The bare trees did nothing to filter out that brilliant,
heavy orange-red light from the setting sun. They stood black
against the streaming rays. Everything else was soaked in that
scarlet glare. Kristin rubbed her arms in an unconscious gesture
to remove the light's stain from her skin. Clark's Chevy LUV sat
parked between two of the trees. Its flame-orange paint made it
almost disappear into the air's vermilion glare. The assuredly
bloated sun providing that garishly tinted radiance was hidden
behind the stygian bulk of the house.
The house was a huge monolithic three-story block of inky
darkness that seemed to almost waver at its edges. Steve and Tammy,
and Kevin and Rachael were emptying Steve's station wagon onto the
back porch. Rachael was tossing items at Kevin like they were bizarre
footballs. She grabbed up something particularly heavy and slung it
at him. He caught it but it bowled him over. They all started to
laugh. Kristin was laughing too, but jumped when Clark came up from
behind her and ran his hands down from her shoulders to her elbows.
He kissed the side of her neck. She closed her eyes and smiled.
Clark slipped his arms around her. She squealed as he picked her up
and spun around twice, and then a third time before setting her down and
turning her to face him. She could feel the world reel around her as
Clark kissed her long and hard. She melted into him. He held her for a
long moment before letting go and stepping to stand beside her. She
remained where she was, eyes closed.