In my dream, I was walking through a frozen forest. Fresh-fallen snow, pristine icicles on the trees, and a white glow that swallowed up every bit of sunshine into a comforting haze.

I should have been cold, but I was not. The snow was undisturbed by my passage, and I left neither track nor trail. Warm and dry was not how I expected to feel, but I kept on.

There was a figure in front of me, moving into the distance. I could not see them clearly, nor make out any identifying detail, but I felt that I had to find them, stop them, speak to them. Yet the harder I pushed myself, the farther away they drew from me.

I began to see troubling signs, too. Snapped branches, not broken through passage but out of malice. Small animals, broken and bloodied on the driven snow. And, carried on the air, the echoes of dire mutterings. Mean-spirited attacks on the different, the less fortunate. It reminded me of someone even as it repulsed me, even as it drew me still onward to find out who I was following.

Perhaps, I was just afraid that I was following a shade of my future self, seeing in the dream-quarry the shadows of something I had once been, and did not desire to ever be again.

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