Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tree Petals

I'm going to be posting some of my creative writing from YoCW once a week on here, from now on.
This is a story I wrote with the prompt "Dancing Through the Leaves."


He grasped a rake in his strong hands, pushing it against the firm grass. He knelt close to me. "We're going to rake these leaves for your mom, and then we're going to have a party." I nodded.

"Here, like this." He showed me how to drag the tool against the ground. My pudgy fingers slipped from the rake. Instead, I sat on the side of the grass, watching him, crouching underneath a tree. Sunlit swam through the trees, warming me. The air smelled like fresh apples and donuts. He finished raking quickly.
He laughed, a sparkling sound. "Know what we're going to do now, Gracie?"
"Have a party," I answered, proud of my six-year-old self for remembering for so long.
"That's right," he smiled.
"Come here, Gracie." He knelt on the ground, not caring that his jeans were filled with dirt, or the scraggly amount of dirt that we did have. He walked over to a corner of the lawn, where he'd put all of the leaves.
"What are we doi--" He picked me up easily. I fell into the leaf-pile, my hair filling with leaves. I giggled, overcome with joy.
"Again, Daddy, again?" And so he did, over and over, until my head was full of excitement and Daddy pronounced me "a regular hillbilly."
"Now what are we doing?" He glanced at me, his face glowing.
"We're going to dance in the leaves," he replied confidently. And so we did. I was slow at first, stumbling over the steps, but Daddy was a good teacher. We waltzed around the pile of leaves, my almost-golden hair flying behind me. We danced to the birds' chirping until we'd danced so many times we couldn't keep track and our clothes were covered with fragments of leaves. I fell down, and he followed me, until our clothes were full of leaves. I rode on his shoulders.
We laughed when the trees sprinkled their petals on us. Only later would I remember the glint in his teasing grin, his flannel shirts, the rock albums he always listened to. I remember so I have something to remember him by. He's in Iraq now. Either that or gone. He doesn't rake anymore, but sometimes, when I'm alone, I still pretend we're dancing through the leaves.


  1. This is so sweet. It reminds me of me and my dad a long time past. I loved the imagery and the details you put into it.

    I always envy you amazing short story writers. I'm WAY too wordy for shorts ;P

    1. Thank you so much! I'm really glad you like it. Anyway, if you're too wordy for short stories, I'm sure you'd make a great 10th-century novelist. Put _that_ on your resume. :)


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