I hope the start of a new week is going well for you. Here’s a little challenge for you:
Write a story or poem on the theme of the cold. It doesn’t have to be about the weather; you can interpret the theme any way you like.
Last week’s challenge was for you to write a poem or story on the theme of autumn with the following words somewhere in your piece:
Here are your entertaining pieces:
Richard Mantell sent in a poignant story:
The words of the song ran around in his head. It had been released so many years ago and yet even now it buried itself deep into the very marrow of his soul. Now here, walking amongst the falling leaves and crying trees, it seemed even more cutting. Forever Autumn by Justin Hayward. Released on Jeff Wayne’s War of The Worlds it told of love and loss. David looked up. Weak sunlight was fighting its way through the vegetation. ‘My life will be forever autumn,’ Hayward had sung. I know what you mean my friend thought David. All that he had known and had been anchored by was gone. After a lifetime of looking after his frail mother she was now dead. She had nurtured him throughout her life and then towards the end of her own time he had become her caregiver. He had done it willingly as it was about the one good thing he could really point to in his unremarkable life. Now that was at an end.
David walked along the path in the local park. The leaves were turning red like blood. As they fell they reminded him of soldiers falling under fire. Their job was done. The trees would soon be as bare as his soul. The path wound on by the river. There was a weeping willow hanging over the water. David stopped and looked at it. The tree was bent into the water as if in mourning for all that had been before and was now gone. That’s me thought David. I should call myself Weeping Willow Man. He smiled wryly at his own wit and was glad that he still had a sense of humour, here deep in autumn.
Cold air circulated around the world. Autumn was nature’s lament for the end of things. Leaves burnished gold would become brown and decay as all things would do. David knew that only too well. He walked along the river path stopping only to watch a pair of mallards swim past. The birds were oblivious to David and his thoughts. At that moment he envied them. Despite the antidepressants and alcoholic beverages drunk in the Bakers Arms there was nothing like autumn to bring one back down to Earth. Two children came running past him. Oh to be young again he reflected. His hand went up to his sideburns. His hair was suffering the autumn effect. Instead of the mustard of the leaves they had streaks of grey; grey that mirrored the icewater of his veins. How significant was it that he had slush going round his body.
A skein of geese flew above. What was that line from the song again? Oh yes. ‘I watch the birds fly south across the autumn sky… I wish I was flying with them.’ A sentiment that echoed with him and would continue until, like the leaves of the sycamores and oaks, he too would fall.
The jangle of a text message arriving in his pocket shook him from his musings. A reminder that his car was due for its MOT and would he please phone the garage to make an appointment. Life went on although why it did he did not know. Nor did anyone else of that matter. Perhaps it was because although the leaves died the trees did not. They would blossom again the next year and then the year after that. David looked at the canopy that loomed above him. As the leaves fell the trees looked like a goldfish that was slowly shedding its scales. However it was a goldfish that would regrow its armour and fight on.
The chill of the air manifested itself as ghosts in his breath. Time to go home. Time to go walk back through the fallen soldiers and the flamed tree tops. Time for the comfort of a mug of hot chocolate and the musical favourites played through YouTube. As he walked through the park heading towards the gates that led to the main road he realised that he needed that sad moment. Sometimes we all need autumn sighs.
Jason Moody has written a lovely descriptive flash fiction piece:
The park was a magical place at this time of year. The air was fresh and crisp, foretelling of what was to come. The ground beneath had been swallowed whole by a multi-coloured carpet of orange, red and yellow. The leaves let out a satisfying crunch as Ellie stepped upon them. She sunk her feet into a mustard coloured pile and kicked the leaves upwards.
A slight breeze sailed in and lifted the leaves into the air. They danced like flames on a wood fire, the melody of the wind carrying them in carefully choreographed circles. Ellie stifled a laugh, as this reminded her of her goldfish, Toby.
Geoff Le Pard always finds a wonderful to link the prompts. Please visit his site to read his touching story:
Rajiv Chopra will continue his entertaining Mary Jane series next week.