Island Life: Time to Split

Late one evening last winter, a tree fell down behind our house. It was at the edge of the back meadow, and had been ailing, though that had not yet been apparent to us.

Weirdly, although that meadow is RIGHT under our bedroom window, and we had just gone to bed about five minutes earlier, we didn’t even hear the tree fall. Mark’s mom was staying with us then–in the guest bedroom on the first floor, beneath our bedroom–and she certainly heard it. She got up and wandered all around the dark house, trying to figure out what large thing had fallen over, in the kitchen maybe.

It was only the next morning when it got light that we all realized, Ohhh. Not inside. Outside.

Fortunately, and kind of amazingly, it didn’t hit anything important on its way down. It missed the house; it missed the fences and the gates; it missed some lovely large maple trees, and a tiny Japanese maple we planted and have been carefully tending since we moved here. It skimmed a few branches out of its neighbor, a spindly fir tree, and then it landed very politely (if loudly) (or so I’m told) in the open meadow.

Huh, we said. Look at that. We should do something about that.

Time passed. I mean, it was winter; it wasn’t in the way of anything. No rush.

More photos and the rest of the story on my website!

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About Shannon Page

Shannon Page is a Pacific Northwest author and editor. Her work has appeared in Clarkesworld, Interzone, Fantasy, Black Static, Tor.com, and many anthologies, including the Australian Shadows Award-winning Grants Pass, and The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk. Books include The Queen and The Tower and A Sword in The Sun, the first two books in The Nightcraft Quartet; novel Eel River; story collection Eastlick and Other Stories; personal essay collection I Was a Trophy Wife; Orcas Intrigue, Orcas Intruder, and Orcas Investigation, the first three books in the cozy mystery series The Chameleon Chronicles, in collaboration with Karen G. Berry under the pen name Laura Gayle; and Our Lady of the Islands, co-written with the late Jay Lake. Our Lady received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014, and was a finalist for the Endeavour Award. Forthcoming books include Nightcraft books three and four; a sequel to Our Lady; and more Orcas mysteries. Edited books include the anthology Witches, Stitches & Bitches and the essay collection The Usual Path to Publication. She practices yoga, gardens, and has no tattoos.

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