Chuckanut Drive

In the pearly light of early morning:

“Wake up,” she hissed.

“go ‘way,” he said. “too g’damn early.”

“No, get up, get up!” She yanked the blankets off of him and he twisted into a ball against the cold. “Canada Canada Canada Canada!”

“argh. all right. All right. I’m up, I’m up.” He blinked and knuckled the grit out of his eyes, yawned until his jaw popped. The tips of his fingers were cold and he couldn’t curl his hands quite closed. Her hair was wild in the half light.

Two hours later. He drove and she kept her face turned away toward the window, toward the raw side of the mountain. “Waterfall,” she said. “That makes twelve already.” He drained the last lukewarm bit of coffee from his travel mug. She took it from him and refilled it from the thermos. “You want an orange? I want an orange.”

“Sure,” he said, one hand hanging out the window into the dappled sunlight. “I’d take an orange.”

The trees dropped away and he could see the water all the way to the horizon. The wind shouldered into the car like an old and distant friend.