I could smell the rot from the rain, the decay of old wood, the black mold that festered on the hay bales. What light I could see inside the barn was hooded by beams and watery shadows. It was a shabby radiance, a transparent film. Each step I took felt spongy. I could hear the softness of the ground, the slop-slosh of mud. The rain was softer, a half-seen mist that swayed with each exhalation from the wind. The barn was blurred gray, but inside, that immutable light was waiting for me, and I for it.
Jeremiah stood with his back to the sun, and stood and waited. A moment. Waiting for courage, waiting for patience, waiting for the blackness, the blackness inside of me. A moment, the moment. He did not move. His eyes scanned the ruins of the fire. My eyes scanned the ruins of our marriage. My cowardice, my bitterness, my pride, they rushed like a filthy wind in my head. I lifted the shotgun. And I pulled the trigger when that wind finished blowing….
Excerpt from A Very Tall Summer… coming soon.