In the woods
She’d seen him only once, about a year ago, but thought of him often; every time she walked that way, in fact. Today was much the same as that day; same six o’clock sun casting long shadows onto the pathway strewn with pine cones. She enjoyed the alternating cool of the shadows and warmth of the direct sun on her bare arms as she approached the fork where she’d seen him. So unexpected, so breathtaking. If he showed up today she’d be prepared, tapped her back pocket twice. Grabbing a stick she made like Zorro before brushing some leaves to one side, then broke the stick trying to flip a stone. Stupid, said her head; he’ll be here, said her heart. Picturing his liquorice skin, his strong legs and markings as bright as the midday sun, she pulled her ultra-slim CyberShot from her back pocket, poised and ready to capture her elusive fire salamander.