Water swirled around the old tree, oozing into the spaces between its trunk and loose bark with borborygmous sucking sounds, ripping it bare. She clung to a giant limb just inches above the current. It was an old limb of the type they used to call a widowmaker back when they were an actual pair, lying in the shade on an old blanket pulled from the trunk of his car. She had been lithe and slim. He had been handsome and as wily as a fox. “Zorro,” she had called him, that first long afternoon when he had led her off into the forest for the first time.
Now, for what would probably be her last visit, she had a different companion—the hurricane named Esmerelda, raising the skirt of her water inch by inch as she came to join her. She could hear the cracking of the limb, bit by bit, as it registered the effect of her weight. Where was he? In some snug hotel room, storeys above the swirling water, with a less lethal female companion, no doubt. Only she was here, caught in the memory of them, clinging to that limb that was one syllable short of being appropriately named.