I stood next the linden which was preparing for its seasonal repose. Dead leaves covered its roots and the cobbles of the courtyard. As if wrapped in an invisible mourning garb, the linden yielded to the call of winter and I wondered if it could feel my hand upon its bark. Melancholic music drifted towards me, and I recalled that a handsome piano stood in the big lecture theatre of the building and that the choir was holding its practicing sessions.

As I meditated near the linden, I was strangely inspired by the autumnal atmosphere; somewhere in the maze of my mind, a quiet pool rippled as thoughts rose to its surface. I fastened an enthralled eye upon the leaves that skittered across the cobbles –; I opened my ears to the sounds floating from the piano. The music from indoors mingled with the outdoor melodies. The wind seemed to sigh in accompaniment to the piano, and the leaves rustled along, but I was still, enjoying the epiphanic magic of the moment as only a strange wandering soul could enjoy it.

Leaves skipped towards me akin to acrobats, turning little somersaults and cartwheels. A few streets away, a howling ambulance unexpectedly dashed past; the serenity was shattered; death stretched out a hand to caress my cheek and stroke the linden, which, shivering under the touch, wept even more leaves; the music seemed to falter, although the piano player never paused. I stepped back, twisting my muffler in my chilled hands before looping it around my neck like a hangman's noose. The linden hovered behind me like a gallows.

The horror disappeared with the suddenness of its appearance. I attempted to retrieve that magic moment but I found only an indistinct shadow of it in my memory. I strolled through a graveyard of ideas come and gone; of images lost and buried.

I left.