From the verandah’s dark recess Jason eyes Eveline’s scallop-edged petticoat, coveting the pristine broderie anglaise. He nervously gnaws at the skin inside his cheek.
Her hands never stop moving. She chatters to the tall man, a marionette guided by a long-limbed puppeteer.
Jason feels the lightness of her tethered passing as a butterfly’s wing, hovering at the edge of his vision. He listens for the grind of patent leather shoes on the gravel path. She trails a satin ribbon. Loosened from the filigree cotton, it snags beside the path. He deftly souvenirs it. Later he’ll tie back his girls’ hair.

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