The Water Bearer

Within the pool, Wilson floated, occasionally ducking below the surface, rising again in a blast of spray and breath.

Jim hunkered behind one of the trees, watched the man drift lazily atop the water. Clouds sailed around him, mirrored on the water, so silver it almost seemed a pool of mercury; so reflective that, below its surface, Wilson’s body disappeared.

It was quiet here, so Jim unpacked the lunch Grace had made him--a hard boiled egg, a cold beef and cheese sandwich, a pickle and a clutch of purple grapes--and ate as Wilson slept atop the water’s surface.

When he was done, a wave of drowsiness overcame him, too. Without another thought, he leaned against the willow behind him and drifted into a peaceful, contented sleep.

#

The sun had begun its slow downward arc into night when he awoke.

Stretching, he disentangled himself from several long, thin willow branches that had draped themselves amiably over him, coiled possessively around his shoulders.





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