Monday, November 13, 2006

The Leaf Robbers

They arrive before sunrise. Three strangers in identical raincoats, driving a battered pick-up truck.

They have come to steal the leaves from under my tree.

They move like clockwork, leaping out of the vehicle with practised ease, each man knowing his part. They are professionals, they have done this before.

I feel like I should be sounding some kind of alarm, calling out to someone for help. They feel it too. You can see it in the way they glance guiltily about, by how afraid they seem that the sun might come up and catch them.

One man holds the black plastic bag open. The other two shovel hasty armloads of leaves into its mouth. When they feel they have got enough they knot the top of the bag, throw it into the rear of the truck, drive off.

By the time I think to take down the number on the license plate it is too late.

There are still some leaves left though. The ones they didn't get away with. The ones they missed.

I pick one up in my hand, uncrease it between my fingers. Wondering what, in the currency of fall, its denomination would be.

And I imagine the leaf robbers, the haul they got away with. I imagine them sitting in a dark warehouse somewhere, counting these golden leaves one by one, seperating them into three equal piles.

I imagine one of the thieves arriving back at his house and pouring his share out on the bed, then throwing himself down on top of it, laughing like a maniac to hear the crisp, illicit crackle of our ransacked summer.

15 comments:

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Very pretty, Falstaff (the post, that is).

Szerelem said...

Oooh!! I liked very much!!

Kronoskraor said...

"..illicit crackle of our ransacked summer."
Very pretty sentence:)
Quite a strange piece of work otherwise..but strange in a good way:P

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

"I pick one up in my hand, uncrease it between my fingers. Wondering what, in the currency of fall, its denomination would be."

Quite lovely.

witnwisdumb said...

Lovely! :)

Anonymous said...

"Wondering what, in the currency of fall, its denomination would be."

"...the crisp, illicit crackle of our ransacked summer."


Beautiful statements!

When I saw that others have already remarked about these, I thought I'd pass. Then, decided to say it nonetheless..

Really lovely.

~N.

mk said...

Quite the perfect little piece. Stich precise, taut and pretty.

Ditto ~N,could not resist the urge to comment.

Reluctant to ask really, but should the last line read "the crisp, illicit crackle of MY ransacked summer."?

drifting leaf said...

me loves this much much...

:) said...

no wonder i visit your blog so often.

Jus leafing thru... said...

Reminded of leaves being used as currency in one of the hitchhiker's books... Money would then really grow on trees !

Swathi said...

'illicit crackle of our ransacked summer.' - this did the trick - beautiful... (the New England Fall?)

n said...

"I pick one up in my hand, uncrease it between my fingers. Wondering what, in the currency of fall, its denomination would be."
This is beautiful.
But it makes me miss fall even more. Bombay truly has not seasons except hot and humid, or just hot.

Anonymous said...

"I pick one up in my hand, uncrease it between my fingers. Wondering what, in the currency of fall, its denomination would be."

fertilizer?

n!

Anonymous said...

OOOH, and you could think of endless sequels to this. "The garbage robbers". He who steals my trash and all that.

Lovely.

n!

ggop said...

I thought of this post when I took a look at my patio - full of yellowed wisteria leaves. Nice one :-)
gg