Leaves of Autumn: A Short Horror

By J. Giangregorio

The fluttering of autumn leaves in the crisp October wind should have been beautiful to David.  Instead he felt a knot of dread coiling in his gut.  

The damp, rich earthy aroma of Fall filled the air as he walked the winding trail back from the colonial dig site to his rented cabin.  The trees above him began to weep their gold and crimson tears, leaving bare branches reaching to the sky like knotted fingers.  

Watching the leaves meander lazily along the ground, David’s hand absently drifted to the strange talisman he carried in his bag.  His mind went unbidden to earlier that day when he unearthed an aged lockbox discarded in a seventeenth century garbage pit.  Inside were two things: a talisman, every inch of its weird metal engraved in eldritch runes, and a note filled with the ravings of an apparently mad colonist.  It had been an amazing find.  But now, with the breeze a little too cold and the leaves rustling a little too much, the colonist’s rabid ramblings resembled prophecy as much as insanity.  

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