Pip – by Grace Ridley (High School)

“Biggie! Biggie!… look! The tree flowers! They’re like summer time SNOW!”
I have never much liked that nickname but I understood it. I’m bigger than her, I’m 5’9 and she’s five years old… and a pipsqueak.
“C’mon Pip, we gotta go.”
“Oh Biggie look! F E E L” she said, yanking my arm down -hard- to aid her scooping up of the tree’s discarded blooms “They’re soooo soft”. Pip howled as we waded our way down the street.
In her ladybug spotted coat she seemed somewhat adorable. The kid knew how to wield the sunshine in her warm coco eyes and to twitch her button nose, very much like a lost fawn. Damn that Bambi face! I can’t be mad at that.
Progress is slow. She’s insistent on hanging off my arm, pulling at the leather of my jacket and leaving tiny baby claw marks in the hide. They’ll never buff out. With each step I was weighed further down in what I can only assume was an attempt on the child’s behalf to root herself into the concrete and become one of these trees she so revered.
Then, she slipped free. Prising out her still podgy palm from my grasp, carefully avoiding the rings and acrylics that adorned my high-schooler’s hands.
“What are you doing Pip? We have to get home!” I dropped both our school-bags onto the ground next to me, sick of the heightened gravity of textbooks and laptops. “NOOOO!” Pip looked into my eyes with a cocktail of profound disgust and anguish only mustered by jaded lovers and five-year-old girls. “Biggie… you killed it.” I was unaware any voice could sound that small.“Killed what Pip?”… There was nothing there. It was peculiar to have to explain myself to this distraught child. It felt as effective as digging through quicksand with a shoe.
Pip marched to the offending bags and knocked them on their back with childish venom. From underneath she produced one full, yet bruised, blossom bloom. Cradling it in her palms, promising to keep it safe forever.

Learn more about this author:


Grace Ridley

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Fleur 2020-04 Apple Tree
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