The Last Bits of Light

“I hope the winds don’t pick up again. That was horrible last night.” Billy was lowering the blinds on the bathroom window. The window was open to let in the air that blew cool down the mountains, and the night before when the winds picked up the blinds shook and slammed against the windowpane over and over. He stopped and looked north to the where the valley continued past Cascade Mountain and where the clouds were still lit orange by the late setting sun. The mountains along the whole valley only dark ridges against the darkening blue sky, a massive jaw in silhouette. Billy ran his left hand over his right forearm feeling the swollen lines of old scars, a braille diary of hurt and struggle, his brand. He reached up and finished lowering the blinds.

“I’m just going down for a pill. I forgot this morning.”

“Are you staying up? TJ was reading a book and didn’t look up. She knew Billy would stay up and read or write or stare out the window watching the last bits of light in the sky.

“No, I won’t be long.” Downstairs the dogs and the cat had all claimed their sleeping space, spread out on pillows laid across the floor. Dublin had corralled himself under the dining table. Billy poured water into the kettle and plugged it in for tea. Across the valley to the south the outline of Grotto Mountain was fading into the night.

With his tea, Billy sat on the couch in front of the window. A single light on the street dimly lit the cars parked along the curb. Across the street a deer moved furtively in the park under the cover of darkness. Billy could see the outline of it’s shoulders and it’s head as it lowered for eating and raised again quickly in constant alert. Billy felt the scars on his arm again, and again looked down the valley at a single, thin cloud stretched over Lake Minnewanka that caught the setting sun and ran distinctly red in the dark, dark, blue sky.

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