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THE REMAINS IN THE POND
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Backing up, I shined my headlights a different direction, then I made a small tight circle and lit up the entire parking area a little at a time. Low mesquites and spindly live oaks bordered one side of the lot. It was the sort of foliage that loved a little water now and then but thrived just as well without it. I saw neither Matt nor Rose.
After a few minutes, I pulled out of the lot and circled the pond as far as I could go. The gravel road didn’t loop around the entire thing, only about three quarters of the way, and then you were forced to turn around in the only remaining wide spot unless you wanted to get out and have a picnic beneath the single stand of oaks tall enough to give good shade.
Of course I didn’t need any shade now. And I really didn’t want to get out of the car. This seemed too weird. I put the car in reverse and executed a careful turnaround. When my headlights picked out the figure at the edge of the water, I inhaled sharply. It was not what I expected to find.
I rolled down my window. “Rose?” I called. “Is that you?”
A branch cracked, a shadow moved, and panic slid between my ribs like a blade. The figure turned toward my headlights, definitely female. She wore her long hair lose and flowing. Under the moonlight, I couldn’t be certain if the woman’s hair was red or light brown.
“What are you doing here?” No answer. “Where’s Matt?” I tried to keep my voice steady, to show her I wasn’t afraid. I put the car in PARK and opened my door tentatively, putting one foot on the ground.
She stared into my headlights, one hand shielding her eyes like a sailor looking for land, and then, like a flash, she ran straight at me. Straight toward my little Honda with the window rolled down. Her hair flew out behind her and it was all so surreal that for a moment, I simply sat there, paralyzed. Then she raised her right hand above her head. In her grip, I caught a glimpse of silver.
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Ann_Swann_The_Remains_in_the_Pond?id=I_86DwAAQBAJ