Supposedly Fall || A tale about autumn in Southern California

The rain pounded mercilessly against the window. The wind howled like a band of coyotes. The dead, dry leaves fell from their tree homes & were whisked away never to be seen again. The night was unbearably frigid. A miniature pumpkin rolled away from its porch like a tumbleweed in the desert. Then Sienna woke up. 

It was just a dream. She batted her heavy eyelids, struggling to keep them open. Sienna turned to her bedside table & grabbed her cell. The time on her cracked iPhone read 9:42 am; it was a Saturday so she slept in. Sienna opened the blinds silently wishing for a cool autumn day, only to find the sun was out in full force. This was fall in Southern California.

"It's the middle of October & it's 93°," Sienna told herself incredulously. "I can't believe this."

She got out of bed & took a shower. She was all sweaty because she naïvely wore a blanket to bed hoping for a cold night. That didn't turn out so well. Sienna brushed her wet long brown hair with a wide tooth comb, carefully untangling any knots. She was supposed to meet her friend Rachel for brunch at 11; she was running late. Luckily, Rachel is known for her tardiness so Sienna knew she had an extra half an hour.

autumn in southern california

She checked the weather on her phone again. This time the temperature read 97°F. Mostly sunny with a chance of light rain.

"Fat chance," Sienna thought. "I guess I can't wear my fabulous new white maxi parka. I knew I shouldn't have purchased it. I'll probably only wear once a year, if that." She chose her trusty denim shorts & a band t-shirt from her fiancé's side of the closet. 

"Nirvana is always a good choice," she said out loud. She went back to the bathroom to apply her make up. The apartment was so stuffy. Sweat formed on her upper lip; she wiped it away & went to turn on the air conditioner. Sienna finished applying her face.

"At least my eyebrows look fierce," she thought. "But they'll probably melt off." She checked her phone; the time read 10:46 am. Sienna called Rachel to tell her she was on her way to pick her up. She turned off the air conditioner & make the trek to her little red car. The air felt thick & heavy & hot. She wiped a trickle of sweat from her brow & got in her car.

The steering wheel was scalding. The seat belt buckle was burning. Sienna lightly placed her elbow on the center console & regretted it the moment it singed her skin. She immediately blasted the AC as high as it would go, as cold as it would go. She buckled up & went to Rachel's house. The car thermostat read 98°F.

"Jeez," Sienna said. "That's a California fall for you." She rolled her eyes.

Sienna pulled up to Rachel's & gave her a call.

"Hey friend! I just got here; I'm outside," said Sienna.

"I'll be out in a minute," Rachel replied excitedly. It was more like seven minutes. At least the AC had effectively cooled down the car by now. Sienna rubbed her burned elbow. Rachel ran out the door; her shoes in her hand. She opened the door & said: "Hi friend! My bad."

"No worries. Shall we head to Manny's?" Sienna asked. Manny's was the best café for brunch. They made the most amazing bottomless Bloody Mary's in the history of the world. That's what Rachel & Sienna thought at least.

"Yes. Let's. It's freaking hot out here," said Rachel. "A Bloody Mary or two or seven should cool us off a little."

Sienna laughed in agreement. She pulled out of the driveway & made the brief journey to Manny's. Not only was it the best brunch in town, but it was literally the closest place to eat. They got out of the car & reluctantly took a seat outside under the awning. The inside was packed.

"Apparently we aren't the only ones who want some refreshing midday Bloody Mary's," Rachel said as she tied her hair up in a messy bun. "This is the worst fall we've had in years."

The server came by & the girls placed their bottomless drinks order, as well as a side of French toast to share.

"I know right. The rest of the world is drinking their scalding hot pumpkin spice lattes, putting on their finest trench coats, & sporting their favorite vampy lipstick. All the while here in So Cal we're wiping away sweat & avoiding any sun exposure for fear of spontaneous combustion," Sienna laughed.

"It's true. So true. I was looking at a fall inspiration Pinterest board & I literally cried one tear. Everything looked so good, but there's no way I'm going to drink a freaking pumpkin spice latte when it's literally 100° out here. Thanks San Diego!" Rachel mockingly shook her fist at the sky.

The server brought out a Bloody Mary pitcher. The girls couldn't contain their excitement.

"Thanks," they said in unison as the server set it down & poured each of them a glass.

"Cheers to pumpkin spice lattes & rain & being able to wear layers without sweating all over." Sienna raised her glass. Rachel clinked it.

"Cheers to that & cheers to the fall that we wish for." Rachel added.

"Cheers to fall!" Sienna said.

"Cheers to fall!" Rachel responded.

They clinked again & took their first sip. Little did they know that the Earth had heard their wishes & let out a solid 47 seconds of light sprinkle. It was hot. It was stuffy. They still had to wipe off some sweat. But it rained. If only for a moment. And in that instant, they were happy.

What did you think of this short story about fall in California? :]

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39 comments

  1. I really enjoyed the story as well as your various vocabulary :)

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  2. I don't live in Cali, but I sure have an idea of what fall is like in California now! Gosh, it must be terrible! You guys have fall, but it really isn't fall is it? I live on the equator and it's terribly hot all year round, so I can't really complain, haha.

    On a more analytical and constructive note, (this is speaking from a pedantic perfectionist's point of view by the way, you can disregard everything hahahaha), I think there's a discrepancy between the tone of the story and that of the characters' dialogue. It makes the transition between reading the narrative and the story quite abrupt. The structure of prompt sentences, mostly in the active-form, are repeated throughout the entire narrative and that makes for something quite monotonous, very unlike the cheery, rambunctious dialogue. Perhaps tighten those two up a bit?

    Regardless, I think you've done a wonderful job at conveying a Californian Fall!

    May | THE MAYDEN | Bloglovin'

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    Replies
    1. Hi May. Thanks so much for your constructive feedback! I loved it! :] The narrative is about the every day, monotonous nature of the permanent hot sunny day in Southern California. Meanwhile, the characters are hoping for the autumn they literally dreamed of. :]

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  3. Great story and love that photo!
    ~Samantha
    http://goldcoastgirlblog.com

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  4. I LOVED this little story. I can only imagine what SoCal is like in the winter... I honestly think I would prefer having all my seasons, but ask me again when there is two feet of snow outside.

    http://aroseisinbloom.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. I do love the no fuss nature of a Southern California fall & winter, but a part of me still wants a little bit of rain & cold days. We truly don't have seasons here.:]

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  5. This was such a good read Carmen.... Love your Art of writing.. really unique!
    www.styledbymilly.com

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  6. I really enjoyed reading this story. You definitely write about fall in such an eloquent way. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Kia / KTS
    www.houseofkts.com

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  7. wow! amazing blog post ! had a good read :) I just love blog like this !!! thanks for sharing keep up the good work

    come say hi
    Jadiee'sLittleBlog

    Jade

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  8. This sounds like my life exactly, particularly the part about shedding the tear haha.

    xx freshfizzle

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    Replies
    1. Haha right? Shedding a tear for our dreams. :]

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  9. Little things make big difference, right?!
    We people tend to want what we can't have.. To enjoy fall in Cali would be actually a dream! ;-)) The weather over here seems to be so unpredictable lately. Lucky you, Carmen! Wonderful writing and story for real!

    Ira / JOURNAL OF STYLE / BLOGLOVIN

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    Replies
    1. Precisely Ira. We want to be can't have. Since Southern Californians can't have snow or rain, that's what we want! When we get it we still complain. :]

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  10. I know how that feels. It is 85 in fl. Great story!!!! :)

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    Replies
    1. Glad you can relate. I know Florida is very similar to Southern California except a bit more humid. :]

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  11. So on point. I can't get over how hot it is! I'm ready for autumn!! Loved your short story :)
    Kali
    www.in-spades.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kali! Here's hoping for a bit of rain. :]

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  12. I can't believe how hot it is, even by the beach and early in the morning. I don't want it to be cold or anything, but I'm read for the heat to be over.

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    Replies
    1. I'm with you Patrice. I just want it to not be 95° at 8 at night. :]

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  13. I think it's been warm like that for everyone. I'm in CO, and it's still in the 80s in the day, although it does drop early morning and late evening. But overall, it's been quite warm. I wore a tank top today :)
    Fun story, hun! xoxo

    -Lily from With Love Lily Rose

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    Replies
    1. Woo hoo we are rocking tank tops in mid October. At least it drops in the morning & late evening over in Colorado. It was about 90° until 8 pm last night. :]

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  14. I really enjoyed reading your short story, but I'm actually very jealous of Southern California's constant good weather! It's my ideal climate...
    http://carolinapage.eu

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    Replies
    1. Very true. It's absolutely constant. Shorts, tank tops, skirts, & t-shirts are needed year round. :]

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  15. It's obnoxiously hot here in Vegas too. I just want it to feel like fall! Great post by the way.
    The Rad Wife

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    Replies
    1. Obnoxious indeed. At this point I want to fall under 90°. That's all that I want this autumn. :]

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  16. Nice story... Cute post♥♥

    summerdaisy.net

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  17. You are so talented at writing. I really enjoyed your short story and I am glad it did sprinkle for a little bit after all. Hope the temperatures will drop so you may as well enjoy the fall pinterest inspirations. :) Have a great week!

    www.chicuturnonglitz.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Haha! Thank you Michele. It'll cool down eventually, if only for a moment. Meanwhile me & my characters can keep looking at Pinterest for fall inspiration. :]

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  18. Fantastic story, love your writing! The two girls are complaining about how hot it is in California but I wish it was that kind of weather over here in England! I could really do with some beach weather, summer was so rainy!

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    Replies
    1. The English want California weather & Californians want English weather. :]

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  19. Whoa, I surely enjoyed reading this short story - it was very well written and it seemed like I was reading a page from a really cool book! :) You have a talent, no doubt!
    Speaking of the subject - I am actually kind of jealous of your weather, because it is freaking cold outside in Latvia, the temperature is already slipping under 0C and, for example, yesterday it was already -5C! :/ I bet it will start snowing in no time! Therefore, I am very jealous as I am surely a summer person!

    www.callmemaddie.com

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  20. Good story! I kinda wish I knew how that felt, lol... Here in England you can't hope for more than a couple of sunny days in otherwise a very grey, miserable, rainy autumn! It's actually like that all year round, lol. x

    Kay
    http://shoesandglitter.blogspot.co.uk/

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  21. This was so fun to read! You have talent. I love the satiric nature of the entire piece, you capture it well. I have also heard from all my friends in LA that is actually unnaturally hot even for it being LA after all. I hope you are staying cool. Maybe come to NY and experience some fall-like weather? It's still in the 70s here :)

    XOXO
    http://www.kellmenow.com/blog/
    https://www.facebook.com/kellmenow?fref=ts
    https://instagram.com/kell_menow/

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  22. YES! So hot! Me and my dog had to take a nap all day! ;) Only things made me felt like it's fall was all the pumpkin stuff from trader joes. ;)

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  23. Wow you're such a prolific writer - I enjoyed this! Thanks for leading me to your blog via your sweet comment in mine - hope we keep in touch!

    Rebecca
    www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

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  24. I wish I were in Southern California for the fall and winter! I actually really hate the cold weather and am missing the eternal summer of LA...
    Characters & Carry-ons

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Thanks for reading & writing. :] // ▲

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