There was a scrap of land not far from the shore, which wasn’t a very good shore at all, for it leapt abruptly from the thin beach into columns of dark brown rocks that hunched over the sea and ran deep into the misty distances of the horizon. And on the island there was a little town of no consequence, built to face the rocks and the shore.

To a man standing on the cliffs the town would have looked like an abject patch of gray and saffron on the water, in danger of being swallowed in a tempestuous moment. But the town was in no danger. Danger did not exist in the town, only fishing poles and wet, imperious dogs who looked up at the cliffs and did not bark, simply watched and snuffed.

They licked their salty snouts and waited for the fishermen to take them into the sea. And the fishermen, when they awoke, lifted their boats from the sand and called the dogs in for their breakfast of fish and wine. The days began and ended in much the same way.

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