He, the old man, I mean, carved the space for his home from the woods. We used to say the only thing keeping the trees from coming back in was that sneer of his.
But he wasn’t all that bad once you got to know him, or grew up a little.
When I was back home, and everyone’d gone off to find work in the city, or out of province, some evenings, I’d sometimes make my way out there. Usually find him outside, reading his detective stories by the light of a kerosene lantern.
Until the one time I didn’t.