He awoke, wretched and sore, the longest night still not behind him, ashes sodden.
Being in the lee of the island meant no warning of the squall that ripped across the sky, rubbing out the cross of stars.
The stone on which they slept ran with rain and the skies still rumbled. Muttonbirds kept up their crying. The penguins sounded like babies that refused to thrive.
He was waiting for Bailey to return for her. He rolled over and clutched the woman to him, messed up her skins and folded her limbs into his own, held her, peered past her masses of oiled hair into the wine dark sea, looked for a glisten of oars splashing on water. He listened for the grind of a keel against granite and barnacles.
Taraba, that brave brindle curr, whimpered and crawled closer with every thump from the sky.
We live like oyster catchers, you and I, he thought to the dog. Opportunistic, red-eyed bastards, waiting for the tide to surge out and gambling our lives on that moment of its resurrection.