Chapter 01



Abby sat on the split log bench sliding her skates back and forth into the grooves of the snow beneath her.  She pressed her palms upon her thighs and extended each leg, one at a time, in a slow rhythm.  Her knees rose and fell in time with deep soft breaths.  Though her legs were tight the skates felt good.  Tense since arriving in Willow Lake, she thought a long skate would give her an opportunity for a much needed work out.  Abby took in a deeper breath and rolled her head from one side to the other then stretched back, exposing her thin neck above her scarf.  She peered through the branches of the willow above and slowly exhaled.  The willow had noticeably grown since the last time she looked up from this bench.  Her eyes ran up the trunk through naked branches to the top of the tree some fifty feet above where she sat.

Fixed high in the willow tree were two thick steel cables.  Abby traced one back to the house and the other to the studio.  Abby’s father feared that one day the willow would slip down the embankment into the lake.  He had assured Abby that the equal tension on the cables would maintain the willow’s upright position.  Though Abby doubted her father’s laymen engineering she never outright disputed him.  Adding one more contention would not benefit either of them and to her the cables fastening the tree were trivial.

Abby gave her legs a final stretch.  She adjusted her pink knit cap firmly and pulled her chestnut ponytail out of her scarf.  Leaning cautiously against the weeping willow Abby raised herself off the bench then with small crunching steps moved down the embankment onto the ice directly below.

The lake had little snow cover and would be easily traversed yet the only skating Abby had done in years was around the small city rink at the park.  A rink that would fit thrice into Bellen Bay and Caroline’s house was far around the point and half way across the long Willow Lake.  Already so late in the day Abby pondered if she had underestimated the effort involved in skating as far as her cousin’s after so many years off the lake.  She set out into the bay to counter any mounting hesitation.  To skate across the lake may be more of an undertaking than she had imagined yet standing on the shore would not get her there any faster.

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  1. loiseighmy says:

    Poor Abby! 🙁

    I look forward to seeing how she and her dad grow in their relationship with one another.

    I’m originally from the northeast, and I really miss the cold, snowy winters. This gave me a feeling of nostalgia! 🙂

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