Fireside

They poked at the fire and watched the embers climb high enough for them to tilt back and take in the stars like spilt sugar across the night sky.

“There should be ducks,” he said, after a few minutes. “Or something. Loons, maybe? It’s a bit strange there aren’t any birds on the lake. Or anywhere. Have you seen a bird?”

A knot heated up and cracked in the fire and in the empty night it was louder than either would have expected, startling them and he coughed as he took a drink and the beer spilled down his chin.

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