Tree Line

Tree Line - Chapter Nine

Gus whimpered at the door, stopping for a moment to sniff at the air, before he turned his dark, worried eyes to look back at Stacey. The dog cast her a glance full of meaning, full of questions, but the young woman was too engrossed in other things to notice.

Stacey was sitting in the middle of her tent, aiming a kinked and bent thread at the narrow slit at the top of her needle. The needle’s mouth was flat, locked in a tight-lipped, content expression. It seemed determined not to help, but Stacey kept pushing her thread at it, rejected again and again. Too stubborn to give up, Stacey persisted. If Angela could do it, Stacey could, or at least she would try. She would learn.


Tree Line - Chapter Eight

Dave lowered himself to one knee, his glove-thickened fingers struggling to work the uncooperative metal that made up the bindings on Angela’s skis. The bindings fought his efforts, so stiff from disuse they required almost his full weight before they gave in and snapped into place.


Tree Line - Chapter Seven

Stacey walked slowly back to Camp Corona, a dingy, faded, powder blue backpack slung over her right shoulder. Inside of it a pair of half empty shampoo bottles bounced into each other with every step. A bar of soap, having already slipped free from the towel it had been wrapped in, started to make a series of muted, additional thumps as she walked, an uneven, uncoordinated drum-set at work as climbed up the steep incline of a small, dirty glacier, rocks jutting out from the frozen snow here and there.


Tree Line - Chapter Six

"Hey, Chase," Angela said, softly. There was no thick, wooden door to knock, no gentle way to announce her appearance outside, so she settled for unzipping the tent door just a few inches, the grinding hiss of zipper teeth unspooling from each other being the best that she could do. "You in here?"

She knew he was. They had all watched him disappear into the tent, but asking that question felt gentle somehow, cautious in a way that his outburst made necessary.


Tree Line - Chapter Five

Dave lowered his eyes, unaccustomed to being the center of the camp's attention. He thrust his hands into the pockets of his jacket, letting his shoulders slump downward as he looked at the trampled, dirty snow that had just the day before been a pristine sheet of clean white filling the spaces between their tents.


Tree Line - Chapter Four

Most of the tents in Camp Corona were variations on the same theme: hexagon or square-shaped floors with criss-crossing tent poles that bowed from one corner to its opposite side to form the structure's shape. Owen Mitchell's tent, on the other hand, was a bit like Owen himself: a little bit different than everyone else, a little odd.