By Charles Compton

Chill broken bones of dead trees snapped underneath the woman as she began to climb the high embankment. The climb, though not particularly difficult, had been more physically draining than warranted. At the top she bounced around to dismiss the effort and checked the time. It was early morning still, but well past sunrise with no sign of the burning star. The heavy darkness burdened neither the woman nor the decaying forest. They had not felt the sun in days. The woman looked around. The forest stretched out as far as what the meager light allowed her to

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