The body of the boat smelled of new wood and hope. She trailed her fingers over ribs, believing Rowan stood with her now. Their sea was make-believe, but make-believe seas took you to more places. Like a labyrinth, they went nowhere and everywhere at once.
“I love your ship,” she shouted.
“It’s an ark.”
She sat down on a long board running like a curved pew. She knew about arks. They saved things. They weren’t built to sail and get from place to place. Arks were built for waiting out storms, for staying right there and keeping dry until the rain stopped and the sun shone again.
She remained sitting. She didn’t move until her head dropped and the jarring woke her. The barn was quiet; Chief no longer hammering or sawing. Most of the lanterns were out, but the lights guiding her way back across the planks still burned.
Crossing the second time was easier. She reached Chief ’s side, not brushing against him, but standing close enough to feel his warmth.
“Why are you building an ark?”
His craggy face looked more weathered in the lantern light. “My boy learned about an ark in school. He came home wanting us to build one. Never quit asking.” He sighed and looked at the massive shell. “I didn’t take the time. Chores, crops, a war in the South I thought needed me.”
“Pete said your wood was for coffins.”
His dark eyes, the reflection of lantern light in each, held hers. “Everything’s a coffin or an ark.” He nodded at sections of new lumber waiting to be used. “Depends on what you do with the pieces.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish