I hear the crunch underneath my foot. I look down and see beneath me the perfect array of multicoloured dead leaves. I bend down to pick one up and examine it softly with my fingertips. It's a dark shade of red, almost brown, but it still has a tint of green around the edges; as though the leaf had died too soon. I smiled, before scrunching it in my hand and feeling that satisfaction of the noise it made.
I continued walking along the path in the woods. My dog was way ahead of me now and probably not wondering where I was and probably had no thought of coming back to me. She was exploring. She loves to explore. I wish I were as free as her. Free to sniff and snoot in the woods and in the wildlife, to find new and exciting plants and beings.
I see her tail pop up out of a bush ahead of us. Her nose is digging through the berry-bush and I run over, wondering what she has found.
That was the last walk I took in the forest whilst feeling free, whilst feeling safe. The dead man changed everything. That dead man in the bushes. That dead man, who's blood which has stained my dogs white fur coat. I'll never feel the crunch leaves under my foot again, without turning my head to see if someone is following.