TITLE: Tree Roper
GENRE: MG Contemporary
When his dad lands in the hospital, one-eyed twelve-year-old Declan Parker’s cosmetic surgery hopes are wrecked, unless a neighbor girl and her uncle, a wounded army veteran, can help him save his dad’s tree care business.
It was the third day of summer vacation, and I was hanging in a tree. Finally. A chance to have some fun and make a little money. My first client of the summer stopped pacing as I glanced down at her tired face and messy nest of white hair.
“Please don’t walk right under me, Mrs. Murphy. It’s not safe.”
“Oh, of course. Are you sure you’re okay up there? Maybe you should come back down and I’ll try again with the food.”
“I’m good. I’ve done this lots of times. Besides, I don’t think your cat’s that hungry yet.”
“Well, I just don’t want you to get hurt.”
I needed to show her I could do this. I still burned from the way she stared at my face three days ago when mom introduced us. Mrs. Murphy couldn’t have known then that my right eye was a fake, though. Mom probably told her later.
As I hung on the rope above her yard, my arms throbbed. I relaxed into Dad’s old canvas and leather climbing saddle and slid my right hand down to rest on the friction hitch. Dumb move. The knot slipped and I shot down two feet of rope before I could let go. When I released it, my body jerked to a stop.
I looked down to see if Mrs. Murphy noticed. She stood quietly, staring at the street, folding and unfolding her hands. Probably praying. I know I just said a quick one.