We went the lake. There were ashes on the beach from someone’s leftover campfire. We built up an urn around them, starting a fire in the heart of the stones. Dust rose from the sparks, coughing up life at the start of a fever. It was warm for how little the flames were, but enough to keep us from the chill of the watery breeze.
Later, we took off our shoes and fed our toes to the tide. The sand crunched up under my palms as I laid with gritty thighs up under the wash of stars. Too dark to see the difference between water and sky, if there even was such a thing. I was half convinced I could dip my palm into the waves and spill the galaxy.
He could read my mind, I think. As I was wondering about the universe, he waded waist deep into black. I could only see freckles against white skin, a moon sheen, sparkling, starry eyes. It was hard to see shadows amongst all the darkness, but there were glimpses of them. A peck of raven against crimson midnight moved under the water, disrupting the reflection of stars. I had a nightmare feeling, the exceptional sense of utter wrong.
I opened my mouth to say anything, but the sun started burning up through my chest. I had slept too close to the fire, and I woke up in a sweat.