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datatime: 2022-09-26 04:39:46 Author:NNUKgjPn

"Stop it"

LaVerne leaped to her feet. Deke came to where Randy was and for a moment the raft tilted, scaring Randy's heart into a gallop and making LaVerne scream again. Then Deke stepped back a little and the raft stabilized, with the left front corner (as they faced the shoreline) dipped down slightly more than the rest of the raft.

Deke stood thoughtfully, head bent. His short hair was still dripping a little.

"Did it go under the raft? Is it under us?"

"We just picked up and went," Deke said.

Then it squeezed under. He thought he heard a noise for a moment-a rough noise, like a roll of canvas being pulled through a narrow window-but that might have only been nerves.

"We came, and it came. I saw it come-like it smelled us. If it's full, like you say, it'll go.

Deke stood thoughtfully, head bent. His short hair was still dripping a little.

So she sat down, arms crossed over her breasts, hands cupping her elbows, shivering. She looked at Randy, her eyes telling him he could come back, put his arm around her, it was okay now.

I guess. If it still wants chow-" He shrugged.

"Summer cottages. This is October. They're empty, the whole bucking funch of them. We got here and you had to drive around the damn gate, NO TRESPASSING signs every fifty feet-"

"Maybe it'll just... you know... leave us alone." Deke said, "Maybe pigs will-" "It's moving," Randy said.

"Nothing to steal, nothing to vandalize," he said. "If there's a caretaker, he probably pops by here on a bimonthly basis."

"Yes," Deke said. He looked at Randy. "I'm going to swim for it right now," he said. "If it's under there I've got a good chance."

"Shut your pie-hole," Deke said absently, and Randy laughed in spite of himself-no matter how many times Deke said that, it always slew him. "If we have to spend the night out here, we do. Somebody'11 hear us yelling tomorrow. We're hardly in the middle of the Australian Outback, are we, Randy?" Randy said nothing. "Are we?"

Deke looked at him, his face full of a fierce concentration in the gloom. "Maybe? What's this maybe shit?"

So she sat down, arms crossed over her breasts, hands cupping her elbows, shivering. She looked at Randy, her eyes telling him he could come back, put his arm around her, it was okay now.

"Next month, yeah," Randy said, and shut his mouth with a snap. He had also succeeded in scaring himself.

"Maybe it'll leave us alone," LaVerne said. Her lips made a pathetic, loose little smile.

"So? A caretaker-" Deke was sounding a little pissed now, a little off-balance. A little scared? For the first time tonight, for the first time this month, this year, maybe for the first time in his whole life? Now there was an awesome thought-Deke loses his fear-cherry. Randy was not sure it was happening, but he thought maybe it was... and he took a perverse pleasure in it.

"Maybe it'll leave us alone," LaVerne said. Her lips made a pathetic, loose little smile.

"Maybe it'll just... you know... leave us alone." Deke said, "Maybe pigs will-" "It's moving," Randy said.

Then it squeezed under. He thought he heard a noise for a moment-a rough noise, like a roll of canvas being pulled through a narrow window-but that might have only been nerves.

"You know where we are," Randy said. "You know as well as I do. We turned off Route 41, we came up eight miles of back road-"

"We just picked up and went," Deke said.

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