Five nameless men in bowlers arrive on the emerald embankment at 17 past the hour. The gauzy olive mist weaves around the sail masts and the beaks of pelicans. The men whisper in slavic syllables, three carrying cases, two writing notes in tiny taupe tablets. One lights a cigarette and it is passed along after each takes two exacting puffs.
Now all of them are obscured save for their trousers and shiny oxford lace ups. Cats hiss as they pass along the brick path up the hill. A cabbage peddler passes them, tipping the bill of his cap and the glaring back at them with modest scorn as they pass the old mill and onward to the vineyards that lay fallow and attract not even the most famished crow.
Tanks rolled along this same road the year the ailing dowager in Rose Cottage was born. She peers out the window in a medicated haze, wondering if these stranger have come for her. She clutches a plush pink blanket and begins to part to sans she is making up on the spot, no longer able to recall the names of the real ones or perhaps preferring to find ones who will accompany to her beyond the fog.