Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Fall

I grew up in a place without trees.  There was no grass.  Yards were concrete and we dreamed of flowers.  Sometimes my brother and I would draw them with chalk.  It wasn’t the same.  We had only ever seen pictures on the TV; they were vibrant, beautiful and far away.  I sometimes touched the pixelated petals, imagining them soft, fragrant, in a vase or garden I could touch.
Seasons never came.  In the same way we dreamed of flowers we dreamed of snow or autumn leaves.  A long time ago children made snow angels, leapt into piles of fresh foliage.  There was a oneness with nature in the old films.

I will never forget the day that it was almost autumn.  My brother and I had finished downloading education for the day into our cerebral processors when it happened.  A leaf blew into the yard, just visible out our window.  We rushed to see it closer.  Another fell and then another.  It was a beautiful spectacle.  I raced my brother out the door.

Like children from another century piles of dark brown crinkled leaves lay before us.  I ran with all the speed I could gather and jumped.

Strangely, it was not the sensation I imagined.  I coughed as black dust stung my eyes.  My clothes lit up with the tiniest embers.  The sky was black and growing blacker.  From the distance a factory of immense proportions loomed.  Our leaves weren’t leaves but paper burnt and littered on the ground.


  1. Sad. Thank goodness for conservationists or this may be tomorrow's reality. There is a green belt of farms and vineyards that runs between my town and the next. I hope it stays. I like to bike there, and sit there, and drive there. It is an oasis away from the city. It is my Central Park. Interesting piece Ben Ditty!

  2. This is a great piece! It reminds me of the short story by Ray Bradbury about the girl on Venus who gets shut inside the closet when the sun comes out for a day.

  3. oh can I give it to you straight.....? can I.

    Oh, I seldom wait for the green light.

    here I go...

    I read this over and over again.

    loved, rolled in the first three paragraphs.

    loathed the last two


    I hadn't a clue

    sat with it, read it again and again and then realized.... I so wanted it to be real. I couldn't let that image go... the one you painted in paragraphs one to three.

    so....back to YOU. your writing. its ....captivating (ugh, please shannon come up with something more clever than that)

    its...so you (said as if I know you because you gave so much I swear I do)

  4. Oh! Sadly beautiful, expressed so nicely. I wish it to never be a reality. If we won't save nature then we will be racing for even a single seed like you raced for that fallen piece.

  5. how ironic. i enjoyed your enthusiasm as a kid in the scene you built. the fall can have two meanings, and that's cool, too. it's a good piece. the first sentence is shiny and sharp.

  6. Annie: That does sound lovely. I hope it stays a long, long time.

    Maria: I remember that one! :-)

    Fern: Thanks :)

    Aporia: Thank you so much, Aporia :)

    G Monk: I hope you always give it to me straight :) I really liked the image I started with too. I hadn't really thought much about the beginning much before I started writing. There was just an image while looking at a fire we had. The paper sort of looks like leaves. What if I were to play in it? I can't? What if I were a kid and it was all I had? What a tragically ironic premise. I should write a story ;-)

    Shreya: Too true, Shreya. It's an interesting spin, I found. Humans found a way to survive after destroying nature yet there's a profound sense of loss for doing so. Hoping it never happens either.

    Ed: Thanks, Ed :) I tried to convey a childhood enthusiasm tied with marred adulthood.

  7. Another piece with which I can relate...nicely done.

  8. Jack: Thanks Jack :) Buut how did you relate? ;)

    Sm: Thanks sm :)

  9. Love this...Just when I thought you would have your "nature" moment it was nothing but burnt paper.


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