Summer Schemes and Boys in Trees

Submitted into Contest #50 in response to: Write a story about a summer afternoon spent in a treehouse.... view prompt



If you touched the plywood walls they’d be a sort of wet-hot that comes only after a thunderstorm in the middle of summer. Like the wood itself is thirsty it sucks up the water to cool off, but then when the sun comes around there’s no stopping the heat from coming and turning whatever’s inside that plywood into a swampy, sticky, humid, smelly mess. But it’s my treehouse and I’m gonna stick it out. 

Stick what out? Well I’ve been under siege for the past couple hours by all manner of foes. I don’t got it in me to be a coward, so I just gotta take it all and dish my own out when I get a turn. What with the thunder and rain and bugs and birds and bruises from slipping in the mud running from Tom, it’s been hard to scheme but I think I finally came up with a good one.

See Tom’s got a big brother that gets pissed at just the sight of Tom, and that same big brother’s got a big collection of pranking paraphernalia. If I could just get outta this house without being noticed none-so-ever and down on the ground where I could make a break, I know there’s some water balloons that Tom’s brother would just love to see put to good use. And if he asks why I’d be a good investment for his pranking capital, I’d tell him just what else I’d thought up.

There’s a big ‘ol jar of pickle juice at my place that’s dying to be pumped in a balloon. I think me ma’s trying to use it to pickle some hard-boiled eggs, but this’ll be worth the waste and punishment whatever it be. I was ruminating on it a long time amidst the pit-pat titter-tat woosh of rain coming down and the odd couple of rocks hitting against the sides of the treehouse that I’ve got no doubts were chucked up by Tom from below. I mean, I didn’t see him, but he’s the kinda kid to do it. He’s no coward either is what I’m saying. He knows I’d be doing the same thing if I was on the ground and he was up in his treehouse. BANG, BANG, BANG every couple seconds. Keep ‘em on their toes and fearing for something or another so they can’t scheme to get you back. But I’m stronger than that is the problem.

Though what’s got me all confused and in a huff right now is why he stopped when the rain stopped. Like what I’m thinking is he got himself going home to change clothes and come back with something bigger and badder to play his pranks on me, and I’m not into that none-a-bit. Especially what with considering it blocks my plan of getting the balloons from his brother in the off chance I see him on the way. And then again, I thought this one real smart, he could just be waiting outside hidden away somewhere below still all soaking wet and real nasty but camouflaged despite that all. So that when I come down for whatever like, to take a piss or go home or something, he can jump out and get me with whatever he’s stored away. So nope I’m not going down, not just yet. Not until I know the coast is clear. 

Instead I’m inside scheming, scheming, dreaming of all the things I’d like to do to that boy to make him feel how he’s made me feel. It mighta been partially my fault he lost some of his electronics privileges, what with the smokes I sold him, but the fact he got caught is not my fault in the least. Let alone that his pa beat him and took away his toys. He should be thanking me for what I done him, but instead he got himself caught and now he’s blaming it all on me. I don’t think it’s fair, but I’m not going to hold this one against him either. He should be smarter but I know I wouldn’t be any better than him in the situation. It’s the emotion that does it. It’s the rage, the anger, the resentment. It’s gotta be anyone’s fault other than one’s own. 

But what I just realized is that I don’t gotta exit out the bottom down onto the ladder where he’s certain to see me if he is watching from below. I can slip out the back window and into the tree and climb through the bushy branches full of leaves that can keep me hidden ‘till I’m closer to the ground so I can run away if need be. Because I know I’m faster than he is and I’ll get away just like I was able to get to the treehouse while he was chasing me. 

I climb out the window onto the branch out the back of the treehouse and it’s still a little wet. I done this kind of thing before on a sunny day, so there shouldn’t be no difference with a bit of rain. I just gotta take a little care before making a step else I start falling. So I go out on the branch a little farther and now my arm’s let go of the treehouse and I’m just balancing on the big twig. It isn’t such a difficult time after all. I can walk back and forth real easy like and I’m just about to drop down when this big, gray, nasty, boulderish thing comes whipping up at me and thunks me in the chest. All the wind gets knocked out of me and I practically blow myself off kilter. I’m holding the thing right in my hands as I slip backwards off the branch. I end up laying horizontal on a bed of rushing air when I get a good look at the rock and see it has got some chicken scratch handwriting on it with a big ‘ol John Hancock of none other than Tom himself.

And I’m falling, falling, falling. Strange how things turn out despite all our scheming.

July 14, 2020 15:13

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