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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Golden leaves float past a fallen birch. It is chinked by black rectangular scars, its tissue paper bark silver. She kneels by a pond, its water black and mesmerizing. Dying maple tree leaves make art on the dark surface, where her face is reflected. It is angular with sharp cheekbones and a straight nose, draped behind a curtain of outrageously red short hair. She looks up. A dark wall of spruce, balsam fir, beech and hemlock faces her threateningly. All around her, the forest is rich in autumn colors: blistering reds, rich greens, the enfolding mountains blighted by yellow and quarantined away by rivers.

The chlorophyll in the lake plants fades and the underlying pigments burn through. Rainbows shimmer within fantastical shore vegetation bending in the breeze. Minutes melt and the air becomes freezing cold and white suddenly roars. Am I going crazy? Zoem thinks to herself as she clutches her arms in a tight knot as a feeble attempt to keep warm. But no, the summits are clad in snow and the shadows become icy. The wind is cold and rich and deadly flakes descend in dizzying flurries.

She believes she is going to have hypothermia when the atmosphere becomes pleasantly warm and balmy in another moment. The valleys are dotted with flowers. Small leaves have budded. Spring, she realizes and gazed upward at the sky.

The sun is setting and rising in an alarmingly fast arc, day and night interblending quicker and quicker as the seconds fly by, until an indistinguishable twilight emerges. Storms let out split rains then disappear. The forest alters once more and the unbroken green of summer landscape rolls. Everywhere is the tantalizing prospect of another view, another beaded chain of perspectives. The palette of the seasons shifts once more and Zoem knows straight on that this is no ordinary dream.

Her name sighs in the breeze.

She jumps in terror and leaps to run but

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