Each night, we watch the boatman’s faltering progress towards the island. The light from his lantern flickers as winter storms whip the lake around us into a seething black sea.
While the wind howls down the chimney, we remember last summer—the hottest on record—and the day we’d walked out from the cottage, our sandals kicking up dust as we crossed the dry-baked bowl of the lake bed. Lifting the crumbling husk of a small wooden boat, we’d disturbed broken oars, a skull, the rusted remains of a lantern.
We hold each other close and hope the storm never ends.