These Things of Fall

October is my best month, Miki reminded herself, trying to forget the ways that fall was the worst. Her heart thudded as she crossed the graveyard with slow, measured steps that kept pace with the rhyme she repeated whenever she was nervous.

These things of fall make me feel tall
Apples, pumpkins – I love them all
These things of fall make me feel tall
Hot tea, bonfires –I love them all

“How many fall things have you added to that rhyme?” asked Mrs. Donahue as she got up from her morning chore of shaking her head at the condition of the floral arrangements on the graves.

Miki let out a deep breath at the sound of her voice and relaxed her grip on her backpack’s straps. “31 so far.”

“Reverse 13. That’s quite lucky.”

“I know,” Miki beamed.

Mrs. Donahue looked at the position of the sun and looked back at Miki. “You may be pushing your luck if you don’t quicken your pace. Won’t you be late?”

Miki retightened her grip. “I’ve worked out the timing. Even if I’m late it won’t be by much.”

“By much is usually too much for principals, unless things have changed since my day. You wouldn’t be trying to come in late enough times to get your privileges revoked, especially ones that involve public speaking.”

“I didn’t ask for it! I just wanted to submit a piece to the school’s lit magazine. If I knew I’d be reading it in front of the school I wouldn’t have. It’s going to be a disaster.” Miki pictured the mixture of bored looks and sneers in the school auditorium as she read.

“What if it isn’t?”

“I have 16 years of experience that say otherwise.”

“Maybe. But that’s not much when there’s a lot of life ahead of you. Would it help to have some friendly faces there?” Mrs. Donahue motioned behind her.

“It would,” Miki said.   

“Done. Hurry along now. And do tell that groundskeeper to weed this end of the graveyard.”

“Of course.”

Mrs. Donahue faded back into her grave.

Miki left, continuing to sing.

These things of fall make me feel tall
Odd friends who believe in me—I love you all


Art by Sunshine Shelle from her 29 Faces Series in Feb 2015
Follow her on Instagram for more of her delightful art.


Song Choice: Get By With A Little Help From My Friends covered by Peace Conspiracy and Meja 

This flash fiction piece was created for Poets United's Pantry of Poetry and Prose: In October...

35 comments:

  1. What a brilliantly constructed piece of flash - and love the spooky undertones

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  2. A delightful tale altogether, and I love the quietness and naturalness of that final revelation.

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    1. Sometimes I pull a quiet one out of me. :)

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  3. I, too, am in love with the things of fall, all the things that you have mentioned in your poem. However, if I were any taller, then I'd be in BIG trouble! :)

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    1. But you'd always get the stuff on the highest supermarket shelves with no problem.

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  4. I too love October but November is my favorite. Nothing makes me feel tall as I am only 4'10", lol

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    1. LOL, I'm used to being the shortest pretty much any place I go.

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  5. Oh joy, what a delight! Love the great message in the story, and "Odd friends who believe in me" are a gift. We shall sing along with them, more especially in fall!

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  6. Im grinning from ear to ear, and chanting the closing words aloud. I love that poetry and prose are dancing in the same page and that they complete each other so well. And I echo Khaya’s delight. What soul-stirring message! 🖤😍🖤

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    1. LOL, I didn't start off thinking I'd do both, but it worked out in the end.

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  7. Wonderful, Rommy! I like the rhyme so much; it should be a new October children’s rhyme. The story is perfect for Halloween.

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  8. Oh I LOVE that she rose out of her grave to give encouragement, then faded back in. That made the whole piece just perfect!

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  9. LOVE! ❤️ The message in this one stirs my soul and is perfect for the month of October. Woot!

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    1. Thanks Sanaa. Writing it helped get me in the spirit of things. :D

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  10. I do love this sweet ghost story... what a wonderful friend Miki has, and I think she will do her reading perfectly. After 16 years of bad experience things are about to change.

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    1. She definitely won't know until she tries

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  11. I'm all for finding friends wherever you can! What a sweet ghost story and that Mrs. Donahue is the best.
    Gayle~

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  12. In a way I think we would all like graveyard friend to talk to...especially one that gives good advice!

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  13. 31 things for 31 days but a reversal to 13 to be lucky or unlucky? Definitely ghostly! Which would be fitting for all hallow's eve.

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  14. I love this story, for this time of year! Perfect Rommy! Big Hugs!

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