Yes, I did it. I wrote a short story. Or, a flash fiction. People have told me it was more an SS, others more an FF. I personally like the idea of an SS better, so I’ll stick with that.
Anyway, I knew, to better my skill as a writer, I needed to force myself to write a short story. Then this amazing idea came to me, and I was so grateful. I also decided to really focus on “show, not tell,” because I really struggle with that. Personally, I think this story helped me so much by giving me good practice, and that was a gift from God.
Now, ladies and gentlement, I present to you. . .
The Autumn Haven
It was quiet in the small, dense forest of the big city. But so alive, to the eyes of the girl, who was quickly becoming a young woman. Goosebumps ran through her skin at every step she took in the crispy leaves. The sparkle in her deep brown eyes joined with the dance of the colorful autumn leaves in the wind.
The girl’s mind was one of revolutionary thoughts, dreams, and goals. At age fifteen-and-four-quarters in public school, she didn’t care that she had no phone, no social media, and no drama or romance, all by choice. Some called her nerdy, lonely-for-good-reason, and lame. The girl’s closest companions were her twenty seven year old youth group leader, her nine year old cousin, her five year old gold and green journal, and her ageless Savior. She turned to the glad joy settled in her soul, grateful for those she had and the forest so close to her.
The welcoming aura of the trees surrounded the youth, and she set out to climb their large branches. Lovingly slipping her worn journal into her backpack, she began to ascend. Each branch taking her closer to the sky, she continued to swing, jump, pull and push herself up. The girl’s gentle movements allowed her a closer encounter with squirrels and birds than most people. Eyes falling upon a family of blue jays chirping and flying together, they settled there and she slowed her ascension to a stop.
The girl’s thoughts drifted to family. A topic that often brought pain. Separated parents and endless arguments and fights between her older siblings caused literal migraines. Daddy on weekends and Mama on weekdays, noise clogging her ears and chaos clouding her mind, all she could do was hide behind a book, journal, textbook, or music. I miss my childhood, God, I miss when my parents were together.
Losing herself in her thoughts, the girl’s grasp loosened and she slipped, but her arms managed to wrap themselves around a thick branch. The sudden movement frightened the blue jays and they flew away. She slumped and curled up against the tree, her thick, curly black braid hanging loose and swaying in the wind.
The words of her mentor, the youth’s adult friend, entered her mind. “Crying is not a sign of weakness. As a universal way to mourn, if you don’t cry when you feel like it, it’s like discarding all the sad things in life. Don’t dwell on them, but don’t ignore them. Don’t be ashamed to cry.” Grateful for the bit of wisdom, she let it all go, and the streams of tears flowed down her cheeks.
A free leaf gently rested on her shaking shoulder, as if to soothe her. Grasping the leaf, the girl held it tightly. Surrendering the pain and her situation to her Comforter, the girl relaxed and let the leaf fly away with the breeze.
Wiping the tear stains away and flipping her braid behind her, the teenager pulled herself up and continued, feeling refreshed. The tree was tall, and perfect to climb. The girl continued, as the size of the tree limbs around her decreased. She reached up, her gloved hands grasping two different branches. As she pulled herself up, a branch pulled down her left sleeve and cut her arm. She lurched backwards, and rested on another thick tree limb. Grimacing, the teenager eyed her scar. Pulling out a napkin she had in her backpack, she wrapped it around the opening. The white cloth turned crimson quickly. Shaking her head, she put the napkin in her backpack, shook her arm, kept the sleeve up, and carried on.
The youth was stronger than given credit for. In the school—the country, for that matter—she was in, her faith and opinions were unpopular. She believed in youth rising up against low expectations, which to her meant attempting to bring her dreams to life, straying away from impure things, and using her tongue only as a weapon for good, based on what she understood from the Bible. She had taken a lot of hate, but didn’t quit what she believed in. The girl was an author and had penned several books. Her in-person voice was weak, but her written voice was louder than most. And when she ever doubted or felt like quitting, she would visit the forest. That day was one of those days.
Her muscles strained, the pieces of sky grew bigger, and the sun got brighter. Finally, she stopped climbing. She turned her gaze from the tree to the world. The forest and city knelt at her feet, so there her soul knelt at the feet of her King. Where the crisp wind and shining sun were unblocked, she talked to her Jesus.
That’s it. Thanks so much for reading! Have a great week. 🙂
With God’s help,