by Pencil Lead
The heart of a little boy
By Pencil Lead
“Whoa…” Two youngsters stared up the lightning struck tree that seemed to reach up and touch the blue fabric of the satin skies. The charred split trunk still stood strong despite its impoverished countenance and intimidated the intrepid spirits of the children. Circling it round and round, their small pudgy fingers lightly scraped against the blackened bark, leaving dark smudges on their fingertips. A cheeky smile adorned the face of the eldest one and he looked to his giddy little brother for a listening ear.
“I bet I could touch the sky if I climbed this tree!” They both looked up, eyes squinted against the glare of the mid-day sun.
“You might be able to reach space!” The younger whistled and took a step back for a better view. Nodding in agreement, the dreamer of the two circled the tree again, imagining he did reach the sky. What would await him there? What if he even played on the clouds?
“I’m going to climb it, “he declared in finality.
The smaller one laughed and rolled his eyes. “No you’re not. You don’t even know how to climb a tree this big! The biggest tree you have climbed was the one in the old pasture that the cows hid under, and that one is tiny when you look at this one.”
With a scowl, the elder took a hold of a low branch and pulled himself up to prove he could indeed climb it. He could climb anything in the world. With an aspiring fire burning anew in his little heart, he found a foothold and used it to get him up a little ways further. Clenching his jaw, His muscles strained to lift him again and again, and a light sheen of sweat started to glisten on his forehead where strands of hair begun to stick.
“I want to go him, Fitz.” Head bobbing from sleep deprivation, the little six year old had started to complain.
Fitz, as he was called, couldn’t hear him past the breeze that blew through the top branches of the tree. Proud with his amazing accomplishment of about forty feet, Fitz looked down to boast proudly. “Look-“He hadn’t noticed how far he had actually climbed; the sudden realization cut him short mid sentence. His brother, Dewy, looked like a jelly bean on the ground and the slow sway of the tree made Fitz’s head swim. Looking away from the view quickly, Fitz rested his head against the tree and tried to slow the rapidly increasing beats of his frantic pulse.
He needed to get down, though he couldn’t stop now. He couldn’t be far from the clouds now. Only a little push would get him to what he wanted. A little more exertion on his shaky fatigued arms and legs would earn him rest. “I’ll be right down, Dewy! Just give me a second!”
“Snap!” Fitz felt as light as air, and he relaxed. Had he made it to the clouds? That’s what it felt like. A terrified shriek resounded in his ears and brought everything into perspective. The rush of limbs ahead of him, the breath he couldn’t seem to inhale, and the strange feeling of nausea that came over him all meant he was falling.
Dewy screamed again when the body of his brother sprawled helplessly through the air before hitting a branch. “Crah!” The hideous sound echoed and Fitz hit the ground, the broken branch landing right beside him. Dewy stilled in shock, as the world went quiet once more.
Now Fitz touched the satin sky, reached the thin cotton clouds, and even saw space wit all its twinkling brilliance.