People that were bad had to go on the slide. They’d be walked out to the mossy cliff, and made to slide into the misty clouds below. No one knew what lay at the bottom of the cliff beneath the clouds.
Not many of my ancestors were buried in the graveyard. I came from a long line of sliders. My mother was made to take the slide for asking to work the fields with the men and my sister followed her. My grandfather took the slide for asking the leader questions, and my great grandmother slid because she tried to send her daughters to the learning place.
I was no good. I knew it. So I fit in. I tried to prove myself. Yes leader.
But it wasn’t me. I felt as empty and blank as the mist beyond. So one day. I slid. No one even cared why. They liked to watch a sliding, it was a good show.
I expected the mist to be cold, but it was warm. And when it cleared I wasn’t falling any more.
I had the strange feeling I was upside down. But when I looked around, I was standing on a cliff just like the one I’d just slid from.
“I’m so proud of you, I knew you’d slide,” my mother was saying. “You’re a good boy.”
I looked around to see most of my family.
“We wait here often, just in case,” they explained.
I looked back at the mist.
“I wish we’d known. It’s just like home,” his sister said. “The houses, the fields, its all the same. But we’re all sliders here.”
Inspired by this deadly looking rock slide in the forest walk I did today.
Today I am coming to you from a tree in New Farm park as suggested by a lovely producer at ABC radio earlier this month.
I can tell you now writing on a laptop a good 6m up a tree is conducive to funny looks. The place I’ve settled to write has all these nails in it, and I can’t really imagine why, or can I?
I was commissioned to work on the latest development which ventured into the forest in the centre of the town. No one had even tried to build in the forest for 100 years, though we weren’t sure why, it was prime real estate. We were asked to keep it as quiet as possible or the greenies would be out enmass. I got up before the sun did and we began marking the trees. There were only a few of us, but it only took a few spray painted crosses before I felt that we were being watched. My colleagues made fun of me.
“It’s a squirrel conspiracy!”
“Watch out they’re deadly!”
But I couldn’t shake the feeling, the trees were huge imposing figures with giant claws that dug down into the earth. I looked into one of the tangled mass of roots that propped up one of their huge arms, a pair of sunken eyes looked back at me. I stumbled back as Bob started up his chainsaw. We were sprayed with dirt. The trees were ripping up their claws from the forest floor. Roots came down on top of Bob imprisoning him. Their great arms thrashed and their roots grasped around blindly for human limbs.
I started running, I could see light up ahead, but just as I reached it I felt a yank on my ankle and was dragged back. I grabbed a nail gun from my tool belt and fired. The root recoiled giving me just enough time to scramble free.
I should think there won’t be another attempt at development in the forest, at least until people forget once more.
Tall wooden hands reaching into the ground
Clinging onto earth
Feeling at one with nature
I decide to climb the face of the bark
But it opens an eye
And then a mouth
“Get off my face!”
Just got back from a forest, written in a tree which I climbed. Also it had a face…