This post is part of the December 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month’s prompt is “250-Word Story Chain, or, The Blog-O-Phone.”

Cal, Alan, and Beth regarded each other coolly, the former two dripping with red dye that formed a rosette around the coveted tree. They all wanted the standoff to end, but none was willing to let their guard down.

It was a Mexican standoff, in the snow.

An unexpected sound broke the treehunters’ focus. A shadow on the branches, a wheezing intake of breath, and who should appear shuffling through the snow but Old Man Wiggins himself, clutching a gas can after finding out the hard way his fuel gauge was kaput.

“Holy mother of dog!” he cried.

“It’s not how it looks!” cried Cal, who with hefted axe looked like he was about to chop Alan down like a cedar.

“It’s not how it looks!” screamed Alan, whose own axe seemed poised for a counterblow.

“It’s exactly how it looks!” added Beth, hoping that in her perch she could be mistaken for the voice of Dog imparting divine wisdom.

“Murder! Treason! Trespass!” Wiggins didn’t have his shotgun with him, but he charged the tree anyway, gas can a-swingin’, determined to interrupt the murder in progress before having the perpetrators hauled off to prison and the prison hospital respectively.

Alan and Cal dashed off in the same direction. But a leering snowman, built by the Wiggins grandchildren, soon appeared to block their path.

Beth, secure in the tree, was sure her moment had come…until the branch she was perched on began to give way as Wiggins passed beneath in pursuit.

Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:

Ralph Pines

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