Terrarium: The Collected

Over the weekend, Alan had gassed up the boat, tossed in a sleeping bag, and gone exploring.

The island was rumored to be haunted; folk muttered about lights flickering at odd hours of the night. Others whispered stories of parties gone missing and boats washing up on the mainland, in pieces. The fragments of hull didn’t look shattered, but crushed. If you had a good imagination, you might see toothmarks in the wood planks.

When Alan jumped out of his boat into the sucking sand and tied off on a big driftwood log, he noticed the quiet. The seagrass and bent spruce were too peaceful, with no wind whispering, no seabird crying.

Then he saw her, near the crest of the dune. Her hair was alive and her wrap clung to her curves. She beckoned, and his feet obeyed without his brain.

She cupped his face in her hand, and asked, “Give me your name.â€? He felt her long, sharp fingernails brush the corner of his eye.

In a trance, he replied, “Alan… Maxwell.â€?

Drawing nearer, she breathed, “Then Alan… you’re mine.â€?

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