Continuing with the theme of last week’s post, I have been embracing my inopportune inspiration and playing with some old ideas. One idea in particular that I felt had a lot of promise was a story titled “Autumn Leaves”. Below is an excerpt, taken from my 140 character-limited practice sessions from several years ago. I have cleaned it up slightly, but it is mostly as it appeared then.
Searingly orange leaves laid still in the stale air, and an oppressive silence filled Corin’s ears with a tin ring and a panicked pulse.
Corin had awoken in an old wooden bus stop nestled deeply in a valley blanketed in autumnal foliage.
She was alone, and it terrified her.
She surveyed her surroundings but they were completely foreign. Corin had no clue where she was, and even less idea how she had gotten there.
Panic welled up inside Corin until she exploded to her feet with a scream.
“Somebody! Anybody!” She shouted in a hoarse cry. “Help me…”
As if in reply, the sound of a distant bell rang out, followed by a gust of wind that cut through Corin’s cardigan like an icy blade.
She broke into a sprint.
A bell meant people, and the hope of rescue drove Corin forward even as her body began to tremble from the cold.
Corin rounded a bend, and the bell tolled one last time. In the distance was a town, and a dozen windows flickered with the glow of oil lamps amidst a growing bank of fog.
The fog swirled and coiled around the lights like a hungry serpent, and continued until the last had been enveloped in its pale shroud. It continued forward, and surged like a tidal wave as it washed across the valley. Within seconds, it had closed the gap and overtaken Corin.
Corin’s pace slowed to a crawl. The winds tossed her around like a river current, and it took all of her strength just to stay on her feet. She groped forward blindly, but as the ground beneath her turned to soft soil, she realized she had become hopelessly turned around.
Unable to see even her own hands as the impenetrable murk boiled around her, Corin’s hope started to wane. She had been so close. The town couldn’t have been more than a mile off, but as Corin huddled and shivered in the mist, it may as well have been on the moon.
The cold now settled deep in her bones, and it gnashed at their marrow with rimed teeth. Waves of nausea washed over Corin and she began to waver.
A future for Autumn Leaves?
What is the town she sees in the distance? How did Corin end up at that strange bus stop? If you think that there is some potential to the Autumn Leaves story, feel free to drop me a line. I would be interested to hear thoughts and opinions on it as I continue to play around with the idea.