Chapter 8

Autumn sighed, as she looked over at sister Winter, who was lying on her bed, asleep in a deep sleep. Winter had cried on her shoulder for a while, before falling asleep. Autumn had laid her down and sat on the floor, unsure of where to sleep.
            She decided that she would like to see Winter’s room for herself, but was afraid that leaving Winter alone would give Summer an opportunity to carry out the plan, and Autumn was not about to let that happen. However much she loved her sister, the plan was a cruel and unfair trick to play. She knew that it would only make Winter feel even worse, and Autumn could not take that. When Winter had arrived at her door and explained it, Autumn had wanted to cry for her. She had also wanted to run up to Summer’s room and scream and shout about unfairness, cruelness and how doing this just showed how much of a b***h she was. But she kept her place, watching over her sister.
            Occasionally, Winter would stir and Autumn would jump and turn back, to check that her sister was still asleep, and then return to the book she was reading. Eventually, her eyes grew too tired to stay open, and she lay the book down and curled up on the floor. She decided that she would sleep near the door, that way if Summer did try to come in, she would open the door on Autumn, and Autumn would be awoken, and she could stop Summer’s plans. She took one last look at sister Winter, who had a look of pureness on her beautifully still face, before placing her head into the pillow she had taken from the bed and falling into a deep sleep.
            In her dreams, Autumn was running through an orchard, during her season. The trees threw golden brown leaves off of their branches, and the leaves floated peacefully down to the ground, settling quietly. Autumn giggled as she glided through, the trees seemed to smile at her and protect her from the cool breeze that blew through the gaps in their branches. The ground was covered in beautiful reds, yellows and golden browns, and Autumn dived onto a pile of leaves before rolling around in them. The leaves stuck to her, surrounding her in their warm colours. She smiled and felt truly at peace.
            Suddenly, a bitter wind raced down the row of trees, clinging at Autumns face as she curled up into a ball to protect herself from the cold. The leaves that had once clung at her with warm, loving colours all turned a dark brown, cruel colour, before shrivelling up and dropping off of her; dead. She curled up even more, tightening her grip on her knees. The trees were evil monsters, leaning in to her, dark and dead, trying to claw at her. Then everything froze. Autumn tried to move but the ice resisted and she was forced to stay still. Time passed and the ice began to melt. A warmer breeze blew and picked up the dead leaves, carrying them away into the clouds. New buds and leaves formed on the branches, as they normally would, only a lot faster, just as was sometimes shown on TV. The buds flowered and the breeze gradually slowed, before stopping completely. Heat rays came down onto Autumns back as she stood up, the warmth caressing her and surrounding her. It became so hot, Autumn felt herself becoming suffocated, as though heated hands were wrapping themselves around her slender neck and squeezing. She gasped for air as beads of sweat trickled down her face. She could feel herself losing consciousness with every second that she fought against the strangulation.
            Autumn awoke with a start, her arms instantly went to her throat and she was relieved to find no arms strangling her. She panted in an attempt to regain her breath and she shook, the true frightfulness of the dream seeming almost real. After regaining her composure, Autumn sat up. It took her a while to work out why she was asleep on the floor, but eventually her memory kicked in and she looked over to her bed. Winter lay there, peacefully dreaming and not stirring at all.
            Autumn sighed and looked over at the alarm clock on her bedside cabinet. It read 4:00 and she sighed again. This was the fourth night in a row that Autumn’s dreams had awoken her in a terrifying manner, and the fourth night she had awoken shaken, sweaty and panting for her breath. All four of the dreams had been set in the very same orchard, and all four of the dreams had ended abruptly, with Autumn awakening frightened. She wondered what the significance of this particular orchard was, whether she had ever been there, or whether it was somewhere she had simply imagined.
            She lay back down, settling her head on her pillow and attempted to get back to sleep. In her mind she knew this was a futile attempt; she had tried to get back to sleep after the dreams for the last three nights, however she had failed and ended up staying awake with herself, thinking lonely, tired thoughts to herself. After a while, she stood up and moved over towards her bed. She knelt down beside the bed and bent down, searching underneath it with her left hand. Eventually her hand ran across the cold metal of the thing she was trying to find: her mp3 player. She pulled it out from under the bed and unravelled the headphones, moving over to her desk as she did so. She pulled open her desk drawer and, quietly, so as not to wake Winter, pulled out her pencil case. The pencils inside rattled a little and Autumn froze, turning her head slightly to look at her sister, who did not moved. Autumn breathed a relieved sigh and snatched up the sketchbook from on top of the desk.
            She returned to the place where she had slept, next to the door, and rested the pillow she had slept on against the wall. She then leant against the pillow and plugged her headphones into her ears and switched on the mp3 player, selecting a song at random from the playlist that she had last played music from. She picked up the drawing pad and rested it on her knees, and then proceeded to open her pencil case and select a pencil.
            Letting the music guide her hand, Autumn drew blindly. Until the morning she would not know what the outcome of this was, but for the time being her body allowed the music full control of her hand. Every few minutes, the song would change and Autumn would feel her body being controlled. The drawing took turns between a smooth, gentle melody and a raging angry rock chorus, and after what felt like about half an hour, Autumn stopped her drawing, settling the pen and pad next to her and switching off her music player. She pulled the headphones out of her ears, slowly so she did not hurt herself, and wrapped them around the player the same way that she had found them. She placed the music player carefully on top of the sketch pad, and lined the pencil up next to it.
            She looked up at the clock to see the actual time, and discovered that she had actually been drawing for quite some time. The clock now told her that it was half past five, and Autumn decided that it was late enough for her to venture out of her bedroom. She opened the door slowly, wincing when it creaked slightly, and crept out of the room, closing the door behind her. She bounded carefully down the stairs, as quiet as she could be. She ran into the kitchen and grabbed a cup out of the wooden cabinet above the sink. Autumn was almost tempted to have a drink of water, but instead selected to have a drink of apple juice. She walked over to the refrigerator and opened it, jumping slightly at the click that turned the light inside of it on. She pulled the carton of apple juice off of the middle shelf and unscrewed the cap as quickly as she could.
            The golden brown colour of the liquid made her smile as it gushed into her cup, splashing against the glass sides and sloshing around inside the cup. When it was full with golden goodness, Autumn screwed the cap back onto the carton and put the carton back into the fridge, before closing it and leaving the room. She bounded silently back up the stairs and into her room, praying to herself that Summer had not used this small window of opportunity to carry out the plan.
            The door creaked slightly again as Autumn slid around it and into the room and closed it behind her. Everything seemed to be just as it had done before, and Autumn breathed a sigh of relief. She settled back into her make shift seat and pressed her glass to her lips, allowing a trickle of the golden liquid to dribble into her mouth. The tangy apple flavour excited her taste buds and she poured more into her mouth, gulping it down as she did so. She smacked her lips together as she settled her glass down next to herself, careful not to spill any over her precious artwork or over her beige carpet.
            Autumn’s tired eyes felt heavy and droopy, yet Autumn knew that sleep would not come. She decided her best bet was to simply lie down with her eyes closed and pretend to be asleep, and she hoped that maybe this would help her actually get to sleep. Winter was an early riser so Autumn knew that in a while she could have company, but she also knew that Winter had her duties, so her company would be short lived. Autumn moved her drink closer to where she was lying and took another sip, allowing the cool liquid to find its way slowly down her throat.
            Autumn closed her eyes. She was about to experience a very boring couple of hours alone on the hard, unfriendly floor.

The End

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