The church is only a barn now but the tiny cemetery goes on, its close sea wall unusually low for this sheltering land, permits the view across the insane waters of Scapa Flow and beyond the Hoy Hills rising up.
My mother proudly shows me her grave that she has bought for Fifty pounds.
We found dear Rolande the painter dead today. She lived just beneath my studio a mysterious recluse, when i first came to this place i only ever heard her, then she appeared one day,just like in a a fairytale. She had the head of a cat and was permanently shrouded in cigarette smoke. She came to tell me my footfalls were almost silent and she much appreciated i didn't wear shoes, then disappeared. The second time I saw her i enticed her with vodka , she liked vodka and told me my brand was wholly acceptable but not the best. She declared she was "sauvage" and then disappeared and we were friends.
Much later the strangest of things her friendship with my 5 year old daughter. I would sometime watch them from the window as they talked together. 80 years of life between them. Brune earnestly explaining birthday cakes and butterfly masks and Rolande discussing cats and sauvagery and the liberty of beasts.
The last time i saw her she told me of her boat. Henri was her dead husband they had had a magnificent sailing boat , together they voyaged all over spain and greece. She told me once of a great storm that had come in fast and how they were afraid but had survived. She told me that they had planned to sail to egypt but there was some reason i didn't understand and they had never got there.
Xavier bravely climbed through the upper window and peered down through the trapdoor, he saw her body that had been there for many days, and then the forces of order descended and asked us all such ordinary questions, and the dream was over.