“He always cared for her. He always loved her. He’s madly in love with her. She’s his Love, Actually. She’s his Casablanca. She’s the one he’d stop the bus for, the one he’d run through traffic for, the one he’d drive like a crazy man to the airport for and run through the terminal to stop the plane. Her name’s above the title for him. She’s the opening credit and the closing credit. She’s the love of his life.”
I’m surrounded by cattails. They jog the memory of the egret, tall and reed-thin. Something not quite reight about those spindly legs, the curved beak tucked to its breast, the eyes like beads of volcanic glass.
I turn slightly, and it’s there: tall, dark egret shape, the head cocked in study of me. I jolt, flashes of thought (egret – Mumbler – run) slamming through me, but my feet are rooted, and I nearly fall.