Tree House – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
This week, she provides a rather exotic photo by Susan Eames as the prompt.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on this picture, below.

© Susan Eames

Click here to hear the writer read his words

Tree House

I am building a tree house.
This surprises me.
I have never considered undertaking such a project.
Then, recently, I nailed a small plank across two branches.
And things escalated.
As they do.
It is now a fortress.
For a pre-teenage boy in South Africa, life is confusing.
I’ve been concealing myself in this tree for a while.
Because I’m in a state of war with Benny.
I’m no longer sure why, but I think it’s race-related.
I’m a Scot.
The only one in the village.
He, and his friends, are Afrikaners.
So, apparently, we have to fight.

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49 Responses to Tree House – Friday Fictioneers

  1. A good story and writing, C.E. This could end badly if an adult doesn’t find out and do something. Unfortunately, some adults never really grow up. The children must have heard the prejudice in the homes. You’re right, Skin color is not always the basis of the problem.


  2. 4963andypop says:

    I like your depiction of pre-teen confusion on the hot topic of race, which provokes bad behavior in so many adults, in South Africa and all over. If I understand it right, the Afrikaners are Afrikaans-speaking people, descended from the Dutch, and therefore,presumably, Caucasian. Your little joke that the Scots (also presumably Caucasian)make up an entirely different race is funny, in an “oh isn’t that exactly how a pre-teen would think” way. I liked it very much, assuming that I did not totally misread it. 😊


  3. Margaret says:

    So sad. The lines are drawn before the children are old enough to realise what’s happening. Inherited hatred – and so it goes on, and on.


  4. kzmcb says:

    The detachment in the tree is matched by his removal from the discord. I really like it and am glad I played your voice as well, since it gave me a different mood.


  5. mjlstories says:

    A great voice! This is full of sadness, confusion and dreadful foreboding.


  6. Very sensitive topic and handled equally sensitively.


  7. DB McNicol says:

    Treehouses should be fun for kids…so sad when they are used for protection from greater evils.

    DB McNicol
    author, traveler, shutterbug
    Author Blog
    Personal Blog


  8. draliman says:

    A very thought-provoking story. Isn’t this sadly the way of the world?


  9. Sandra says:

    I liked the voice in this – a kind of helpless “look what’s happening to me” approach. Good one.


  10. Abhijit Ray says:

    A battle unless fought with proper tactics you are bound to lose. So hide and wait for the right opportunity.


  11. Well, when you get older you can drink first–then fight.


  12. You built the story beautifully and the last line saddens me. How many times do people go to war or simply fight because it’s expected that they do so, that they hate the other? Missed your story last week and so glad you are back this.


    • ceayr says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Brenda, you got the point of my story exactly.
      And thank you for your second comment, that is just about the nicest thing anyone has said to me on here.
      I was back in Scotland for a short visit, the photos are all over FB!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. pennygadd51 says:

    I like the way you tell this story, revealing little by little the boy’s actions and thoughts. The line “So, apparently, we have to fight.” is the climax of the story, and its spurious logic makes the reader think more critically about war itself.


  14. Great story – so thought provoking. Cleverly done!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  15. This is my favorite story this week.


  16. granonine says:

    So sad, what is happening in South Africa. Your story was right on the mark.


  17. Iain Kelly says:

    Hopefully, like a true Scot, he will invite Benny in to the tree house for a warm chat and they will see that there is no reason for any fighting!


  18. Dear CE,

    A poignant and sensitive story. Nicely done.




  19. Being at war and knowing not why. How often in the past has that been the case?

    My go at Friday Fictioneers!


  20. Anita says:

    A safe tree-house- the haven.
    A land without war that’s heaven.


  21. Tannille says:

    Sad when lines are drawn and you can’t comprehend why.
    Great take on the prompt.


  22. neilmacdon says:

    I liked the logic of war here, and the way animosities creep up on you


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