Above them the sky blazed bright and xanthous. Bodies of cumulus clouds stretched out for miles, looming, moving as though they were herds of animals. In some spots they moved together into one, and flashes of heat lightning jumped between them. Already she could see the dark shadows of rain falling to the ground below. She submerged herself into the hot spring until the water came up to her nose and held her breath. Steam rose from the surface and burned her eyes. When she felt as if her lungs would give out, she rocked forward and pushed herself away from the rock out into the deep center.
Like everything else, the water was dusty brown and gleamed golden in the sun. Underneath some rays of light had broken through the surface and spread gloriously through the vast and desolate waters. With the exception of the lone, sinking girl, of course, the spring was empty.
The girl kicked her legs and resurfaced, but did not arise higher than her shoulders. She remained in the center of the hot spring and looked out into the edge of the wood around her. Her companion stood just barely visible in the shade of the trees, always watching.
The water is warm.
“Yes, the water is warm.”
He swayed and was suddenly concealed in a different section of trees, and though she could not see him, he was still watching her with his white and steady gaze.
We have nothing to do.
“We will rest in the sun.”
It’s going to rain soon.
A cloud passed in front of the sun for a moment. The sky darkened and a chill breezed by. The girl stopped kicking her legs and let herself descend again into the warmth of the water.
Yes. That’s okay.
And so in the oppressive and aurous heat of this summer day, he waited.