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Out of Time
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We've had a warm January in the northeast. One day when I was out, the temperature edged above fifty. The unfrozen ground was resilient under my feet and the smell of sodden earth and dead leaves in the faintly warm air, made me think of spring.

Though I knew better I couldn't help feeling that I was moving through a few early April hours which had dropped into January by Fortean mischance.

Was it some April to come or a bit of an April past?

On days like these, years ago, my friends and I raced out to play, shedding our jackets, exulting in the sheer, science fictional strangeness, thrilled to be able to mock the calendar, that unimaginative dictator of our activities. Never mind the goosebumps that scolded us for baring ourselves to what, in another season, would've been cold.

That my thoughts were pulled back to a distant January didn't answer the question whether the displaced bit of April I had set foot in was past or future.

The familiar semi-feral, barrel-shaped white cat with black spots appeared, on its accustomed patrol. It trotted across the crest of the hill in front of the house, on its way to the neighbor's deck.

I'll have to keep a lookout. Later this year, or some year in the future, in the spring, I might glimpse the cat again, crossing in exactly the same way.

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