[109]

The storm's liquid prisoner beats at the bars of night, sending eager streams across the floor. My ice-axe bobs head down on the planks, like an impatient ghost knocking for release from Purgatory. The candle frets on the mantle. A log bumps forward, scattering sparks like burning confetti. Dogs bark a devil's chorus on the margin of the swamp. The whistle of a demented shepherd sounds…