In a cloak the color of Spanish moss, she follows the path through the ancient cypresses of the swamp. The only sounds are the squish of her bare feet in the mossy mud and the call of a loon. She parts the knee-high fog, which slithers behind her to cover all traces of her passing.
She glances back, and a long coil of dark hair falls out
of her hood to rest over her shoulder and against her chest. Foggy
eyes wide with worry scan the wet, dim trunks and bruised skies.
Bothered, she quickens her pace, dotting the hem of her cloak with the
murk splashed by her feet.
She carries a use- and age-darkened
scroll and slides her hands along it as she approaches a set of vivid
red stairs. She stops -- her left foot just above the bottom step -- and
inhales sharply. Around her, the trees have turned to twisted spires of
metal, and a thousand head-height shafts of rebar pierce the fog, each
one tipped in red.
Her nostrils flare, and she shakes her head in
disbelief. Biting her lower lip, she rushes up the stairs and straight