Have you ever run across any of your early writings and wondered what was going through your mind when you put pen to paper that day? Well, I found the very first story I ever wrote and I don’t have a clue what I was thinking about when I pounded out this one. Anyway, I thought it might be fun to share. Here goes.
Moments ago, the palette of reds, oranges, and purples streaking across the horizon gave way to night’s inky blackness. The sun had finally given up, surrendering its position to a fall moon that hung heavy and swollen just above the horizon. Its milky glow pushed through the twisted and knobby branches of the huge old oak, splattering bits of sparkling, diamond-shaped yellow light across the tired lawn.
Puffs of wind shoved and swirled ribbon-like waves of dried leaves along the cracked asphalt street, making clicking, ticking sounds as the crisp pieces of foliage tumbled and danced along the deserted tarmac.
As he glanced toward the flittering movement in the roadway, an icy chill swept over his jacketless frame. Turning towards the house where his wife lay sleeping, he saw the once toothy jack-o-lantern left over from Halloween. The pumpkin had begun to rot, oozing liquid into the rotting lumber that served as the top step on the porch. Its sagging, twisted grin seemed to mock him.
Time was slowing, and sounds were gradually disappearing, as the oak’s big limb groaned from the stress of the foreign weight. The thick rope tightened around his neck as the massive tree struggled against the gravity that tried to free him.
His feet came to rest two inches above the cool earth, swaying gently, sweeping the tips of the too-tall grass he’d neglected to trim last week. Finally, his grip loosened and the crumpled lay-off notice he had clutched so tightly for the past hour, swirled and drifted to the ground.
Outsourcing…it’s for the good of the company, they said.
There’ll be other jobs…
You’ll be okay.
He wondered, as his last breath rose gently to mingle with the autumn air, if anyone would miss him.