Blue Hills
Alexander Waxman

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.
'Wait, Gary.'
'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.
'Before that.'
'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.