This is the last episode in the story that started with At the window.
Edvard gripped her hand hard.
“What’s happening, Else?”
She shook her head in bewilderment. “I don’t know, but it looks warm out there. The baby won’t take any hurt from it.” She turned to him, her eyes wild with hope. “Get him. Quickly.”
“It’s an illusion, Else! It’s not real!”
“I’d rather this illusion than reality. Wouldn’t you? Run, Edvard! I’ll wait here, to make sure it doesn’t…go away.”
He pulled her to him in a kiss that she would feel on her lips forever, and disappeared into the shadowy garden. Else turned her face to the sun and waited. She waited until she heard the shouts, the running footsteps, the child wailing.
When the gunshots rang out followed by the satisfied chatter of triumph, she turned and ran. The waving corn that had swelled like a sea to the horizon had grown into an alley of dark poplars that met overhead and shut out the sky. The faint trail into a golden future was now a broad road vibrating with the sounds of cars and marching boots. She ran, knowing that for her, the path went nowhere, and it would never end.