10 October 2006


The teacher's lounge at the end of the linoleum hallway rarely offered any considerable titillation, except for the teasing, inconstant allure of the candy jar. Sometimes full, but most usually empty or holding the dregs of unwanted, bastard-child candies. But now, it was seductively full. Goody-goody. As she gingerly lifted the heavy lid of the glass apothecary jar, it clanked loudly against the rim and sent shivers trickling to her toes. She dug down deep to the bottom, past all of the caramel-ridden, nougat-filled, crunchy-rice-coated, flavor-injected sweets and discovered one -- just one -- purely unadulterated piece of un-messed-with dark chocolate wrapped in gold foil. As the cool, smoky sweet melted lazily on her tongue and she prepared to crumple the flimsy paper and toss it into the trash can on top of the half-worked crossword puzzles and coffee-stained styrofoam cups, words written there inside made her pause. They read: "take a walk under the autumn trees."

"Yes," she agreed quietly to herself, "it's perfect walking weather."