Rosa found herself standing in a large, perfectly circular clearing. In the exact center, there stood an enormous oak tree. When Rosa looked down towards her feet, she saw that the ground was covered in a carpet of wildflowers. Turning around, she found that the clearing was lined with a ring of beech trees. In between the beech trees, she saw the huge, dark pines of the forest she had come from. Between the pines and beech trees, she thought she caught a glimmer of something shimmering, but it was gone before she could focus on it. Turning her gaze back to the oak, she studied it, though she kept her distance. To her surprise, she saw a rope ladder hanging down through the branches. Her eyes followed it up through the leaves and came to rest on the immense branch on which it was secured. Rosa noticed that it was surrounded by what looked like a wooden platform. She looked towards the trunk of the tree and gasped. Built around the trunk of the tree and extending outward through the branches was a large, multilayered tree house. It had three large, wooden platforms, the largest of which seemed to extend almost to the end of the branches. Built onto the platforms were large houses, which looked more like huts. They seemed to be made from branches with what looked like amber in between, and the first two ended at the platform above. The top one seemed to be roofed with leaves. Rosa wondered Who is this beautiful tree house for? Does someone live here? How’d they grow a tree big enough to hold it? The smallest hut, if it can be called that, is almost as big as Mandy’s kitchen, and that was one of the largest rooms in the castle! As Rosa gazed at it, she wondered if it would be alright for her to go look around the inside of the tree house. Why not? Then, she shook her head. It wouldn’t be right. There’s no reason, except so I can satisfy my curiosity, and that’s not a very good reason. Suddenly, Rosa heard a howl from behind her, and she spun around. When she saw what was making the howl, however, she almost wished that she hadn’t. In the forest, getting ready to spring, was a pack of wolves, and they were very large wolves. Rosa screamed, then spun back around and ran for the tree and the rope ladder. She had only one thought: I have to escape! She quickly climbed the rope ladder, and emerged on the first platform. Only then did she stop and try to catch her breath.
After catching her breath, Rosa looked around. The platform was bare, except for leaves here and there that had fallen from the branches above. She then turned and went into the house. It was brighter inside than she expected, for the amber between the branches in the walls let in light. However, the inside was also messier than outside. Odd, thought Rosa, it’s usually the other way around. The floor was littered with dust, dirt, and leaves, and there was a thick coating of dust over everything. The only thing not dusty was a basket of plums sitting on the large, wooden, table built around the trunk of the tree, which rose through the floor. Rosa’s mouth watered at the sight of them, for plums were her favorite food. Before she could stop herself, she reached out and grabbed one, and bit into it. Mmm, she thought, sweet and firm, just the way I like them. She quickly finished the plum, and then realized what she had done. I just stole a plum from whoever lives here! Oh no! What am I going to do? Oh! I know! I’ll clean this house up! That should pay for it! She spied a broom in a corner and began energetically sweeping the floor. Soon, it was cleared of dust, dirt, and leaves. Then, she opened the cupboards that lined one part of the circular wall. She found a duster in one, and quickly removed the dust from the rest of the room too. Then, she went back outside and swept the platform, clearing the debris from it completely. After finishing this task, Rosa climbed another rope ladder to the second level, armed with broom and duster.
The second floor was far cleaner than he first. Rosa only had to sweep the outer platform and dust inside. After she finished these small tasks, she searched for a way up to the third and uppermost level. She searched the entire level, and then discovered something odd. There’s no way to get up, not even by climbing the tree itself! The next platform is tight to the tree, and there’s no rope ladder! She looked around once more, and suddenly saw how late it was getting. She hurried inside and tried to figure out what to do. In that room, there were four beds. As Rosa looked at them, she felt incredibly tired. She flopped down on the nearest one and instantly fell asleep.
What will happen next? Is this place as safe as it seems, or does more danger await Rosa? To find out, check back Thursday for Chapter Seven! In the meantime, please comment and let me know what you think! I'd love to hear your opinions!-Sarah
Update: Chapter Seven and Chapter Eight are up!