Sipping, not thinking, she drifted on a cobalt disk under an aquamarine dome. Birches bent to honor her, tall pines guarded the birches. She looked down the length of her body. She had not worn rubber boat shoes, only sandals, and her ten toenails winked flamingo.
The spring was in the middle of the roughly circular pond. Usually a boat given its freedom headed in that direction. Today, however, the canoe was obeying some private instructions. It had turned eastward; the lowering sun at her back further brightened her toenails. Her craft was headed toward the densely wooded stretch of shore where there were no houses. It was picking up speed. Cornelia considered shaking herself out of her lethargy, lifting the paddle, resuming control; but instead she watched the prow make its confident way toward trees and moist earth. It would never attain the shore, though, because there seemed to be a gulf between pond and land. No one had ever remarked on this cleavage. Perhaps it had only recently appeared, a fault developing in the last week or two; perhaps the land had receded from the pond or the pond recoiled from the land; at any rate, there it was: fissure, cleft…falls.