The Hideout

DragonflymuseTrees, most only a foot-thick, stretched forever ahead, promising adventure.  “Stay out of the woods,”  Monet repeated her aunt’s warning before she sent them all outside.

Monet didn’t mind, she loved it outside at her cousin’s new house, hidden in the woods.  Her cousins claimed the house was haunted and Shya stayed up half the night telling her ghost stories rather than sleeping.  It was fun, not scary.

Outside was the most fun.  Her uncle even built a large jungle gym, on the other side of the front yard, where all the other children played.  Monet turned her attention back to the woods, low grasses covering the floor.  Cream, white, and light grey tree-shrooms dotted several trees.  One in particular caught her fancy, looking like a spiral staircase to the canopy.  She imagined fairies played on it, hopping from shroom to shroom on their way up to the lush leafy canopy.  Surely the edge of the woods was okay?  Monet looked back over her shoulder, no one watched and she heard the other kids playing in the backyard now.

She weaved through the trees, exploring the edge, pretending she lived there.  It was her forest and she danced with her trees, humming to herself.

“Monet, com’ere.”  Her youngest cousin, though only a year younger, half whispered, interrupting her imagination.  She looked to see him beckon her over and then sneak toward the tall bushes out front.  They structured a wild privacy fence around the driveway in.  Both children, so alike in appearance they could be twins, glanced around, making sure no one followed as they pushed into the bushes until they reached a clearing hidden within the branches.

“It’s my hideout,” Evan confessed as he began sharing hidden treasures with her.

“No one else knows?” She examined the pretty stones and marbles in his stash.

“Jus’ you.  It can be your hideout too.  We can both hide here.”  The children both giggled as they peered out of the bushes, watching the other children play, oblivious to their whereabouts.

“Okay.”  Monet grinned and started stashing some of the acorns and stones she found earlier in the day.

“I know where we can catch tadpoles!”  Evan held out a tupperware bowl he grabbed from the branches.  It was empty.

Adventure.  “Where?”  Monet followed behind him again as they snuck across the deserted road to the woods on the other side, stopping only ten feet in at a large puddle of rainwater that trickled away slowly through piles of dead leaves and sticks.  The fattest tadpoles Monet ever saw swam around within.  “Wow!”

They spent what felt like hours giggling and chasing tadpoles; catching and releasing, playing with the baby frogs.  Finally they settled on a bowl-full to keep, mascot pets for their little hideout.

Fictionalized version of several memories compiled into one day from when my cousins had the most awesome house/property ever.  I don’t remember much about the house, but I loved the area, the yard, the woods.  I presented it as a memory of the main character from my new side project So You Want to be a Villain, but all the details are from my memory, just compiled into one day rather than several visits, names changed.  We were only about 7 and 8, younger than 10.

Is there a special place from your childhood memories?  Haunted or not, I’d love to live in this house now.

About Saronai

I'm an eclectic amalgam of confusingly combined oddities. PS If I liked your post it means I really liked your post. You don't have to visit back, but it would be nice. Either way, I read it because I wanted to and liked it because I did. I don't do the fake like for returns thing :)
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4 Responses to The Hideout

  1. Richard L Wiseman says:

    I like the way you presented that place. You create an instant personal mythology about the place without describing it overtly; describing it instead through the reactions and perceptions of the characters. You’ve done that so neatly and perfectly here. That to me is the key to setting based writing; not to try and show, but allow the reader to see through the subjective visual snapshots of a character and through the character’s emotional and psychological responses to the place. As far as my own childhood memorable place goes it is the house in which we we spent 10 years, from 5 to 15 years of age for me, in a town just north of London. My abiding mental image of that house is the moss slippery steps onto the front path, the overgrown bush lined, almost dark tunnel like entrance to the front garden and the rising path to a dark green door; the thick round Victorian age glass set in the top half of the door seeming like a single gloomy yellow eye.

    • Saronai says:

      Wow, thanks so much for the compliment! I loved the place you described too, it sounds just as fantastic and that one detail of the yellow gloomy eye perfected it.

  2. judy kent says:

    Are you talking about the house in Beverly Shores? If so that was by far the most interesting house they ever lived in. The yard the woods, the house it self I found very interesting. Not to mention it was with on walking distance to the beach.

    • Saronai says:

      Sounds like the one. It also had that tree-canopy covered road that looked like an all-natural tunnel that we’d sometimes walk to.

      I only remember the inside of the house vaguely, that’s how much I loved the outside part of it.

      I also remember walks to the pretty dunes and beach.

      Cindy says national park service bought the house and grounds back, letting the land reclaim it.

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