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I sometimes think, at 4:45 am, that I’m the only person left alive. In fact as I stepped out of my apartment building onto the darkened street, thinking Dvorak and Mozart would be my only companions, I was almost surprised to see that this was not actually the case. No fewer than four cars could be seen passing between the New Music Building and Centraide on Rue Sherbrooke. In an instant they were gone again but the point had been made. If the city streets were not deserted at that hour I doubted whether they ever could be.

In a few hours the morning rush would start but for now I was alone in the Tim Hortons. The advantage of this was that I was given a free doughnut. It was stale beyond recognition, but one cannot complain about these things.

So I sat there, sipping on my high calorie coffee goodness, crunching on a caramel filled pastry, and disappeared from Montreal into Faerie. The book had one of those rare and wonderful moments where, in one line, everything came together:

“Who are you?” she asked.

Though the answer wasn’t given in print for several more pages, I saw it instantly before me. In those five words every dangling thread was tied up and every nagging suspicion set right.

Nearing the end of the story, I was happy to find my second doughnut—the one I paid for—soft and satisfying, except, of course, for my health. No matter. Then, with the epilogue finished, it was time to wander my way back across the four empty lanes of Sherbrooke, this time with Holst as my guide, and return to things productive.

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