Feel free to rip this to bits. I can take it. *Looks smug*.
I move in the dark of night, swinging among the treetops. I feel free, I'm in my place, my zone.
I grab a branch that appears fine, but isn't. It's slippery and old, and not safe. I can't grip it well and my wrists just slide off. I'm high up and falling is out of the question. I have to do something. My feet are resting on a branch and if I can slide down it I can continue. My fingertips are stretched out touching the branch above me and my knuckles are red and sore. They feel numb and cold, and they have splinters and dirt all over them.
My feet are moving down slowly and I look down to see why. The branch beneath me is flexible and wet, so it's bending over and my feet are going with it.
I have an idea.
If it's flexible, it has to be bouncy. If I can bounce on it like a trampoline I can jump up onto the branch above me.
I take my feet of the branch and it snaps back to it's original persiscion like a whip. I place my feet down slowly and the branch bends with them. I bounce up slightly and sure enough, I'm lifted up with the branch. I can now get a good hold on the branch I'm holding on too. I lift myself up with a cry and try to sit on it. My long coat is stuck on a twig and I realize I should have worn the clothes my mother suggested, she said 14 year olds shouldn't go to the forest with coats and boats, but they were knew and I was eager to wear them.
I grab my coat and caress it off the twig, but I'm sitting on it and it won't let me. I move my bum up slightly and pull the coat off eventually but not without a long rip down the tail.
Mum bought these yesterday with her months payment. She said I needed to look smart to get chosen at the bunch and I now I had wrecked it. I feel terrible, the bunching is coming up in one month and mum can't buy another coat because if she does, we won't have money to feed.
I hear a snap beneath me and a whistling sound.
The branch i'm sitting on has given way.
I walk into the house. My clothes are ruined and wet and I lost my coat when I landed. I also lost my new boots in the swamp I landed in, which sort of saved my life. I was cold, muddy and wet so I tried to light a simple fire but I couldn't find anything to use so just walked home. I tore my shirt along the way and tripped up on rocks along the way. My ankle is swollen, I have a cut lip and I can't see out my left eye. I see mumlying on her bed staring at the ceiling. I wander over.
She has her eyes closed so I decide not to disturb her. I have to be picked in the bunch, because if not I'll have nothing to give her as an apology.
I wander outside and fetch some fresh water from the well. I go inside to the kitchen with the pale and place it over the fire to heat it. It's dying and all that's left are a few embers.
I blow on them and chuck a log on. It alights immediately and the water starts to heat. I walk into the girls room.
Malayan is sitting on her bed in one of her daydreams.
Lucille is nowhere to be seen.
Malayan looks up and sees me. She lets out a gasp and a little shriek. Her long blonde hair looks like it's been cleaned. I can't believe it. I guess she's as shocked as I am.
"What...happened to you?" she whispers.
I sigh, and sit down on her bed. She has the comfiest bed. She's the youngest, at 9, so she can't handle proper wood as her bed, she gets varnished oak. I wrap her up in a hug and stroke her hair.
"What...happened to you?" I ask.
"You mean my hair? Mum did it. It took her a long time, because you know, it's always messy."
She looks at me.
I cuddle her, but I think she's close to breaking point.
"Where going to die, aren't we?"
I slump down.
How can you say no, when you can't promise it.
She is crying into my shoulders. I wrap my hands around her head and squeeze her hands tight.
"We'll get through this. Just you wait."
"Yes, we're going to die."