I’m currently packing up my house, which is about as much fun as ripping my own arm off and beating myself with it. What has been interesting is coming across some old letters, photos and writings. I found a stash of papers which had moved with me years ago and I had not actually looked at in a very long time. In this stash, I found my high school creative writing portfolio. I realise now that I was a troubled teenager (but weren’t we all)? Nonetheless, I found this lighter piece that I thought would be interesting to share. The topic was “A Childhood Memory”.
The Power Within
The leaves hiss along the ground as we walk past. The birds no longer sing. Instead, the wind whistles eerily through the tree tops – warning us to stay away. We gather up our courage and climb over the fence into the darkness. We walk slowly, being cautious with each step, and reach the bent and gnarly ‘Tut Castle Tree’ where the voice of King Tut booms upon us, “Bring us our sandwiches, Rascals!”
At least, that’s how I remembered it. It was a simple game, invented merely to make us their slaves. ‘Us’ being myself and my neighbour Steven. ‘Them’ being my older brother John and Steven’s sister, Tarryn. John and Tarryn were ‘King Tut’ and ‘Queen Tut’, who lived in ‘Tut Castle’, while we were the ‘Rascals’ i.e. their naive, innocent slaves. Once we had done the chores that King and Queen tut told us to, we could join in with their ‘evil deeds’.
The cold wind blew my hair into my face. Steven brushed it behind my ears – he was always there for me. I looked up into the highest branches where our superiors hovered, and asked with my voice shaking, “C-Can we play now?”
“I’m the king of the castle and you’re the dirty rascal, so call me ‘sir’!”
“Can we play now… SUUUUR?”
“Okay,” said the almighty king, “but you two can only sit on the first branch.” So we did as we were told.
The Tut Castle Tree prevented us from being seen by passers-by on the street, and that is where the idea of the ‘evil deeds’ came from. We could see them, but they couldn’t see us. We were like spies. King and Queen Tut said that they, being the superiors, controlled them.
“Okay, everyone keep quiet” was the order from Queen Tut. “When I say so, Rascals, whistle at the woman walking past”. We did and she stood still, confused. All of a sudden, she was bombarded with flying berries, soaring through the air from all directions. They bounced off her fat rolls like ping-pong balls.
Amidst the shouts and machine gun noises of the bloodshed, I sat and watched. I wasn’t a very violent child – I couldn’t be, in the dresses my mother dressed me in. So I switched off out of their world and tuned in to my own. I wanted to be at the top of the tree. I wanted the power. I was sick of being the ‘dirty little rascal’. I wanted to be important.
Some days, when nobody was in ‘Tut Kingdom’, I would sneak down to the bottom of the garden, and climb to the top of the tree. I had the power then. I would just sit and watch the passers-by. I was powerful enough to just watch and know that I was above it all.
Even now, when I feel down, depressed or unimportant, I sit at the top of that tree and watch. There seems to be some kind of power in that tree that makes all my problems disappear for a while. It makes me look deep into myself and find the power within.
If you know me personally, that explains a lot, doesn’t it?
[Tree image source: here]