Do you know why the leaves change colour, Makin?" They did look spectacular. The forest had grown around us as we traveled and the canopy burned with colour, from deepest red to flame orange, an autumn fire spreading in defiance of the rain. "I don't know, " he said, "Why do they change?" "Before a tree sheds a leaf it pumps it full of all the poison it can't rid itself of otherwise. That red there-that's a man's skin blotching with burst veins after an assassin spikes his last meal with roto-weed. The poison spreading through him before he dies.
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