This is an excerpt, not the beginning, of my new project Spook Owl. I decided to use the elements of legends, autumn, prophecy, and a solitary bell tower (the fall themes) for a working legend. Much of this information will change, which is why I’m vague sometimes. (This is definitely not my best writing.) Ask me any questions, especially about the proper nouns that don’t make sense.
My concerns about my position being 'too idyllic' dissipated to more appropriate proportions once I had been introduced to the students who would be under my tutelage. There were nine of them, all eleven-year-old girls, and most of them proved to be perfect darlings.
After the scrumptious breakfast of scones and sausage that Aunt Monria served me, my first order of business was to return to my room and write a letter to my parents, informing them of my safe arrival. I then had the rest of the day to myself, and decided to spend it familiarizing myself with my new home city. Donning a thick shawl to keep off the chill, I left the mansion and walked across the grounds and out the gate into the town of Havenwing. It was market day, Aunt Monria had told me, which promised more excitement in addition to the pure enjoyment of exploration.
Between the night and sunrise
The dark is silent
—no birdsong, squirrel-kin chatter—
only the moving, shifting, stirring…
fellowship of the trees.
Before the sun-lit wind-song leaf-dance,
Merry façade of joy at fate—
Accepting what has always been,
But at the same time, a struggle,
The desire to hold off a little longer
Against the long unknowing winter.
Smiles without laughter,
Unspoken mutual sympathy
Deep unfathomable depth of blue; the sky comes down to touch the very ground, waving with wheat sown and tended to grow, to fill the emptiness in our lives. Brown and golden, all shining like little beacons of light, glittering as they wave: Back and forth, together as one, an ocean of light.
And the wind blows, warm, scattering the dust, born from the heat. It travels through the cracks in the old barn, coating the floor with a light sand in which to make our footprints. The shadows within are cool: a musty alternative to the fresh air outside its walls. But sheltering.
A chilling breath of wind
ruffles my hair, catches hold
twirls me around
in a whirl of red and orange
of yellow and gold,
and sings a song for days of old
The sun is sinking,
a blaze of bright,
the moon is rising in gray twilight
The sparrow's form careening
across the pale blue sky
the wind, it still keeps singing,
and twirling as summer sighs
My cheeks are cold and crimson
from the very first kiss of fall
that comes with the chill wind blowing
and then, without a sound,
There is a wind that whispers through the cold day and swirls through the colder night
There is a wind that comes from unknown places and hurries on into the haze
There is a wind that sighs with pleasure in the harvest fields and rattles happily in the treetops
There is a wind that carries falling leaves and drops them at your feet as you pass by
There is a wind that pierces fabric and dances with sharp steps on your warm skin
There is a wind that brings the smell of smoke mixed with spices in the brisk air
From green to gold leaves are turning
From Summer to Fall seasons changing
From haze to blue the sky is yearning.
From feeding flowers to raking leaves
From playing in water to playing be fire
From green to red leaves are turning.
Now is the time for harvesting
Now is the time for pumpking carving
Now is the time for Thanksgiving
Now green to orange leaves are turning.
I feel the sun catch the tops of the trees before I see it. Turning, I see through my window the oaks aflame with the last of the dying light. For a moment I am still, dazzled with the flash of gold. Then I rise, abandoning my study without a second thought. In some deep corner of my heart I know I will not be able to live with myself if I don’t go to the hilltop.