The Fall (Or: Something To Read On An Overcast Day In The Autumn)

From my collegiate archives, this piece is an investigation of the sky’s weight as the world turns on its axis. [~300 words.]

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The sky is all kinds of gray today.

Dark gray, light gray, blue gray, white gray.

It’s still got that summery open-sky feel–the one that makes me think I can see forever out into the universe. It’s just a living, vibrant blue– monochromatic, pure, singular.

But today, whatever holds the sky up is starting to crumble. You can hear it every year in the wind and the shuffle-crunch-shuffle of walking through piles of dry brown leaves. The support beams are bending, breaking, all shivering silently as the sky weighs them down.

The ground is hardening, the grass will start to crunch soon, too, just like the leaves. Footsteps on old dirt paths will sound different–like there’s some kind of extra plodding happening, like a faint, short echo in a hollow forest.

If you listen hard enough, you can hear the trees creaking as they lighten their loads.

Fall, after all, is just as fitting a name as spring. It’s a farewell to summer dream of untouchable freedom. No more sandals, start wearing shoes all the time again, and here comes the cough who winters in my throat. Noses run as the wind rediscovers where the holes are in my jeans and jackets.

And finally, the weight of that gray sky is too much, and it all comes crashing down, leaving me with that back-against-the-wall feeling. I will feel the weight of the sky on my shoulders as I steam-engine breathe my way through the city.

When the sky falls at the end of the autumn, people will already be wishing for the spring, and the cycle will repeat itself.

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