She woke in the cool cabin of the boat. It was dark but with a touch of blue light that hinted more was on its way. She shifted next to her husband and heard the creak of the mooring ropes as the boat shifted under her motion. Water gurgled against the hull.
She sat up on one elbow and placed her palm on her husband’s cheek as she did every morning. She stroked his stubble and kissed his forehead. His face was deeply tanned. White lines fanned from his eyes marking the creases from him squinting in the sun and wind. Asleep, his skin was smoothed and the pale crow’s feet made her smile. His whiskers were more salt than pepper these days, and his curly hair was damp from the humidity.
She scooted down the bunk and put her bare feet on the fiberglass floor. The cats were asleep on either side of her husband’s feet just like they had slept years ago when they lived in a house on land. She scratched their heads then stood to go see the morning.
The companionway opened silently as she eased the doors outward — her husband kept the hinges well oiled — and the soles of her feet barely made a sound when she stepped onto the white deck. They were alone at a dock, house-sitting for someone, and she checked the lines that held the boat off the pilings. On shore was the house. Its back was lit only in silvery blue from the quickening dawn. They kept lights on in front, but turned off any in the back so they wouldn’t have to see them from the boat.
Off the bow was the mouth of their protected inlet, low marsh, and the Chesapeake Bay. She stood on the deck in a tank top and boxer shorts, the cool morning air a relief before the heat of the day would set in. This was the one time of day her skin could be free. As soon as the sun came up, she’d have to cover up with sun-protective clothing.
The horizon was a dusky teal, a color of beauty and promise: the color of light being born after the darkness of night. A fish blooped the surface near her. She wrapped her arm around the shroud and leaned her shoulder against it as the sun emerged above the horizon and the new day began.
This is one of those “let’s pretend” exercises I mentioned in my previous post, about taking small steps towards writing fiction.