Updated: Jul 16, 2020
This piece was written for a module I took at University. This module was primarily about theory but often required us to undertake ‘creative rewriting’ exercises as a way to understand and explore the differences between texts we read, and how this links on a wider scale to the difference between the spoken and the written word. This particular rewriting task asked us to turn a ‘non-literary’ piece into a ‘literary piece.’ The source text was an extract from the 1975 Observer’s guide to trees, which I decided to turn into a short story.
Reading the book on trees I was reminded of how, when I get anxious, I often find myself staring at the tree outside my window….
April 2016, 7.30 am. Alice rises up, brushes her teeth, has a shower, gets dressed then opens her curtains. There it is. The great pedunculate oak tree, gleaming outside her smudged window. Technically, Alice knows, the tree belongs to the street, but in her mind, it belongs to her. It isn’t much but it’s enough. After all, just like the tree roots in the soil, she is rooted in the strong oak.
Alice isn’t feeling very well, a light had gone out inside. All was black. One day, a few months ago, she was gifted an old book from her aunt- The 1975, Observer’s guide to trees. She wasn’t sure why her aunt, decided on this particular present, but Alice needed something to do, so she peeked inside.
Monday 15th April 2016-
- The leaves look pale today.
- Clearly identifiable flowers, these must be female.
Monday 20th July 2016-
- The leaves are now a rich-mid green.
- Bud pattern is bunched on the leaves and there are scattered solitary buds on twigs.
Thursday 26th October 2 016-
- A bright golden brown has encased the pedunculate.
- The bark is rough and grey with small irregular squares.
1st of January 2017- Alice wakes up. It’s 8am half an hour late. She gets out of bed, opens her shiny window and stares at her oak tree, recognisable whether winter or summer. Alice feels grounded, she’s home and someone has turned a light on.