Spirit of Fall


The sky was dark with millions of tiny lights sparkling in the sky. The weather was peaceful and the temperature was mild. The forest was quiet except for the soft breeze that rustled the leaves and branches.

The Man in the Moon shined its gentle moonlight in the night sky and onto the ground below. To any normal person, this would be a normal thing. But tonight, it shone brightly in one specific spot. Its rays shone through the trees and upon an area of was once a mine. The entrance was still covered in rubble and dirt. Lying in front of the pile of rubble was a small gravestone. There were bouquets of flowers, both old and new. A few used candles stood beside the gravestone, only to be replace once they were used up.

Then the silence of the forest was broken when the sound of footsteps treaded closer to the mine. Bushes were rustled and twigs being snapped. Finally, a figure appeared into the clearing where the mine stood silently before him.

“I’m back, Jack,” spoke the figure.

His short sandy blond hair shifted in the wind and his oak brown eyes stared at the small grave stone. Irwin has been coming here very often the passed few months. Even though, he has been here so many times, the sadness never seem to get duller. But at the same time, he felt at peace.

Today, he brought another bouquet of flowers to visit the old grave. He came here quite often that it was almost twice a month now and he has been doing this for the passed few months. Even the florist has asked him if he had a girlfriend that he was trying to please with all these flowers. Of course, he denied that he had a girlfriend and explained that it was for a friend who passed away a long time ago. After that, the florist ceased to question him and respect his private life.

Irwin placed the bouquet of flowers in front of the small gravestone. Then he pulled out a couple of small candles to replace the old ones and lit them with his lighter. Once the candles were lit, he sat down with his legs crossed.

“The weather’s been getting warm hasn’t it, Jack,” Irwin started to speak to the grave as if his friend was sitting there listening to him. “I guess summer will be pretty hot this year.”

“I got some news for you. I just visited your family again last week and your sister’s mood seemed to have improved from that listless and quiet mood of hers. Since the day she came back home after disappearing for almost a month, I’ve been trying to help your family somehow.”

“I guess since we were so close back then that we could almost be brothers, it was normal to see your sister as my own sister as well. I just couldn’t help but want to help her get back to the lively and happy child that she used to be again. Though, I’ve never met her before she disappeared so I don’t really know what she was like back then.”

“I brought her to a toy store when I last visited. With your parents’ permission of course. I was thinking of getting her something to make her happy, but out of all the toys and dolls in the store, did you know what she picked? She found this Jack O’lantern doll that was on clearance sale and chose that. I was a little surprise since it was only a pumpkin plush with a goofy face and it was big enough to be her pillow. I tried to get her this cat doll that I thought was much cuter, but she was determined to have it. So I bought it for her and now she wouldn’t even put that thing down.”

Irwin laughed to himself at the thought when he remembered how her mother told him that she wouldn’t even put that pumpkin doll away when they’re at the table. It was almost like that orange plush was her precious treasure. Of course, he didn’t know why she treasured it so much, but he felt really happy that Abby loved what he got her.

“Though, she seems to have improved a little, she still wouldn’t play with the other kids. She seems to like to be by herself a lot. I’m really worried for her because of that. I even caught her talking to herself a few times as if she was talking to some imaginary friend. I asked her about it, but all she told me was that her invisible friend was called ‘Snowflake.’ Interesting name for an imaginary friend, don’t you think?”

“I guess I shouldn’t be talking myself since my situation isn’t that different from hers. Heck! I’m talking to you right now. Well, more like talking to your gravestone while imagining talking to you as if you were really right here with me.”

“Talking to Phil and Mike isn’t the same as talking to you. Well, the you back then, that is. Sometimes, I would even look through some of my old photos of us back when we were kids. I even found several photos of you and your stupid and funny faces you made at the camera. Total blackmail material.”

Then he laughed again when he remembered seeing those photos in his photo album that his parents kept for him. Such good memories were stored in those books of photos.

“How nice would it be if you were really here with me again. It would be like the old days again. Oh great! Here I go again and repeat what I said for the who-knows-how-many-times of my rabble. I guess I haven’t completely moved on yet. Still stuck in the past and wishing for something impossible.”

Then he leaned back while using his arms to support his body, so he didn’t fall backwards. He stared at the sky and the bright round moon hovering above. The twinkling stars sparkled like diamonds in the sky. For awhile, a sad smile formed on his face.

“If the stars can grant wishes like in the stories, then I wish I could see you again, Jack. That’s all I would ever wish for.”

Suddenly, there was a beeping sound and Irwin pulled his eyes away from the sky. He looked down at his silver watch around his wrist. Seeing that it was getting late, he decided that it was time to leave. He got up, blew out the candle, and bid farewell to his deceased friend’s grave before he left the clearing.

The clearing became silent and dark once again once the man left. But then a small speck of fire suddenly lit itself on one of the candles on its own. Then as fast as it appeared, the light went out and a wisp of smoke floated into the air.

To be continued in Will of Fire...
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