Excerpt for a work in progress

The air smelled like autumn, that is, like her breath catching in the suddenly cold air before it got too far away and faintly of iron. It felt colder than it was, but that was largely because of an internal streak of hope preventing dressing appropriately. Somehow, the human brain that had brought her species through millions of years of evolution had failed to convince itself that warmer clothing would be required, and instead clung hopefully to the dying breaths of summer.

Walking through the dark streets she wondered what things had been like. A variety of rodents, through primarily raccoons, skunks and rats, wandered through the night with her. Where they searched for food to ensure that they had enough fat to survive the winter months, she searched for something else. She wasn’t entirely sure, maybe she was just trying to get some time outside. Either way, she had been driven from her home where it was warm, and there was hot chocolate sometimes, by some sort of need within her. 

She adjusted her jacket for what she figured was the fourth time since heading out into the night, though she didn’t actually remember it was the fourth time, and shoved her hands into the pockets to pull the jacket tighter around her. She had a headphone in her right ear, piping music into her ear to provide music to her walk, while the other dangled loose. This was a bit of a safety risk, that much she had to admit. She had gone out for walks like this with increasing regularity though, and nothing had gone wrong thus far. One more time wouldn’t be that much of a problem. Maybe she’d even find something useful.

As her boots, heavy leather things with an impressive tread for biting into the dirt, fit snugly and made a heavy “clomph” with each step. She could move much quieter in them, nearly silently if she had to, but the noise served to chase off any wildlife before she had to deal with it directly and served as a small rebellious act with nearly no consequence. With an ache in her stomach, she wished for a cigarette, but knew that if she had one she’d just be wishing she had a light.