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Duck saw Carol's SUV and decided to pull over. He wondered what she was doing at the Watch. They'd not talked, more than the hello in the grocery, held a door at the post office. He'd not spoke with Buddy either.

Sandra, yes. He was so proud of her. How it started didn't matter, she'd ended it before it could hurt Emily. Buddy didn't used to be like this.

Carol was struggling with an easel.

"Let me give you a hand with that."

She turned, scrambling after the falling ease. "You startled me.

"This is nice." He looked at the various fittings, then at the rocks. "Would you mind over there instead?"

"No." She thought. "That'd be fine, Duck." Smiled.

Duck set it up for her on a rock big enough for the tripod's spread, adjusting the legs. He stood, rubbing his hands on his overalls. "About Dan." He reached for her hand, squeezed. Swallowed.

"Guess I owe you a chair."

Carol stared at him then started laughing, swatting him on the chest. "Don't you dare. It was a piece of junk. How are you doing?"

"Good. You and Buddy?"

"Better." She looked out, the mainland just visible. "I'd forgotten.

"You want my help?" Sandra looked at Carol in disbelief. Clearly Buddy hadn't told the whole truth, though what with Dan...

"I've started painting again. And everybody comes to Iggy's eventually."

Not quite. Almost. There were a few that couldn't either forget or forgive, and she'd told off Irene herself for hissing at Duck.

"I thought we could make a trade of part of a wall for commission?"

"This isn't a gallery." She thought about it. "Do you have something with you? I'd need to see, in order to decide."

"Oh, yes, in my car."

Sandra followed. It might work.

Wilby Wonderful Spoilers Teens and up

Dan stepped inside and slid into a booth. Two weeks had passed since he'd tried to kill himself. Gotten out of the hospital. He'd let Duck take him home when released.

They'd been going through things. Things. He'd disposed of nearly everything. Dan had his clothes, which he'd never much cared about, and a couple of Western books he'd pulled from the curbed boxes.

Duck lived away from town. There had been a little farming, once; mostly Wilby had taken what it needed from the sea. Or the sky during the migrations of geese and ducks. Captains stuck together in town, crew scattered to what advantage they could find.

Dan smiled as Sandra sashayed over with the coffee pot and a menu.

"Good to see you."

"Thanks." He looked it over, sat it down.

"You ready?"

"Could I have waffles?"


He nodded, then lifted his head again. She smiled at him then headed into the kitchen.

The old homes were built by shipwrights. Logged and milled on island. Was why they had hewn beams and weathered the wind. He liked Duck's house. He liked the chipped plates, the faded rugs, the scarred kitchen table. Survivors of a life lived.
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C6D: Canadian Six Degrees Fanworks

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