Imagine the following scene: Morning, winter, an old farmhouse kitchen, or what passes, these days, for old. Snow has fallen in the night — not much, just a finger joint, if that, and that half gone, but enough to give hope: a world with snow is a world not yet forsaken. The sky is the color of an enameled tub that has seen decades of scouring, the color of a fish’s eye, white but empty of luminosity. The operative predicate is suffused: the kitchen is suffused with a soft light, suffused with the hush that is distinctive to the morning after a snow, even a bare dusting, even now when there are so few vehicles on the road and so few animals in the wood, when the wood is more brake than wood so that there are few trees, and little tracheophytic vegetation of any kind, to move in the wind. The world has gone quiet — even so, there is something specific, and sacred, to the quality of the quiet that comes with snow.
Two figures, a woman and a man, she sitting, he standing at the counter, like most people these days younger than they look. He moves with the delicate care of one newly come to an accommodation with chronic pain, though in fact the pain in his sacrum has been with him eight years. A quilted blanket hangs in the doorway to keep the warmth of the fire from escaping. He speaks first.
Found her hiding in the shed.