A doting father built his four-year-old daughter, Emma, the perfect treehouse; adorned with slides and swings, windows and doors, ladders and steps, it was a beautiful mix of a full-fledged apartment and a McDonald’s play house.
Emma played there constantly. She had to be dragged back to the house for bath time and bed.
A month later, one day, Emma came out of the treehouse, screaming. “Daddy, I don’t like it.”
What’s wrong?” Father asked, as Emma barreled in his legs, nearly causing his knees to buckle.
“My treehouse, it’s scary.”
“There’s a scary man in there,” she said.
Father ran up the door, bursting inside the treehouse.
Various toys were scattered on the floor.
Father walked back to the house. Emma was sitting patiently, with her thumb in her mouth.
“Daddy, who is he?”
“Who is who? I saw no one.”
Few days later, Father asked, “Did he ever come back?”
“What did the man look like?”
“His mouth had lots of owies on it.”
“Emma, was he already hiding in the treehouse?”
“Nooo. He was hiding in…here,” Emma pointed to her head.
Father laughed, and chalked it up to Emma’s exceptional imagination.
Years went by; Emma grew up into a beautiful eighteen-year-old young lady.
Unfortunately, the secluded treehouse became the perfect place for Emma to get addicted to the “comfort” of drugs and alcohol.
One night Emma ran out from the treehouse, screaming, stumbling and scrambling to her feet.
“What’s wrong Emma?”
“The overhead light flickered, and gave me only quick, random glimpses of the horror. Nearly every surface was coated in a thick layer of sticky, half-coagulated blood, like an abandoned slaughterhouse,” Emma described between sobs.
“No, Daddy! A demon, covered in scars, was bleeding… inside the treehouse! His ripped out teeth were replaced with nails, screws and razor blades, crudely inserted at odd angles into his gums.”
“A giant scar ran down its face; large stitches of twine were drenched in blood. Blood dripped from nails and screws protruding from his skin. With a strained and wheezy attempt, he chased after me.”
Father walked inside the treehouse.
Spiders had made impressive webs.
This treehouse has to go.
Father hobbled off to the garage, got the gasoline can, poured gasoline all over the treehouse, struck a match stick, and threw it at the treehouse.
The treehouse quickly turned into a raging fire ball; it was soon a pile of ash.
Emma’s Cocaine-induced, psychoactive brain had created the demon, and was ablazed along with the treehouse.
Emma lives drug free now.
Father is reminded of the spectacular view of the sunrise out of the east-facing treehouse window, the brief blaze of color in the dawn sky—a constant element of beauty in a world of change.
My daughter is more precious.
That’s the unfinished story of a treehouse, and eighteen years in the life of a family.
Father called it a celebration in the blink of an eye.
Connect with Penmancy:
Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!