Page Turner Challenge: Picks
Autumn Descent by Diane Wallace
The cornucopia overflowed with mini pumpkins, rose-hips and polished apples. It was flanked on either end of the harvest table by chunky candles and pewter vases filled with wild asters. All was in readiness for the Bennet's annual, harvest festival dinner. Elizabeth wouldn't be missed until everyone had arrived, until the kitchen filled with the aroma of turkey and cider simmering on the stove. Her absence really wouldn't be an issue until the clock ticked six and chairs were being carried, shuffled and shoved under the table to accommodate ten people - or until the rolls were placed on the damask tablecloth and someone wondered aloud where Elizabeth was with her signature, orange and cranberry compote. The joys of living alone. No-one missed you until it was too late.
Outside it was dusky and still damp from the rain of the previous night. A few maples still retained armfuls of orange leaves but the wind had taken most to the ground, where they lay over a foot deep around blackened tree trunks. She wasn't easy to spot, being nearly covered except for one hand, which lay pale above the surface and a few, thick strands of red hair that wound through the leaves like tentacles but barely showed against the riotous colours of the season. Beside her lay an empty bowl, its contents eaten by the ill-tempered, stray mutt of Miller woods, asleep now at her feet. Strange and lonely bedfellows.
Diane Wallace is from Vernon Bridge, PE