A to Z Challenge 2013

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reticent Leaves

The small broom was light in his hands as he climbed into the back of the truck. A lazy afternoon light filtered down through the tree branches overhead from the warm sun above, promising an end to the bitter cold of winter's grasp. The man glanced at the pile of leaves stacked haphazardly in the front of the truckbed, noting how dry and dead these remnants of last fall were. Putting his broom behind the stacks, he began to pull and cajole the leaves down the plastic liner, hoping to finally clean up the majority of them. They stubbornly refused to come quietly, clawing their way back up with the help of a strong gust before breaking apart into smaller pieces.

He shook his head slightly, his sigh acknowledging that nature was just not going to help him with this one. The wind at his back seemed determined to fight against his efforts, returning three leaves for every four he managed to drag to the end of the tailgate. He didn't have a plastic bag to throw them into, so he was quietly trying to just dump the leaves in the gutter and hope that his new neighbors wouldn't object. After all, he reasoned, the wind was going to spread them everywhere anyway.

Quickening his pace, he fought a losing battle with the wind as he continued to drag these unwilling leafy victims out of his truckbed. The wind was not constant, he noticed. It stopped blowing the instant he stopped moving his broom, as if in some perverse way Mother Nature was punishing him for not picking up the leaves like he should have back in October. After some time though, he figured he had swept out as much as he would be able to. He glanced around quickly, making sure that no neighbors had taken notice of his futile struggle, and then he jumped down to the pavement below, his boots making a solid thump upon impact with the asphalt.

The tailgate was shut, the last few particles of leaves and dust falling between the crack of the bed and the tailgate to gather in front of his license plate. He absently tried to sweep them away as well, but the head of the broom was too large to be truly effective, and honestly he just didn't care that much. They'd fall off when he drove later, so gathering up his broom and once more looking around, he trudged off in the direction of his garage, trying not to think of all the work he still had to get done. The leaves lay in piles of broken shards and bits of dust, until once more the wind began to blow, scattering the pile a bit and sending some up into the air to be deposited elsewhere. The man didn't even look back at what remained, shame battling with defiance for leaving what equated to a mess. Let his neighbors come bark at him about it; he was just too tired to care today.

What started out as a post about one thing evolved into something quite different here. I had a different name initially, but I had to change it because the focus of the post changed drastically. I've had this happen to me before of course, where my writing meanders into areas I had not intended. But it makes me laugh a little when I re-read what I've written sometimes. Writing is funny that way for me, and I suppose for alot of other writers as well. I guess as there's still "fun" in it, its worthwhile.

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