Do you have a favorite fall memory linked to a train? What do you imagine you would see if you were riding a train in the fall? Join the authors of Wild Child publishing and Freya’s Bower as we Take an Autumn Train Ride through our blogs.
Prizes will include
- Four $50 gift certificates (two for Wild Child and two for Freya’s Bower)
- An awesome swag package that includes:
- Wild Child T-shirt and mug
- Wild Child and Freya’s Bower bags
- Four handmade, crochet coasters by Kit Wylde
- An autographed copy of Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
- A rare DVD copy of the Matheson/Furst classic “Up The Creek” (lovingly used)
- One ebook copy of Nita Wick’s short story, The Dream (previously published as part of a Freya’s Bower anthology.)
- Book trading cards
- Signed Dangerous Waters poster
- copy of “Battle for Blood: The Blood Feud”
- the winner’s name as a character in Kissa Starling’s next sweet romance story.
- A Yankee Candle
- and more…
Why the Leaves Change
By Nick Lloyd
I lean my head against the train’s window, watching the trees zoom toward me and disappear. Sam, my twelve year old nephew, sits across from me, his attention on his Nintendo 3DS.
My sister has been swamped with work lately, so Sam’s been living with me for the last week. He’s quiet most of the time, which works fine with me. We’ve never really connected, and the last week has been rather awkward for the both of us.
“So…” I say, “how’s your game?”
“Fine,” Sam says, his eyes locked to the glowing screen.
“Super.” I give up and go back to staring out the window as the train rushes through the valley.
It’s not like I hate kids or anything. They’re okay, I guess. I’d probably like them more if I could keep a conversation alive for more than a few seconds. Maybe it’s a generational difference… although, that seems like a grumpy, old man’s excuse. Regardless, I’m glad that my awkward week with the boy is almost over. One simple train ride and he’ll be home.
As I gaze out at the trees, I notice the blurs of color slowing down and becoming more visible. I realize the train is slowing to a stop. The other passengers throw each other confused glances, trying to discover an explanation.
“Sorry, folks,” a raspy voice says over the intercom, “we’re experiencing some technical difficulties. Just a short delay and we’ll be ready to go again. Feel free to visit the concession stand while you wait. Hot dogs will be half priced for a short time, and you simply cannot pass up such a bargain.”
Murmurs of complaints spread through the train car. A few people actually stand up to take advantage of the conductor’s shameless advertisement.
I let out a small sigh and go back to my window. The train has stopped right on the edge of a deep divide in the valley, allowing me to see for miles. The orange and yellow leaves light up the valley like a forest fire, mixing with the dark green from pine trees. It’s like autumn’s touch is burning the forest down in preparation for winter. Golden beams of light shine down from the evening sun, mixing with the orange and red hues and fueling the forest inferno. A strong wind shakes the tree tops, swaying them back and forth like ocean waves.
“Hey,” Sam says, looking up from his game, “why do the trees change colors?”
I pause for a moment. Of all our brief conversations, this is the first one he initiated. I consider telling him the scientific answer to his question, but decide against it. “Why do you think?”
“Hmm…” He ponders this for a moment, staring out the window with a distant look. “Maybe they get bored staying the same all summer?”
“Do you get bored of staying the same?”
The wind tears leaves from the trees, scattering them throughout the valley. The train tracks ahead of us are covered in reddish brown leaves. Sunlight reflects off the metal tracks peeking through the layer of leaves.
“Sometimes I do,” he says. “I mean, it’d be nice to be a different person every year.”
“Sounds kind of tiring to change so often.”
“Yeah.” He looks down at his feet for a moment. “But then maybe people at school would like me.”
I bite the inside of my cheek. I wonder if this is something I need to let my sister know about.
“You know,” I say hesitantly, “pine trees don’t lose their leaves in the fall. They survive the winter just the way they are.”
Sam peers out the window, as if seeing the trees will confirm this.
Just then, the train lets out a soft groan and slugs forward. Slowly, the train gains momentum and speeds through the valley just like before, however, something in the air is different. Winter is coming, but I think it’ll be alright.
If you liked my writing, you should check out my new novel: Shades of Red and Blue
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