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A Day in Late September continued

Chapter Two

At precisely five forty six, the man in the grey cashmere jacket moves deliberately — and silently — east through the foggy woods. Having observed everything necessary for the successful accomplishment of this day’s delight, he automatically slips his grandfather’s silver pocket watch back into his vest. Hope, like a tiny feather hanging mid-air, spins from the currents of his movement onto the grass, crushed by his next step.

Audra is tiring of this game already, despite the unfamiliar bracing air of early morning. “Fuck you, asshole,” she snaps at Brandon who she’s definitely not going to let off the hook. Not this time. There’s been too much water under the bridge, too much indiscretion for this pissant to be worthy of any kind of delicacy. “You’re nothing but a fucking cipher, so shut the fuck up.”

The others have chosen to ignore Audra’s not-uncharacteristic vulgarity, distracted by what seems like sudden movement, a shadow slipping like barely-discernable smoke through the distant woods. Their muscles tense apprehensively.

They are too distracted by the fog, and by a palpable sudden stillness, to have noticed . . . .

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