hymnals from lakefront houses; early winter.

four am holds a chill that creeps under skin, across the skinny planks of the deck, a chill to frighten the wood into a kind of cold that feels damp. three candles ooze wax into the grooves (a slow drip through the gaps) as a group of people sit under the weight of blankets and jackets in weather that feels almost like yuletide in london. how are the stars so bright?

a fog is edging towards the house, a slow crawl of wetness threading through browning weeds and the leaves of low-hanging trees, and soon the thin curls of cigarette smoke from those on the deck will spread, mingling into fog-smoke and enveloping the darkness of night into the grey feeling of another winter morning.
feels strange, doesn't it?

they breathe smoke like dragons at the same time, long exhales ending in sighs across the air. it's an agreement, kind of. the burning smell starts to linger in the creases of the blankets and the linings of their jackets while they sit, a reminder for later.

cheap thrills thinks a wisened house. an owl with talons that leave marks in the thick bark of trees as old as hills hoots, and agrees. the darkness is something they will grow tired of.