Aphelion Issue 277, Volume 26
October 2022
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Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Season’s Change

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner

  The wind blows high in a tall pin oak. One of the leaves find his voice and speaks over the shift of the breeze.

“I have always loved a cool draft. Maybe it will bring my turn. Who knows? The days are growing short and mine are numbered, but I’ve always wondered what that one and only glide down would be like.”

“But aren’t you afraid,” a bird nestles close with curiosity. She is a well acquainted neighbor of the old leaf. “We were both born this past spring, and I fear the end.”

“Ah my winged friend, I may not have a life like yours. No heart beats within this thin frame, but I was born lush and green just hanging on like the rest. We grew together, but I have aged beyond you based on my short life. You will last through the harsh seasons and live on. It is not so for my kind, each of us must now dry up, and then wither to make way for the new lives that will bud next spring.”

“How do you even know that this tree will make it through the winter?”

With a crinkle the dry leaf laughs, “That’s the beauty of it. I don’t.”

“So you’re not concerned that you could be letting go in vain?” A ruffle of feathers displays the chill that this idea instigates. 

“Not at all, you have missed my point. I have grown in spring, shaded through summer, and earned new colors this fall. What more could I ask for? That great ride down, that last adventure, is all that any of us could ever want.”

A moan announces another wave of air and the leaf is gone.

                                                                                                          THE  END

2015 Jessica Marie Baumgartner

Bio: Jessica is a staff member of Quantummuse, where her stories have been featured, in addition to having pieces published by Hellfire Crossroads, Walrus Publishing and others. Her Paranormal Romance novelette, Tale of Two Bookends is to be released later this year, and her children’s book about religious diversity and acceptance, My Family Is Different, has been breaking boundaries. You can find her website here: http://jessicamariebaumgartner.com/

E-mail: Jessica Marie Baumgartner


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