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The Treehouse Circle

A.J. lives in rural Australia. She is partial to animals and words and Tigers in shorts. Tigers being Richmond, the Aussie Rules football team. If A.J. wasn't so partial to the Tigers she'd need less heart medication.

Find her on twitter @manicol1.
"You must be able to do something special, Sarah," said double-jointed Madison.
"Or have something special," said Bree, who had shown us her boobs. To be fair, they were enormous.
The others sitting in the circle in the treehouse stayed quiet: Lesley, who could draw people that actually looked like people; Angie, who knew all the capitals of the world, at least all the ones we tested her on till we got sick of it; and Jasmine, who could burp the chorus of any pop song.
I don't remember who started it--probably Bree--but it had been fun to begin with. Then all of a sudden it had turned nasty.
"You can't be in the Treehouse Circle if you're just plain ordinary," said Madison, who didn't even own the treehouse. I turned to Jasmine, who did own the treehouse, but she just shrugged. So much for being best bud's at kinder. Madison laughed, but it wasn't an I'm only joking laugh. It was a you're a pathetic loser laugh.
I wished I could draw more than stick figures, or that I'd paid more attention to the map of the world on the back of the toilet door at home. It was no use wishing away my flat chest, I'd been doing that for months and it hadn't worked.
"Nothing then, Sarah?" said Madison.
"Well... it's not much, but I can wiggle my nose."
I thought it was quiet before, but now it was so quiet my ears rang. Silly as that sounds.
"Everyone can wiggle their nose," said Madison in her snottiest voice. She wiggled her nose, but her mouth and chin wiggled right along with it. I could do better than that.
"I can do it like the witch on that old TV show," I said.
Blank faces.
Eventually Angie asked, "What TV show?"
"The one with the blond witch. She made magic by wiggling her nose. But just her nose," I glanced at Madison, "not her whole face."
Madison rolled her eyes.
"Go on then, show us," said Bree.
"Yeah, you may as well," said Madison. "But it's a pity you can't do the magic bit. That would have been interesting."
Very interesting, I thought. Because then I could have turned you into a big fat toad, Madison. I closed my eyes and wiggled my nose. There were gasps. Someone--it had to be Jasmine--said, "Fuck." Gee, I didn't think it was that impressive. I opened my eyes and Madison had disappeared. In her place sat a big fat toad. Crikey!
The other girls turned to me, eyes popping out of their heads. Then they all shuffled back a little, as if they didn't want to be in the line of fire.
The toad didn't move.
"Madison?" I said.
"Croak."
"Um. I'm really sorry. I don't know how that happened. Honest."
"Croak."
"I'll try to change you back." I closed my eyes. Then I opened them again. "Of course, I'm sure you'll agree that this," I gestured at her with both hands, "is pretty darn special."
"Croak."
"Like, really special. Even more special than putting your foot behind your ear."
"CROAK."
"Ok, ok, I was just saying." I closed my eyes again, and wished really hard, and wiggled my nose. There was no gasping, and no swearing from anyone. I was scared. I didn't have a clue what to do if it didn't work. I suppose I'd just have to keep on trying till it did, and in the meantime we'd have to catch flies and bugs to feed her. I slowly opened one eye and there sat Madison, with a smudge of green slime on the end of her nose.
I smiled.
She smiled back.
"Thank fuck," said Jasmine.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

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