Fall Writing Frenzy 2020

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

I decided to throw my hat into the ring for the wonderful Fall Writing Frenzy Contest again this year. For those who don’t know, you pick an image and write a story for kids in 200 words or less. Mine is sad, but it’s the one that poured out of my beleaguered 2020 soul.

I hope it speaks to you in some way. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to the amazing Kaitlyn Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis for sponsoring this contest. And a huge thanks to all the donors!

Image 10
Mom’s Last Wish
2020 Fall Writing Frenzy
199 Words

“I want to see the leaves change color one last time,” Mom said in July when we heard her cancer was back—and worse than ever.

I swallowed hard, but couldn’t form words.

Dad walked over and took Mom’s hand. “We’ll make it happen. I promise.”

So we took Mom home, and kept her room filled with flowers, music, art—and as much laughter as we could manage. For me, laughter was the hardest part.

One early morning in October, Dad gently shook me awake. “Let’s give Mom her wish.”

A red convertible glowed against the sunrise.

I gawked, and Mom smiled. Dad said, “I figure we should do this right.”

As the morning fog burned off the highway, Mom looked between us. “It’s beautiful. This will go in our favorite memories album. Whenever we feel sad, we can flip to this day.”

I closed my eyes, memorizing the wind on my face, and the smell of damp air. But what if I can’t remember everything?

At the slightest touch against my arm, I opened my eyes.

A lone leaf—swirled yellow and orange, had dropped from above.

A tangible keepsake of Mom’s last wish.

Now, I’ll never forget.

48 thoughts on “Fall Writing Frenzy 2020

  1. DeAnna Smith

    Oh Melissa, I love this. I am weeping at the beautiful sight painted out here for me to take in with your thoughtful words. Such a lovely portrait of love and happiness. Thank you for sharing your gift for me to enjoy this the first day of October. DeAnna

    1. My dad would have done the same. We lost him 2 years ago, and my sister shortly before that. I think this story comes from those losses. Thankfully, I still have my mom. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

  2. Jamie Bills

    What a powerful story in so few words. I was holding back my emotions. We used to drive up in the mountains with my grandparents every fall to look at the leaves, then came the year we lost both of them to cancer. You brought back those feelings. Beautiful. Best wishes with the contest.

  3. anneuro

    Sublime. You’ve written such an exquisitely poignant yet hopeful piece, Melissa, expressing the beautiful evanescence of life and the seasons. I especially loved the notion of keeping a mental “favorite memories album” juxtaposed with the “lone leaf” representing “a tangible keepsake of Mom’s last wish.” @AnneLipton

  4. Pingback: The Antagonist’s Turn – A Novel Writing Concept

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