Rising, she made her way across the timbers to the rectangular hole in the floor. At first sitting, feet dangling, she dropped herself through, reaching for the closest rung. From there, she began her descent, feeling in the dark one to the next, knowing the slabs of wood that she and Molly had carefully affixed to the tree just this summer were dangerously slick.
It was then that it happened, so swiftly and unexpectedly: with a crack, the rung below busted loose and her feet slipped free. And with a gasp, Heather slammed into the trunk, one hand sliding off the end of the rung above, the other gripping with just fingertips. The earth far below, she momentarily hung by an arm.