Writing Extract #1

4:11 pm

Photo by @jeremydgreat

A little extract from a short story I've been on-and-off working on. It's a sort of magical realism fairy story, but where the fairies are kind of scary, violent, and six feet tall. 

After a couple of circuits of the tree, she spotted it: the key. It was hanging from a high branch, disguised as a decoration. Now was the perfect occasion to practice her sober tree-climbing skills; she had only ever climbed trees drunk before, but she was damn good at it, a fact that can be backed up by a handful of friends and her friendly neighbourhood Community Support Officer. She could spot foot supports and handholds a mile off, and was swiftly halfway up the tree, shimmying along a narrow branch. Now, she wasn’t afraid of heights, not at all, but this time when she looked down, she was surprised by how much higher up she was than she expected. A shimmering veil seemed to flutter before her eyes, like she was tearing up after watching too many family ancestry programs, but when she went to wipe them, they were dry. She blinked, but the veil remained. Now, she was uncomfortably high up, but also within arm’s reach of the key. The roots below her shifted, contorting through the veil, looking less like a trip hazard and home for hedgehogs, and more like a gaping abyss. Out she stretched, fingers expecting to touch the copper, but the contact wasn’t there. The key shimmered into nothingness before her eyes, and the forward momentum sent her down towards the ground, her stomach in her throat. She tumbled towards the roots, towards the gaping abyss, but the ground never came.

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