Within that blackened forest of char and ashes, lies a reservoir of my untouched dreams. Clear as water, sweeter than that midnight kiss from long ago. The wind comes—and with it, every last bitter memory that choked my will to stand. I wave the white flag once more, and the leaves settle.

Shrouded by fog, I emerge from the bows and arrows that long rained down on these limbs of oak and maple. I no longer serve as a soldier, distressed by the raging war that has plagued my mind since seventeen.

I welcomed him into a world unfazed by jaded hearts, yet he disappeared before the leaves crisped in the fall. And maybe some day he will see my byline in a magazine and wonder what could have been. But that, is a story for the lost pages.


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