Fall writing Challenge
Standing on the ledge of the 18 storeys, not for the first time, Dante looked down into the empty alley way and wondered. Taking a big gulp from the bottle of whiskey, he continued to stare down into the empty abys and wondered if it were going to be tonight that he would learn how to fly if it were tonight that he would leave this life that he hated behind him the life that he had always known was going to kill him. He knew it when he was a kid, and he knew that he was signing his death certificate when he agreed to stay in his personal hell. He had never feared death, that was what made him a good soldier. He was never scared because he had already survived hell and he figured that whatever came next could not be worse than what he had to live with now.
Dante edged closer to the ledge and took another long swig and let his memories drift to a happy time. Five years ago in Afghanistan, his commander wanted to do something different for the local children. He and his team had just moved in after the Americans had helped clear out a rat hole of extremists, and the locals had just started to trust them again. As Dante walked through the streets, he had to marvel at the ability of young children to adapt to their situations, no matter how bad it got for them, they always managed to laugh, and it made Dante wonder if he had ever been that carefree. But these children had reason to laugh because the joint task force, with the Americans, had decided to give the village a ‘fall celebration’. Even though it was September where the northern hemisphere would be welcoming Autumn, it was the wrong time of year in that part of the world to be celebrating the ‘fall’ season, that close to the equator, there were no seasons just the sun. But the soldiers were determined to give the children a little taste of the western world. Even though it had been 5 years since Dante had been home, he still remembered that the leaves on the trees would start to change colour, signalling a time that the natural world around them would be going into hibernation.
Tearing his eyes off the children in the streets who were learning how to play football, Dante continued down the road that would lead him to the outskirts of the town were the Fall festival would be taking place that night. He passed a couple of tents, all of which were set up for a different activity, there was face painting, bobbing for Apples, different sized pumpkins that were going to be calved up and a little bit furth on, He could make out some crates that were being unloaded from a truck that was going to be their makeshift maze. Stopping at the centre of the Festival area, Dante draped his arm around the shoulders of a petite blonde who was supervising what would later be the bonfire, the woman that he would change the world for. Kissing the woman’s cheek, he whispered in her ear, ‘Wynter, why don’t we get out of here for an hour or two and take a tumble in the hey?”
Shaking his head, Dante forced his memories back down into the deep pit that he kept anything to do with her, the only girl who he had ever loved and the only person he would even let break his heart. She was one of the reasons that he was back in the hell hole he had always hated. Maybe it was some sort of penance that made him come back to Halifax, that he was never able to save her. Shaking his head, he took another swig of the whiskey and looked down at the crumpled body. Shaking his head, Dante dropped the bottle and took a step back from the ledge, he didn’t even wait to see where the bottle landed, he just hoped that the scene he orchestrated looked believable, the drunk stumbled over the edge and fell to his death. Walking down the stairs, Dante pulled his jacket tighter around his body and disappeared into the night.