Autumn came late this year, the leaves seeming to fall the same day they turn, and all at once.
For weeks you cannot walk outside without the crunch of them underfoot. Each passing car and stray breeze releases a sound like pencils scratching on vellum.
I sit outside and listen late into the chill night, trying to tie each sound to the dead leaf making it.
I know what I seek is not out here in the shadows, but the only thing inside is her broken music box, which only plays late at night when the world is still.