Against Autumn's Discarded Leaves

This is a story recollected from the mist covered land of youth. Looking back on that day it seems so distant, almost fictional. But I will tell it how I remember it.
I was back home on leave from the army in the quiet village that I grew up in. I had been stationed in Cyprus, a small island in the Mediterranean. My duty there had finished, and I was on leave for the next few weeks.
It was terribly cold being back in England, but I made sure to wrap up warm whenever I went out. I was staying with my mother – in her little cottage in the village. I found it a little strange to be back home to be honest, I felt quite alienated. Stuck in a weird place between childhood and being an independent man. I think having nothing to do played a huge part in it. Suddenly there was nobody breathing down my neck, or waking me up in the middle of the night for sentry duty. I was free to come and go as I pleased, free to do whatever I liked. And that was the problem – there was nothing to do.
                After a few days of this I took to going for long walks. I would wander the worn paths through the woodlands that I once had played Robin Hood in as a child. I would sometimes pack a lunch, find a clearing and just sit, eat, and smoke cigarettes, watching the blue smoke curl up into the autumn sky.
On this particular day I had finished the ham and cheese sandwiches I had previously packed, and was on my way home. It was a clear sky above, but the country air still held a certain chill. I remember humming ‘April in Paris’ as I walked, my hands stuffed deep into the pockets of my bomber jacket. As the path started to veer slightly to the left, my foot caught on a protruding root and I just about lost my balance. At first when I looked back up I thought that my eyes were playing tricks on me. I had hardly seen another soul on my walks, and right there, sitting beneath a large gnarled oak, was a young woman.
                She was absentmindedly smoking a cigarette while simultaneously playing with her long blonde hair. She was wearing quite a lovely dress, which rather surprised me due to the temperature. And her skin, her skin was the palest of white, I had never seen a girl with such a pallid complexion. It looked like porcelain, like she would shatter into a hundred pieces if she took a fall like I almost had.
                I called out a ‘hello’ and nonchalantly strolled over to where she was sitting. She looked up at me with marvelous green eyes - eyes as dazzling as the vast Mediterranean ocean. Her lips were painted a dark red, I couldn’t help but thinking of blood – as horrid as that sounds. She exhaled a lungful of smoke and smiled. I took a seat next to her, got out my own pack of Chesterfields and lit one with my silver Zippo.
                ‘Aren’t you a little cold?’ I asked her.
                She just gave a little shrug with her petite shoulders.
                ‘Suit yourself. But you can wear my jacket if you like.’
                She looked at me and flashed another heart melting smile.
                ‘So what’s your name?’
                Nothing. No reply. Was this girl a mute or something? Maybe she didn’t understand English. Oh well, I thought. Doesn’t do anything to make her less attractive.
We sat there, beneath that old oak, smoking our respective cigarettes and neither of us saying a word. She finished hers around the same time as I finished mine. I smoked quite fast you see, still do come to think of it. But as I was saying, I was sitting next to her, wondering what to do or say, and she places a small hand on mine and gives me an inquisitive look. I slipped my fingers into hers and gave her a peck on the cheek and hoped I wasn’t being terribly forward. Apparently I wasn’t, as she leant in and planted a kiss firmly on my lips. It was quite the pleasant surprise, it really was. Anyway, it wasn’t very long at all until I was pressed firmly atop of her, running a hand up her ghostly legs, her skin smooth and soft under my calloused palm. I slid my lips from hers and down her neck, leaving her lipstick smeared messily. Her mouth parted a little more and a small moan escaped. So she did make some type of sound!
We made love there, atop of autumn’s discarded leaves. Luckily with nobody passing on the trail.
                Afterwards, I pulled my trousers back on and took out the packet of Chesterfields. I placed one between her Arden-smeared lips and lit it. I then put the dancing flame to my own and went into the undergrowth to relieve myself.
When I came back out she was gone.

Many a night I have thought of her. The strange but beautiful girl that never spoke one word. I have mused over many a pint about who she was, or what happened to her. But I guess I will never truly know the answer.