The Lake at Evening
By Jeff Baker
“Look! The lake’s receding. It’s starting!”
I pointed across the darkening sky. The lights of the town on the other island were twinkling. I could make out the spires of a couple of the buildings in the dim light.
“I see,” Kendall said, putting his hand on my shoulder. As we watched, the water silently pulled away, leaving the firm ground exposed. A yearly phenomenon that exposed walking paths to the island. Not as important as it had been in the days before air skimmers, boats and bridges. But the festival on the island city remained a tradition from ancient times, though sources were unclear as to whether the original islanders were celebrating the island becoming accessible to the mainland or becoming inaccessible when the waters rolled back in three days.
“Want to go over there?” Kendall asked. “Take in the city? Buy a couple of cheap souvenirs?”
I grinned. “Weren’t we just over there the other day?”
“Yeah, but this is tradition. And remember, we were both over there five years ago for the Festival?”
I remembered. I’d been eating sanded lakefish, he’d just bought a mug of Sarga and asked if he could sit down at my table. We got to talking and had walked around the city, taking in the sights and the street shows. We’d kissed for the first time during the fireworks.
“Maybe tomorrow,” I said. “I like where we are right now.”
We stood there quietly. We could barely hear the music, drifting across the lakebed.
“Lakefish for lunch tomorrow,” I said. “With Sarga.”
Kendall nodded and held me close.
The stars were coming out as we stood there and hugged and kissed, the popping of fireworks in the distance echoing in the air.