That Dog Won’t Hunt

“I go where you go,” Solon tells Quiana, before she tips him over the side and watches him disappear into the flume running underneath Deception Pass. One hundred and seventy seven feet down to the water, and a fierce undertow sucking him out to sea; if they find him, it’ll be as a lone foot in a sneaker washed up on a rocky beach somewhere. It’s a grey day, dark as they all are in November, and raining if you can call it that. She’s soaked through by the time she gets back to the car where he’s waiting for her, a blank space in the fogged glass, ironic eyes full of sky, trees, sea.

She drives home hounded. They never find him — there are enough bodies sunk in the Sound already — but it doesn’t matter. She’s never free of him. He’s a heavy weight at her throat, a stone in her stomach, insubstantial hands dragging at her shoulders when she beats the sun out of bed. His voice, heavy as cream, clotted in her ears: white noise. She is full of rage, at him, at herself, at the world that gives her no traction to push back. “The worst is already happened,” he tells her, rain drumming on the roof, “the fall is still happening, the water is still coming.”

“Damn you,” she says, and suffers through an eternity of meaningless days, eating little, drinking much, waiting for the short summer to return and break his grip, just for a while, just long enough.