Cherie likes summer in a very particular way. She sits on a big stripey towel on the beach smothered in Reef Oil and she bakes herself till she’s almost leather. She does all this while devouring crime stories from cold places. She swelters beside the lifeguard shelter in an icy barn on the outskirts of Stockholm. Two brothers are there with a hessian bag. Something is in it. There’s a weight to it. The earth outside is frozen, but the barn floor is a little warmer. The older brother breaks it with a mattock. The two of them dig a hole, unobserved. The bag will go in it. They will put a generator on top of it which no one would think of moving. The younger brother makes a black joke about gorgons. Cherie shivers.

On the beach there are parents smothering their kids in factor 30 and teaching them to swim out past the breakers to the sandbar. There are volleyball games and the odd hackeysack. Near the southern end there’s a pool full of kids and old folks and just up the stairs there’s an ice cream truck with a long line snaking around the shady side.

The tide is low and the Nor’Easter isn’t in just yet. A surfer strides out of the waves and chats to a lifeguard. Just near the waterline two brothers are filling in a hole. They are burying their sister till all you can see is her head. Cherie shivers and turns the page.


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