This was originally published in November, 2011.

I looked at the tree, so yellow it looked like a column of sacrificial fire. It was in a line of trees of trees at the top of a brown field. The other trees were green and brown, but this tree was among them but not of them.

I looked at the tree unblinking until my eyes watered and shut tight of their own volition. I was afraid.

Fallen Yellow Leaf

Photo by Alyson Hurt

The night sky fell and turned my skin blue grey and my skin goosebumped with cold then smoothed over like ice but still I stayed outside, crouching, then kneeling, then lying prone like a sniper staring at the yellow tree which was disappearing into the night.

The grass around me was dry and when the wind blew it whispered to me but I could not understand its language.

The crickets and frogs and even the soft chippers of birds spoke but in words I did not know. “What are you saying,” I said to the birds. “What are you trying to tell me,” I said to the dry grass. “And you, column of fire, what do you mean. I can’t understand you but if I did I think I would do it different. I would be different.” But they were silent, and when the light was finally gone I got up and went home.

The next day the leaves on the tree were all gone.

And you, what is your fall moment?

PRACTICE

Write about your fall moment.

Write for fifteen minutes, and post your practice in the comments when you’re finished. Feel free to give other writers feedback on their posts.

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).