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She rests her feet, reclined on her worn, wooden, outdoor chaise. As she sips her hot cocoa, she absentmindedly pulls her sweater tighter across her chest. Her hair whips in the sudden gust of wind. She cranes her neck in an attempt to see over the distant mountain peek. A storm is looming. The air has cooled significantly. Tucking her book under her arm, she carries her cocoa in one hand while holding her cardigan closed with the other. She whistles for Sasha. The response is not quick enough. Impatiently she whistles again, eager to get inside before the rain comes. Another whistle. Sasha bounds off of the roof of their home, dirty paws, tail wagging, smiling in a way that only a happy mutt can. She feels a smile forming on her face. She knows jumping from the roof is Sasha’s favorite thing to do. By the looks of her paws she’s been digging again, in her favorite spot near the chimney. They had to build a special fence around it to protect it from her digging to ensure she wouldn’t cause any damage to the roof which only appears as a common hilltop within the forest of trees. Covered in dirt, grass, flowers, the only tell is the brick chimney top, surrounded by a protective fence which seems out of place erecting from the center of a hilltop and the hint of a tiny window that appears like a little eye in one side of the hill.

Walking ahead of Sacha she heads inside the arched, double entry way, into her underground home – away from the rest of the world, and into her own. Locking the doors behind her, she takes a breath. The heat is soothing. She kicks off her shoes and slides her fuzzy black slippers onto her feet. The kids often tease they can always hear her coming from the swishing of her feet in her slippers. She heads straight for her favorite room in the house – her cozy nook, her space, her office. The one place in a home full of testosterone that she can call her own.

She opens the french doors not bothering to close them behind her. Her desk is still in disarray from her latest manuscript. When writer’s block set in she had left everything as it was two days ago when she stepped away from the manuscript. The cursor was still blinking in mid-sentence. She stared at the screen. Nothing. Her eyes moved from the screen, resting on the picture hanging above her desk. Accented by a green, wooden frame, the silly-faced picture she and her family made while vacationing in the islands the summer before last, popped against the brightly painted butter-yellow wall. She smiled and sipped her cocoa. One more wishful glance at the screen . . . still . . . nothing.

Turning on her heel, she tossed her book onto her wide, orange, paisley-patterned, upholstered chair that graced the corner of the room, angled against the window. A sheer, burnt orange, scarf draped wistfully from it’s dark, metal rod, softening the window and accented by the leafy, low-growing ground cover just outside the window. She liked being eye-level to the ground. Often she’d find herself staring out of the window, watching a few bugs in the soil, imagining, wondering, if they felt the same sense of warmth and comfort in their tiny little burrows and tunnels as she felt in hers.

She settled into her chair, curling her feet under her, and setting her cocoa on the coaster on the quirky little, wooden, pedestal table. She had had the table for years but couldn’t bring herself to get rid of it despite the chipped, white paint and water stains from coaster-less glasses over the years. She reached for the lamp, then retracted her arm. This was nice. Just the fading light of day, dimmed by cloudy skies. It was darker than usual. She eased back in her chair sipping her cocoa, elevating her feet on the matching ottoman. The sound of the rhythmic raindrops on the grass above was soothing. Closing her eyes, she let the darkness slowly envelope her. The perfect ending, to a perfect day, in the perfect space.

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