I’ve missed a few flash fiction challenges lately but, when I saw the latest prompt, I couldn’t resist. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a project that combines stories with nature and visual art? Especially when invited to compose a 99-word story in response to such an evocative painting? (You can click on the image to learn more.)
Of course, that’s ridiculous. The point is to use the image as a departure point to travel in whatever direction I choose. But I guess I’m not strong on visuals, despite being moved by the countryside and owning some original art. I guess I feel safer with words.
The words I finally came up with create a story that’s slightly more abstract. Open to interpretation, rather like the painting itself.
I drape myself in robes of pumpkin colours. Friends scowl and ask if I’ve turned Buddhist. “An Autumnist,” I say.
As my hair grows back, they praise my resilience. I let them think I’ve won. I’ve squandered spring and summer accommodating other people. Autumn is for me.
When the evenings chill, I gather my friends around the bonfire. Serve them bowls of steaming soup. Listen to their talk of future projects. When I don’t contribute, I let them think I’m extra cautious. Don’t mention winter’s spite will put a freeze on this. Till then, I’ll dance to autumn’s tune.