Behind the Scenes: The Tree House on the Moon

A look at the first draft of a piece for Where the Stars Used to Sing

Hello again Dear Reader,

Where the Stars Used to Sing is coming along well for release on Sunday, yay! One of the last stories to be written is “The Tree House on the Moon” and I thought I’d share the first draft of the story here.

It will probably change a bit more during editing - especially as I add more description - but the main gist of the story is there already. It’s one of those weird stories where an idea just popped into my head while cleaning the house and I had to write the story to figure out what it was all about.

Just a reminder that, if you’re a subscriber to the newsletter, you’ll automatically get a PDF copy of the book, with the ebook version available on Noisetrade Books/Paste from Sunday onwards.

The Tree House on the Moon

I built a tree house on the moon for us, just like we’d always planned. Right on the edge I built it; so that we could hand our fishing rods into the vast emptiness and fish for stars and comets.

Once I finished the tree house, I lowered the ladder back to the earth and climbed down to the tenements where we both lived with families seemingly as broken on the outside as we felt on the inside.

I messaged you even though it ws nearly midnight. You sent back a smiley face - an emoji that meant so much more to us than just a smile.

A few minutes later my phone lit up and I glanced at the screen.
Tomorrow night, I typed with thumbs flitting over the buttons.

That night my dreams were filled with tree houses, moon dragons, and catching stars even as sirens sounded on the main roads. Twenty-three houes and we’d be in our own world at last.

We waited and waited and waited the next day, willing the sun to set and our journey to begin. Crisps and cold drinks were our celebratory meal as the sun sank towards the horizon.

Finally, when the moon hung above our building, we escaped, scrambling up the rope ladder that I unrolled again.

By the time we’d reached the top, we were wheezing, our legs burning - and we regretted none of it.

We settled on the edge of the tree house’s platform, our legs dangling over the side, and looked out at the expanse, far below us our own green, blue, and white planet.

It was then, when the stars started to hum, that you took a knife from your tackle box and cut through the rope ladder. We watched it fall in silence, a weight lifted from both our shoulders.

It was only years later that you told me why you’d wanted to escape. And we swore that day never to tell another soul of our secrets. Let Earth keep its weeds that seemed to strangle all the goodness from the world.

We, however, we were like dandelion seeds, blowing in the wind. We built a ship from the timbers of the tree house later, and sailed away west, always to the west, leaving our planet and moon behind us without regret.

Today I laid you to rest just like you wanted, wrapped in your favourite blanket and placed on the old raft.

You drifted away from me and I wept all the tears that had ever been inside of me. Then I turned the ship towards the sun.

You chose the solar winds and the singing of the old white dwarfs. I chose the heart of our own star, its fires calling me from afar.

I wish that maybe I could say that I missed my old life, my old world, but for some of us there is only another world, catching stars and comets, sailing on the star winds and dying in the bright light of morning.

Then, just because it’s beautiful and kind of fits the theme…

Until Friday, stay safe and well!