Alone, the life behind her like a series of thresholds where she had stood sometimes expectant, with bravura, at other times unsure, needing to be pushed, she went now like an old general gone to new frays armed the only way she knew - with the strategies and the weaponry of the old.

Alone and shrinking from the life ahead, so strange that it seemed when she tried to skirt a cliff, it was only to find she had stumbled into a leopard's lair,

she did not know as yet she would not be the first or even last to tell herself I cannot, cannot, and find that even as she spoke, she was doing or had done whatever it was that she could not -

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