Kevsera would often return to the park and linger for a while amid the shadows of late afternoon leaves. She hadn’t been there as a child, but it reminded her of the idyllic green space a few blocks from her parents’ house. All her many hours running around when people were less concerned about that sort of thing came flooding back as she sat with one arm over the back of the rough wood, slouched deeply but not nonchalantly.

It certainly helped that the anonymous city park, not important enough even for its own name, was the last place on earth where Kevsera could visit.

When she had chosen to leave, there was a clear warning, a clear delineation: it was an opportunity to see places and things and times her dead-end life never could have revealed, but there was no going back. Crossing over the threshold was to leave the past, and the world that contained it, behind. The park was the only loophole, and Kevsera wasn’t even sure how it was possible.

Nevertheless, she returned often, typically not even bothering to change what she had been wearing…elsewhere. Few people came by, after all, and those that did tended to be cyclists who kept their heads down. Certainly not observant enough to notice a woman with an odd affect and on clothes slouched over a splintery bench.

Dog walkers were her favorite, rare as they were, because they were almost always willing to spare a few moments of conversation and to suffer their animals to be pet. Talking to another human, possibly the first human she’d seen in months from her perspective, and running her hands through the thick fur of a friendly animal… It was a remarkable bit of nostalgia, of normalcy, in a life that had become dominated by the fantastic.

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