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Even though I’ve been in this area billions of times, I still find the woods fascinating. I love the smells, the sights, the somber atmosphere, the lack of people.

It’s a fantastic day. The sun is out and there are lovely clouds in the baby blue sky. I see an airplane and hear a lawnmower. It’s September, and the air is catching a chill. Fall is coming,, and the colors of the leaves in Upstate NY become an unmatched beauty. I walk through my favorite part of trail, across the river and a steep hill that lead to an unmaintained trail.

The path barely has a clearing and I step through loads of mud. I’ve only come this way once before, and I’m now wondering why I never go this way. Its quite a lovely trail, buzzing with sounds, blooming with wild flowers and foliage. I see a painted turtle and a few interesting looking mushrooms.

10mins into this loop suddenly the nice day I was experiencing turns darker. The lovely white clouds have formed into very dark black masses. The sun is gone, and the wind picks up fast. Huge rain droplets fall and get whipped through wind. I decide to keep walking, but I’m feeling sketched out. I ignored my bad gut feeling.

I don’t recognize these trees. I’m lost. And now it’s COLD cold, and the wind starts howling. Where are the pines and maples? The blackberry bushes, the fallen crab apples? The woods feel angry. The clouds are scary. One in particular, looks like pure blackness. Is it following me? Is it coming down lower? No way, but I’m not ignoring my gut/internal alarm bells anymore and I’m getting the f*ck out of here.

I’m running now, in whatever the hell direction, and in a panic. I’m trampling over branches, logs, and bushes. I can barely run in this mud. I finally exit the woods, and the parameters of the storm. I enter a sunny field with tall grasses. There are a few maple trees around, I feel better seeing familiarity.

I slow to a slightly fast walk and my heart-rate calms down. I look back, and all around me, and I don’t see anything weird. I hear church bells, very loudly. What time is it? I’m now walking on crunchy leaves, and I’m thinking of all the pumpkin-spice fall white girl things I’m going to do.

The fleeting thoughts of fall disintegrate and I stop, and my heart stopped too. I look up, and I see a huge black cloud coming down towards me. The church bells are coming from it. Running wasn’t even an option, I’m frozen in place. I stare in disbelief into the darkest color of black I’ve ever seen as it surrounds and swallows me.

I feel myself lift from the ground. For a second, I admire how my blood spatter becomes a beautifully curated display of artwork painted upon the freshly fallen yellow leaves beneath me.

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