deerI’m running late… It happens. A lot. I get up to do some work in the morning. Then I leave late for…work. I’ll drive faster. 

I want to back out of the driveway. A fawn stares me down. I stop. I wait. I’ll make up the time on the back roads. 

“Go ahead, eat them.” She’s eating my plants. “It’s okay, I don’t like hostas anyway.” I say I’ll plant more for her. She nods. She eats. She moves. I drive.

A fisher cat lumbers across the road, not graceful like the deer. He looks up–fierce. He stares me down. We connect. He decides I’m not worth attacking, being in my car and all. He muscles his way into the woods. A chipmunk chases a squirrel. Both escape the fisher cat’s notice. I avoid them–tricky with squirrels, who laugh at the tires of a car, going back and forth, playing a game that’s pointless until it’s too late. Squirrel pinball.

I’m running later. I said I’d make up the time on the back roads, but the leaves are changing. The fire, the color, the explosion. Sunrise stops me cold. It makes the reds look redder and the orange glow, the water of the reservoir doubling the impact.

I drive over the bridge. A fox sprints for the grill of my car, not deterred by the size of my car. I am worth attacking. He plays chicken. I slow. I stop. That crazy $#^%^’s going to hit me. At the last possible second, he leaps onto the reservoir rock wall.
It’s the last flurry of activity in a quaint New England town, where the ghosts peek out of the buildings, and the gravestones lean over slightly, telling the secrets of three hundred years of forefathers who have seen the leaves blaze before.  The animals do their last-minute prep before winter sets in. Soon we will all be waiting for the first signs of spring.
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