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The sun decided to hide behind a swirl of clouds accentuating the leaves on trees that had only begun to turn yellow or red. A few made a brave attempt, color popping on the higher branches. The lower branches had forsaken the struggle, giving up their leaves to the cool water below. Couldn’t blame them. Mid-October and the cloying humidity and August-like heat made everything wilt.
Artwork by Jane Brinkley Thumm
A sudden breeze ruffled the surface of the river, parallel to my path, but it was the swish of a tree branch and the sound of a throat being cleared that sent goosebumps up my neck.
My hair flew in my face as I whipped my head around. Something moved near a group of trees. Was that a shadow? Was someone there?
This part of the path was deserted. I was alone. Not usually a problem, but today something didn’t feel right. My hands shook. I gulped back the urge to scream. If there was someone lurking nearby, calling out would be useless.