Sittin' in a Tree

Glencoe Park
Glencoe Park isn't the largest in the area, but it's still fairly sizable. The grass is in a perpetually well-trimmed state, shining a healthy green year round. Near the southern entrance to the park is a playground cluster filled with swings, a merry-go-round, seesaws, huge forts, and a jungle-gym. Not too far from the playground are fields for both rugby and softball, enclosed by wire fences so that children don't run haphazardly onto the fields. Further into the park is a walking path through a small forested area.

The beginnings of spring have been in full swing for the past few weeks. Today is no different — the sun shines upon the city, eclipse behind long, flat clouds that don't yet model the puffy clouds of summer drift about, encouraging shadows throughout the landscape. It's Sunday, so that park's rather busy, especially near the playground. However, back near the trails and the wooded area, there's less traffic, as most of the joggers have already been through during the morning hours. A willowy auburn-haired college student stands on the outskirts of the woods, warily peering into the trees, where a bright, neon frisbee has made its home in a tree.

"Good luck getting it down — sorry to leave so soon!" Another girl says to the auburn-haired girl, before leaving back toward the road. "Yeah. No problem," she replies glumly, reaching for a stick to toss into the branches in a lame attempt to free the toy.

Another willowy college-aged girl wanders near the woods, though this one sports much paler hair — and tons of it, in casual waves that spill every which way over her long white spring jacket. Jill is taking full advantage of the turn to more spring-like weather, hands tucked into the pockets of her dress, a bright sky blue, brighter by far than the actual sky today, but at least it inspires optimism for the clouds to pass. So she likes to think, anyway. She doesn't exactly fit the bill for a jogger or even a walker — the young woman has a purse over one shoulder along a few lightweight shopping bags in one hand. Looks like she decided to take a stroll through the park before heading home.

As the trail takes to the woods' outskirts with the neon beacon of a Frisbee, she slows down, a silly little wince taking over her whole face as she looks at Ashton. "Ummmm…" She looks up. "… youuuu look like you need help. I'm not really sure if I can give it… but…"

The stick clatters to the ground, the frisbee barely moved at all. Ashton eyes it, bending to pick it up again when she hears Jill's hesitant offer for help. "Yeah, well," she responds, her accent plainly Midwestern. She gives a wry grin. "No offense, but you look less in the position to help than I am," she points out, nodding to the bags. "Oh well. It's just a frisbee, anyway. But you know! I'm not exactly made of money these days. And it was kind of fun." A frown tugs at the corner of her lips as she eyes it again. "I'm thinking of just climbing the tree. You could stand beneath me to break my fall in case?" It's a joking comment, and one that earns an impish twinkle in her eye as she approaches the tree. "It's close to summer. I'll need SOMETHING to do."

Jill is all smiles, her own expression twinkling with something a little impish to match the stranger's. "Well it looks like a perfectly good Frisbee and you clearly can't go all summer without it," she says with good-natured humour to her voice. "And I! — " The blonde slings her purse down to her elbow and saunters closer to Ashton, where she sets her purse and bags on the ground in a pile. Inside the shopping bag seems to be a package of multi-coloured buttons and another of… feathers? " — am stronger than I look," she declares, placing her hands on her hips. It's a dare, though a friendly one. "And I'm taller than you so we totally stand a fighting chance."

Ashton quirks a brow at Jill, clearly hearing the challenge. And did she ever adore challenges. "Ha! Well, that might be true, but…" She eyes the blonde. "I'm in training for the police force. I'm pretty agile, I assure you." It's not said meanly, but the spirit of competition does edge her voice as she begins to shrug off her sweater. "This is just gonna get in the way." Ashton positions her hands high on the tree and then presses her foot to it, fully intending to simply "walk" up it until she reaches the first low hanging branch.

There is a pause. "Bet you your groceries I can get it." Hell, she might was well get something out of it . And she didn't see the silly items in the bag just yet, so she doesn't know she's in for crafting supplies instead.

Though Jill is still all smiles, she does eye the tree — looking up, way up — and Ashton with just a hint of doubt. Oh god, this could go so wrong. Nevertheless, she approaches the offending tree, hopping over any underbrush and braving snagging her black tights — which cover far more of her legs than her dress does. At least she's wearing flat shoes. As she stands braced behind the climbing Ashton, a wary glance is cast to her shopping bags. "Uuhhm…" Is that a nervous laugh that follows? Yep. She's not especially competitive (or at all, to tell the truth)… but… "Oh whatever!" she throws her hands up and laughs. "It's a deal. Okay. I'm—I'm gonna make sure you don't fall!"

Ashton eyes the stockings with a bit of a smirk, feeling quite confident in her abilities. Still, the other girls' offer to shield her fall is sweet, and snaps Ashton out of ultra-competitive mode for just a moment. "I'll be alright," she assures with a grin. "You should be more concerned with plotting." She manages to grab the branch above her and slowly hoists herself up with a bit of a grunt. "By the way. I'm Ashton! Nice to meet you. Taking a short cut through the park—" The is a pause while she very shakily tries to stand on the branch, which groans in protest, "or something?" From above nine feet up now, Ash has a good vantage point of the park, and consequently, the grocery bags. Which are filled with… "Eh? What is that crap we're betting for anyway?"

"Plotting?" Jill questions, not following at all. Brow furrowing, her expression becoming more and more fretful the higher the other young woman gets up the tree. She cranes her neck, shifting this way and that. "I— I'm Jill!" A smile interrupts her worry for an instant. "Oh, um— it's— supplies," she answers. Vaguely, but not on purpose. "And yeah— well not really. I actually went out of my eway to walk through the park because it's such a nice day." Pause. She bounces on her feet and cups her hands around her mouth to call up, "Be careful!"

"Supplies for what?" Ashton inquires, slowly anchoring herself as the branch lets out a violent CRACK. It doesn't fall though, no. It merely cracks again, this some more softly. Neither of the noises seem to really frighten the girl; she proceeds to slowly approach the other end of the branch, one hand streading herself along a higher brand, while the other reaches out to shake the branch that the frisbee is on. That's what gets her — as her weight continues to put pressure on the branch she's standing on, it cracks, and falls to the ground slowly, caught by several branches along the way. She's left dangling from the branch over her, which is probably about fifteen feet of the ground. "Well, shit," she manages calmly, groaning and reaching her other hand up so both are on the branch above. "Maybe we should open those bags of feathers or whatever to cushion my fall?" She sounds amused.

The first cracking branch may not bother the climber, but it elicits a tiny shriek from Jill, who curls her knuckles up under her chin and watches with bated breath. "AHhhH!" She doesn't get around to answering Ashton's question, because Ashton is dangling. "Maybe this was a bad idea!" she shouts. Somehow, the Frisbee didn't seem quite so lofty when she first glimpsed the neon plastic. "Forget the Frisbee! Wait! Wait, okay!"

Hurriedly, Jill slips her shoes off and grabs onto a low branch, using the same tactics Ashton did to get a start on climbing. It's a clumsy venture at first as she's not sure where to put her hands and feet, but she gets the hang of it swiftly. "I'm coming up, I told you I wouldn't let you fall, and at least I'm a better landing pad than a few feathers. Maybe." She climbs a few feet, close enough to be balanced precariously on a branch under Ashton. From there… she hugs the stranger's legs, awkwardly smiling. "Okay, up or down, it's your choice!"

Well, this is an awkward position indeed. Ashton dangles, still, though her legs are held by the blonde. She ponders for a moment — not much time to decide, really. "Uh, well, I guess up? If I drop the branch you're probably going to fall. You're a tiny thing," she points out, nervousness only now becoming evident in her voice. She smiles despite the situation, and with the help of Jill holding her weight, she managed to pull herself mostly up to the next branch. It takes a few more grunts and manuvering before she's sitting on top of it, slightly breathless. "Ohhhkay. Now… we're two chicks in a tree, I guess." She laughs and then shakes the branch near her a bit, successfully dislodging the frisbee, which falls onto the ground. "How ironic." The frisbee is below, and they're…stuck in the tree. She stares.

With a rrraaahh of effort (or maybe encouragement … for both of them), Jill does her part and wastes no time in lashing out to grab a smaller branch with one hand for support. She watches the Frisbee plummet so carefree to the ground. "Um…" she leans against the tree trunk and peeks up at Ashton. "So I don't know about you, but this isn't how I imagined my day going," she says with a laugh that hedges on nervous again. "…You know, I totally left my purse down there…" Smooth move, Jill! "Okay, we can— we can do this."

Ashton eyes the purse, the craft suplies, and most maddeningly, the frisbee. "Yeah. This sucks. But you know! I have to be prepared to like, jump off roofs and stuff if I want to be a cop." More like be able to hold a handheld speedometer for catching speeders, but that's besides the poitn. "So, I say, we climb to the lowest branch, then try and shimmy down. If all else fails, jump! It's all we can do. And yeah. Sorry about your tights, 'cause those are NOT going to do well," Ash cautions somewhat sheepishly. "Well, anyway, I guess I won the bet. You do get to keep your buttons and feathers to make…well, whatever it was you were going to make. Are you a teacher or something?" she ventures, all the while not moving. "And you better go first."

A teacher! The thought causes Jill to erupt into a choke and giggle, despite their precarious circumstance. "No— no, I'm not a teacher." She look down at the ground — good thing she's not afraid of heights, though she is a bit afraid of falling from them — and heaves a bolstering sigh. Mission: prepare to shimmy. She crouches down to curl her hands around the branch she balances on, and starts to pick her way downward. Going down is much slower than going up. "Ee!" A near slip tears her tights, but she doesn't stop to mourn them. " — I'm a designer… or, I want to be. That stuff is for a dress. Well the feathers are for a dress, the buttons are just buttons right now." Talking seems to distract her just enough from the possibility falling rather than cause the falling. "I feel bad, I totally dared you to climb up here and oh god what if we fall— !"

Ashton bites her lip, peering below as Jill attempts to go down. Ash's dark hair falls around her face as shse watches, takes a breath, and then lowers herself from the upper branch to the one where Jill was a moment ago. "You're doing pretty well," she calls encouragingly, feeling somehow guilty for getting Jill involved in the whole fiasco. When Jill mentions feeling bad as well, Ashton laughs. "No, seriously, I would've anyway, don't worry. Besides, it's not like I'm wearing cute clothes that'll get all torn up like you are. I kinda feel like I owe you-uuuuu—!" Her voice carries in surprise as she slides nearly off the branch, but regain her balance sheepishly. "Ahem. Okay. We can totally do this."

"It's all right! I'll have a story to tell when I get home," Jill reassures while switching branches. She's almost back where she started now, which means clinging to the tree for dear life. As it turns out, the shimmying isn't much of a problem, as soon as Jill realizes she's capable. She can do shimmying. She's good at shimmying! It's the whole fact that it's a tree and she doesn't want to fall, or for Ashton to fall on her, that slow her down.

When she spies the ground looking close, she dares to hop down, her hosiery-clad feet thumping onto the ground in one big rush. She stumbles back, but steadies. This calls for a silly cheer of victory. "Hurray!" She squints upward at Ashton. "…okay, this looks familiar," the blonde notes. "Don't fall!"

Ashton watches Jill manages down the tree. Yes, for a moment, Ash is rather astounded at the other girl's shimmying ability, even. It's skillful, like she's done it before…ahem. Ashton nearly claps when she sees the blonde reach steady ground, but refrains for the sake of holding on. Without as much caution, she prepares to likewise shimmy down. The result is less graceful, more abrasive on her skin, and in the end, Ashton just jumps from about nine feet up. She lands heavily on her ankle and cringes. "Holy crap, owww. Well, I'm down in one piece," she muses with a sigh. "That. Sucked. Now that I actually have the thing," she bends to pick up the frisbee, "I'm so mad at it I doubt I'll play anytime soon."

Grinning wryly, Ashton peers over at Jill. "At any rate, thanks for your help. I'm sorry about your tights. Here, I'll give you my number, maybe I can like, buy you come new ones at some point. I dunno."

Jill cringes as Ashton hits the ground, pressing her hands together in a prayer-like pose in front of her lips. She swiftly claps instead, breaking into a smile and bouncing on her toes when she realizes the other girl is okay. "Yay!" Only then does she stretch her arms out and go about brushing bits of leaves and bark off her jacket. As she moves along to grab her bags, she keeps on smiling, amused by the whole ordeal.

"I'm sure you'll forgive your Frisbee, in time. You two just need a little break," she jokes, hoisting her purse over her shoulder. "And it's okay, really, I… have lots of tights." Jill slips into the shoes she left behind. "But I'll take your phone number anyway. Maybe next time we can climb something more challenging, like a … ummm. A building. I'm … yeah, I'm so kidding. It was nice to meet you though." She pauses to puck a twig out of her hair. "…Mostly…"

Ashton nods. "Likewise. And, alright. I'm sorry again. It's a good thing I had someone, though, or I couldda messed up my ankle worse." She grins wryly and bends the frisbee slightly before reciting her number. "I'll see you around, Jill. Good luck with the design business." She runs her hands over her hair to check for twig-age, then starts off in the opposite direction.

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