My heart is pounding like a drum.
I'm not ready for this. I'm only young. But it's only a game.
In 10 seconds
I have to bound across the school field,
faster than a cheetah.
Sophie, Gabby, Lily-Grace, Naima and I
reach for a rubbish bin
we have to hold on to before we start.
Now I am counting down the time.
The determined glint in Gabby’s eye tortures you
more than a thousand knives.
It's enough to put you off.
“Three… Two…” STOP! “One…” It's too late now.
The games have begun. I let go of the blue rubbish bin,
and scramble towards a stiff Pine Tree on the opposite side of the field.
It could be a Fir Tree.
Before I get to it, there is a huge long jump pit guarding it.
Beyond the pit is an endless supply
of mini pine cones
I will need if I want to win.
You get hit by a pine cone, you're dead.
And then I'm there.
The long jump pit isn't that big.
I can walk around it. Simple.
I ignore the endless supply of mini pine cones and instead I pull myself into the stiff Pine Tree.
The trunk glares at me.
Well, I'm sorry. I'm only standing on one of your arms, it can't be such a big deal.
I'm not a Tree though.
I wouldn't know.
I clamber up higher.
Soon the whole field comes into view.
Kids are playing football happily…
Oooh, maybe not so happily now
about 3 of them collided into each other.
Down at the end of the field,
Lily-Grace and Gabby are collecting pine cones.
They must be allies.
My eyes discover Sophie,
who happens to be 3 BRANCHES UNDER ME.
She looks at me intently. Be careful.
She has handfuls of pine cones and I have none.
I brace myself… Surely I should have been hit by now…
I whip my head down to see what she's doing.
“Alliance?” She asks. I nod. It's a relief.
I am stiff.
Stiff from being crouched down in a tree for 15 minutes.
Stiff, like the pine tree that has pretty much been a statue for at least 6 years.
I would be a terrible Tree.
Suddenly I spot 2 people I know aren't playing.
Caitlyn and Emily.
They have handfuls of pine cones.
Surely they aren't playing?
Wouldn't the others have told me?
They wouldn't if they couldn't find me.
We decide to pull a prank.
Pass a pine cone.
Throw it at them for fun.
But it hits a branch on its journey down and lands in front of them.
They are confused for a moment, so we yell:
“WooHoo! Up here!” We laugh. They scream. Their pine cones go everywhere.
“They weren't playing, were they?” Sophie asks me.
I shake my head. “I didn't see them at the start.”
“Neither.” I reply.
A loud ringing fills my ears.
Goodbye lunch time.
We slowly make our way down the tree.But we won! We must have.