Les had been sitting alone in the beer garden of his favourite pub when he met his end. He was swilling his beer slowly and thoughtfully in his mouth, and mulling over the constant on-again, off-again lockdown restrictions, when he heard the dry, crackling sound and felt something softly touch his foot. Glancing down at the cobbled floor, he saw the handful of faded leaves which must have been blown by the Autumn breeze to cluster around his ankles. He was sure he had not felt a breeze though; his drink must have distracted him, plus his thoughts about this bloody Covid thing, he decided as he took another mouthful. A mouthful he quickly spat out in a scream of sudden pain as he felt somethnig sharp pierce the flesh of his ankle. Looking down, he saw the dead leaves writhing under his trouser leg, and he could swear he heard them hissing as they burrowed into his skin and fed on his blood.

By the time the landlady of the pub dashed outside, only Les' bones remained within fragments of his clothes, sprawled on the floor, his beer glass smashed at his side. The dead leaves that had devoured him sensed her, and swarmed at her in a brown-red mass. She did not have time to scream.

The other pub patrons firmly secured all the doors and windows then, and sat down in a sickly silence, too terrified to venture outside as the leaves rustled hungrily around. The news was even now reporting skeletons in the streets of London, New York, and Paris, stripped down by what had fallen from so many trees. Never before had the term 'the Fall' been more apt.

The people soon began whimpering when the leaves outside started slamming into the windows strong enough to cause cracks to spread across the glass...