October and I sat in a room.

Something about it was golden, and yet all was grey and bloody-leaf red. She pursed her lips.

“I hadn’t anticipated your gender,” I told her.

“You’ve been making assumptions about me?” Her tone was not filled with irony or flattery or riches. It was. But I cannot describe it for if I tried you would not understand, and if you have spoken to October, you know what I mean.

“Where are we?” I asked. Or maybe I didn’t. Maybe I had been thinking it, as I so often do.

I hoped maybe she would cure me. Maybe I did ask that. I can’t be sure about anything that happened then, really, except October and the colors.

The orange was lovely. Everything was still and hushed and on the verge of freezing. My legs and back were warm enough but my extremities were uncomfortable, but I do remember trying to be polite and avoided complaint.

She may have asked me if I wanted to go on a run with her. I told her (I believe) that the weather was unfortunate, and I would have to decline the offer.

She looked ragged and grey at the edges, like burnt paper. Her hands were as cold as mine.

Something wolfish swirled through the woods. Leaves: dry, cracked, close-lipped; budged, just a little. I looked up at the feather-grey sky filled with dry, sharp sticks. The wintry air filled my lungs.

“Don’t you like it here?”


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