By Michael Haynes
The trail led Lisa to a clearing at the top of a hill. Winter sunshine lit the beginning of her walk several miles back, but clouds now prevailed and the afternoon was dim. A large flat outcropping of rock arose from the apex of the hill. Lisa perched on its edge, took a drink of water, and removed her ball cap, wiping away a hint of sweat. Closing her eyes for a moment she opened herself to the ambient sounds — a rustle of leaves, some insect chirps.
When she stood up she saw a boy standing at the edge of the clearing. He appeared to be on the cusp of adolescence, but was short for that age. He looked uncomfortable; the t-shirt he wore doubtless would have felt warm enough in the mid-day sun, but it would not have kept away the afternoon chill.