Excerpt from the short story “Crossings”
The woods are a strange place where time does not flow as normal. There is a sort of watchfulness from the trees. I thought as a child that the trees were alive, ensuring that I made it home safely. It is times like this, sitting high above the flooded riverbanks on a platform of wood planks, that I believe.
“Pass me the chips.” Claire murmurs, breaking the stillness. Somewhere out of sight, a flock of birds lifts noisily into the sky. “Are you sure we’ll be able to see it from here?” she points to the small clearing above us—an artificial gap in the trees caused by us shaking the remnants of fall leaves down from this and the surrounding trees. I nod, adjusting my glasses.
We sit in quiet again for another few minutes, and Claire drops one of a handful of perfectly round pebbles into the water. She watches the ripples with disinterest. “What time is it?” I show her my watch. 2:25. Ten more minutes until it starts. She scowls, and bites down hard on another chip.
I shift uncomfortably on the hard planks and trade out my normal glasses for the special eclipse glasses. Claire notices what I’m doing and puts hers on too, covering her storm-cloud grey eyes. I lay down on the platform and squint up into the artificial night, trying to discern if anything has changed. “I think it’s starting.” Claire shouts. A bird nearby takes off in startled flight across the water. Its wingtips spray up glittering drops, and I watch the beginnings of a crescent of light appearing in the darkness.