We followed Gary single-file into the forest. The trail was a creeping dogleg. A fine mist was strung through the trees.
'Where are we going, Gary?' I asked.
'You'll see,' he said.
It was dark in the trees. Muffled and soft. The trail canted gently and split. Ricky's shirt flashed in and out of the tree spaces. I heard waves crash, and we came out on a lip of cliff looming out over a rocky beach.
Gary was suddenly at my side. He placed his hand on my back, to correct my posture.
'Stand up straight,' he said.
'Are those trees on fire?' I said.
I pointed to a stand of evergreens clearly in flames
'No. It just looks that way.'
'Are those shapes darting between the trees?'
'What trees?' he said.
'Wait, what was I just saying?' I said.
'The trees,' he said.
'I forget," Gary said.
Ricky giggled, shrieked, but the wind carried it away. The sky roiled. We were enveloped in a purple fog. Clouds hung like lungs in the sky, breathing.
'God is love,' Gary murmured with his eyes closed.
'What?' I said.
He may have said something after that, but I was too busy watching the ocean boil and two enormous triple-masted ships firing cannons back and forth.