Winter is still on the gardens. The paths are empty, the domes and crenellated walls deserted. Everywhere there's a cold, fuzzy silence.
Geese have claimed the soccer fields, the gazebo by the river. Branches have fallen across the path that feeds into the deep woods. By a gap in the fence, a hole has opened up in the earth and filled with gray water.
Restless people pace inside the mansion, their fingers tracing walnut furniture. Before each window they stop to study the river. They wish they could leap out of their skin and race to the water. Maybe one day. They turn from each window and take up pacing.
PowerPoint slides frustrate him. They're too small for what he needs to say. His words and numbers run on, in ever tinier fonts, as he fills the available space.
Homes with cream trimming, cherry-colored shutters.
Even when she talks about a triumph, her voice wavers with pain. She can't believe in her own success. She's convinced that she succeeded only by chance.
The coffee pours warmth into chilled wet feet and fingers nipped with cold.