Chapter 1 - A Passing

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 Hum of rubber on metal decking. Tires rolled off onto the concrete ramp. One solidness of a temporary nature was traded for another: gritty paint for slick.

"I'm glad to be back on land."

"You think?"

"Well, yeah. Glad to be done with that crossing anyway."

"So you say."

"Am I sniveling? Guess so. There weren't many vehicles on the ferry. We were first on, first off!"

"And you are complaining?"

"No, no."

"What are you thinking then?"

"That the customs officer will be waiting for us, eager for conversation."

"Just keep a vacant look."

"I'm good at that."

"I know you are," she said joking while pushing at his shoulder.

"And there he is, as foretold."

"Waving at us to pass."

Watching the rear-view mirror, "I thought he was a construction mannequin. You know, like one of those with only an arm that moves, mechanically waving a caution flag back and forth."

"His arm did look like it was attached by a hinge."

"Gray face matching his uniform."

"No complaints."

"None from me either. We would have been there for an hour while the camping gear was gone through, the spare tire taken out. It would have been first off, but last on the road for us."

"And Kara."

"Yes. We would have had to get into the whole explanation thing if she would have been found out. The paperwork..."

Silence. A turn signal came on and the car turned.

Let us introduce Zuni and Darren. Their partner, Kara, was the reason for the trip. The three were off to Kara's favorite place. End of the World, she had called it- always cheerfully. The name stuck. The most northern point of a continent. Where a sea meets an ocean in turbulent play, with a spit of land jutting into the mix.

Kara had passed away recently. Her cremated remains were in a nondescript metal cylinder. A container within a nondescript box. Zuni and Darren had promised her they would take the remains to the end of the sandspit, that she would be committed to the churning mix in joy, in celebration of life. This had been Kara's request. Her partners' reply had been solemn. Through tears the promise was spoken. They would celebrate the visits shared there, the memories of sun and fun enjoyed in the lonely isolation that was an end of land. In joyous play, it would be done.

Shortly after the promise was sealed, the trip was undertaken.

"So foggy. It has been like this since we rolled off the ferry. Wasn't it sunny out at sea?"

"Well, we didn't see when the fog started as you wanted us in the car before the ship entered the harbor."

"I wanted to get off before the trucks."

"I know, Darren. I am as anxious about this trip as you are."

He looked behind to the empty seat. Gone was Kara, her energy. The contagious smile leaning forward over the seat, her cheery words. The teasing she and Zuni would tag up on.

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