Extras - Climb Not

Climb Not

This story shares some elements with The Ash Tree, a story by M.R. James, in which a huge ash tree holds a nasty surprise for both the owners of a large country house in Suffolk and for the reader.

My story also plays with the notion of a tree being home to something horrible, but it also deals with a real fear of mine – a fear of heights. I would never have climbed the tree in the first place, whatever was scratched into the bark, but it would be my worst nightmare to be threatened by something whilst also high in the air.

Until 2006 I lived in a house in Norfolk that had a huge pollarded ash tree in the back garden and a giant elm tree towering over the boundary wall. In the frequent Norfolk winds, the elm tree sounded like the ocean roaring. The ash tree – as far as I know – played host to nothing more sinister than nesting birds.

Climb Not

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