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January 31st, in Flash Fiction


By: Stephen O'Brien

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 36 seconds. Contains 321 words

In the realm where autumn's breath intertwines with the whispers of time, fallen leaves become the parchment upon which nature scribes its melancholic sonnet. Each leaf, once a vibrant hue in the tapestry of the forest, now pirouettes in the breeze, a transient dancer in the ballet of decay.

Beneath the arboreal canopy, the ground is a mosaic of russet and gold, a silent requiem for the summer sun. These leaves, once emblems of life, now embark on a poetic descent, surrendering to the inevitability of change. They journey from the lofty heights of their arboreal abode to the earth below, a humble pilgrimage written in the language of rustling.

As they alight upon the soil, a delicate hush befalls the woodland, and the fallen leaves become storytellers. Each one carries the imprint of the seasons it has witnessed, a chronicle etched in veins of chlorophyll and lignin. In their quiet surrender, they share the secrets of the ancient trees, the storms weathered, and the whispers exchanged among the branches.

The crunch beneath wandering footsteps is a sonorous tribute to their sacrifice, a testament to the ephemeral beauty woven into their veins. One may perceive them as remnants, but in truth, they are the alchemists of transformation, the alarums heralding the cyclical dance of nature's eternal waltz.

In this enigmatic ballet of decay, fallen leaves become both elegy and prelude. Their descent is not an end but a metamorphosis, a transmutation into the fertile soil that cradles the roots of their arboreal brethren. As they gracefully surrender to gravity, they sow the seeds of renewal, promising the rebirth of life in the seasons yet to come.

So, in the quiet expanse of the autumnal woods, where fallen leaves compose a poetic symphony, one can discern the wisdom hidden in their ephemeral existence--a silent ode to the perpetual cycle of nature, where every descent is an ascent, and every farewell is a prelude to a new beginning.

Stephen O'Brien

About the Author:

Steve is a fiction writer and reader. He is a retired English teacher and lives in Colorado with his wife and their two dogs.