Writing assignment # 3: An alphabetical story / by Christina Rosalie

(The first letter of each sentence is in alphabetical order. X or Z may be left out, but not both. One line must be one word; one must be 100)


Zig zagging above us, the bats move through the fading light like acrobats. Yellow light stains the mountains, but in the valleys evening makes the shadows long. We’re in the lower meadow, picking sweet corn from the garden when we see them. Very slowly, we turn in unison, though neither of us has said a word.

There in the shadows, a doe and two fawns step from between the maples and the birches, heads low, grazing on wild strawberries and newly waist high grass. She lifts her head from time to time, sniffing, but we’re downwind. Reaching for me in the semi dark, I feel his hands fold around my shoulders, and I sink back into the warmth of his chest. Quiet.

Purple spreads across the darkening sky. One by one the stars come out, and fireflies start to twinkle at the edges of the lawn. Night folds her quilt of dark around us. Meadowlarks and the last of the swallows dart towards the pines along the drive.

Leaning back into his chest, he smells like grass and salt and honey, and I can hear his heart beating like a distant drum, until gradually an entire chorus of night sounds begins to build around the rhythm of his pulse, steady and persistent; bullfrogs calling from the pond below our meadow punctuating the higher more urgent trilling of the peepers and the tree frogs, with a bass that reverberates slightly in my sternum, and above them the insidious sonic treble of mosquitoes who are, as of yet, simply circling, while the bats swoop low, just missing our upturned faces.

Kissing him is suddenly worth more than spotted fawns, and I turn. Just then the coyotes that we’ve heard nightly begin to call. I pull back. He tilts his head like a dog, listening as their wild yapping reaches fever pitch. Goosebumps spread on my arms. Fleeting like shadows, we see them at the edge of the woods, crossing the upper meadow. Even as we’re watching, they disappear, melting into the night, their song ending suddenly as it began. Disentangling, we turn towards the house where light spills onto the lawn in golden squares.

“Come on,” I say.

But he pulls me back, his hands running up my shirt. Another moment in the dark, and we’re falling into the knee high grass.