Monday, October 16, 2006


Category: Issue 4, Short Story Winners
This is nice. What a peaceful moment. It’s so quiet. It’s cool, but the sun is warm on my face. I love Fall. I love this breeze. And the smell of fallen leaves…oh look, the leaves are falling! What a beautiful sight! In this moment, nothing matters. Nothing but the leaves falling towards me, and the peace and quiet of it all. Oh, I want to lay here forever, feel the warmth of the sun, the caress of the breeze, and watch the leaves fall. I can let go of everything. Every thought, everyone. All I want is this amazing feeling of freedom. I have no memories, no future, no worries. I can finally let go of this nagging feeling of guilt. I can forget we were…

“…going to your mom’s house for your birthday. Even though I had planned something for your birthday, because your mother called at the last minute as usual and bullied you into feeling guilty for not knowing she was planning something that very day. And so I changed my plans so we could accommodate her so that you wouldn’t feel guilty about your own birthday. Yeah, I can live with that, because I’ve come to expect that from your mother. But –

“Ok, can you stop your yapping for a second? For Christ’s sakes, who’s freakin’ birthday is it anyway? A great birthday this is turning out to be –

“Yapping? Oh, thanks a lot, for all I’ve done for you lately, seriously! Not that I’ve got anything against your mother, but it would be nice to get an ounce of appreciation for everything I’ve planned – and cancelled – so that she would have her day! So yeah, who’s birthday is it really, yours or your mother’s?? And anyway, what I wanted to say was that I agreed to it because that’s what you wanted, but why do we have to sleep over at your sister’s on top of that?

“What – you’d rather sleep at my mother’s?

“God no! I’d rather drive back home, that’s what I’d rather do!

“Fine then, you drive for the two-hour drive back home after dinner and drinks! I’ll do what you usually do and sleep the whole way, then tell you I’m sooooo tired when we get back! See how that feels!

“Why do we have to leave so late anyway? Don’t normal people eat for like an hour and then chat a bit and leave? Why do we always end up staying till like midnight?

…What time is it?…Falling, falling leaves towards me…funny how the sun hits them and the colours just seem brighter, just for a moment. Makes you look at all the other ones on the ground differently after that, because they just look faded somehow. I never noticed how graceful a falling leaf is. Like it’s paying a last homage to its too short life, like it wants to dance one last time before ending its life way below the canopy of branches it was born on. Like it’s trying to tell the world that it’s not really dead, just taking its first flight. That its life is really just beginning. How awful it must be to take that leap, heart full of hope, only to live one last short moment, then end up in a pile of all those who’ve taken the same faithful trip before it. How that realisation must hurt, after their wonderful gliding, carried softly by a warm breeze and discovering the sweetness of that freedom…

Why is it so quiet? Why…

“…aren’t you saying anything? I mean, can’t you at least understand part of what I’m saying?

“You know what, no, I can’t. Because I think you’re being just a tad selfish – which isn’t totally surprising by the way – in wanting to decide how my birthday weekend is going to go. You know what? Thank you very much for all the planning of whatever it is you wanted me to do on my birthday, but I’m actually happy to see my family. And yes I want to go to my sister’s, because I never see her, and yes, I want to be able to do whatever I want for once, because after all, this is my birthday. Can you understand that?

“What I understand is that if we don’t stop this argument right now dinner with your mom is going to be even worse than usual. Why is it that the minute we get into the car knowing we’re going to be driving more than an hour we start arguing? I mean, we must spend at least three hours in the car every Sunday doing the groceries and stuff, and we never argue then, so why do we always get in these fights on long trips? Now that I think of it, we argue whenever we’re going to your mom’s. Now it doesn’t seem so strange.

…Strange…I feel strange…look at the leaves…still falling…is it getting colder? I feel cold. The leaves look grey. They can’t be grey can they? No, it’s the sun, it’s gone behind the clouds. I should get back in the car. Back in? How did I get out? I don’t remember getting out of the car, where are we? Why did we stop? We’re going to be…

“…late. I told you we should have left earlier. If you hadn’t been so busy telling me how mad you were at my mother, we would have been there by now.

“Yeah, and if you had tried to understand how I feel, we wouldn’t even be going at all!

“Oh, great, blame it on me that we’re going to my mom’s for my birthday! Come to think of it, I don’t even feel like having a birthday this year, thank you and your selfish little self for that! So happy birthday to me, and many…

…more. I should have listened to him more. I do that – I get mad and then I don’t hear anything. He’s right, it is his birthday, so why couldn’t he spend it any way he wants? I should have apologized. I should apologize more often. Apologize and then tell him I love him. I really do love him. Why can’t I see that before getting mad? Why do I have to hurt him first, then tell him I shouldn’t have? That’s what I’ll do, I’ll tell him I’m sorry, and I’m happy to go to his mom’s, and her cake is going to be just as good as last year’s, and then we’ll go to his sister’s, and that will be fun, because we haven’t seen her in ages. Come to think of it, I probably will have a lot of fun tonight, her sister is always so nice to us, and we’ll play cards and chat, it’ll be really cool. And then I’ll tell him I love him.

…Where is he? How long have I been here, seems like he should have been back by now. Back from where? He should…

“…look where you’re going. You never could speak and drive at the same time.

“You know what? I can do way more than that. I can shut up and drive at the same time. Hopefully you’ll do the – hey, what have I told you about smoking in the car? Throw that out!

“I thought you were going to shut up. Hey, keep your hands on the freakin’ steering, one smoke isn’t going to ruin your precious car! Stop it, you’re going to make me drop it and then you’re going to be sorry, I swear – hey, look where you’re going, you’re – truck! TRUCK! TR…

…UCK…the truck…where did it go? I hope we didn’t scare the driver too bad. We really were all the way into his lane. Is that where he is? Did we hit? Oh god, I hope not, he’s going to be really mad about the car…I hope they can work it out. He always was a smooth talker. God I was stupid to argue with him. I can’t wait to tell him I’m sorry and hug him. Kiss and make up. I wish he’d hurry up already, I’m really getting cold. And sleepy. But the leaves are nice. Still falling…I want to keep my eyes open, I want to see the leaves fall. Hey, the sun’s back. So nice. I should have told him I loved him. What’s that noise? Sirens? So sleepy…when he comes back, I’ll make him wait a little, and watch the leaves fall with me. Fall always was our favorite season. And then I can tell him how sorry I am. And how much I love him. How much I love him under the falling leaves.


A tragic accident on route 107 this Saturday has claimed two lives, and left a third driver badly injured. For reasons still unclear, a sports car carrying two young adults, a man and a woman, whose identities are still unknown, veered into the incoming lane and was hit by a delivery truck. The young man driving the car was killed instantly. The young woman was thrown out of the car through the windshield on impact and was unconscious when paramedics arrived. She died on the way to the hospital. The driver of the truck was taken to hospital and is in serious condition, but should make a full recovery, doctors say.