Saturday, October 29, 2011

Oktober The Twenty-Ninth: The Falling Season

 Revisiting an earlier story here, Seeds on the Outside, for a second installment. I would like to think it stands on its own as flash fiction; on the other hand, I'm almost sickeningly comfortable in the mind of this character. I could see a longer series of connected stories growing from the Seeds.
 I took Seeds to my writing/critique group meeting and got some helpful feedback, there. I may take this one as well.
 Two more days, two more stories to go! Please do feel very free to leave commentary/critique, or just a hello. I'll be checking this site even during NaNoWriMo.

 Peace, Mari


The Falling Season

By Mari Kozlowski

 There are five blue jays on the maple tree outside my Aunt’s house, and one rabbit hiding in the bushes.

 He isn’t hiding from me; he couldn’t see me in here watching him. He could be hiding from the blue jays, since blue jays are loud and annoying even though their feathers look pretty, except that I know he isn’t because he was hopping around the dead peony bushes when the blue jays came into the yard and he didn’t jump or run away, even when they squawked.

 I guess he’s hiding from a dog in the yard next door. The dog keeps barking. The rabbit is completely still, but I saw when he hid behind the weeds and the tip of his ear never moved, so I know he’s there.

 If he knew my uncle was in the house, he would be scared of us. My uncle hunts rabbits and deer and shoots them and then gets their guts taken out and their fur torn off, so he can eat them. I would never eat a rabbit because rabbits are interesting to me since I read Watership Down; but I did have a piece of a deer my uncle shot once and it tasted good, like the Swiss steak my Mom used to make before she was killed, but after I ate it I thought about how the deer and goats in the zoo sniffed me and stuck their noses in my pockets, and I cried. Then I decided not to eat animals anymore, not even Swiss steak.

 And my Mom said I was being ridiculous and that I loved fried chicken too much to stop eating it, so I stopped eating anything until she told me she wouldn’t make fried chicken ever again or make me eat any animals.  

 So I started eating all vegetables and fruit and cheese and bread and desserts, and I thought about not eating eggs anymore because they’re almost chickens; but Mom told me that the eggs we get at the store aren’t fertilized so they couldn’t ever become chickens. And she reminded me that pancakes and French toast both have eggs in them. So I told her I would still eat eggs, only now it doesn’t matter because she won’t have to cook for me anymore since she is dead and we buried her in the cemetery by the highway this morning.

 I’m staying in the back of the house by the two big windowed doors my Mom called French doors, which I don’t know why they are called that since we don’t live in France, we live in Ontario, Canada, in Grimsby; but you wouldn’t call them Grimsby doors since all the doors that exist here could be called that, no matter what kind of doors they are, single or double or windowed or screen. When I asked Mom once when we visited here why the doors were called that, she didn’t know and she told me to look it up in the encyclopedia when we got home, but our set of encyclopedias is pretty stupid and bad and it wasn’t in there anywhere.

 I like these doors, no matter why they’re called French. I can see the garden from here, and there is lots of sunlight, and since I came and stood near the windows looking outside no one is bothering me anymore like they did all morning while I was checking out my Mom’s casket. I was trying to figure out if she was really in there, because it’s kind of short looking and my Mom was tall. But people kept coming up to me and trying to hug me and cry on me, which I didn’t like.

 So when we came home in the special long black cars they ride you in for funerals and weddings, I took a plate of food and brought it back with me, and now I can watch the leaves falling and eat cheese cubes and be alone without my Mom’s cousins dripping tears and getting lipstick and face-colored powder on me. Plus I hate when they ask how tall I am now. I’d rather watch the rabbit and think about what kind of food he’s looking for under the maple leaves lying on the grass.

 My Mom hated when our tree’s leaves dropped off and we had to rake them up; she liked Spring, when the tree got buds and flowers on them and started to get green again. She said it was the Growing season, the best season, but I told her I liked the red and yellow leaves in their piles better, in the Falling season.  

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