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Trees & Clouds to Watch

Story ID:11056
Written by:Julie Grassley (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Fiction
Location:Peninsula Ohio United States
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There were seven friends in the neighborhood of Willow Brook that always played together. Tommy, Sally, Cassie, Michael, Bobby, Mindy and Luke. They played in back yards, in the playground and at each other’s houses. Their parents warned them to never go into the woods behind them. The children always listened until one day Tommy suggested that they play hide and seek back in the woods. Cassie said no and that she and her younger brother Luke were not going. “C’mon Cassie, we’ll just play one game and that’s it”. Tommy said. “Yeah, c’mon sis, it’ll be fun” pleaded Luke. Cassie said ok and the other children agreed.

“Ok, Bobby, Sally and I will count and Cassie, Luke, Michael and Mindy will hide”, said Tommy. The kids nervously walked into the woods. The trees were very old and so tall that they seemed to reach the sky. The woods seemed alive, the trees, so large yet comforting and the moss covered ground was soft and inviting. The children crept through the woods looking up at the massive trees in awe. “Look, look”! Mindy called out in excitement and pointed to two purple birds sitting on a tree branch, they shimmered in the sunlight streaming through the woods. “I’ve never seen purple birds before” said Michael. “They’re beautiful” whispered Luke. “They are but we have to find a good place to hide, let’s walk a little further” said Cassie.

The children slowly walked over the soft moss and continued deeper into the woods. “Hey, look these look like steps” called out Luke. “That’s because they are” said Cassie. The children looked up and saw a winding set up steps that wrapped around a large tree. “Let’s climb up, it is a perfect place to hide”! said Mindy. The children were a little nervous but started to climb up the stairs that were a part of the tree, made up of roots, branches and sides of the trunk. Luke was the ahead of the other children and Cassie couldn’t see him, she was worried about her younger brother. “Luke, slow down and wait for us”. “Holy Toledo”, the other kids heard Luke scream out. “What is going on, are you ok Luke?” Cassie asked. “Yes, hurry climb to the top, wait until you see what is up here” Luke said.
The other children raced up the stairs until they saw Luke. He was standing inside a tree house. A library room with large couches and walls filled with books. There was a large deck and Luke stepped out onto it. The other children followed him. “Wow, look how high up we are!”, said Mindy

All of the children walk out onto the deck. There are several minutes of silence as the children look around them in amazement. Beautiful, colorful birds nest in the tree tops and white fluffy clouds hover within their reach. Luke reaches out to touch one, the cloud holds his hand. He giggles and jumps back. “Do you want a ride?” the cloud asks.

Luke says yes and each of the children ride on a cloud. The clouds float over to some delicious fruit growing on another tree and then brings them back to their tree. They go for another ride and this time the clouds float near a mountain and warn to not go there. There is a dragon there and he is not friendly.

When the clouds are returning them to their tree Luke’s cloud starts to change from a white fluffy cloud to dark blue storm cloud. Luke’s cloud starts to pull away from the other clouds. “What are you doing?”, he yells, starting to get scared. “I’m delivering you to the dragon”, says his cloud.

“Help, Cassie, help!” screams Luke.

“Stop clouds, stop, my brother is being taken away”, yelled Cassie.

“Well we can get as close to him as we can and then have him grap your hand, his cloud has turned bad and will give him to the dragon” says Cassie’s cloud.

“Hurry, hurry, I will try”, says Cassie.

The clouds race over to Luke’s cloud. Cassie stretches her arm out and yells to Luke to grab it. Luke stretches as far as he can, he holds her hand but his hand slips and he falls before she can grab him with her other hand.

“Nooooooo!!” yells Cassie

‘Don’t worry Cassie, Luke has fallen in the good trees, they will catch him but you must send others in to help get him out, there are some bad creatures in the good forest”.

The good clouds race over to the tree house and the children jump onto the deck.

Cassie, Michael and Mindy race down the tree steps, they run back to where they think Luke fell. As they are running towards where they think Luke fell they hear Tommy yell, “We found you!!! Except for Luke, where is Luke?” I’m surprised you let him out of your sight Cassie”. Cassie started crying. The children were out of breath but quickly explained what happened.

“Stop lying, that is ridiculous”, said Tommy

“Come on, we have to hurry, my cloud said that there are bad creatures in the good forest”, said Cassie.

“If this is true, we have to get our parents”, said Bobby

“Ok, run and tell them, we will go look for Luke” said Michael

“I’m older and bigger, I will go with Cassie, Michael you take the younger children to get our parents and Bobby you come with us”, said Tommy.

“Cassie wait, we are coming”, yelled Bobby. He and Tommy ran to catch up with Cassie and the other children ran to tell their parents.

The children start to walk deeper into the woods, these woods are not filled with soft rays of sunshine and purple birds. These woods are dark and the creatures/birds that they saw did not fill them with awe and admiration but instead with fear and apprehension. As they walk deeper into the woods, the moss becomes sticky, almost pulling on their shoes. The vegetation creeps further up the trees as they continue into woods. Less light streams through and it is harder to make out the shapes before them.

“I’m scared”, Bobby whispers.

“Me too but we have to find Luke, imagine how scared he is, we have each other and hopefully our parents will be here soon, Luke is all alone, said Cassie.

“They will find us” said Tommy

“Luke, Luke, where are you?” yells Cassie

“Luke, Luke, we’re coming for you” yells Bobby

Luke could not hear them he was too far away. After he fell from his cloud he was falling towards the forest below when a tree reached out one of its branches and caught him. The tree smiled and gently placed Luke on the ground.

“Thank you”!! said Luke, he started to cry, “I thought I was going to die”.

“It’s ok little one, I will try to help you get out of here” said the tree. “Head back this way (he pointed in the direction of the field where the children entered) and only accept help from the good trees, you have a difficult journey”

“I thought this was the good forest” said Luke

“Well, this was all good but we have had some bad seeds start to grow here” said the tree

“How do I tell the difference?” asked Luke

“The good ones will have a sparkly pink leaf that never falls off, like mine”, and the tree lifted up a branch and showed Luke his pink, sparkly leaf. “The bad ones will have a dark blue, spotted leaf that never falls off”.

“Like mine”, says a tree next to the good one. The bad tree grabs Luke and starts to pull him away when the good tree whips a big branch against the bad tree’s branch and Luke is set free. He drops to the ground.

“Run, run as fast as you can”, yells the good tree. “Don’t get close to a tree unless you can see its identifying leaf!”

Luke runs very fast, he is very scared. He runs for a long time and then he needs to sit down. He sees a moss covered rock and decides to rest there. He sits down and the rock moves! Luke jumps up, shocked and surprised. The “rock” turns out to be a porcupine.

“What are you doing there buddy, you nearly crushed me!” said the porcupine.

“I’m sorry, I thought you were a rock” said Luke. “Why didn’t your quills poke me, why are they soft?” asked Luke

“I can change how they feel depending on who is around me”, said the porcupine. “I will help you out of here, you are heading towards the field, right?”

“Yes, I need to get home, I want to go home”, said Luke.

“Ok let’s go” said the porcupine.

They continue through the woods.

“Help, help”!!

“That sounds like my sister” said Luke

Luke and the porcupine start running and then they see Cassie, Tommy and Bobby being held by the branches of a bad tree.

“Luke, Luke, you are ok”, yells Cassie, she has a big smile on her face despite being trapped by a bad tree.

“You’re not though” says Luke and he starts to pull on the bad trees branches, trying to set his sister free.

“Get back Luke, step away!” yells the porcupine. His paws grab Luke and push him behind a good tree.

The porcupine does a flip and stands up. All of his quills have turned red and he twirls in a circle sending the red quills flying in the air and into the bad tree’s branches.

The bad trees let go of the children. The children run towards Luke and they all hug.

“I was so worried about you Luke, I love you” said Cassie.
“I love you too Cassie, said Luke”

“I’m glad you are ok” said Bobby

“Me too and I’m sorry I had this idea” said Tommy.

“Thank you porcupine” said Luke

“You are welcome, now run, you are close to the field” said porcupine.

The children ran towards the field, the forest getting brighter with every step.

They finally reached the field just as Michael, the other children and their parents were approaching the woods.

They all hugged. Their parents scolded them, told them to stop making up stories and brought them home.