At River's End

A woman stood at the river's end, watching a leaf float on the surface of the water.
She reached out to touch it. 

The specter of Fear appeared on the opposite riverbank. 
It spoke in her father's voice, the sum of a thousand bad memories. 

She said aloud to this apparition:
"The things that afflicted you were not my fault. Neither of us understood this. I am sorry."

At these words, it transformed. Human features melted into a spider's form meant to terrify. It danced on its hind legs in anticipation of violence. When it spoke, it bellowed her mother's roar.

She said aloud to this apparition:
"The things that afflicted you were not my fault. Neither of us understood this. I am sorry."

The riverbank cleared. 
The woman is now the leaf.


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