Writer’s Cottage

There was no mailbox, no marker, nothing to indicate the driveway but a vague indent in the wild summer overgrowth—forsythia, blackberry bushes, ferns, sumac—running alongside the road. I angled my car through the tangle of plants and drove slowly down the gravel driveway, under low-hanging pine boughs. At the end of the driveway, obscured by trees from the road, was the house—a two-story Cape, painted white and set at the edge of a meadow overlooking the ocean.

As soon as I stopped the car, Sarge jumped from the backseat into the front, then into my lap, his muzzle puffing excitedly, steaming up the windshield.

“Hold on,” I said to him, trying to unbuckle my seat belt as his tail battered my face and neck. “Calm down.”

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