“My grandfather used to say that the sun in the spring falls different on the ground, that the light and the warmth of it shines a bit cleaner, the lines of it a little more crisp.” Billy wasn’t looking at anything in particular. He looked out in the woods and the weeds on the ground, brown and dead from a winter of snow cover. The forest wasn’t white anymore and mosses showing green and growing on the deadfall and rocks made Billy feel like the worst had passed.
“He used to say that the shadows in the spring come and go quick.”
“I’d call bullshit on that any day.” Jim smiled.
Billy laughed and he looked away, back towards the cabin.
“I think a shadow, be it long or short, dark or light, is a shadow all the same, and a shadow is always a darkness out ‘a the light.”
“Jesus Christ! You’re a miserable son of a bitch.” Billy laughed short and put his bottle to his lips and tilted the last of the beer into his mouth. Jim did the same and Billy reached behind and grabbed two more bottles of beer. He passed one bottle to Jim and kept one for himself and Jim tossed his empty bottle into the grasses at their feet.
“I’m just saying Billy. I have no doubt that your grandfather was a good man, but that’s just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever.”
“I don’t know why you always got to shit on things.” Billy didn’t laugh. He looked quick at Jim and then away. He didn’t see the forest anymore, just things in his vision neither white nor green, visual noise that had no bearing.
“Always a darkness, Billy. Always a darkness.”
Billy didn’t answer. He put his bottle to his lips and drank quickly until it was empty. He took another bottle from the case and held it in his hands. And he hoped again for the winter and shadows that were both long and dark.