Hideaway Fall Writing Challenge Day 1 – Susurrous

It’s been a long time since I last had a go at writing a short story. A small UK publisher, Hideaway Fall have started a daily writing challenge. There’s a very simple premise behind it. Each day they will share a theme. Those joining in then write a piece, whatever they like, about that theme.

Between editing my first novel, and working hard on my second, I cannot be sure I am able to commit to taking part every single day. When I can, what I produce certainly won’t be of a length similar to my previous short stories. But I am keen to have a go, and produce something different for each theme. With that in mind, the first theme set on Monday 21st September is “Susurrous”.

I’ve come up with a short piece using the theme above, I hope you all like it! You’ll find my creation below! Please do comment and leave your feedback: it’s the only way I can ever hope to improve! 🙂

***

Autumn. A crisp bite hangs in the air early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Grey clouds mark the sky more so now than in summer. Grass, painted by the earliest touch of frost crunches beneath her boots. The cool breeze caused her to pull her coat tightly about her. The world took on a different look as the seasons changed. The vibrant colours and lush greens of spring and summer are gone, replaced with grey skies and foliage in a riot of reds, oranges and browns. The trees weren’t quite naked yet, but they had lost much of their previous fullness, carpeting the ground with fallen leaves.

She sat on a bench on the edge of the forest, watching the clouds speed through cobalt blue skies. The days were certainly getting fresher. A flock of birds wheel about the sky moving as one. She watched them for what seemed like forever, entranced by their grace. They would soon be off in search of warmer climes. As the shadows lengthened, the mystery of the forest called out to her, implored her to walk within.

She walked amongst the trees, their tall trunks stood silent and tall in their vigil, watching over the forest they formed. The young woman paused, listened. Nothing. It was as though the forest insulated itself from the outside world. The noises of life in the city now dulled, inaudible. She breathed deeply, the cool, fresh air soothed her soul. The earthy smells of fallen leaves slowly decaying, of damp earth and evergreen vegetation enveloped her in an autumnal blanket. It was comforting.

The sun slowly crept closer to the horizon as she meandered between the lofty trees, their vast canopies beginning to shed their fiery leaves. Long shadows only grew longer, the forest floor darkened further. A breeze wound its way through the sturdy boughs. She had always loved this time of year. A time for cosy jumpers, boots and hot drinks. Curling up indoors with a good book as the nights draw in, watching the city through windows doused in rainfall. And nothing could contend with a crisp late afternoon stroll through the forest. As she turned to head home the wind picked up, rustling the leaves to a crescendo. The forest spoke to her, a million whispering voices as the leaves all spoke to her at once, heralding the arrival of autumn.


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