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Burnt Leaves

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A small town farm boy curled, hidden by a thicket of forest knots, hides from the silver fish that seem smarter then he at the moment. Flashing their scales smartly at him, the mocking splashes of water whip the lily pads about as if the miniscule pond were instead a roaring ocean carrying miniature sailors home on a rocky green boat. The green branch he had robbed of a tree earlier in the almost-dawn darkness bends back and forth with the force of the storm below the water, his body tensing with every jerk, the movement of the fish making his mouth water. There was food at home, plenty of it in fact, but the hunt was what attracted him to this place. A challenge that seemed more realistic then any of the math homework that awaited him at the house.

Blue liquid leaps up on its own accord, splashing his naturally handsome face with brackish water that smells of his would-be meal; the insult has been taken, now for revenge. Jumping out from behind the black berry snares that the fish seem to have so carefully placed out for protection, he stains the white linen of his button up finest. There’ll be hell to pay when this is run through the washer. Each snagging of snow berry fabric leaves its own black berry stain behind—from the blackberry juice that runs through his veins. Makes no difference now, his catch has been lost, the fish will find him come tomorrow. Quite a net he can fashion himself.

Tramping through the woods with a light tread, he feels the sting of disappointment. In frustration the still-green branch is tossed to the side, fat lot of good that did me. In his mind’s eye he can see a blue gold fish smiling at him in a cartoonish way—pray mocking predator, the dignity of a forest hunter lost to his incapability at snaring a creature with a brain the size of a penny. The birch forest behind his house was littered with golden leaves, with the sun just coming up, the fire inside each branch on every tree reflects outwards. The forest’s magnificent personality revealed to the world—and he beheld it all to himself—it was true, the world belonged to him.

The youth his skin reflected held little to the wisdom that his eyes portrayed, for like the trees, only in the crisp bite of the morning could you see what was inside of him, what nature had instilled in him. The frivolous boy paused to tie his shoe, kneeling down lower in order to pick out the trickster brambles from his laces—his mother would let go of his white shirt, but if his school shoes were ruined, well, there was no return for the person who crossed his mother. The gold of his acorn colored hair matched the buttery yellow of the day for a moment as the glory of the world’s first eye blink came to be. The mop of hair on his head hampered him in the slightest, the natural wavy grow out a natural piece to him, same as his strong, fine hands and his tall, lean frame. He was the way he was, there was no other way for him to be. Now if only everyone could see what the fish in the pristine pond saw, if only everyone could see the fierce glow in him, could see the clever fire that ignited in his brown eyes.

Standing and leaning away from his perfect shoelaces, he stretches his spine—the sharp pop-pop-popping of his lower back reminding him of the gray branches he would be stepping on later in the month. For a moment he remembered when he was young, when his limbs were like the green fishing-branch he had used this morning. He used to be able to bend so far without breaking—now like the gray brother branches of the newlings, he felt dangerously close to the edge. The branches that were no good for climbing upon anymore, he was at the point where he wasn’t reliable enough to be leaned on. He doubted the dependability that his hands spoke of and the strong structure that his arms were able to for—he doubted the gold flecks in his eyes that he had seen that morning in the tooth-paste spattered bathroom mirror.

Each step he took on the just-beginning to dry leaves shushed together and grated on top of one another. The silent so still that his heart felt like it vibrated the branches and not the wind—as if it were he who was breathing the life into the forest and not the mother of all things. For a moment he just stopped, and let go. Spreading his hands out to the sides he inhaled the soon-to-be-dried moist musk of the trees, the comforting smell of their baby leaves hidden inside of their arms; smelled the nutmeg seasoning that painted the chipmunk’s fur and the honey-n-tea flavor of the painted butterflies that were soon to be leaving. For a moment he felt a wonderful nothing.

Then he felt the world tumble, leaves jumping up from the paper floor in a fountain of confusion. Startled he looked at his feet, and saw that there, on the toes of his new school-shoes, was a naked girl, the embodiment of the fall that was soon to be coming. Her nakedness shocked him and her beauty froze in him like winter; the chestnut seasoning of her hair in stark contrast to the yellow leaves that were everywhere, the leaves that made her bed. For a breathless moment he could only stare, studying the painting that he was looking at. The pale, fading tan draining out of her, her skin seeming to plea for the return of summer while her dark lashes screamed of preparedness for the icy chill. The dark curves of her eyebrows told him that she had already resigned herself to the hollow disappearance of warmth that seemed to steal life from spring and turned it into fall—and my, how spectacularly had she fallen.

It was her eyebrows that shocked him into moving to cover her tantalizing skin—the way that they seemed to tilt in a permanently mournful manner showed him what he needed to know—and so he tore off his linen berry-blood stained shirt and covered her curved shape. Kneeling beside her, he looked at her tangled form, one shoulder jutting out of the fabric’s reach slenderly. A quick flash of reminder that somehow brought him back to the pond just hours ago this morning. He pressed a tentative un-giving hand to her shoulder, and with the warmth of a fire’s glow in fall, she opened her eyes, and revealed her copper irises to the world.

Seconds ticked by as he looked at her—he reasoned that she was just a runaway, a girl taken to hiding in the woods. He reasoned and reasoned but fell short of any believable answers; this girl wasn’t just anything, she was something in the most extravagant sense. The boy awed by this epiphany could not vocalize, for once all he could do was use his shaking hands.



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This article has 10 comments. Post your own!

higherlove811 said...
Jan. 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm:
The elegance of how your words flow and sound are like sinking into a hot bath. Really great job, your grammar was amazing.
 
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NeverLetYouGo.. said...
Dec. 31, 2010 at 5:23 pm:
Love it<3
 
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franc said...
Nov. 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm:
i really enjoyed this! what came to my mind was you were using the girl as a symbolism of summer's transition to fall? if so it was excellently worded. if not, i enjoyed the sory nonetheless. it's what the reader pulls from the story that matters, right? anyway, truley excellent!
 
SilverLuna replied...
Nov. 22, 2010 at 4:43 pm :

You hit it right on the head!(: The girl is that transition, and that becomes more clear in the next piece of the story.

 

 Thanks so much, and that's kind of how I look at it: my stories/poems mean whatever the reader takes from it. Thanks a million!(:

 
franc replied...
Nov. 28, 2010 at 4:01 am :

well i hope to read the next piece soon! i'd like to know what becomes of this summer girl...

i feel like the story resmbles ALMOST the story of the wolves of mercy falls only they are NOTHING alike... does that make any sense? haha i really hope so, but in anycase, i'd love to read more!

 
SilverLuna replied...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 7:11 pm :

For one: I absolutely love Shiver and Linger of The Wolves of Mercy Fall's series, so you must see part of that in my work, lol. It makes sense that you see that, though I really hope you don't think that I'm trying to make a rip off of that, because I'm not.

The story isn't like that at all, I mean, no wolves. Haha, I hope to have a solid next entry done soon.

Btw, I would love to read some of your work too, so if you'd like, just leave the title up here and I'll try my best to... (more »)

 
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hi_from_wonderland said...
Nov. 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm:
wow really great descriptions! i luv it :)
 
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Nick_Xao This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm:

Your level of description rivals that of some great literature writer! :D

 

If you continue it, I'd love to read more :)

 
thepreachyteenager replied...
Nov. 19, 2010 at 5:56 pm :

You should post more, and the descriptions are great :)

 

I'd just advise shortening your sentences.  They get a little long and confusing, but I do like the metaphors/similes.

The naked girl was also a little bit random.  Maybe add some foreshadowing to make it a little less out-of-the-blue?  Maybe the guy thinks about how there've been a lot of runaways recently or something.

And I'm slightly confused about the setting.  Fishing with a st... (more »)

 
SilverLuna replied...
Nov. 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm :
The next section of this story will make that more clear Kat, the girl becomes a very large piece of the story and so on and so on... I guess my goal was to just make everything clear and THERE, if you know what I mean, (: Thanks so much for reading it and I'll be sure to take your advice into account!(:
 
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