I Put That Away

She became aware of heat on her shoulder. Fearfully, she turned her head to see. Her heart sank. I thought that was you. Her head grew heavy, sinking toward her chest, collapsing under the weight of anguish.

She howled, “I put that away!”

Startled at the volume of her own voice, she lifted her chin slightly.

The smell of the cooling September evening taunted her. “And yet you are afraid,” snickered a mocking voice from the trees. “Child, you are simply wearing a costume for them. I know the truth.”

She stood, immobile. Unsure. Only her eyes moved, darting rapidly.

Am I?

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