Above the gently tossing waves, the night sky shone bright. I couldn't make out my own feet, yet the stars made themselves so visible as to allow me almost to forget about the sleeping planet.
Sam and I laid the wool blanket on the shore, then laid ourselves down. Sharing one pillow, we picked out whatever constellations were familiar enough to name, all the while slapping skin. Our awe-struck wows were interrupted with curses to the blood sucking mosquitoes that invaded our summer nights on the prairie.
When I was just a young girl, my mother would soak a cloth in vinegar and sponge it on my bites. "Hush, Marnie," she would say as I screamed, "You'll feel better in a while. I promise. If only you didn't scratch at'em like this."
She was right. I never could stop scratching until I drew blood on my terms. Seemingly, I could bear the pain of missing patches of skin more easily than I could a simple itch.