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A Place of Refuge

As a child I retreated there to that furnace room when the rest of the world became too much to handle.  The inky darkness enveloped me as I slipped in the narrow door and shut out my troubles.  The room emanated a warmth and a dusty odor that made me sleepy.  A bright flame flickered in the furnace with its light like a beacon, and its soft murmur like a lullaby.

Curled into a fetal position, I waited on the gritty floor for the reassurance that the tranquil place offered me.  The heat was reminiscent of a life that had once nurtured and protected, too, and that security would eventually lull me to sleep.  My undisturbed dreams kept the world at bay and embalmed me in another existence. 

When the time came to leave, the atmosphere evaporated with the mere opening of a door, which gave entrance to the harsh light, the bustling noise, and the cold draft from the real world waiting outside.
- Mary O. Fumento, 1989

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