The Heartree

Without a doubt, of all the cousins and friends Degana and Dekana had growing up, uncle Zata’s boys, Shale and Tolien, were their closest. Growing up, the four had been nearly inseparable, both Emerald and Niza even breast fed them interchangeably. They were not bad children, but they were quite naughty, and they were no end of headaches for both sets of parents.

Although all four were about the same age, from a very early age, it was Degana who ran the show. He was not bossy, but he had a way of coming up with “fun” ideas, ideas the other three gladly helped t execute. Of course, it was often left to Dekana to get them out of some sticky situation that Degana’s “great idea” had gotten them into, but no one cared. They had fun.

There was one time when Degana discovered a small corpse of trees, with one particular tree that was quite healthy and large, Dekana named it Heartree. The four were enjoying a moment of quiet respite, looking at the clouds, when Degana had a brilliant moment of inspiration. Why not get a closer look at the clouds? He suggested they climb Heartree…

Now, it is important to understand that the lowest branch of this particular tree was nearly 10 meters off the ground, and the children, being only 10 at the time, were not of that height. Therefore, Degana suggested that they use an ingenious method of boosting each other up. This method, to their immediate joy, thou not for long, actually worked.

Shale, being the tallest at that time, first boosted Tolien up on his shoulders. Tolien than helped Degana climb up over him and onto his shoulders, from there, Degana was able to just reach the first branch, with some mount of scrambling and several scares of slipping. Once firmly on the branch, he was able to hang down, with his legs awkwardly hooked about the branch. Dekana, for her part, had assigned herself the duty of sitting on the ground to enjoy the show.

Degana was then able to grab onto Tolien, who then held steady while Shale attempted to scramble up both of them. This meant that Degana, with only his legs, was supporting himself plus Shale and Tolien! Amazingly, this did not yet end in disaster. Degana proved strong enough to hold on until Shale managed to clamber up to the temporary safety of the branch. Form there, it was almost too easy for Shale to help Tolien up, and then the two of them righted Degana. By this time, they were all covered in sweat and panting from the exhaustion. Meanwhile, Dekana below was giggling with delight, as she watched the epic struggle above.

After a moments rest, the three boys easily climbed higher in the tree, excited to see the clouds above even closer. This they managed to achieve without too much difficulty, all the time being encouraged on by Dekana below, whose shouts o encouragements were often mixed with laughter as one of the boys slipped, or cries of fear as one would seemingly be about to fall.

All in all, it was an incredibly enjoyable experience, but one that had to end. Badly.

After the fun of cloud gazing had fleeted, along with the sun, the boys began to climb down. It was at this point that they finally realized the flaw inherent to their plan. It was Shale who pointed it out first with his simple question: “So, uh, Degana…how do we get down?”

The three of them sat on the lowest branch, still quite a long way to the ground, while Dekana stood beneath them laughing at their folly.

“Not helping, cousin!” shouted Shale.

“Alright boys, calm down. Why not just do what you did to get up in reverse?”

They all thought this an excellent idea, and Degana again prepared to anchor himself to the tree branch by his legs. Shale and Tolien immediately began to assist, which was to say, get in the way. Still, they were not lacking persistence, and finally, Degana was able to lower himself back to a hanging position. Suspended there, he realized at that instant how tiring all this climbing about had been…

However, before that thought could move from mind to mouth, Shale was already sliding down Degana, all the while Dekana was cheering them on. Of course, Degana now could say nothing, as the combination of the strain of hanging on to the tree by his legs, combined with Shale’s arms and legs and other body parts shimmying past his face.

It was at this point that things went from bad to worse. Shale, instead of dropping to the ground, signaled for Tolien to join him. It seems he was thinking it best to lower Tolien down first, and then Tolien would be able to help the other two down. Seemed like a brilliant idea at the time may not be accurate, but at least it seemed perfectly logical.

Now, with the wait of both of his cousins, Degana began to crack. It was Dekana that realized it first, she saw, or felt, something was wrong, and a small “oh” escaped her mouth, at about the same time that Degana’s legs slipped. It was just a fraction of an inch, but the movement was enough to jostle Tolien from his position, causing him to slip, and begin to fall.

In an incredibly normal reaction, Tolien reached out to grab whatever he could, which just happened to be his brother’s hair. Shale, of course, in an equally normal reaction, screamed in pain, and struck out with his fists at the cause of said pain. This, in a fine example of a chain reaction, caused him, too, to lose his grip on Degana, ending up with both boys falling several meters to an increasingly painful end to their climb.

As Dekana rushed to the aide of her fallen cousins, it fell to Degana to, well, to fall. No longer able to keep his hold, both legs slipped off the branch, and they, together with the rest of him, collapsed in a downward fall on top of all thee, leaving them all in a disorderly pile of pain, and most certainly a few broken bones here and there.

Naturally, Dekana was the least hurt of them all, just having suffered a few minor injuries as she “caught” her brother. It was tasked to her, again, to go and fetch their parents to help the boys back to the main encampment, where the healers would tend to their wounds, and their parents would add to them.


Degana and Dekana
Twin Peaks
TwinPeak Clan Members of Note (Followers)

The Heartree

Legacy of the Kallic Diaspora dfbass