#SwiftFicFriday W95 – Vote!

#SwiftFicFriday W95 – Vote!

Another prompt, another round of great stories to choose from. Check the stories out below and vote for your favorite!

A Walk in Memory’s Wood

So many leaves were falling. Raining down in gentle swoops, tumbling. Crip acrobats. I suppose I should have grabbed a ladder and started scooping out the eavestroughs. An annual autumn chore I do not relish. I was tempted until that darn thought drifted in. Can’t say why I had it, the thought, I mean. It just arrived like a stranger at the door, a stranger you sort of remember but can’t quite place. I was helpless to deny it. I went inside, made a sandwich, grabbed a couple of bananas, threw them in a Tupperware, said, “I’ll be back later.” And she asked, “Where are you going?” and I answered, “I need to go for a drive.”

I got to the door, and she queried me with, “A drive where?” And I got more noncommittal and tossed back a non-answer. I guess it really was a lie because I didn’t want to get into it, “Just a drive. Back in a while.”

“Call me when you get there,” she said as I closed the door.

I think I nodded or waved.

It was going to be a three-hour drive. Not as scenic as it was back then. Then, you could drive the old highway, through all those little towns, villages, places where it seemed that the people who lived there lived obscure lives, lives of quiet…not desperation. Just their own form of quiet.

I arrived a little after one.

Where they at once been.

Where we had strolled into the summer woods and united that one and only time.

That one and only glorious time.

The woods were now gone.

Housing occupied that lovely earth.

That long-ago bliss started to fade.

There was nothing to do but drive back home.

295 words by Bill Engleson (@billmelaterplea)

“Does it seem colder this year?”

Theo adjusted his coarse wool cloak and inhaled sharp sweet autumn air. Brandy planted the haft of her glaive with a brusque laugh to watch her companion clamber over the rocky riverside terrain.

“Weakling! You knew this was coming!”

The warrior was unhindered by the weather, elevation, or terrain but the faint cloud of her breath answered Theo’s question just the same. The priest felt its humidity but couldn’t quite see his own breath. Of course, Brandy had always run hotter than most. Thankfully, she allowed him time to lean on his own staff after catching up to her.

“You know,” Theo gasped deeply. “We could take our annual hike to see the mountain colors a little more leisurely.”

The corner of Brandy’s mouth turned up and she raised an eyebrow. It warmed Theo’s heart. It also meant he wouldn’t be getting any kind of a break, but the king’s champion didn’t smile for just anyone.

“We are taking it leisurely.”

Theo’s childhood friend resumed her ascent and he fell into step behind her. The clear murmur of the mountain stream was like silence compared to the ocean roar of their hometown. For all the vibrancy of the canopy filtering the light around them, it felt like a great blanket bringing a sleepy quality to the whole scene.

“That girl, Arah,” Theo ventured. “Do you think she’s really from the future?”

“I… It seems that way…”

Cresting a rise and rounding a corner, Brandy led them to the first overlook of the inland valleys. Red, orange, and green treetops stretched out in the middle of the day like the ocean at sunset. While Brandy shouldered her glaive, Theo leaned on his staff again.

“Everything’s going to change.”

293 words by David A Ludwig (@DavidALudwig)

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