High

Lashed to a tree, high above the forest floor, there is a small wooden house.  The house is worn and its paint faded to such a degree that it is nearly indistinguishable from the tree.  The inside of the house is sparsely furnished, just a hammock and a wooden chair.  There is a shelf beside the solitary window on which there is a closed box.  No birds make their nests in the eaves of this wooden house, no rodents scurry across its floors.  There is no door, and there is no rope ladder nor access of any kind.  Yet from time to time, it serves it purpose as a shelter.  To enter this house, you must fulfill a certain set of requirements.  You must be wanting of a time away from modernity, you must be in possession of a free and wandering mind, and you must not be afraid of heights.

The wind moves through the forest, the trees bristle at its passage and the hammock moves under the weight of its new occupant.  The new arrival is a young man with long black hair and a scruffy beard.  He begins to stir in his sleep, and the hammock sways slightly.  The wind has stopped blowing and the sun is shining.  The young man wakes up and climbs out of the hammock, with difficulty.  He walks to the window puts his hands on the ledge and looks out into the crowd of trees.  He leans out and looks toward the ground, which is far away.  He turns and looks around the room,taking in its bareness.  He opens the box on the shelf and inspects its contents.  There are cigarettes, matches, a flask of some liquor and a book.  The young man takes them out, replaces the box on the shelf and smokes and reads until the light begins to fade.  When the light is gone he smokes and drinks.  When the cigarettes are gone he drinks.  When the drink is gone he sleeps.

When he wakes, he will be in his own bed, he will not remember that he had been in a wooden house high in a forest, but he will feel wonderfully refreshed.  He will not drink alcohol for many weeks, he will continue to smoke cigarettes but he will quit when he finishes writing a book he begins working on that morning.  The book is the very same as the book he read in the wooden house high above the forest floor.

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Limerick Writers' Centre

Supporting Literature, Arts and Culture in Limerick since 2008.

NUIG Writers' Society

NUIG's society for exploring each other's writing in a welcoming environment.

The Lacklustre Emporium

The strange ravings of Joshua Kenehan, writer, illustrator, student, madman.

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