Douglas Anthony Cooper
The runway at St. Dymphna is a circle, the preferred orbit of angels, but not well-suited to sublunar aircraft. Our stewardess assures us, however, that air traffic controllers on the island of St. Dymphna are legendary geometers, and fully ordained priests. Very few planes fall prey to centrifugal disaster. And, miraculously, ours is not one of them.
After a couple of nights in the pension, slowly recovering from our descent onto the runway, we pack our knapsacks and head out into the rainforest. Hiking is the chief touristic activity on this island, where so little is horizontal. The Dymphnasians are helpful should you get lost. To be precise: the sane ones are.
The terrible moonlight guides us back to our pavilion. We say nothing to each other. Lucia's face is ghastly in this changed light; mine is too, I expect. What was pity has become something so much deeper, unfathomable, something which stares into you as you stare into it.