The three Herlihy cousins lived in a mansion called Violet Ridge that sat high on the edge of deep and timeless Seneca Lake. There was David Herlihy, the oldest cousin; Trey Herlihy, the middle cousin; and Katie Herlihy, the youngest cousin. Ten years before Katie’s birth, Trey was born, and ten years prior to that, David was born.
'Christ died at the age of thirty-three,' Katie was quick to tell David on his birthday that year. On Trey’s birthday, she told him, 'Twenty-three is a bad number.'
Sometimes he would raise up on one hip, gripping the back of the driver's seat with his fist and arm and peering groggy and edgy ahead of us.
"What the hell is that?"
Shadow People by Emily Glossner Johnson
I understand how Christopher Columbus’s crew felt as they sailed towards the edge of their world. I picture them clutching the tall masts of their galleon, looking down at the endless and heaving ocean, trying not to think of the abyss which, they believed, lay just over the horizon.
“Here we are, Wendy," says Margaret, as we roll up at the passenger drop-off point at Gatwick.
“Yes." I grope around for door handle, as if I haven’t ridden in her car a thousand times before. I need to get out. The so- called " natural’ air freshener, dangling from her mirror, is making me feel sick; green and shaped like a Christmas tree, it smells like toilet-cleaner. “Thanks for the lift."
They leave the hotel ballroom soon after midnight, last out into the night except for the band. Two couples in their best clothes, elderly, exhausted but content, drunk with laughter; the men, James and Charlie, wearing tuxedos that have traipsed a few too many good turns but which remain, more by luck than judgement, still the fair side of presentable; and the women, April and Isabelle, in dresses fresh off a peg, sapphire silk to below the knee, ruby suede and long-sleeved satin.
Streetlights burn a shade that fits the late silent hour like a snug vest, a calm nostalgic phosphorescence nearly yellow, nearly white, hiding just enough for time to lose its usual strict delineations.