Acorn Memories
(Writing Assignment #12)

Try to identify your earliest childhood memory. Write down everything you can remember about it. Rewrite it as a scene. You may choose to do this from your current perspective or from the perspective you had at that age.

There is a certain beauty in frolicking around an abandoned playground, carefree hands stretched high in the air, and sunset leaves raining down upon her. The concrete ground is wet with early morning mist and a light breeze twines with her already dancing locks of dusk. Her petite nose tingles numb with the biting chill and the reddened tips of her ears betray precisely how cold she is, but she remains silent in her discomfort. The rarity of this simple day with this simple joy is not lost upon her. There's twinkling laughter resonating behind her and she twirls around to face her world; her entire universe.

Walking hand-in-hand, askew in their careful steps to avoid the scatter of freshly dropped acorns, are her parents. Young and jovial and utterly beautiful. Her beloved mother with shoulder length curls, a healthy glow, and a stunning smile, huddling in her dark grey coat. Her dear father with an identical grin, his perched spectacles framing his handsome face, and his hair billowing back from the wind, looking cool and chic in his leather jacket.

The frost of the day could never dim the warmth in her heart and she wedges herself between them, soaking in the tranquility and love and the feeling of home. She tilts her head up to gaze at them and speaks, something naive and innocent, but her mother only smiles and teasingly taps her on the head. With a peal of laughter, she returns the tap with a light swat to the arm, the only place she can reach.

A mock display of indignation and shock crosses her mother's face and she runs, shoes tapping rhythmically against asphalt concrete as she taunts her mother, claiming she'll never catch her. Her mother chases after her and she hides, brushing her tiny fingers against rusty metal links and color stained plastic slides in passing, her steps slow and calculating.

Her heart beats nervously as she peers around the corner, but only her father remains where he previously stood, eyes twinkling and that unchanging smile ever so present. She giggles to herself, muffling the sound with the palm of her hands. "Mommy will never find me," she thinks gleefully when she feels something hitting the small of her back. With a frown, she turns to find a lone acorn spinning slowly in place on the ground, a light beige against midnight black. A second attack comes and it bounces off her shoulder, landing innocently beside the first missile.

She gasps and springs out from her hiding place, her feet tangling in the midst of panic and the fear of being caught. Acorn pellets falls over her like heavy rain fall and, in curiosity, she spins around to see her mother standing tall on the playground's wooden platform, tossing handfuls of acorn she keeps with her makeshift pouch - the dip in her jacket as she pulls the hem to her stomach.

There's a shriek of both delight and dismay before she's running as fast as her short legs can carry her. She barrels into her father's jean clad legs and clings on, pleading for his help with her eyes. Her mother falters mid-throw for one brief moment before releasing another round of acorn ammunition with a wicked laugh, showering them both.

He swears playful revenge as her mother laughs, the sound light and melodious. He takes her small hand in his and pulls her into a run, stopping to pick up acorns along the way. Her mother grows nervous and escapes the small confinement in a quick two second slide downwards. Back and forth, a full war breaks out and acorns are soaring through the air, flying free.

She separates from her father and it's 'to each their own' as they run and laugh and play. They take what they can and, hit or miss, it doesn't matter. The outcome doesn't matter, only that for this one moment, there are no restraints and no rules. Her father picks her up suddenly and spins with her in his arms. She's flying free and the wind is in her face, refreshing and wonderful. She's laughing, laughing, laughing, and it's beautiful.

It's beautiful because it's freedom, because it's love, because it's not the first childhood memory she remembers, but it is certainly the best. There is a reason she loves the autumn air, the shaded leaves of red and gold, and the cold whipping across her cheeks. There is a reason she loves the thought of flying, of closing her eyes on silly amusement park rides to imagine herself soaring high.

There is a reason for it all because sorrow came far too quickly and she only has this one acorn memory to cling to.

a/n: I got the writing assignment off writeworld's tumblr. The post is called fifteen writing exercises.