I woke up in a cold sweat. It was just past dawn, and light was starting to come over the hills. I stood up and looked out my bedroom window. The old tree was still visible on the hill there, as it had been for decades, with the sunlight streaming through its leaves, casting shadows that looked like words.

I was sure that my dream had been just that, the passing fancy of an unconscious mind. Elizabeth surely did not exist, and never had.

But I needed to be sure.

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