Branches tumbled like the water, a cascade of color, decorating the land. Even the rocks showed signs of joining the party. Fall had arrived, and it was Agatha’s favorite season. She adored the changing from greens to gold, and red, and oh, she could go on forever. This was her secret place, where no one would ever find her. She’d steal away from the house, while mama was napping, and run as fast as she could.
Each day brought new changes to the scape she had come to love so dearly. But only in autumn. Never would you find her here in any other season. There wasn’t anything that attracted her eyes, and she was bored of always seeing green. She longed for endless days of purple flowers and blue waterfalls, draping itself along the rocks that hung over the cliff. There was evidence of a disturbance under the falls, and Agatha was very careful not to get too close.
She didn’t have much time to spend in her favorite part of the mountains. Her mother would be looking for her soon. “Oh Agatha”, she’d always say. “Have you been off daydreaming again?” Agatha never really answered her, she would only smile her shy smile and scurry off into her room. Grabbing her colored pencils and a drawing pad, she drew what she remembered, making sure the colors were exactly as she had seen. She knew she’d return again, tomorrow, as long as the rains held off, but she didn’t want to miss the chance to capture this magical place she called her own.
As soon as mama fell asleep, Agatha was off again, running faster than ever before. The light was beginning to change, and the sun was setting sooner. She wouldn’t be able to capture the colors if she didn’t hurry herself along. When she got there, she noticed something out of place. The red branches hanging down, had been moved. There was a large opening, just behind the bottom of the waterfall, where it fell onto the rocks. She watched her steps carefully, slipping several times on the wet stone, but she had to get closer to look inside.
On her final step, she fell, and landed inside a cave. This was no ordinary cave. It was filled with colors beyond Agatha’s imagination. Rocks glistened and sparkled even though there was no light. Spellbound by what she saw, she knew exactly what she had to do. Slowly, as to not fall again, she made her way back to the opening, and, taking once last glance toward home, she carefully closed the vines, turned around, and never looked back again.
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©2018 Dorinda Duclos All Rights Reserved
Photo ©Sue Vincent
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