After dessert, Kay returned to the porch to wait. She picked a spot down the block where the lone street light shone onto the pavement below and watched for her father to pass there on his way from the hotel. The sky was divided into streaks of purple, orange, pink and gray, and the grass had turned from green to black. All the animals in the tangle behind the house were burrowing in, and the flowers gave off a last burst of perfumed effort. Jerome had ridden with Gran to take Elva home. Their mother was upstairs with the littles, tucking them in. Out on the ocean, lights floated on the tips of a few masts. Way above, a single star, maybe a planet.
When Gran’s car returned it beamed across the lawn and rabbits froze still, their eyes open and bright. When the doors slammed, they ran.
“Still keeping watch?” Gran asked from below.
“Nope. Just enjoying the night.” She didn’t look down at him, didn’t break her concentration on the pool of light under the street lamp. She was a good sentinel; no one could tell her it wasn’t so.