The Gift of Autumn – Picture it and Write

Picture It and Write is a weekly writing challenge, posted every Sunday by Eliabeth, the author of Ermiliablog. The challenge is to write a piece of fiction or a poem in response to the photo prompt supplied by the host.

Here is this week’s photo . . .

fall-view-through-a-window and this is my story . . .

Evaline Rawston flicked on her favourite CD and sank into a comfortable armchair, closing her eyes as Madame Butterfly’s dulcet soprano soared. Memories of her final performance at the Theatre Royale flooded back: such applauds; such ovation. So many friends with promises of keeping in touch …

Two years had passed since her glorious, thirty-year career had ended. Her throat could have taken no more. Time to cease the hours of rehearsal and gruelling performances, before her voice completely failed.

The heyday of her life was over; the fiery sun of summer set. No friends had flocked to her door. Autumn had hurried in fast, and once the mellowing colours had faded, years of cold, wintry loneliness and regret would follow.

For twenty years Geoffrey had wanted Evaline to marry him, but she’d always put her career first, imagined he’d wait until she was ready. News of his leaving had hit her like a hammer blow; six short months before she’d retired. How she still missed his deep, soft voice, his gentle touch.

Beyond the window, October sunlight played on the ambers and golds. She loved this old house with its beautiful garden; drew comfort from its ever changing moods …

‘Miss Rawston, there’s a gentleman at the door. Says you know him.’

‘Really?’ Evaline said, smiling at her housekeeper. ‘Then you’d better show him in.’

‘Evaline, my dear, how are you?’ Geoffrey asked as he entered the room.

‘Much better for seeing you,’ was all Evaline could say over the thumping of her heart. Winter suddenly seemed a lifetime away.


If you would like to read other entries click on the link here.


About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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52 Responses to The Gift of Autumn – Picture it and Write

  1. Ann Koplow says:

    Wonderful, Millie.

  2. ane says:

    Beautiful story. Time is important. Good Night !! Sweet Dreams !!

  3. joetwo says:

    Nice final line.. Very good.

  4. Oh Millie who doesn’t love a happy ending.
    Its a feature of retiring that your work friends keep working and so are not around you and so one has a lot of time to oneself. Certainly how it’s happened to me but thankfully blogging has filled in the hole for me, that and children wanting things…..

    • milliethom says:

      I certainly agree with you about the children wanting things. I think that will go on for ever! Seriously, though, I know you love blogging, but you’re a good writer and former English and drama teacher – how about writing your own books? Or are you already doing that?

      • Its interesting you are the second person recently to suggest that. The previous suggestion was in relation to my fairy tales, I looked yesterday and I have written about 40 + on my blog and I do get a great buzz out of writing them…maybe that’s a path I can take…..

      • milliethom says:

        I’d go with that one, if I were you. The sense of achievement on actually finishing writing a book is quite ‘awesome’, as the youngsters say. You’ve obviously got a head start if you’ve written over 40 stories already. Perhaps you could look into markets for that kind of work, too.

      • Yes well with Fairy tales I need to find an illustrator I have been told, was thinking if artistic son might be interested in that.

      • milliethom says:

        What a great idea. I hope he has time to do it – he seems to be greatly in demand. 🙂

  5. scrapydotwo says:

    Oh, this is a lovely story.So glad he came back because she would not make another winter on her own again!

  6. One pane at a time ,it is a real pain to see, just what to write about, can you not see?

  7. That was wonderful Millie. I loved it. 🙂

  8. I of July says:

    I love happy endings 🙂

  9. draliman says:

    A second chance! Nice story.

  10. Wow how romantic it is! It’s almost one in a million people who is willing for someone for so long 😛 Thank you for the amazing story Millie! 😉

  11. scribbley14 says:

    Lovely warm ending! Thanks for sharing ☺

  12. maddmombetty says:

    Love your story! I would be hard pressed to write a romance!

  13. Nice story MIllie. Love your opening paragraph and the set up.

  14. giffmacshane says:

    What a charming story! I just love happy endings.

  15. Very beautiful story. Especially the part where you say ” the fiery sun of summer set”

  16. Norma says:

    Aww! a romantic story always makes me cry a little. I loved this line, “October sunlight played on the ambers and golds.” although the entire read was simply delightful and I felt as I was a part of the story. It was like I was watching all by the window. 🙂

  17. Ermilia says:

    AAAWE!!!! I wasn’t expecting a happy ending. “Never make someone a priority who treats you like an option.” Even though Boyfriend and I are both very career focused, we set time aside for date night and activities with each other’s family. If you don’t figure out the balancing act, there’s no way you can hold on to both.

    • milliethom says:

      Well, it could be ‘Happy Ever After’ … or not. Perhaps Geoffrey will find out she’s really quite selfish. It wasn’t very nice of her to keep him hanging on for all those years, was it? She’s probably really self-centred. I’m feeling sorrry for the poor man already. You’re full of these thought-provoking comments today, J. Good to hear from you. Hope all is well in sunny Brisbane. 🙂

      • Yes – I like the evil in her already. 🙂 I am recovering from a hangover – all night party after two weeks of digging an dishevelling dirt for our new outside living area. So happy my sons and friends help finish it on Friday night. We had the 50th last night. So, I can read more of my favourite blogs and write (and comment) ..under the stars. :0

      • milliethom says:

        Oh dear, I sympathise with you from afar. The dreaded hangover always comes along to spoil an otherwise nice, peaceful day. It sounds as though your party was worth it, though. Happy Birthday, all over again. And all that after your champagne evening a few days ago. You’re definitely partying well nowadays. I wish I lived a bit closer – I’d be gatecrashing. We haven’t done anything very exciting for months! lovely to chat to you again. Millie 🙂

      • You are very welcome and you can only gate-crash if you were a stranger. 🙂

      • milliethom says:

        Ah … it’s lovely you don’t think of me as a stranger. 🙂

  18. Sorry Millie – excuse the typo, I don’t even know where the keyboard is, let alone the keys and characters. hahaha.

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