Chapter 12



Will tended the big wood-burning kiln, the only kiln at that time, and fed the oven’s voracious appetite for small logs.  The temperatures in June and July that year had already been high and were twenty degrees higher working next to the kiln.  Often Will did not wear a shirt when he chopped the logs by axe and then fed them into the kiln.  Emily had secretly been sketching him from the window of studio.  She had taken notice of Will’s young frame, oily and covered with a fine mist of soot that made the tone of his body glisten.

Will’s fascination with Emily had distracted him to near stupor.  Will’s father was getting frustrated with all of the clay that Will was breaking, not much pottery was getting into the kiln or getting too far away.  Will’s father finally resolved to coax Will into asking Emily to have lunch.

When Will approached Emily with the sodas and sandwiches he had made himself and asked her to have lunch on the dock, she did not hesitate to say yes in fear he would change his mind.

“Perfect timing,” said Emily.  Emily grabbed Will’s hand and practically dragged him out to the lakeshore.

Capitalizing on the opportunity to make an impression, Will began rattling out all of the conversation he had held back for the last two months.  There was no pause for Emily to say anything.  She thought the sweet boy’s behavior incredibly cute.  Still Emily feared that Will was going to give himself the hiccups.

Emily decided she needed to calm him down.  Though what she did next would not exactly slow his heart.  Will’s speech did slow, first to a crawl then a stop.

As Will professed how modern kilns could change the family business, Emily stood up on the dock, pulled off her white blouse, tossed the shirt down, then undid her Capri pants and shimmied them to her feet.  Emily stepped out of the crumpled pants one foot at a time.  Standing in her bra and panties, Emily fixed her eyes on Will.  Will sat with his legs crossed on the dock, a sandwich in one hand and a soda in the other, now silent, his mouth open.

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