‘Den’ the keyword for #writephoto this week, is my first flash for a while. I took some time off through April (and maybe before) to get my brain sorted out a bit. Well, to supervise the guinea pigs during the A to Z Challenge, too. There’s no end to the amount of guinea pig wrangling I’ll do.

But, thank to K L Caley at New2Writing.com, the #writephoto continued, and I dropped in sometimes to read the works of art produced. Now, back to work myself. I’m thinking I might do illustrations sometimes, instead. Later… Today’s is under 500 words.

There’s nothing like a Den

It was like walking back in time. She had come around the corner from the greenhouse, pushed past an overgrown shrub, and there it was.

In her mind it was twenty feet high. She had only needed to crouch down to slip between the branches, all dark bark and glossy leaves. She may have had a hand in building it, mainly dragging the smaller branches over so that her father could add them to the structure, but it always felt like hers.

There had been visitors, apart from her dolls and teddy, who had had numerous tea-parties inside.  The girls across the field had come and crawled inside with her during the summer holidays, the year she’d had to stay in the garden for some reason. What had they done inside there? She couldn’t remember… oh well, there was the time they… she felt her cheeks blush at the memory. Normal for inquisitive youngsters, but she’d felt guilty about it for years afterwards. That was what cloistered upbringings did for you: made you feel guilty about every single thing.

And now… she walked up to her den, the branches still in place, although silvery grey and bent. Even the spiders seem to have left. She crouched down. Had she really been that small? She could possibly crawl in, but she’d probably get stuck. Oh, to hell with it. Hands and knees would have to do.

The shoulders followed her head, and she twisted a little to get them past the second layer of branches.

“What are you doing, honey?” 

His muffled voice created a pain in her head, since she jerked it upwards, colliding with the low roof.

“Is that a den? Is there room for me?”

She wiggled round and stuck a hand back through the entrance, beckoning. She giggled as she imagined the tight squeeze it would be with both of them inside.

Come to think of it…nobody would interrupt them.

“I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours,” she whispered, as her partner arrived at her side.

© J M Pett 2022

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Den | #writephoto Flash Fiction
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