bleached to gray in the heat, stretched down from the trees and the
breeze barely stirred the air. From his bedroom window, Henry
watched oak branches reaching for the house, close enough to scratch
against the bricks. The marshes surrounding St. Simons Island
stretched to the horizon, flashing with light where the rising sun
reflected off the water.
With the blinds pulled up, he pressed his hands against the glass. Scar tissue ringed his index finger like jewelry made of flesh, matching the bracelet on his left wrist and the necklace of scars circling his neck. More snaked around his legs, beading with sweat in the Georgia heat.
Henry closed his eyes, took a deep breath and then counted to ten. A pushpin stuck out of the wall next to the window and he grabbed it without looking. A branch grated across the house with a hiss that seemed almost alive.
Where the sharp metal point broke the skin of his right index finger a single bead of blood welled up. He opened his eyes, took another breath and then counted again.
Against the glass, he pushed the pin the rest of the way into his finger. Blood ran like rain down the window but Henry Franks didnít feel a thing.