Starting point: Family Trees

By Mark Ball

Daddy’s gone. He got infected, I don’t know when. He left two nights ago. We found a note on the kitchen table saying not to go look for him, but we found him in Autie Jayne’s garden. He’d buried his head in the flower bed, next to the rose bushes, and a tree had already started to grow – three feet tall – from the hole he’d dug for himself.

I think he went there to get away from us, to make sure he wouldn’t infect us when he died. Or maybe he just wanted to be close to Auntie Jayne when he died. I don’t know. Auntie Jayne wasn’t there though. There’s a new tree in Grandma’s garden, we think that’s her.

Lucy thinks he went there because he knew there would be loose soil. Our garden is all grass and overgrown bushes with nowhere good to dig. Maybe she’s right. People act weird before they die, I don’t know what they think.

We gathered some old furniture around Daddy’s tree and set fire to it with some lighter fluid we found in Auntie Jan’s cupboard, just like Daddy did when he found Mr Johnson next door. Our fire wasn’t as big as his though, and it didn’t burn for long.

We’ve decided to go to Brighton to see if we can catch the relief boat, if it still comes. We’ve packed as much as we can carry, including the last of the peanut butter. Hopefully we can find something else to eat along the way. I don’t know how long it will take to walk there because Lucy gets tired very quickly.

How would you continue this story?