Fiction/Prose

December

Last night I was woken by my window slamming against the frame. The wind had picked up and had seized my curtains, wrestling violently with them, fiercely trying to pull them away with it, its howl full of anguish and desperation.

This morning it was worse; I had my head bowed against its force before I’d even reached the door. When I reach it I have to push against it, as if the wind is trying to keep me inside, to keep me safe but in a moment of weakness it relents and I force my way outside. Immediately, my hair is whipped around my head, mingling with the great gust of leaves that dance vigorously in the air. All around me the earth is unsafe; I watch trees almost bend in half as the wind tries to drag them with it, and I imagine their roots beneath the ground clinging maniacally to each other in an anguished attempt to stay grounded.

I walk, followed by aggressive clouds of uncontrollable leaves, flashes of red, brown and gold cutting through my vision. A twig carried by the wind’s momentum whips past my cheek, marking it with a long red stain, and I gasp, but that too is carried away by the great, wailing force, joining the twigs and leaves and dust in their frenzied dance.

With each step I am aware of the extra effort it takes to place my foot on the stone pathway I am sure any second will crack, allowing great chunks of it to fly up and away into the atmosphere, whisked away in the unrelenting wind. I imagine myself being lifted by it, buffeted around like a doll, spinning upside down and cartwheeling mid air among everything else that has escaped from the ground. I imagine soaring, lifted higher and higher and then dropped briefly, only to be lifted again. I imagine my eyes watering, my face and hands becoming numb with cold.

I watch the autumn leaves swirl incessantly around the bare, stretching trees, as if insisting to be reconnected.

 

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