“Ugh, I’m bored.” Chase moaned, sprawled on a beanbag in her treehouse. She was accompanied by her best friend, Nico, who was also laying on a beanbag and futilely trying to fan himself with a couple of coloring pages that had been left on the treehouse floor. The treehouse was stuffy from sitting in the hot sun all day, the tree's leaves doing little to deflect the sun’s rays away from the wooden structure, and both kids were racking their brains for ways to cool themselves down as well as entertain them.
“We could… turn the treehouse into a tropical island.” Nico suggested lamely, mopping sweat his brow with his shirt sleeve, making his bangs stand messily. Chase looked at him out the corner of her eye.
“How would we do that?” She asked, slightly intrigued. Her enthusiasm was inhibited by how sluggish she felt. Each move she made reminded her how her clothes stuck to her skin, and how uncomfortable the claustrophobic heat felt to breath in.
“I dunno, I guess we can’t have any electricity up here. I was thinking we need a fan, and like, a mini fridge with popsicles would be cool.” Nico sighed, his head lolling back as his eyes closed with exhaustion. Chase, however, had an epiphany.
“No wait - that’s a great idea! Nico, run back to your house and grab some beach stuff or whatever. Whatever you think will fit up here. I’m gonna go grab some stuff from my house. We can create a tropical island here!”
“Whatever.” Nico groaned, grimacing as he unstuck himself from his beanbag. “I need a break from here anyway. It’ll be nice to be in air conditioning.”
“Be back here in about an hour at least.” Chase said sternly as she watched him climb down the ladder. As Nico trudged back to his house, Chase threw the bean bags and the rug on the treehouse floor from the hatch and onto the ground below. She then followed them by climbing down the ladder, jumping the last three steps and landing on the bean bags. She took a minute to drag them away from the ladder and store them in a bush nearby before turning towards her own house.
Chase entered through the screened backdoor with a loud bang, her blond hair swishing around her head as it looked around wildly.
“Mom!” She shouted into the house. She listened for a minute with pursed lips, and when no one answered, she sprinted towards her mother’s study. Chase stopped her momentum on the doorjamb, peeking into the study. There her mother was, typing away at her computer, surrounded by reference books and stacks of paper alike, an open notebook resting between her arms.
“Hey Mom,” Chase gasped, gulping for air for a minute from her haste. “Is there an extension cord that can reach the treehouse?” Chase watched with waning patience as her mother typed for a minute more before turning around in her chair to look blankly at her daughter through her round rimmed spectacles.
“I’m sorry what?” She finally asked, unable to process her daughter’s request. Charlie blew her hair off her face with exasperation.
“Is there an extension cord that can reach up to my treehouse? Nico and I are trying something.”
“Oh! Yeah I think there is a heavy duty extension cord in the garage. Just be careful of the car and your dad’s stuff, okay?”
“Awesome! Thanks Mom!” Chase grinned before dashing off to retrieve the extension cord. The garage was even worse in the heat. It was dark, and extremely dusty, which made the sticky heat even worse for Chase. She coughed and choked as she waded through all the tools, until finally she spotted a coiled up orange cord. After shimmying her way around her dad’s car, she grabbed the extension cord and slung it over her shoulder. Squinting, she looked around the garage to see if there was anything else she needed before she left.
Suddenly, Chase’s eyes widened as she saw her old inflatable plastic pool.
“Oh my god this is perfect!” She whispered to herself excitedly. She grabbed the dusty pool as well, and then exited the garage into her backyard.
After dumping the inflatable pool and electrical cord in front of the treehouse ladder, Chase headed back inside, this time walking upstairs quietly. She didn’t necessarily have permission to enter the room of her sister, Amber, but Amber had some items that Chase felt were necessary for her tropical treehouse.
Chase stood outside of Amber’s bedroom door for a couple of minutes, trying to discern if her sister was inside. Then she remembered that Amber was at the pool with a friend for the day, and hurriedly barged into the room.
The room smelled like too much perfume and a scented candle. It wasn’t bad, it just made Chase a little dizzy if she stood in there too long. Trying to get out of there quickly, Chase first grabbed the mini fan that sat at the end of Amber’s bed and unplugged it from the wall. Then, by making trips, Chase emptied all of her sister’s masks and creams from her mini fridge into the fridge downstairs. She then unplugged the mini-fridge, and after placing both the fridge and the fan in the hall, closed the door to Amber’s room as quietly as she could. On her way back to her treehouse, Chase grabbed a box of popsicles from the freezer in the kitchen and some scissors from a drawer and shoved them into the fridge she was holding before kicking her way through the screen door.
As she walked out, Nico was sitting on the grass in her backyard. It looked like he had brought a really long hose, which would be perfect for the pool, a large bucket, and had changed into swim trunks and a muscle tank. He was also holding a box of ice cream sandwiches, making Chase’s stomach rumble as she considered his superior frozen treat.
“Hey. I figured you wanted to do something with water.” Nico gestured to the coiled black hose at his sandaled feet.
“You were right. Also help me get this fridge up there so we can cool those sandwiches.” Chase said, handing Nico the fridge before turning to plug in the extension cord into the side of the house.
The sun had started to cool down considerably since when they had started the creation of the tropical treehouse, but the kids were too determined to see their creation through to give up. After the fan and the fridge had been plugged in, with the extension cord in a taut wire leading from the house to the treehouse, Chase had Nico blow up the pool while she figured out how to get water and some lawn chairs Nico had also brought into the house. Eventually, they figured out a pulley system using the large bucket, a piece of rope, and the window of the treehouse, and before long the kiddie pool was inflated and filled.
After working so hard to collect all of their equipment and set it up, Chase and Nico were finally able to enjoy the fruits of their labors. Nico had even nicked his older brother’s iPod, so as they cooled their feet in the kiddie pool and ate popsicles and ice cream sandwiches alike, they could feel the breeze from the fan on their face and listen to the tunes of some reggae singers that Chase didn’t know the names of. Nico swore it was the perfect music for their tropical theme though, and she privately agreed. Content and smiling, Chase said with a sigh,
“Well done Nico. Thanks for coming back to help.”
“This was totally worth all the work honestly. We should do this all summer. You can keep the bucket here and we can just refill the pool when I come over.”
“Yes! Tropical treehouse, all summer long!” Chase declared, raising her sandwich over her head. Suddenly, they heard the screen door from Chase’s house open with a slam.
“CHASE!! WHERE IS MY FRIDGE?”