The summer months had been fat and lazy, like an overripe blackberry that didn’t reach its promotion to lips, tongue, or tummy. Summer lies. Before the rains, before the snow, the sun pretended as if nothing was wrong, that it had been strong, and in command all along. Haanta and Sweater went into the fire zone. It was probably too late. Seasons were changing, and they had missed their target. The huntress put her face in the bear’s rough yet comforting fur. He smelled like pine needles, salt, and scorched earth. Always protecting her, the beast and beauty: winter approached.