Make Belief Studios ~

December 15, 2007

chapter 07

Filed under: 01 Into the Hive, Gilded Providence, Story, WIP — Tags: , , , — Saturday @ 11:49 am

What?
I suppose Tremarch doesn’t have double the time to do double the work, the month was fast passing by, but I didn’t want to be a lumber-jane. I’ve never even chopped wood before, let alone full grown trees. I’d probably throw my back out! I’d be stuck in bed again when it’s time to leave then I’d have to wait another month before Tremarch would take me to town! No way! Not going to happen! Then again, Tremarch had taken such good care of me… I couldn’t just say “No,” could I?

“No. I don’t want to.” I spoke to myself the next morning as I waited for Tremarch to come out of his shed and take me tree cutting. We spent the previous evening getting ready. Tremarch gave me some of his clothes to wear while working: some baggy pants, which were shorts on me, and a thick plaid shirt. I had my short auburn hair through a bandanna which pointed down my back. My shoes were already filthy beyond repair so there was no need for me to borrow boots from Tremarch.

Along the far side of the shed was a long, flat, wooden trailer. It was probably a good 3 times the length of Tremarch’s house. Funny I didn’t notice it before, I guess the bushes covered it well. This trailer carried on its deck a large pile of thick rope with metal links tied to their ends. Apparently Tremarch pushes this thing by the thick rail in it’s front, all the way to his cutting grounds then to town and back.
“I can’t carry trees by myself, but I can push them!” he had said. Still seems impossible to me. This trailer had to have been as heavy as a house even without any cargo.

The door to Tremarch’s shed opened and out came a familiar face. The rest of him though, wasn’t. Tremarch stomped out of the shed covered in armor akin to that within the far room of the house. It was more streamline than most of the others, looked lighter. It was a simple breastplate, shoulder pads, helmet, and boots. It shone a bright yellow and was bordered with many detailed inscriptions. Tremarch also carried an axe to match. The axe was as tall as him and the head had a stylish hole between the handle and the blade. I mean, it had to have been stylish. I couldn’t think of any other reason it would be there.

“Are we ready then, missy?” Tremarch beamed.
“Ummm…” I didn’t know what to say. That time I tried to ask about his collection, he didn’t seem interested in armor and things, but apparently he also keeps some in his shed. “Do we really need armor to cut trees? Are they that great that they need a special axe?” Tremarch looked as if he didn’t realize what he was wearing.
“Nah. Not at all. I could cut ’em down with just my regular axe, but I’ll be doing a little more than cutting down trees, myself.” I was confused, but that hadn’t been uncommon. “Let’s be off then!”

Tremarch positioned himself between the extended rail and the body of the trailer. I hopped on in front of one of the massive wooden wheels and dangled my legs off the side. Tremarch started pushing. The vehicle smoothly made its way down a precut forest path just perfectly fit for the trailer. The uneven ground didn’t bother much with the giant wheels treading over it. Tremarch pushed slow but consistently. As hard as it was to believe, the trailer didn’t seem to take much effort from him. It just seemed a little awkward that he was pushing that big plank like a horse pulls a buggy.

The heavy clunks and clinks from Tremarch’s armor echoed closely as the green and blue forest thickened. It’s canopy covered the ground in shadows, but the sunlight retaliated in thin beams, piercing the layered canvas above us. The insects shrieked noisily in the distance but sharply silenced as we approached. I sighed and wondered what exactly was going to take place today.

“Oh, by the way, Sally!” Tremarch broke the whispers of the forest, “The other day when I told you I wasn’t just a lumberjack, I didn’t mean to say I was a carpenter. Well, I am a carpenter too, really, but I meant there was something before that.” Tremarch cleared his throat and gave an extra push, jostling the ride. “I’m also a bee keeper.”
“Bee keeper?” My eyes widened.
“Ah huh! And a royal one at that!” Tremarch boasted. “You see, every month, with the collection of lumber, I also collect a pot of honey. For the king who resides in town.”
“A bee keeper?” I repeated.
“Well, now that I think about it, I guess a town that holds a castle is a bit more than a town, now isn’t it?”
“Bees?” I squeaked.
“Now don’cha worry, hun. I can handle the bees myself. Look, we’re almost at the cutting grounds! We’ll get the trees out of the way first. Trees before bees!” Tremarch laughed.

I really detest people who don’t tell me what they have planned before they expect me to do it.
I’d better not have to do anything!Oh, how I hate bees. Always buzzing and stinging, buzzing and stinging. They’re almost as creepy as spiders. But what was that about the town having a castle? Is it a small castle, or a big town? Now that I think about it, I was originally headed for this region’s capital. Could I be that close already? Oooooooh! If only I had money, I could probably do some shopping! It’s been so long since I’ve had a change of clothes!

The trailer pulled into a small clearing between several massive stumps. Each stump was about as big around as Tremarch’s house. Some possibly as wide as his whole yard.
“Don’t tell me…”
“Yup! These are them!” Tremarch bounced from behind the rail and put his gauntlet against one of the giant stumps. “Royal Oak! The only lumber our king will accept for use in his palace. They grow right up into the clouds! I just need half of one of these a month to keep my clients happy. We’ll take a younger one so I can fit all the pieces on my trailer.”

Tremarch strolled over, axe in hand, to a tree that was probably a bit fatter than his shed back home. I cranked my neck and looked as far up as I could. The trees seemed to extend for miles. No branches or leaves within measurable distance. Just ridges of scaly bark going straight up.

The bark really was scaly, or something. It was covered in a faintly white film with dark holes exposing the deep, pale ridges of the tree, as if the tree was wearing an old woolly stocking with lots of threading pulled out.

“Lay those ropes out across the plank for me, would you, deary?” Tremarch pointed his axe head in my direction then turned to size up his chosen tree. I scurried to try and unravel all the rope that had been resting on the back of the trailer. The rope was pretty long, starting from the metal circlet ends, I weaved it back through a couple knots and soon had most of it untangled. There were three ropes total and I laid each across the width of the trailer. I did my best to find their centers but gave up when I found they were too long to try and fold in half. I just guessed and tossed the extra line into clumps off the edges of the trailer.

Giving a glance towards Tremarch, I saw he was ready to begin chopping.

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