@jeffekennedy this story is disturbing and makes one think
The house perched on a cliff, looking over the Strait of Georgia through a wall of glass. Water, mist, and the rounded humps of islands filled every room, from kitchen to atrium to bedroom, with the sound opening eastward to far glimpses of the mainland. To the north, an island rose. At its tip, a pale lighthouse, ringed by a black widow’s walk, beat a slow tempo and revealed the depth of fog through the night. A smaller island lay behind, in the first one’s shadow.
During the first few days of our stay, I spent my time watching the pulse of the lighthouse and the rise and fall of light and rain, and listening to the ghostly woofing of seals on their spits that shrank and grew with the tides. February on Vancouver Island sifts in muffled grayscale. But unlike the hard-frozen winter of home, the foliage remains lushly green. Instead of the dizzying highs and lows when the cycle of light alternately heats and freezes our thin Wyoming air, the island air extends out of the water and shifts temperature by only a few degrees, over hours and days like the ocean.
Storms came through, detectable because the mist condensed into falling droplets, which sometimes hardened into rain. The fog thinned to shroud only the most distant sights, then without movement, would hide the small island, then the larger, then slide up against our windows, on our island, concealing even the garden lights along the porch.
I settled into the hush.
After those first few days, curled up in a chair in the atrium andwatching the water, I picked up a pamphlet and found there were ferries to our companion islands, identified as Manden and Mirnby. They boasted of glass-blowers and glass artisans, complete with a map of the island and their helpfully numbered studios, along with lighthouses, hiking trails and petroglyphs. A hand-blown starfish sat on a coffee table in the living room; I felt sure the Manden artist’s colony housed the starfish maker and that I would be able to acquire one of my own, to turn over in my hands far from the beat of the lighthouse.
Also, petroglyphs have become a kind of quest for us. The search appeals to David and I as scientists, and it takes us down trails we wouldn’t otherwise pick, showing us new flora, fauna, geology. And we like the chance to touch the artifacts of the past, of another people, wonder at the ancient magic they invoked with their designs.
It required motivation, to get up and dressed by a pre-set time. We drove down the coastal highway past the fish plants and roadside pubs, to the ferry station. Among the vehicles that rolled off the ferry from Manden was a yellow school bus, complete with round faces pressed against the rain and salt splattered windows. Commuters waved or nodded at the waiting ferry riders, but their movements paused for us in our rental car, masquerading with local plates. As they moved past, their faces turned back to track us.
We missed the town on our first pass out of the ferry station. Even accustomed to the blink-towns of Wyoming, we had expected more “town” than was there and mistook the scatter of low lodges and a wooden gabled house for a sort of commune. So we came back down the hill, winding into the silent harbor area, to look for the first numbered artist on my map. Instead we found a “Closed for the Season” sign, and an “Open 1-3” sign on another—mornings apparently see people leave Manden Island. Since our few fellow travelers on the ferry had long since disappeared up the hill road, we had yet to see any people.
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.
Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review was nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose was nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of and the third book, The Talon of the Hawk, won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015. Two more books will follow in this world, beginning with The Pages of the Mind May 2016. A fifth series, the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, started with Going Under, and was followed by Under His Touch and Under Contract.
She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.
Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular SFF Seven blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary.