There was a bite in the air that hadn’t been there a week ago. Nothing drastic, just a crisp edge with a smell that somehow managed to bring potato skins to mind. Leaves rustled around her feet as she walked a few feet to the side of the path, and cracked under her weight with every step. The sensation of that very brief resistance before the dry brown-orange-yellow leaves succumbed to the pressure was somehow invigorating. One of the few things she had that were. Above her head, the maples that lined every path of the public park stretched out branches decorated for Halloween. Red, orange and yellow, every bit as beautiful as the lights that would be wrapped around the trees’ naked fingers come the Christmas season. Maybe more for being nature’s own invention, rather than coming from the interference of man.
Archive for the ‘I.C.Q.’ Category
“Aww, Mooom…” the boy whined, rubbing his muzzle with the back of his hand. “I’m feeling better now, honest!”
“I’m sure you are, Blake.” The female quagga, her mane cropped so short it might as well not be there, sounded thoroughly unconvinced. “And I’m sure it has nothing at all to do with Charlie and his sled waiting in the yard.”
The front door of the shop chimed, attracting the attention of the Chinese crested dog who was the current clerk on duty. The shelf he was straightening blocked his view of the entrance, but it certainly didn’t block sound; he continued sorting misplaced DVDs with his ears pricked for the time being. Footfalls reached him, and he counted only a few of them before they stopped. Seconds ticked by, steadily piling up into minutes, but, far as the dog could tell, whoever had walked into the Lovers’ Lagoon didn’t move.
Zachary Black leaned on the bar, smiling as he slid a glass across the smooth surface. That smile, if anything, broadened as the vole woman it was intended for picked it up and brought it to her lips, the canid’s white-furred tail wagging. She didn’t even spare him a glance.