- Annette draws a shaky red line across the brown parchment paper. The crease between her eyes deepens as she presses her shaking ring finger to the table to keep it steady. The crayon smears; this line is slanted; another, perpendicular.
It is an A. It is her first successful letter since the stroke.
- A rivulet of pine needles snakes down the roof of the burnt-orange cabin with the brass handle. On the windowsill, a few needles lean rebelliously against the pane. Steam from the flowered soup-pot on the kitchen stove fogs into something that almost looks like a stack of books. The ladle is nowhere to be seen.