Flash Fiction Friday – A Change of Seasons

It feels like I haven’t written flash fiction, or anything really, in ages. But I’m finally over this cold I’ve had enough that I could sit down and finish the flash fic piece I started last week – and I am very happy about it! This snippet is me dipping my toes into a new idea of mine – a slice-of-life series, or maybe a collection of stand-alones, centered around a small town full of witches and other magical folks. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing with the concept yet. I might work on it for NaNo if I can get an outline done in time. Either way, I’m quite happy with the piece below in spite of the slight awkward ending. It was starting to turn into a full chapter from a novel so I just had to end it someplace. Enjoy!

A Change of Seasons

Leah drew a deep breath as she stepped out onto the porch, the chill air of the morning flowing in through her sinuses and down into her chest and making her entire being feel more alert, more awake than she had been in the cozy and lightly chaotic confines of the family kitchen. Midway through September, summer had begun giving way to fall and as she started on her ten minute walk to the clinic, Leah’s hazel eyes caressed the world around her, taking in the many little signs of the change of seasons present in their front garden. The blackberry bushes would be heavy with fruit if they hadn’t already been picked and made into jam and pie and other goodies, and the foliage on the trees and shrubs was starting to change colors. Even the leaves on Rowan’s tree form had started to pale into yellow. Leah put her hand on the bark, stopping briefly as she passed by.

“Good morning, darling,” she said. “Don’t oversleep now, or you’ll be late for class.” She knew Rowan couldn’t hear her in this form, not really, but even so it felt as if she was neglecting some motherly duty when she didn’t remind her.

She patted the trunk twice, then headed out the garden gate. It was early – she always liked an early start to her days – and the streets were still mostly empty, though when she turned down Heart Street she felt the smell of freshly baked break wafting down the street toward her. She waved at the baker through the window as she passed by, and further down the street spotted Eva, up on a step-ladder outside Cauldron. As she came closer, Leah saw that she was hanging a garland of small, carved pumpkins and purple, shimmering Venetian masks up above the door to the shop. Another garland, of soft, silken flowers in bright summer colors laid coiled on the ground by the side of the stool.

“Really, Eva? Samhain colors already? It’s not even Mabon yet!” She said, half-chiding, slowing down a moment to talk to her friend.

“Oh, I know! I should be hanging pine cones and apples and things, it really would be more appropriate, but needs must and all,” she said brightly, gesturing wildly as she was wont to do. “Visitors love that Hallow’s Eve look, it really sells, you know, the whole death thing even though they don’t… Well, they don’t tend to quite see it the way we do, do they? I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them think Mabon is in May!” She laughed, running her fingers through her bushy red hair and then having to spend a moment on rescuing  “So this is just… it’s just how it’ll have to be. Don’t worry though, I’m still all stocked up on Mabon things. Got some lovely new beeswax candles in the other day too.”

“Oh really? I’ve just run out.”

“You should stop by on your way back. They’re on offer – three for… something or other.” Eva wiggled her fingers dismissively, an untroubled cousin of sheepishness in her grin.

“I’m sure it’s an excellent deal.” She smiled back. “I’ll see you after work.”

“Blessed be!” Eva turned her attention back to the garland.

“Blessed be,” Leah returned, and resumed her walk toward the clinic. The stack of articles on her desk were calling to her, and at four she had a sonogram scheduled for a siren, which she was excited about to a nearly inappropriate degree. Today was going to be a good day.

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