A branch snapped beneath her boot. She stopped, trying to balance on a wobbly heel as she slowly retracted her foot. The swirling clouds of each exhale were starting to come faster. She turned her head to the side, begging her useless vision to make sense of the darkness around her. She set her shoe down carefully on a different spot, sighing in relief when she heard no objection, and kept walking through the dense forest.
There’s only about three minutes a day, in the early morning, when my mind is hushed. My brother is always turning and groaning away in his bed having himself a hissy fit at this hour, but not me. I'm out the door before the sun starts chasing off the indigo sky.