DOWN IN THE VALLEY
By James Strauss
They climbed the steps to an area just below the third platform. The climb wasn’t a challenge for either of them, but looking beyond that platform they could see that the final stretch would be more difficult. They climbed down to a small glade, covered with pine trees overhanging the distant valley below. Matisse gathered plenty of dry branches, old needles, and cones from the protected areas under the big pines. They huddled together and had a fire going in seconds.