Chapter 3

Written by: Timbo

Francis is pleased with herself. It’s all going to plan. She watches the others from her hiding place, high in the branches of the boss Kahikatea tree. Let them think she can’t climb. She’s been climbing since she was a nipper, but not even her brother Peter knows about her abilities and he’s not a bad climber himself. She’d hidden that side of her being for years, both from Peter and her parents who would have wrapped her in cotton wool given half a chance.  She needed to do all the things boys did and tree climbing was her favorite. Big Kahikateas were a challenge as they very often had no branches near the ground and great buttressed trunks. With many of the hardest ascents she had - over the years - carefully cut disguised handholds into the bark which she’d then used to get herself up into the boll of the tree. Once she was in the lower branches the rest was simple with plenty of evergreen foliage to hide her from prying eyes. She had climbed this tree so many times now she knew it like an old familiar friend.

She watches the others. Peter has come down from the tree where she’s strung up one of Lizzie’s stupid bears and he’s found the message in the folded book pages. That’ll get them going, them and their insipid Winnie the Pooh. It makes her want to spit. All that sentimental rubbish. Pooh sticks. What a wimpish game. That A.A. Milne must have been a real sweetheart to write dreke like that. Still now that Robin had shown his true nature she won’t have to keep up the pretense. Let him sing his heart out, him and his spineless ‘Come by ya’. She’ll take The White Stripes any day. Pity he’s so good looking. A good looking wimp but she likes the way the veins in his neck stand out when he strains for a high note, blood pulsing smoothly beneath the skin, energy flowing. Very tasty. Sometimes she sits amid the curled roots of her friend the boss tree with her back to the trunk and when she closes her eyes she can feel the tree’s life force flowing up behind the bark, old and wise. Much wiser than A.A. Milne with his silly toy bear. Pooh. How could anyone give a cuddly toy a name like that?

At the foot of the other tree David breaks away from the group and their wretched book. Now he’s an interesting one, nice body with some Maori tats on his arms. She watches him walk away from the others - who are still huddled over their book - one hand held up to the side of his head.

Her phone cheeps like a tui bird. She doesn’t recognize the number, but keys it anyway.

“Francis?” David’s voice, thin and distorted, “What are you playing at?”

Timothy Booth (IRL)


Tim you work is technically flawless. Your use of present tense is interesting if not just a little distracting. Your opinion of AA Milne is exactly what I would expect from a brilliant but raving Irishman (please don't take offense-that was a compliment.) Your personal opinion of the subject matter of the whole chapter is extremely well expressed and not at all subtle. Well done!
Thank you for the compliments, Mrellan. I do indeed have personal opinions on A.A. Milne, but these are not necessarily the opinions reflected in the mind of a fictitious character....
Nice, I liked the working with just one single character. I think sometimes we get all worked up about all the characters in a story that we think we have to use all of them. Instead in this we had an overview of the group by just one person's thoughts. Which is better for 500 words.