Snow was blown bits of metal that would dot your face with blood if you rode your bike fast enough. Rain became hard splats of gum and a breeze was something that could rip the hair out of your head. Sue Lynn had raced him down a hill so high it seemed to be a mountain. They called it Sack Mountain but his momma said it was really a hill. If you wanted to see a mountain, there was the Rockies where she grew up. As if you could compare them. One was stone teeth in the sky and the other a mound of grass and gravel that blocked everything until you reached the top. One was warmed with green and gold leaves of oak, the other blue and sterilized by cold. It was like running in two different directions at once. Couldn’t be done.
The wild apple tree was the same knobby but oddly lacy ones that were in her mother’s garden. She had walked past it for 10 years, never paying attention before. But this was the first time Virginia saw a man sitting in the middle of the branches. He didn’t glance her way but kept watching the sky as she got closer.