• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 12
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The Autumn House

Leaves mutter like patio lights, switched off and cooling for the last time before summer locks up and leaves. They speak leaf language, but the few words I recognise in the rustle are certainty and uncertainty, gravity and flight, while the nod and flutter in high branches could be sympathy or admonishment, or a gesture of emotion that only leaves know, meant only for their own. It’s that point at which the year half-turns but changes its mind and walks on anyway, at which green pauses for a final selfie so it won’t forget its own face, at which each tree becomes an empty house where ghost footsteps sound down bare corridors and a wood-warped rocker dips and straightens on a dark patio in time with music only leaves can hear. High branches click like fingers and dry words drop into autumn. Leaves lie through the lengthening nights, naming clouds and stars, while rust unlocks room after room of muttering, lifting dust sheets, uncovering certainty and uncertainty, gravity and flight.