She preferred maple leaves of fiery orange and yellow, or heart’s blood red. Sometimes, she found a perfect bruised purple leaf, veined with red-gold arteries.
She placed them all on her wide, white windowsills, for the sun to dry. Their memories of moisture evaporated, and they became brittle and bitter. As they baked, she seasoned them with regret.
No more dancing in the fresh breezes of Spring. No more whispering through Summer’s lazy heat. They crinkled, arthritic and crabbed, as she crooned to them of lost vitality, and stolen joy.
By the time the trees were bare, she had an army of clawed furies, which her winds could send to do her bidding. Their desiccated hearts yearned to scratch at tender flesh, and spill the hot blood which might, she promised them, be as sweet as the sap they remembered.
*Last week I mentioned writing some flash fiction for a Tiny Treasures event at Noted Festival. I thought I’d share my pre-prepared tiny stories here, rather than have them whirled away and lost, like fallen leaves…