Highly commended in the BIFFY50 microfiction competition

autumn leaf

The leaf blower polices trespassers from the trees. Mornings, he escorts autumn off the pavement into the swoosh of the street. Lunch, he moves dwellers on. Nights, he mulches. Shreds them like eviction letters, feeds them to the lawn’s bobby pin teeth.

Back home, he rinses off the crud. Takes the full bodied ones upstairs, coral convicts, snares them inside the pleats of a book, sleeps heavy on it. Outside, the trees mislay more, neon, yellow bellying towards black.

Five years on: they find them. Page forty-six: maple, sycamore, beech. Pleading with their tiny arms out, spines still intact.


Rachael Smart writes short fiction and poetry. Recent work has been published in The Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology and Unthology 11.