his age, from school.

“S-sorry,” he stammered. “Is this *your* tree?”

“Yes. It’s my favourite place. I love the peace. No one’s been brave enough to climb as far as me.”

Brendan held his breath. Was she actually blushing?

Then he had a rush of excitement. She thought he was brave!

“Will you go out with me?” He held his breath again.

“Yes, of course I will.”

And with that, they climbed down the tree together, for both Craig and Chris to see.

As he and the girl came down out of the last branch, Craig and Chris were waiting.

But Brendan didn’t care.

“Hello? Meet my new date,” Olivia announced.

Yellow rose

My steps are faltering, as old age has descended. Being all of 80, I think I’m going well. A walker keeps me company, and now, instead of gardening, I admire the plants around the Nursing Home where I live.

“Hello Merryl,” Basil yelled out over the lawn. We were all standing out the back of the Nursing Home, and Basil was the last person I wanted to talk with.

So I ambled down the footpath to the rose garden.

Bending down, I stared over the rims of my bi-focals. There was a tiny… something… on the yellow rose that nodded closest.

I bent over further.

Now, if I’d had more clout, I would have leant against the ledge that ran around the garden. Instead, I leant all my weight on my walker. This was a massive mistake. With a squeal I pitched forwards, bumping my head on the ledge. And then the world went black.

As I came to, instead of the hard ledge, I felt warm gentle arms underneath me. Opening my eyes, I suddenly wished I hadn’t.

I stared up into Basil’s twinkling eyes.

Blue

Blue light shone through my window, waking me.

At first I thought it was a Blue Moon. But then, I heard strange noises. A half heard whisper echoed through the silence, followed by a loud shush.

Someone tripped over my back step, with a thud, a swear word escaping into the night.

Creeping out of my bedroom, I tip toed down the hall and to my back door.

Two tiny blue men were poking around the jug that held a pot plant, decorating my back table. The blue light was emanating from a blue spaceship, and more tiny blue men were hanging out of its windows.

It was then I realised that the little blue men on my table had trained miniscule guns at me.

I raised my hands in the universal guesture to say I was unarmed. They lowered their guns, then one pointed his gun at the tealight holder that sat next to the jug.

The tealights flickered a little before igniting into little blue flames.

In a blink they disappeared.

A hand on my shoulder made me jump.

“Gemma, what are you doing up at this time?” Then my Housemate’s eyes fell on the tealights.

“Wow. How did you do that?” she asked me in disbelief.

Shaking my head, I was silent.
She would never believe me if I told the truth.

Little sister

She lay on the bed, face pale in the moonlight. I gently sponged the sweat from her feverish forehead with a wet cloth. Suddenly, her blood shot eyes opened, staring at nothing. Screaming, she sat up and tried to back into the bedhead.

I felt it rather than saw it. Vapour, thick with sadness, enveloped the bed and groped for both of us.

I needed her to wake up out of her nightmares, out of the Spirit Worlds that haunted her. She was stronger than me. I needed my older sister awake to confront this Evilness.

Desperately, I shook her shoulders, looking for signs that she would be okay, that she would take control. But her eyes closed and her head rolled back and forth without her conscious support.

This time, I had to solve the problem myself. This Apparition, this haunting, this was mine this one time.

Marshalling all my education and knowledge, I raised my hands, like I had seen her done countless times before. I imagined golden light between my palms, expanding into a ball of power. And then I could feel it, the heat radiating out so I could feel it through-out my body. It grew denser and hotter, but did not harm me.

I was doing it! I was raising energy, just like my beloved sister, like I had seen her do on numerous occasions.

Crying defiantly, and with a little shock, I hurled the golden ball at the Vapour.

Then, the sadness left. I could feel it leaving, fading away.

Behind me, my sister moaned. Turning my head, I glanced at her. Her face was glowing with health, blue eyes snapped open, and she stared at me. Disbelief swept over her features.

“Thank you,” she said to me.

“For what?”

“I threw that Demon out of me, but I couldn’t loosen his hold. You killed him, for me.”

Then her arms were around me, holding me tightly against her chest.

“You saved me, Sandy, you saved me little sister.”

I was glad my face was hidden in her embrace. Relief was pounding through me, and all I could do was let the silent tears run down my cheeks.

Free

Sobbing, I pushed my way into the Forbidden Garden. It was a secret walled garden, where my Mother and Father once met. Now, with both dead, it had been forgotten. But I had been jilted. Originally in line for the throne, I had been disgraced. For my evil Uncle had changed the law by making it illegal for a woman to inherit the kingdom, hence cementing himself as King. And me? I was only good now, to be a Pawn in his dealings.

The gate was rusty and took a few shoves before it squeaked on its hinges, to reveal the sorry state of this once beautiful place. The pathways were littered with fallen leaves, and plants trailed over the edges of the garden beds. A colourful confusion of flowers and weeds tumbled over tree branches, and the tree branches themselves were too heavy to lift above the mass of vines that conspired to drag them to the ground.

On the other end of the garden, another gate had led to the outside wall and into the wilderness beyond. It was no completely gone.

Green algae and slush glugged out of the fountain in the centre, and the chair where I had sat as a child, with Mum playing with my hair, was rusty and broken. Just as I thought it was a mistake to seek comfort in such a forgotten place, I heard a rustling.

Caught on my Father’s favourite rose bush, was an animal. I crept forward, until I saw it’s wounded paw, trapped by the thorns and torn to bloody ribbons. Wiping the tears from my eyes, so I could see, I felt instant empathy. Just like this beautiful tiger, I too, felt trapped by my Uncle.

She was skinny and her fur was matted. She was tired and elderly, looking like she wouldn’t survive another Winter in the wild where she belonged.

Her deep brown eyes were soft with pain, as she sought my own. Courageously, I crept forward, disentangling her paw from the thorny branches of the rosebush. She whined, but did not move, as I released her.

Feeling more confident now, I tore a strip from my beautiful white dress, and sponged some of the oozing black blood away, until I could see the wound was clean. The tiger winced but did not try to hurt me.

When done, I sat back to see my handy work. With a contented sigh, she leaned against me.

Finally, for the first time since my Uncle had usurped me, I felt I had the strength to fight him. Tomorrow, I would see which Courtiers would support me in leading a wedge against my Mother’s brother.

woman lost in forest wants to go home. Befriended by the tree spirits who live there.

Brown twists of hair flew behind me as I fell from my glider and into a tree.

The weather had turned suddenly from a strong yet placid breeze and into a vicious wind.

Now stuck, I had to abandon my little air craft, or risk staying in the tree. Getting down and onto the ground was my next problem.

Dangling from the straps that held me in the pilot’s seat, I undid them so that I could, swing my legs.

Having navigated my way out of the glider, I was able to now scale down the trunk of the tree.

Landing with a thump on the ground, I realised I was totally and completely lost. And with no water to drink, or even an apple, I knew I just had to get home before dark.

Looking up, I was glad for the shelter of the trees, as they protected me from the worst of the weather.

I walked for a bit, not sure where to start my journey home. I couldn’t see the sun, for the shadows underneath the trees were too dark.

Before too long, my worst fears were realised as all the shadows melted into one. I knew night had fallen.
.
Now, being of a scientific mind, at first, I thought it was a trick of the eye.

A shadow seemed to wink at me.

I stared.

It winked again.

Then, out of the tree in front of me, a twig sneezed.

I started to run, pushing twigs out of my face, and catching my hair until it was filled with small burs and tangles.

Plunging face first over a log, I came down into a puddle of mud.

Strong, gentle hands lifted me up.

” Found you.”

With mud in my eyes, my hair now plastered to my cheeks, and it being night, I couldn’t see.

I was guided by the hands into a sitting position. It was the log I was now perched on.A cup that smelt like peppermint tea was thrust into my palms, and the mud was wiped out of my eyes.

A fire danced upon a pile of animal manure illuminating the shadows.

Before me stood a person shaped tree.

“Would you like some help with your glider?” it asked.

I nodded numbly.

“Right then. You better stay with me until we get it fixed.”

Brown twists of hair flew behind me as I fell from my glider and into a tree.

The weather had turned suddenly from a strong yet placid breeze and into a vicious wind.

Now stuck, I had to abandon my little air craft, or risk staying in the tree. Getting down and onto the ground was my next problem.

Dangling from the straps that held me in the pilot’s seat, I undid them so that I could, swing my legs.

Having navigated my way out of the glider, I was able to now scale down the trunk of the tree.

Landing with a thump on the ground, I realised I was totally and completely lost. And with no water to drink, or even an apple, I knew I just had to get home before dark.

Looking up, I was glad for the shelter of the trees, as they protected me from the worst of the weather.

I walked for a bit, not sure where to start my journey home. I couldn’t see the sun, for the shadows underneath the trees were too dark.

Before too long, my worst fears were realised as all the shadows melted into one. I knew night had fallen.
.
Now, being of a scientific mind, at first, I thought it was a trick of the eye.

A shadow seemed to wink at me.

I stared.

It winked again.

Then, out of the tree in front of me, a twig sneezed.

I started to run, pushing twigs out of my face, and catching my hair until it was filled with small burs and tangles.

Plunging face first over a log, I came down into a puddle of mud.

Strong, gentle hands lifted me up.

” Found you.”

With mud in my eyes, my hair now plastered to my cheeks, and it being night, I couldn’t see.

I was guided by the hands into a sitting position. It was the log I was now perched on.A cup that smelt like peppermint tea was thrust into my palms, and the mud was wiped out of my eyes.

A fire danced upon a pile of animal manure illuminating the shadows.

Before me stood a person shaped tree.

“Would you like some help with your glider?” it asked.

I nodded numbly.

“Right then. You better stay with me until we get it fixed.”

Gun

Hi. I’m Bruce, and I have a tale to tell.

Something extraordinary happened to me a little while ago.

I was minding my own business, sitting on my front lawn with my brothers and sisters.

Then suddenly, a light appeared on the horizon.

Being an adventurous type of Gnome, and having been given to my owner as a joke, I stood my ground while the other Gnomes all ran my away and hid.

Now, Gnomes are known to be peaceful creatures. We’re often depicted holding flowers and watering cans.

Not me. The joke was that I came with my own gun. My own pathetic excuse for a gun.

Being made out of clay, it was useless.

Now, this night, I was abducted by aliens. Little green guys came rushing out as the light revealed itself to be a space shuttle.

I was dragged into it’s depths.

Then, I was held in a laboratory and prodded and poked.

I didn’t know how to escape. I was held in outer space in a space shuttle with no way of going back to Earth.

Finally, in a fit of temper, I did something that no Gnome had ever done before.

I threatened them with my gun.

Then, my fingers slipped and hit the trigger.

A beam of light shot out and nuked a little green guy.

The rest of them all ran and hid.

I grabbed one as he ducked to hide, and said to him,

“Take me back home and no one will get hurt.”

He jumped up and down, calling something out in a strange language.

The alien must have understood me, because next thing, I was standing back on my own lawn.

It’s a true story.

Who would know my little clay gun would have been able to work in outer space.

Fractured Faith writing challenge

A receipt for a banana, rice and a coffee.

Tonight. It was tonight. Tonight when i had the in laws over for dinner.

What to cook?

My sister was a fussy eater and they were really her in laws, not mine. Her little villa was too small to host the larger family we were meeting with. So i had invited everyone to my place.

And with a baby on the way, she had left me to do all the planning and catering.

My sister hated fruit, but i really thought the best desserts all used fruit in them. How to compromise?

These thoughts were running through my head as i stood in the large supermarket, staring at the endless shelves, trying to dream something up.

Suddenly i had it!

I had the compromise!

With more confidence than i felt, i strode to the aisle containing rice, and grabbed a bag. Then i marched to the fresh produce part of the store and picked up a solitary banana.

I’d make rice pudding and put a single banana into the recipe to keep both of us happy.

After paying for it, i stood outside the supermarket for a little bit.

My brother in law, my sister’s husband, rang to say he’d be late in picking me up.

I wandered back into the store.

I needed a coffee!