I wrote Branch Quest as a horror story, but like so many other of my horror stories, the build-up isn’t really there and it ends too soon. It was inspired by the oak tree outside of my own childhood home ( Cookbook Overload – Our House ). During early summer, before they were pruned back, the branches of the big oak tree outside our house would stretch around the front to tap at the windows of my room. Though even the heaviest storm never managed to smash my window in.
Early on Seymour comments on the house becoming ‘stranger and stranger’ as the day goes on, but this is never really expanded upon. Instead, just as the children have their game set up and ready, they are rudely interrupted by the breaking of glass as the branches of the ‘tree’ smash the window.
I suppose Branch Quest might’ve worked better as a pilot or intro for a longer series of stories told in the Cobbler household, the family trying to lead a normal life in a house that constantly throws paranormal curveballs at you. That would also explain why Jon never seems worried about the sudden tree outside his window nor the fact that his own mother is telling them to hurry out of the house. Without any context from other stories, I guess it makes Jon seem a bit forgetful.