Fiction by Mark Gilson
NORTHEAST OHIO SPOTLIGHT
When her husband left for the war Audrey could no longer sleep past five in the morning. Davey, her son, would hear her in the kitchen making coffee and preparing for the day and they would both be up in the quiet hours before dawn. Davey liked Cream of Wheat, thick not runny, with dark brown sugar and two small slices of butter. If he could not wait for it to cool, he added a brief precise pour of milk from the glass jug that was always in the refrigerator. Davey was seven years old with no siblings and his mother sought each day to contain his boundless energy. From the veranda across the front of the house they could hear the Lake. Sometimes they could hear it raging from inside the house. On this day it was almost silent and they set out across the yard, across the street, and through the field with a flashlight in hand. Tall milkweed and leaning golden rod waved in the narrow illumination as they made their way into the park and then beneath the tall maple trees to the edge of the cliff. Audrey switched off the flashlight and they descended the cliff in the eerie glow of a full moon. It was not really a cliff, more of a gradual descent amidst nearly-mature silver maples, young sumac, arrow-wood and the gnarled remains of aging apple trees. Near the bottom of the descent there was a clapboard changing room, forbidding in the darkness, and then the path spilled out on the beach, white in the moonlight.