“Sooooo….what is it?” I asked, chewing the tip of my left pigtail.
“I think it’s an old treehouse,” Lisa replied. Her face was speckled with dirt. We’d crossed the wide creek an hour before. It had been mostly mud.
“We can probably climb,” I mused, pointing my dirty finger at the ragged wooden slats nailed into the side of the tree.
Lisa studied the slats. They were rotten. Streaks of rust ran down below the old nails. “Yeah, maybe.”
“I’m gonna do it,” I announced, and started toward the makeshift ladder. “Just catch me if I fall.”
“You know you’re too heavy,” my friend sighed. “You’ll break my neck.”
I pretended not to hear. I placed a tentative foot on the first wooden slat, then shifted my weight back and forth. The piece wobbled, but it didn’t break. I put more weight on it, then grasped the rung above my head and pulled. Still steady. I was fine.
“I think it’ll be okay!” I called behind me, and began my ascent.
The late-July sun hung like a drop of molten slag in the western sky; not as bright as it had been a few hours ago, but it didn’t feel any cooler. Sweat poured down my brow and chest and legs, spattering Lisa. She clicked her tongue in annoyance.
I stared up through the narrow, jagged square cut into the bottom of the treehouse. Spider webs clung to the faraway ceiling, drifting in the weak breeze.
“I don’t think you’d like it up here,” I hollered. “I think there’s spiders.” Continue reading “A Treehouse at Sunset”