Frishta's icy mouth seized his ear, then trailed down his neck to kiss his shoulder. Brian smelled the rose in her hair.

Brian found himself exhausted clutching the slippery seaweed on the rock. With the roar of enormous volume water shot around him, high above him, in a solid biting spray which settled into the rising wave, the expansion of the breathing sea which submerged the rock and Brian who clung desperately strangling to keep from his lungs the saltwater gorging his mouth and nose. The water plummeted to leave his body to driven spray which Brian gulped at desperately as he felt his numbed ribs slide across the rock's jaggedness and slippery cold closer to the baying black undulation of the rearing water. Gritting his teeth hissing for air between them.

Sitvar ran, He overtook Frishta at the top of the stairs. Frishta was trembling. He put her hand in his pocket. "Shall we go back, then?"

"Go back?"


Brian forced back the locked fingers of one hand to secure a better handhold when the water was upon him surging past the rock an unassailable atmosphere sucking his body from the rock like a streamer while Brian screamed for his hand not to let go until he lusted for air with the sea parting his lips and the spray stung his body again while he gasped and grappled at the seaweed for his handhold. spray shrieked until the water buried him like an avalanche rising higher and higher and heavier until its tons pushed Brian's breath out his nose budding like festoons of candle-bright pearls which spiraled up through the deep waters to the surface furor so high above. Brian breathed in the water. It filled his lungs, tingling, cold, and touched his heart which pumped its soothing cold towards his limbs. Brian let go. The deep sea lifted him from the rock in a gentle somersault which merged his body with the sea, weightless, will-less the sea in his veins. As the sea filled his skull Brian smiled. He curled his body into a ball and felt it dissolve in ripples.

In the center of a farmer's field huddled blankets toppled in the snow.


THE ECLIPSE OF THE SPANISH sun spoke an incantation: "Man, do you know where I can score some shit?"

Phil squinted up at the silhouette, then in a one-armed hug forced Maureen to sit back on the curb so he could see Aleck, who sat next to her. Phil saluted Aleck sternly, "Quartermaster?"

Aleck nodded. He spoke thougtfully. "We're low but we could use the bread."

Phil squinted up to say, "Sorry, no shit. We have a bit of bush though." Phil gesticulated. "Down, man. You're blinding me, sun and all."

The silhouette squatted. "What is bush?" He smiled to explain his ignorance, "I am Danish."

Phil thrust his face a foot from the Dane's and said in a slurred burst, "Danish, what? Well, well, speak well, you do at that and we're English of course--must have guessed. What's your name?"

Maureen pulled Phil back, and put her hand on his to keep him from drumming on his knee.