Hardware Shop Stops

Maggy tried to come to terms with the situation she had found herself in. A tree had spoken to her. It had requested timber. And, with what might have taken her most off guard, it had asked her to build it…

“A birdhouse?” She said again, trying to accept that last fact. The tree did not speak back. It seemed that opening its trunk to reveal the twisted knot of roots that made up its mouth was a great effort and her question didn’t hold enough value to do so.

Building a birdhouse wouldn’t have been an impossible task. The last few months of constant DIY home renovations had taught her that she could fix up anything she put her mind to. 

She had even managed to build her own bidet after picking up the right plumbing supplies. Close to Cheltenham and its sprawl of suburban houses, she had felt sure that she was invincible.

The problem was that she didn’t feel like it now. In front of a scientific anomaly, with the weight of her well-constructed reality crashing down, she wasn’t even sure she knew what a birdhouse was. 

It felt like she had taken a thousand steps back after only just beginning to trust herself again. The familiar feeling of inadequacy slid its way up her throat and she shuddered in response.

“I’ll do it,” she said before the feeling could find a firm hold inside her. There was no way she was going back to feeling that way ever again. 

“There’s a hardware shop near Cheltenham, about thirty minutes back down this trail. I know where the supplies are…” She paused. “I’m guessing I’m going to have to buy them?”

“Buy?” The tree repeated. The word sounded foreign in its mouth. She took that as a yes.

“I’ll be back soon,” she promised.

As she turned around, she just heard the whisper of the tree from behind her. “I can’t wait to see the birds again,” it said. She felt a strange smile form on her face as she started back down the path she had come.