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The negative spiral

As the rain pattered against his hood, he hunched his shoulders, hoping to stop the icy rain from hitting his face. The coat was old and wasn’t as good at keeping out the rain as it had once been. The tired seams were more relaxed and the fabric itself was thinner.

As he walked through the gloomy weather, along a street from-which the rain had sapped all the joy and life, he came across a woman. She smiled kindly, and invited him into a nearby cafe for a cup of something warm.

The pair sat opposite each other at the café table. The lady looked kindly at this person on whom, it appeared, fate had visited unkindness. The man kept his head low, as if still trying to avoid the rain. He always did this. It was a defense mechanism in a world where some people were not kind. It also had become a habit.

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Surrounding forest

No-one had ever left the town before. All the people knew that the forest was too thick. Once a generation or so, a brave person would strike out into the dense canopy seeking to find another part of the world – literally anything other than the town and the surrounding forest.

Some had returned, turning around when they had under half of their rations left. They returned, but their stories were boring: The forest was the same for as far as they could tell.

Each tree was tall, with beautiful canopies that vied for the sunlight with its neighbor. Children would often climb to the top to see what they could see, but what they found was always that there were more trees as far as the eye could see.

Sarah grew up in the town in the forest.

“Sarah! Are you listening to me?”

Sarah jumped in her seat. She had been flying around the town, preparing her wings for the long journey over the forest.

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