Fiction · Writing Prompts

Up in the Treetops

Title: Up in the Treetops
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Week of May 2, 2017
Words count: 175 words

I’ve always envied people with enough space in their backyard – or to even have a backyard – to build a treehouse in. I mean, it’d be nice to build a treehouse here, but apartment living doesn’t really encourage you to have a garden. Or a tree. But a treetop treehouse would be amazing! Rambling aside – for this week, after last week’s silence.

One morning, he woke up to the steady thunk-thunk-thunk of a hammer at work. He threw open the curtains. No. Way.

“Sis! Wake up!”

“It’s too early!” the twelve-year-old wailed. “THE SUN! IT BURNS!”

Ignoring her, he ran to the backyard, accompanied by his sleepy sister. They saw their dad perched on a tree, their mother laughing as he flecked paint at her.

“Morning kids!” Dad greeted. “Wanna help?”

That treehouse was a constant, even after leaving home. It was sanctuary, home. Even as they outgrew it, they’d still squeeze into it, to their parents’ amusement.

Twenty years later, it burned down with the rest of their home, leaving charred remains.

His sister’s face was grim after she sat Mom down.

“Dad’s alive?”

“He’ll pull through.”

For a while, they lapsed into silence. Finally:

“If -”

“When, sis.”

When we’ve repaired everything, we’re putting up that treehouse again.”

“A bigger one.”


They’d recover, rebuild. And when they did, they’d have the biggest treehouse this side of the hemisphere had ever seen.

Image credit to Loretta Notto

18 thoughts on “Up in the Treetops

  1. this was a beautiful story of family solidarity and touched me deeply Chris, families pulling together for each other with memories only they share.

    1. Ahck, thank you Singledust for your lovely comment! I’ve always been in awe of families who lose everything, and then put things together – painfully, but bit by bit. I like to think that’s what living’s about – taking what you’re dealt, and making the best out of it.

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