That morning, two days after Christmas, Brendan Foley awoke from his dream sweating. This was a dream he’d had many times before yet, this time it was different. He couldn’t put his finger on why the sweat, why the fear.
Teresa, his wife of thirty two years lay beside him as usual, still deep in her sleep.
Brendan turned over to hold her as he would do every morning before rising and seeing to the livestock.
He grunted a soft, barely audible good morning, but this time no response.
He touched her bare arm. Ice cold.
Brendan had his answer.