They lower their sails and drop anchor, knowing they will not catch the evening sun bright on the kitchen hearth. Oars creak and echo in the deep green of the peninsular waters, splash and scrape as the dingy is hauled up the pebbled strand.
Her body flickers dark and light, sinewy through shadow and scarlet setting sun. Already, slender blades of grass collect dew, in lieu of abundant and nourishing daylight. The snake’s rustling passage drops to cooler notes, notes soon to be silver and silent in the moonrise. Midsummer is long past, and her time to safely pass through the neighborhood and into her burrow is scant. Still, she pauses
Silence all around, but for the slow creak of frogs from the moonlit marsh, and the crackle and sudden pop from the dwindling campfire. A late night wind twined soothing fingers through the dark pines, but hesitated and hovered above the group gathered below.