The river snaked through fields roughed by rust-flecked plow, bits of harvest gone from gold to brown sticking up like bones of hope lost. The framework of a fecund time decayed, moonlight casting stripes of cold midnight through loosened boards.
Astride a dust-colored mare, broken like our lives, Maisie pressed against me for scant heat. Her long legs, uncovered save for muslin worn near-diaphanous, showed streaks of our passage through harder lands than these. Mute with hunger and loss, we headed for the shelter of the faltering barn, and prayed the things that hunted all would not be there, too.