|Thank you. I enjoy your use of descriptive phrases. I see this piece as a beginning to a much longer work. At least that would be my hope. It certainly leaves me wanting to know more about the road less traveled, to which this piece refers.
I have some suggestions to improve your mechanics, and some others that might improve the flow and rhythm of the piece.
The noun/verb agreement in the first sentence is wrong. The verb “swirl” should be “swirls,” as it refers not to leaves, but to deposit. Also, I see the use of “suburbia cookie cutter” to be slightly awkward. I would have preferred “suburban cookie-cutter,” or “cookie-cutter suburbia.” And yes, cookie-cutter needs to be hyphenated here. I used an unabridged dictionary three times in the writing of this short critique. In doing so, I learned that “highroad” is indeed a single word. How many times did you consult one in the writing of your piece?
In the second sentence I would make the final verb “stemming,” to agree with the earlier tense usage in the sentence. Then I would consider the repetition of the two phrases, “all of which,” and “all of them.” I would definitely alter at least one of them so the repetition did not appear so obvious. My preference would be to use “all of them” in the first instance, and simply the word “all” in the second. I don’t like the use of “which” in this case. And I would be tempted to divide the sentence in the name of subject parallelism (one leaf or each leaf, as opposed to many or all leaves), and make the second sentence a fragment, starting with “All of them…” And yes, I have no problem (as many people still do) with sentence fragments, as long as there are not very many of them, and as long as it is clear you do know the difference, and can construct longer, more elaborate sentences without confusion.
About as far [apart?] as Alpha and Omega.
“As they grow their plants will interweave with each other forming a swarm of plants all locked and intertwined as they continue to grow and take their own path to the ending.” This sentence is confused, or at least confusing to read. Decide here what it is you are talking about. Is it still leaves? Or are you now talking about trees? Leaves don’t “grow their plants,” but trees might be said to do so. Or did you simply omit a needed comma, “as they grow, their plants…” If this is the case, as I suspect, then why not change the “plants” to “trees” and eliminate the confusion, especially since you use plants again later in the same sentence. Also, “As they grow,” and “as they continue to grow is repetition. Drop the second usage. “Intertwined as they take their own path,” remains confusing, as we still don’t know if you are talking about leaves or trees. In either case, it should be paths and not path. Drop the pronoun and call them leaves, and consider finding a replacement for “ending,” since you have already just used it in the previous sentence. Or just delete it, since we already have a clear picture of the leaves, their individual paths, and the concept of Alpha and Omega.
I believe you meant them to wander off, not to wonder off. And you probably don’t wander off “unto” anything, but instead “onto” it. But here, it seems more consistent to wander onto the beaten path than it does to wander onto an unbeaten one. I would have them “wander off the beaten,” or “wander off, on unbeaten paths.” And I would consider making this two sentences, and dropping both the semicolon and “however” for, “But there will be others…” Also, the use of SpellCheck would have caught (and even corrected) your misspelling of “their.” But be careful using auto-correct mechanisms, as they sometimes “correct” things you don’t want corrected.
It is here, for the first time, that we clearly see your double entendre symbolism in the leaves. I Like the transition, but your immediately repeated double usage of “imagine,” draws attention away from the transition and back to your mechanics. Change one of them.
The leaves, in this final scene, are “perched” like young birds, awaiting flight. I like that. But don’t forget parallelism, and make them “branches,” instead of a single branch supporting all those leaves.
I would suggest looking for an alternative to “monotonous.” I can’t recall ever looking at a brightly colored tree, and thinking how monotonous all that beautiful color was. Yes, it is repetitive to an extent. But there are many subtle variations in color there, a fact you have already alluded to by making the special leaf more yellow and the rest more burnt orange. Do you really think of this as monotony?
One final point concerning tense confusion. In the final sentence, the verb, “took” should be changed to “takes,” to remain consistent with this train of thought. I would also recommend breaking this sentence up, with: “…wind blows. And one bright…comrades. That’s the leaf that takes…” But I very much like the use here of taking the untaken trail.
I would also consider either elaborating on the final phrase, or dropping it altogether. At no point until the very end, do we have the imagery of this being a race of any kind. I think it is inappropriate unless you elaborate or lead up to this symbolism somehow. Perhaps identify yourself, or the protagonist, as this leaf. Perhaps identify this high road with some elaboration of its content, in the newly revealed realm your symbolism has been referring to all this time.
The piece seems to lead up to this point and just stop, prematurely. It is wise to always leave the readers wanting more, but not to leave them unsatisfied in the process.
I am sure others will agree with me, that we hope to read more of this story in the future. Thanks for the post.