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  • In the evenings, when the sun paused just above the hills, he took her hand and they ran barefoot through the forest to the sea. Only a whisper of leaves marked their passing. He ran behind to watch her, feet so light they barely touched the ground and, when she looked back, mouth stretched with the sheer joy of it. She kicked rainbows of spray about her when she came to the cove where the waves stirred the shining stones so their chime and jingle ran in curving echoes along the beach.

    After the waves swept back, she bent to collect the golden ones for him to cast, skipping in long glittering arcs.

    “?,” she held one up that still had the shape of the ancient ghost

    He shrugged and went to brush the sand from the slab for them to sit and watch the sun set and feel the shadows reach out for them. She shivered in the cool and nudged him to go.

    He stood and stretched. She traced the marks on the back of his thighs left by the stone, then traced the lines in the damp sand for him to see and laughed.

    F


    “?” she asked again.

    He pulled a dried palm frond loose and swept the sand away from the flat line of white stone. They looked at the dark lines in the pale stone in the fading light. The first stars came out on the eastern horizon.

    “?!” she tensed on the balls of her feet.

    He looked away so she would go first and in a moment the cove was empty and still except for the waves’ mutter and the rustle among the palms.

    A gust of wind stirred the drying sand and the first grains filtered back over the dark lines in the pale stone.

    FEDERAL RESER
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