Outside was damp and the sun wasn’t yet up. He could hear a few of the men walking toward the lake, heading out early. He listened as the leaves were crushed underfoot. The smell of butter melting on the iron skillet filled him with a moment of joy because the eggs were now blistering in places and the slices of steak were browning. He used his knife to drop more butter in and placed muffins, face down, in between the eggs and steak. Using a towel, he gripped the skillet handle and tipped it first toward him and then away to let the grease mix with the butter and drain under the muffins and collect on the sides of them in the places where the grease and butter could not go underneath.
Soon he would wake the boy and they would eat. And then they would be the ones crushing leaves underfoot.