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A Fall Day

Path by a stream

Scott lay there, blinking at what was in front of him. Dirt covered the right side of his face, leaving a vague Rorschach style shapes spread across his cheekbones. He at least had some luck that he no longer had his glasses, for they certainly would have shattered, making this entire situation that much worse, but he would hardly have considered himself lucky at the time.

He had a perfect view of the dirt, really. If he were trying to examine it, search for fossils of some variety, or perhaps if he were looking for night crawlers, then this was an idyllic distance. And honestly, at this distance, he didn't even need his glasses, not that it mattered of course. Those were beyond the point where worrying could help one mite, one iota. Not that worrying would have led them to a longer life, or that being more careful, at least on his part, would have prevented him from no longer having glasses to worry about.

He was walking his dog, an old, red mutt who was dumb enough to beg at garbage cans, but was still loved enough to get a particularly long walk that Saturday afternoon, and he was walking beside a local creek. He paused, enjoying the fall air and the sound of the water, when over those tranquil sounds he heard someone shout followed immediately by a sharp pain to the temple. His glasses dislodged, they fell, and he went blind. He wasn't quite sure what happened next. He thought he heard a splash. It was now clear that someone had been trying to shout "look out", but had not acted quickly enough to spare him his pain. And he was sure that someone had run up to ask about something that might have happened to a frisbee. But everything had gotten so maddeningly vague.

He tried to ask the boy with, or maybe without, the frisbee if he might help him find the glasses that fell, but the boy didn't seem to understand. He said that there were no glasses around here and then started going on about his frisbee again. The boy was voicing his intense displeasure that Scott had not managed to catch the frisbee, or at least prevent it from getting into the water. But Scott had not seen it. Actually, now Scott really only saw distortions about him.

The boy, clearly frustrated, both emotionally and in his task, stomped off, leaving Scott there. His hound was pulling to go, but he was going to be in quite a bit of trouble if he lost his glasses. He was, in fact, little more than a boy himself. He was old enough to stay unattended, but still young enough that he was going to hear quite a bit about "responsibility" and being careful with one's belongings. Hoping to spare himself that lecture, and possibly not considering the lecture that would come from muddying up his pants in the search for his eyes, he knelt down and started using his hands to feel about, with the vague hope that maybe he would be able to find what sight he had.

And, unfortunately, this was the point where his dog, that faithful but stupid oaf, decided that it would be better to rekindle his long-dormant puppy and chase after some local wildlife. The leash pulled his arm, disrupting what balance he could manage on that edge of the creek, and toppled him straight into the mud. As he fell, the leash slipped from his hands and the dog bolted. And he was left alone. And he lay there, looking in the dirt. Blinking at the strange clarity that this new proximity afforded him. He was aware, at least on some level, of the new pain in his hands — they were now scraped on the tiny bits of rock and gravel embedded in the mud — as well as the fact that both his glasses and his companion were now disappeared. He was less aware of his parents' upcoming reactions but had he thought about it, he would have had a reasonable guess.

No, right now, on that very moment, on a Saturday afternoon, on that brisk, autumn day, on the side of a creek, his first and only thoughts were whether the snake in front of him was of a venomous variety and if he could manage to move away without it striking

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