The Tree House Tribe Chapter 1

Fiction By Tori // 2/18/2009

"The Tree House Tribe will come to order!" I watched as the chatter and laughter died down and about 30 heads turned my way. I am the President of the Tree House Tribe. I am just about 14 I think; at least, I'm old enough to be leader.
What is the Tree House Tribe, or the T.H.T, you ask? It is a secret society made up of entirely orphan children who care for themselves. We live together under a series tree house roofs (built by the oldest boys, fit to accommodate about 50), and we older kids work for food or stay at the Site and teach the younger kids. You could call us modern-day hoboes, except we have a bit of money and we almost never starve. The Site is a cluster of about 100 trees at the bottom of a valley surrounded by mountains. This is where the T.H.T lives.
Our mission? We rescue as many children as possible from different orphanages. They have a better life here. We usually leave a note telling the orphanages that the children are in safe hands, and never to worry about where they are. Once the escapee is old enough, they walk back to the orphanage and tell the people there that they have a better life now. Then they are officially members and can be elected to different positions.
“Now then,” I continued. “Preston, my notes.” Preston is my assistant. He is a small boy of 13. Once I had flipped through them, I smiled. “We have record that Ben and Ian’s (the youngest in the Tribe, 18-month old twins) Found Me day is tomorrow. It has been one year!” A cheer went up from the Tribe. We keep record of the day we rescue a child, and we celebrate it as Found Me day. It is a sign that we are still strong.
“All seems quiet along the border. Ken has found a particularly rich old lady who delighted in giving him cash. $100 dollars, to be used for Tree B.” Another cheer rippled through the crowd assembled in the grass. “Dismissed, but I am listening to Regs until noon.” All went back to their chores and fun except about 5 of them, to give Regs. Regs is our abbreviation of regulations, ideas that have a possibility of becoming rules. The first person, Jess, an 8-year old girl, said,
“I have a Reg to be considered.” Once I nodded, she went on. “Chirpy is becoming too cooped up. He is tired of being caged. Can’t we have a rule that a birdie’s wing can be clipped?”
I considered it. It was not bad, except not rule material since Chirpy was the only bird I would ever allow into the Site, besides wild ones. Chirpy was an exception because he was the only thing Jess ever owned. Besides, he was well trained.
“Go down with Jonathan to town tomorrow morning, and check with the sheriff there on how to do it. He may be clipped. Back to your work, now.”
The next person was Julio, a 12-year old Mexican boy. “I want a rule that we switch jobs every week. I’m tired of doing the same thing over and over again.”
I thought hard. Harder. The hardest that I could, the hardness that I used when considering a rule. Finally I reached my decision. “We will make note of it, and submit it to the elders.” Julio walked away. I thought it had merit, but the most jobs one person could learn to do would be about 2. We train very strictly on how best to do jobs. It is why we are so well-run.
The others came forward, one girl with a rule that said we had to buy nail polish every week, another with one declaring every Friday should be Support the Chickens night. Hey, I like chickens, but I don’t believe I would ever go to one of those meetings. I turned both those rules down, but the next rule I wanted to clear immediately. One of our ‘elders,’ the sixteen year olds and up, said,
“Let’s have some fun.” I was about to protest that the Tribe was all about having a better life than an orphanage, when Rick, the elder, said, “No, I mean, let’s devote maybe one day a month to having a fun night. We could do different themes and other stuff. Ya know, like cowboy, sixties, all that stuff. It would be a good learning tool for the little ones.”
Now this was a rule I could go with. I smiled and wrote it down, promising to vouch for it. I glanced at my watch. My Regs hour was almost up. When nobody else came, I dropped the folder containing the Regs to be considered into the elder’s mail slot.
Everyone had a mail slot, not really a slot but a hole in the wall of a cave we had found. I had my own slot, being the President. I checked it. There was nothing there. I looked into the slot next to it. Queen of Foreignness. That was Lisa. We had jokingly given her the name a long time ago, as she was in charge of things happening outside the Site. It was crammed with letters. That was slightly odd. Lisa loved to check her mail all the time, and her slot was almost never full. I racked my brains on when I had seen her last. Then I remembered. Tuesday, three days ago. She had been walking out of camp, telling me she’d be back before sundown. I panicked. I’m never good in situations. I’m usually optimistic, but in situations I think of the worst thing that could happen. In the Tribe, the worst things that can happen are:
1. You are killed. (never happened before)
2. You are captured and put back into an orphanage. (never happened before)
3. The Tribe is found out about. (never happened before, but we have come uncomfortably close)

I thought that one of those things had surely happened. (Excuse my use of the word surely, so 1800’s, but I can think of nothing else while I am so pessimistically worrying.) If they had, any one of them, the Tribe was in danger. While I worried, I heard a scream from outside. It sent real, live, actual chills up my spine. Then I heard another voice, Lisa’s sister, Kerry. What I heard almost stopped my heart.
“LISA! NO!”

Comments

:D

OOhhh! This is really good. I especially like the tree house idea and "Found Me day." That was very creative! Great job!

~Teal

Teal | Sat, 02/21/2009

thanks

thanks. I got the Found me Day idea from my little adopted brother, who celebrates his 'gotcha' day, the day we picked him up from the airport.

*************************************************
"Dancers are the Athletes of God"-Albert Einstein

"Preach the Gospel. Use words if nesscesary." Anonymous

"Jesus is like Tide. He washes away what others leave behind." Anonymous

Tori | Sat, 02/21/2009

“Oh Ronnie! I can’t believe you’re a prefect! That’s everyone in the family!” said Mrs. Weasley.
“What are Fred and I, next-door neighbors?”
–George Weasley

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