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Autumn Afternoon

a short story by Austin Mullen


(total 228 words)

On a relaxing Saturday in Roanoke, it was a windy, brisk day with temperatures near fifty-five. Outside the Lillians back door was a walkway through beautiful oak and maple trees where earlier generations saw small sprouts. Grown and experiencing their near-100th fall, the beautiful lane of trees is showing it brown leaves everywhere with little green at all. Though the towns historical society owns and keeps the property in order, the Lillians were able to move a garden swing to an open area under a maple tree. Dressed in many layers, Allen, Jim and Annes son, goes out for a walk. Along his way down the crunchy-leafed path, Allen sees squirrels eating acorns, birds eating seeds, and several other people walking their animals and enjoying the same sights as he was. Hearing the birds singing, he recognizes the songs and grabs his binoculars to see several cardinals and many blue jays. Beautiful, he says, Just beautiful. Allen, now brisk and tired, goes to the family swing under the large maple tree. He sits for near a half hour, continuing to listen to his surroundings. A little after this half hour, he falls asleep to the bird songs. His nap lasts only a few moments until his mother wakes him for dinner. Following dinner was a night of stories by the fireplace a perfect end to a wonderful autumn day.