Fantasy Friday: Leaves and Leave-taking

By Melinda VanLone | Stories

Dec 16

I read somewhere on the internet this week that it’s a bad idea to use my own fiction as a blog post. And since it’s written on the internet, it must be true, right?

Their theory is that as I query agents for my WIP, they will Google my name and find said snippets of fiction and…I’m not sure what horrible thing is supposed to happen then. But something. Perhaps I’ll never be published? Or perhaps they will see my writing style here and hate it?

What say you? Is it bad to put short stories or snippets of fantasy on my blog?

While I’m waiting for your answer and advice, here’s another snippet for your amusement.

A cold wind brushed the leaves on the sidewalk as Christa stood next to the fence and waited. The leaves danced and rustled at her. “Come play” they whispered.

Play. Right. How long had it been? Decades? She’d lost joy a long time ago.

She looked over the fence into the yard beyond. A small tricycle, rusted brown, held dead flower stalks. A deflated basketball lay next to it. Beyond that, a tattered curtain fluttered through a hole in a window of what had once been a cheerful yellow cottage. Her heart felt as deflated as the ball. Empty. Alone.

A giggle just behind her left ear startled her. She jumped, whirled around. Leaves along the empty sidewalk greeted her. Another giggle tickled her earlobe.  She spun to find the flowers on the tricycle upended on the ground. Her pulse quickened. She broke out in a sweat. The cold breeze played across it and sent shivers down her spine.

Another gust of wind scattered the yellowish-brown leaves like confetti before her. A memory brushed up against her mind: herself as a child, skipping through a pile of leaves. She took a step into them, trying to clutch at details which eluded her. A giggle in her ear made her stop and turn. Nothing but the house there. Dead. Useless. Just like her.

She turned back to the trail of leaves.  A small child, maybe six or seven years old, stood where a moment before the sidewalk lay empty. Laughter danced in the child’s eyes, even though her cheeks were pale. Crimson leaves formed her dress, and her hair seemed made of ivy.

“Come play!” The girl giggled, and played with her skirt.

Christa shook her head. “I’m too old.”

“You’re not. You’re never too old to play.”

The little girl reached out and took her hand. Christa looked in wonder at their hands pressed palm to palm. Where she expected to see an old woman’s wrinkled, age-spotted, arthritic appendage she found her hand matched that of the girl. She looked up into the sparkling eyes. She was afraid to ask, but she had to. She had to know.

“I can’t go back, can I?”

“Why would you want to?” The girl tilted her head to the side. “It’s more fun to go forward. Look at the leaves, they don’t go back. They never go back. They begin again, instead. Come on!”

Christa let the girl pull her down the sidewalk. Her heart lifted as they kicked at the leaves. It was, after all, more fun to move forward.

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