autumn colors

In Autumn’s Grace

Fiction by
Xavier F. Aguilar

About the Author

In Autumn’s Grace

Growing Up Poor


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by X.F. Aguilar:

Garment of Flesh
Like Running Water
From My Father’s House



The summer breeze had cooled and the foliage had changed to reds and gold. At the curb, on their knees, Artie and Charlie were throwing a pair of dice against the concrete. “My plea to heaven . . . give me a seven,” chanted Art while he shook the ivory and prepared to roll for that winning number.

“Roll the dice, pinhead,” said Charlie.

When the dice were rolled Artie lost. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a crumpled dollar bill to hand to Chuck.

“Keep your money, pinhead.” The blonde gambler stood to his full height. “I’ll bet that dollar has enough germs on it to start an epidemic.”

“Sis on you pister,” Art fired back.

Charlie’s face turned shades of reds to match the surrounding trees.

“Come on you two,” I cut in, “let’s take a walk down by the river.”

“Not me,” informed Art. He pushed the worn dollar back into his pocket and kicked the dice into the street. He looked at Chuck and if looks could kill Charlie would have died right there. Artie spit on the ground then walked away from us.

“Damn, Chuck,” I said, “you know how he is. Why do you provoke him like that?”

“Forget about him. Artie’s a wimp.”


Corrine moved to the blue mailbox, opened the pull lid and deposited her letter. She wore black slacks and a white blouse that allowed everyone to see the training bra she had been given for her birthday. The afternoon sun shone bright against her pale skin as she glanced at us and smiled.

Every time Art got around the green eyed red head he would act as though he’d lost his voice. It was evident that Corrine had some type of spell hanging over the boy. If only his eyes could talk; they would tell her of the sleepless nights he spent thinking of her. The lust he felt for her would be expressed in a most romantic way.

“Hi fellows,” she greeted as she turned to face us. Her cerise hair moved when she shifted her body and the curls bounced. “What are you two up to?”

I waited to give Artie a chance to speak, but, he kept silent. “We’re going over to the junk yard to see what we can find,” I answered.

“Are you looking for something exact?”

“Nope,” whispered the guy standing next to me. I was surprised Art spoke at all and I felt happy too.

Corrine rubbed the front of her thighs with the palms of her hands while speaking, “I hope you find some treasure.” She looked directly at Art and said, “’Bye now.”


That Sunday wasn’t much different than any other with the exception that Charlie had use of his dad’s car. I heard the familiar sound of a racing engine and immediately knew it was the 1950 Plymouth. While riding, you always thought it would be the last, still, the old automatic just kept on going.

Shopping for groceries was the only time Charlie was allowed to use the car. He waved his food list out the window as I walked down the three steps to the sidewalk. “Come on,” he coaxed, “I have to pick up Corrine.”


“Yeah. Her mom called mine and asked if I could take Corrine with me to the store to get a few things.” Chuck put the gear into ‘drive’ and we were on our way.

With our female passenger and her short list, Charlie decided to take a joy-ride through the country before heading to the Grocer’s Outlet. As autumn is in Pennsylvania; the bright sun reflected against silver streams and the grass was more thick and green than the burnt of summer. The azure sky displayed the large white clouds.

“What’s with you and Art, girlie,” asked Charlie of Corrine. “You do know he’s in love with you, it’s just, the pinhead has a hard time showing it to you. Hey Corrine, why don’t you cut him a break and make the first move.”

The green eyed miss looked at Charlie and shared a little smile while tilting her head to her left side.


There was no moon that night and the stars covered an ebony sky as a canopy of splendor to the optic. The celestial exhibited their significant presence while Corrine and Art strolled along the high bank of the river.

“It’s kind of silly how things happen,” said Artie.

“How do you mean?”

“I mean considering the space we passed through to get to where we are.”

Corrine looked to the boy next to her to see his dark profile against the stars and she spoke. “Oh, Art, you mean the time it took for us to connect?”

“No, sweet Corrine, I mean the space it took.”

The lovers said no more. Across the verdant knoll their footsteps were soft to be beside the great tree. As the two embraced and pulled the other close each could feel the other’s heart beating avidly.

When an autumn breeze from the water moved against their flesh, Corrine and Art became lost in a loving kiss and space became irrelevant. The thread of time that we all cling to so urgently ceased to be and in that expanse of truth the rushing swell sang it’s infinite verse.


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© 2012 Xavier F. Aguilar