James longed to live in his little hunting trailer by the lake all through the winter but Marcy wouldn't even entertain the concept of his being gone like that. The dream lived silently on in a place at the back of his waist, sleeping unformed through the boisterous summer at the beach, with the Sarkopians again. Its edges tingled in envy as their lover-ditched friend Larry recounted sole shorecombing escapades from his seasonal tent pitched low in the dunes.
It seemed the leaves turned and fell more slowly during the autumn that greeted them on the carefully corraled landscapes of Devon Downs Estates. Tiny shreds of shells tucked between their toes sifted out when they ran from the car to greet Jackette the terrible terrier unleashed onto the pavement by house-sitting cousin Carole Nadine.
"Hey guys," she waved from the back stoop."I just turned the air on, so you'll be fine and cozy. There's really fat freshly baked oatmeal cookies waiting on the island too. And I upped the grade on your wine when I replaced the bottle! Ready for a spritzer? Get your shorts on over here."
James slid into the pause, while Carole caught her breath, and hefted onto the wide step beneath her a pillow case of crumpled and bedraggled duds that had done rough 'n' ready duty at Clagmit Cove.
"Those need to go to the laudromat," Marcy yelled. "Sorry," she muttered tiredly on catching Jamie's grimaced expression as he slumped back toward the car.
"I'll take a spritzer on the side porch," she answered. "And some cookies. I'll be up in a jiff." Marcy balanced two duffle bags out the rear door, stepping cautiously around excitable Jackette.
James stretched long legs onto the porch railing, stradling the corner post. "I thought the colors would be brighter yet," the dream mourned, murmuring through his mouth. The sight of all the attached leaves still in green finery settled heavily into a pile atop his heart and rolled into a vacant slot of his stomach.
"You need food," Marcy, grabbing for the pottery plate, concluded from his pallor. He reached for the spritzer with a smile. "No, food," she repeated. "Seriously."
Jamie swallowed without enthusiasm. The intestinal fronds subsided in their flailing. Downing the spritzer in one gulp, James rushed to the side door and spit out a stream of greening dreams onto the roughened concrete parapet.
Marcy pushed his hair back from a brow bubbling with headlong fantasies.
"What is wrong with you, dear?" Marcy inquired on the thin side of solicitness.
"Musta been something I et, or slept....." He trailed into the woods of other years.
"With?" Marcy asked sharply.
"You are not staying there without me ever again," she added into the dusky gloom.