In this Writing Workshop, the challenge was simple: write for 20 minutes on an object brought by another member of the group. In this case, you guessed it, the object was a golden leaf.
The Golden Leaf
It was a glorious fall afternoon when one perfect golden leaf detached from its stem on the old oak tree and blew away in a crisp, fall gust of wind. The leaf soared through the woods and over a fence into a clearing behind the old farmhouse cozied up next to a graying grain silo. It lay to rest on an indiscriminate patch of grass and was promptly crunched by the neglectful hoof of an old horse.
“Hey, Lightning!” a tosselled-haired, small boy shouted from the back of the old horse. “Giddy-up!” he shouted, trying to urge the horse to go faster. The horse pricked its ears back. “Lightning” was not actually the horse’s name, and the gelding hadn’t tried “to go faster” even once in the last few years. After a few moments of the horse grazing placidly and ignoring the small child sitting on its back, the child grew impatient and jumped/slid off the horse’s back into a face full of clover.
Spirit undiminished by rude contact with the ground, he brushed the dirt off his clothes and face and wandered toward the far edge of the fence. Barely tall enough to see over the second tallest plank in the fence, blank name stared out into the portion of the clearing beyond the fence and into the forest. The forest always seemed like magic to him. But then again, anything that didn’t have to do with his grandparents seemed magical to him. Although anything’s better than my real parents, he thought. Still, the forest called to him.
He shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans and turned back to look at the old horse. Anything that had to do with his grandparents was old. They were old. They drove an old car. They had an old car and an old farm with a couple of old farm animals. They wore old clothes. Everything around here even smelled old. How could something smell old?
As he stared at the old black gelding, he noticed something glittering in the grass next to the horse’s hoof. Curious, he walked back to the horse and leaned over to fish it out of the grass.
“Huh,” he muttered. It was a golden leaf–that is, a leaf seemed to be made out of pure gold. It wasn’t quite as thin, he thought, as a normal leaf would be. But it was the right size, and it had the right kinds of veins running through it, and it even turned up a bit at the edges the way a real leaf would. But it was heavier the way real gold would be (he had read in a book somewhere), and it was soft and quite pliable.
“I guess I should go show Grandma,” he muttered.