Forest Roses

I sprinted down the garden path, my brother hot on my heels, as our mother leant over the porch to yell at us.

         Where are you going?!’ she screeched. ‘Tabitha and Archibald, you come right back here this instant!’

         We giggled and ran even faster, dodging and ducking around trees as the woods became thicker and our mother’s voice became fainter. Eventually, after we’d been running for what seemed like hours, Archie began to slow down in front of me. I could have kept running for much further, but I slowed down with him. He bent forward and put his hands on his knees, gulping down air.

         ‘We’re gonna be…’ he panted, ‘in so much trouble.’

         ‘What’s she gonna do?’ I shrugged. ‘Ground us?’

         ‘Uh… yeah,’ he frowned, standing up. ‘Exactly that.’

         ‘We’ve been grounded before,’ I waved the threat away. ‘Where are we?’

         ‘No clue,’ he chuckled. ‘Should we head back?’

         ‘Not yet,’ I said, looking nervously back in the direction that we came. ‘Let’s hunt monsters instead!’

         ‘Monsters?’ he asked, glancing furtively around. ‘Why monsters?’

         ‘Monsters are cool,’ I shrugged.

         ‘Why don’t we look for, uh… miniature roses!’ he grinned.


         ‘Miniature roses!’ he repeated. ‘They’re just like regular roses, but… smaller?’

         ‘Can’t we just look at normal roses from further away?’

         He ignored me and began to scour the different plants and flowers that dotted the forest floor. I sighed, and rolled my eyes.

         What do miniature roses need to grow?’ I asked him.

         ‘Uh,’ he frowned. ‘Sunlight, I guess?’

         ‘So do you think that maybe this might not be the best spot,’ I asked, pointing up at the thick canopy of trees above us.

         ‘Ah,’ his eyes narrowed. ‘Good point. There’s a clearing over there?’

         ‘Lead the way,’ I gestured.

         ‘I wonder if we’ll see a rose carpet?’ he said, eyes wide. ‘They’re the best. Ground cover roses that grow in Australia are my favourite.’

         ‘Yeah, yeah, mine too,’ I said absentmindedly, playing with a big stick.

         ‘What’s that?’ Archie stopped suddenly.

         ‘What’s what?’

         ‘That, in the clearing. Is that a… gingerbread cottage?’