Excerpt from Chapter – “Orphan in the Rain”

Published February 22, 2017

Upon leaving the house—as though not his own choice—
Ray found himself riding on a wagon, the dog at his side.
His legs hung over the edge and were dangling. Within moments,
contentment with the present and the near future overcame him;
he was unable to think. He watched the valley go by as if plunged
into a dream, gently bumping with the pleasure of the collie’s coat
leaning against him. One side he looked up the mountain, the big
pines were spaced—with very large trunks, like the mothers and
fathers of what grew beneath. Then he turned his head slowly, traversing
the heart of Jasper Park, as if to savor the hay land, smooth
and trim. Jasper Spring came from the foot of the ridge. It curved
like a deep green thread, growing taller with trees and scratching a
line in his mind: he would not forget. The sky above the sharp
ridge was now covered in cloud, a shifting darkness. The high
rocks looked like a fortress. He put his bare arm around the dog,
abruptly hungry for warmth.