Okay, so this is me breaking one of my rules and duel wielding stories, akimbo. Which I suppose is massively confusing maybe, but to Hell With It. I was going to ship this to some competition. This is something I’ve been working on and it’s more fun to write than Ronel and Eric and I get to wax lyrical about Gameboys (oh glorious DING) and Doom (not in this part though, that’s in part 3), and also well I mean it’s called….
Under the gnarled tree Tyrone’s mother set out the quaint accessories for the picnic, whilst Tyrone’s father stared brazenly at a young teenage girl. Under one arm Tyrone’s father held a box, inside which was a strange gadget. Each time Tyrone’s mother looked at her husband he would quickly make as if he had only been scanning, from left to right, like a radar station, his gaze pausing evenly on blooming sunflowers and nubile girls. After the mat was layed, and the tupperware brought out, Tyrone’s father told Tyrone to run, to fly through the cut grass. This was so his parent’s could fondle each other. Tyrone didn’t know that of course, and had quite happily dashed off, obsessed about reaching the perfect distance, before stealthily circling back, heartbeat driven by excitement as he made his way to the far side of tree.
The tree was titanic in height, a snaking obstacle course of branch and roughly textured bark. Tyrone had discovered it last time they were at the park. Last time he had found a rather satisfying place to put one of his hands. It was a hand hold, a protrusion in the trunk, just above head height. Tentatively he had found that the bottom of the trunk curled in such a way that he could shimmy a foot into a root, slightly above the ground. Just as he did his mother had called out- it was time to leave. Since then, dreams of that tree emerged every night, the way his foot and hands fit so perfectly into those nooks, and that promise of leaving the ground, if only he had just hoisted himself up. In his dreams he felt giddy, and somtimes dived upwards, a reverse fall, as he soared towards the leaves, becoming as tall as the tree itself.
Now, here, the culmination. Carefully, whilst on the otherside his father began to explain to his mother about the new-fangled cellular phone, the boy found the same foothold, unchanged, and grabbed the same jutting piece of bark. He took a moment, and pulled. Up he went, his foot free from the soft grass. Amazing. A gentle breeze licked at his T-shirt. He ran his left hand up the bark, just away from the harsh surface. With his eyes he searched for another hold. Of course, the branch! He took his second step upwards.
That day he tasted glory, climbing all the way up to a branch more than twice his height. He straddled it and savored his empire. Words from below drifted up. Hushed words. “It’s so big.” Says the boy’s mother. “Hardly! You can use it anywhere. Almost. I could call London from here. I mean, it’d be damn expensive, but I could.”
She teased, “And why would you need to call London from here?” .
“Hell with it.” He said, looking away in a contemptuous gesture.
Then a bird landed on the branch, startling Tyrone. He twisted, and before he knew what was happening, fell right on top of his dad.
Henceforth his father passed a household edict- they would avoid the park from that day on. Thus Tyrone learnt the value of stealth. For awhile afterwards, Tyrone’s vertical aspirations were relegated to the netting that served as the walls of ball pits, and his parent’s couch. He loved to climb, and the lack of opportunity served to further illuminate the urge in Tyrone. Besides climbing, Tyrone felt a passion for only one other thing, a brief preview of an entire world, alien, impenetrable, depth hidden in darkness.
A world of Japanese sword masters.