the coming light

It was an unusually warm spring day. Almost smothering. The trail traced a serpentine path deep into the forest. The air was devoid of sound. No birds singing. No breeze through the trees. No rustle of leaves. Not a woodland creature in sight. No squirrels scurrying about. No chipmunks. Or lizards. Or beetles. It was so quiet. The only sounds were the accentuated crunch of my footfall and the wavering rhythm of my breathing. It seemed strange to be on this trail alone. This trail which on any other day is crowded with runners. And bikers. And dog-walkers. I slowed my pace. Almost tiptoeing. Trying not to make a sound. Searching for a sound. Wanting to hear something. Wanting to see another person on this trail. The forest seemed heavy. Dark. Menacing. The further into these woods I walked the more ominous were my surroundings. I considered turning back but the halfway point loomed only minutes away. And then... the hot, smothering air began to chill. The wind took my breath away. I shielded my eyes from the debris swirling about. I could see something ahead. A mist. Gaining ground on me. I could see the coming light....

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