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Early autumn leaves, curling crisp, underfoot the dappled shadows. Vines twist, fitted with thorns, as white blooms make way for blackberries. Here is the elf kingdom, the place of the wee folk. Can you see their sharp features and keen eyes? Hear their whispers among the wind? A season out of season is a sign of their presence. Here, near the old, abandoned house and trailer. This gravel road is waylaid by wildness, its ceiling the trees. In the shadows ahead moves a large animal. A cat, tall and long-tailed, trots up. Slate grey patterns trace over his silvery-brown fur. His eyes are golden. His nose is broad and dignified. He loves and rubs my hand, my toes; his tail curling around my leg. The elves laugh, and their voices are the sounds of this forgotten place.

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