Trip of a Lifetime
By Tamia Nelson and Farwell Forrest
July 3, 2001
Deputy Sheriff Royal "Bubba" Buck loved
being out on the lake in the department's Whaler, with the blue strobe
and the siren and the big gold star on the side. After years of
ticketing out-of-staters and busting pot-smoking punks, he'd finally
snagged a cushy job. About time, too. He shifted his Glock so that the
butt didn't dig quite so hard into the soft flesh spilling over his
belt. "It don't get no better 'n this, do it?" he asked his partner,
for maybe the third time that morning.
Deputy Cody Tromblay sat slumped in the bow seat, his half-open
eyes on the water ahead. "It sure don't, Bubba," he replied, giving
the ritual response he knew was expected. "It sure 'n hell don't."
Then he closed his eyes. It was only eleven o'clock. Saturday. The
Memorial Day weekend stretched ahead, and the air over Long Lake
shimmered with humid heat. Rivulets of sweat ran down Deputy
Tromblay's back, slowly soaking the waistband of his Fruit of the Loom
boxers. A dark stain spread around the equator of his uniform. He
could really use a cold Bud right 'bout now, he thought.
Bubba was thinkin' about how nice a cold beer would be, too. Eleven
o'clock and the lake was already busy. 'Course that damned canoe race
didn't make life any easier, either, what with them jet-skis and
water-ski tow-boats cutting across the buoyed race corridor between
the village and Rock Island, four miles to the north. They weren't
supposed to do that, he knew. It was off-limits to anyone but race
participants. But Bubba was damned if he was goin' to ticket some
law-abiding, tax-paying citizen who just wanted to use his public
waters to pursue a little happiness, like it said in the Constitution.
The town board were a bunch of
. Bubba looked around
automatically, even though the wife was miles away and he hadn't said
anything out loud. Anyway, the board were soiling their pants thinkin'
about how their insurance premiums would go up 'less they gave those
canoeists someplace safe to have their little race. It wasn't his
problem, though. Nossir. He wasn't goin' to stop nobody havin' fun.
Where were those damn canoes, anyway? The sooner they came through,
the sooner he could relax. Accidents waitin' to happen, that's what
them canoes were.
The morning dragged on. Bubba waved to all the folks he
knewfamilies in fast runabouts, girls on jet-skis, old couples
on pontoon boats with their grandkids. Sometimes he'd throttle down
and chew the fat awhile with some guy from the Lodge. It was getting
hotter and stickier by the minute, too. The water was flat calm and
the sky was a sickly milk-white. There'd be a thunderstorm by
nightfall, Bubba figured. Sure to be. He unzipped his bright-orange
PFD and tugged his sodden uniform shirt away from where it stretched
taut across his belly. He hoped he might feel a little cooler that
way, but he didn't. He grabbed a foam-shrouded can of Mountain Dew
from the little gimballed holder next to the wheel and took a long
swig. "God," he muttered, "I need a beer real bad!"
Deputy Tromblay didn't hear him. He'd turned the volume up on his
boom-box so he could listen better over the roar of the 'Rude and the
shouts of passers-by. He was listening to the "Jerkin' Jake" Slaughter
Show on WFLU, and today Jerkin' Jake was broadcasting a live remote
from his boat, right on Long Lake. Just then he was playin'
Summertime, and the Livin' is Easy. When it came to an end,
there was Jerkin' Jake hisself coming through loud and clear over the
husky burble of a big inboard: "And the livin' is easy, boys
and girls. At least it is on the good ship Floozie out here on
Long Lake in the heart of the beautiful Adirondack Mountains! I'm
Jerkin' Jake Slaughter and this is WFLUand you know, don't you,
boys and girls, that we're in-fec-tious! Once you catch the Jerkin'
Jake habit, you just can't shake it. And speakin' of shakin' it,
here's I'm Feelin' Good
Cody twisted around with difficulty. Damn department oughta spend a
little money for some extra-extra-large PFDs! He caught Bubba's eye
and shouted around the wad of Red Man parked in his cheek. "What you
think, Bubba? You think we'll see Jerkin' Jake sometime today?"
"Maybe," Bubba replied. "'Course it's a looong lake, ain't it?" And
his voice broke up into an avalanche of guffaws. It was a full thirty
seconds before he could speak again. "Still, that Floozie of
his, she's a fast mover. Hacker-built, y'know. What's she got? 250-275
horsepower, maybe? That Jake, he ain't a bad guy
whaddayacallit, middle-aged hippy, I mean. My cousinyou know
Steve, dontcha, Cody?he does a lot of work on Floozie for
Jerkin' Jake, and he says Jake's just a regular guy. You know, jes'
like you 'n me."
A Cessna floatplane with a full load of sightseers throttled back
and descended right over their heads, the scream of its engine
drowning out all other noises. In the momentary silence that followed
the splashdown, Jerkin' Jake's voice could be heard picking up the
patter after the latest track: "And I hope you're all feelin' good,
'cause today's the Third Annual Long Lake Flatwater Canoe Race,
sponsored byyou guessed it, boys and girlsWFLU, your
Adirondack public radio station. You goin' to be huffin' an' puffin'
all the way from the village up to Rock Island and back, you
better be feelin' good, right? Right! Now I'm goin' to hand you
over to Brad Schmo, who'll treat you with the ever-lovin' care that
all good boys and girls deserve. And don't forget that WFLU's own Ryan
Manley, our ace Adirondack reporter, is in this race for real, too.
He's goin' for the gold in his little Feather Duster, and
Brad'll be talkin' to him later. Now it's over to you, Brad. Catch the
Jake threw the mike over to Brad and then pushed the throttle all
the way in. Floozie growled even louder and started to move
out, her bow wave diminishing to nothing as she came up on plane and
began zig-zagged across the narrow lake. Fishermen in john-boats fled
in panic, seeking the safety of the weedy shallows.
Power! Jake knew you couldn't have too much of it. A broad grin
split his tanned face, and his long, gray-flecked hair streamed out
behind him, tossed about by the same sixty-mph gale that made the huge
American flag whip back and forth on its transom-mounted jackstaff. He
and his Floozie were goin' places! Sure 'nuff! Down to the head
of the lake first, and then back to see how the race was comin' along.
Riding shotgun beside him, Brad intro'd the next track as best he
could, screaming at the top of his lungs in the hopes of making
himself heard over Floozie's full-throated roar. Meanwhile,
Jake's wife Jill, creative consultant to the Dean of Frontenac
Lowlands University and program director at WFLU, clung for dear life
to the back of Brad's leather-upholstered chair. Crowded together with
her on the U-shaped bench seat was WFLU station manager Lili Bolero,
news director Sara Oyley, and Hap Weiner, O.D., host of WFLU's call-in
health show, Dr. Hap's Happy Health Hour.
When Jake settled down on a straight course, Lili leaned forward,
tapped him on the shoulder, and handed him a fat joint. Shielding it
carefully to keep it burning, he sucked the pungent smoke deeply into
his lungs, held it down, and then exhaled slowly. A sense of euphoria
enveloped him, and the speeding shoreline seemed to slow perceptibly.
Jake took another deep drag and gave the joint back to Lili.
Brad, his voice now cracking under the strain, was trying to shout
his way through the announcements at the top of the hour. "So stay
tuned. The media sponsor of the Third Annual Long Lake Flatwater Canoe
Race is your very own WFLU, and our coverage of the race is supported
by Dollars and Scents Aromatherapy'Your good health is our
business!'Peace of the Water Realty'Hurry up and get
your piece of the water now, before it's all gone!'and
the International Osmosis Fund'Dedicated men and women working
tirelessly to end the scourge of salt-water blister!'"
Reaching the south end of the lake, Jake skidded through a
screaming one-eighty and then headed north at full throttle,
scattering six aluminum canoes from the Forest Lawn Baptist Youth Camp
and scaring all thoughts of sin out of the fifteen boys and three
counselors in them. The float-plane that had landed earlier had
dropped its cargo of camera-laden tourists and picked up another load.
Now it was back in mid-lake, laboring to get airborne. Jake saw that
they were on a collision course. He eyeballed the distance between
them and eased up a hair on the throttle, but he kept his heading,
giggling at the thought of the stories those tourists would soon be
telling. Just as he'd figured it, the bright yellow Cessna took off
right over Floozie.
Soon the Hacker thundered under the Route 30 bridge. A minute or so
later, Jake caught sight of the canoe racers struggling to hold their
boats on course in a chaos of conflicting powerboat wakes. Sweeping up
alongside Ryan Manley's Feather Duster, Jake pressed the horn
button on the mahogany dash. The resulting BLATT! was loud enough to
be heard over the bass grumble of Floozie's inboard. Ryan
jerked his head up, his eyes rolling wildly. His paddle wavered in
mid-stroke, and Feather Duster lurched until her starboard
gunwale dipped right down to the water-line. Ryan threw himself out on
brace for all he was worth, pulling her back upright just before she
capsized. He didn't look too happy, but Jake and the gang all waved to
the rapidly-retreating figure, anyway. They were having the
time of their lives.
Well to the north of Floozie and Feather Duster,
Bubba Buck was still on patrol. He saw six jet-skis coming up the lake
toward him in tight formation. They sort of reminded him of the
Thunderbirdsa real class act. Then he noticed two canoes and a
rowboat in the water between the jet-skis and the Whaler, and he
raised his arm to wave them off. The jet-ski jockeys had already seen
the other boats, though. They broke formation, split into two pods of
three and passed the much slower boats on either side, enveloping them
in a cloud of brown exhaust and wetting the canoeists down with their
rooster-tails. It was just about the funniest thing Bubba'd every
seen. But then one of the canoeists made a gesture with an upraised
middle-finger and yelled something nasty, and Bubba started to get
angry. Hell, there might be kids listenin'! He squinted into the brown
haze. Damn. It was some hippy broad. Not a local. And not wearin' a
life jacket, neither. He flipped on the strobe and the siren and
headed for the perp.
Zoe Grimes, her long, silver-streaked black hair pulled back in a
thick braid, rested her paddle across the gunwales of her rented
Grumman and waited to see what the fish-cop wanted. "What the hell?"
she said to her twin sister Abby, who was seated in the stern. "Looks
like Mr. Fuzz is gonna come callin'." Zoe took a last, resolute drag
from her cigarette and then spat the butt into the water.
Paddling just ahead of the Grimes twins, Ed and Brenna hadn't
noticed Zoe throwing the bird at the jet-skiers. Seeing the sheriff's
Whaler headed their way, they pivoted their loaded XL Tripper around
and back-watered gently. Still farther ahead, Sonny Marco rested on
his oars, while Ken Grimes lay back in the stern of the guideboat. The
cast on Ken's broken leg was wrapped in a plastic trash bag and
propped up on their packs. He'd been video-taping Sonny at the oars,
and as he turned toward his sisters in their canoe, he swung the
camcorder around, too.
"You just pull over here, ma'am," Bubba Buck ordered. He stared
down at the two women in the old metal canoe. They sure looked a lot
alike. Slowly, it dawned on him that they were twins. The one with the
long hair, the one in the front of the canoe, stared at him silently,
her eyes hidden behind mirrored aviator glasses. Then he noticed that
some guy in a cast in the rowboat was filming the whole scene. Bubba
didn't like that at all. "You turn that thing off!" he yelled across
the water, but the guy didn't seem to hear him. In any case, he kept
the camera glued to his eye. "Tourists!" Bubba fumed. They never knew
how to behave.
Deputy Tromblay slid the fleshy tip of his tongue across his lips
and stared at Zoe. More exactly, he stared at her sweat-soaked,
tie-dyed tank-top. Meanwhile, Bubba fumbled with his ticket book. His
sunglasses were starting to fog up, and he lowered his head to see
over the top of them. He, too, was having a hard time keeping his eyes
off Zoe's tank-top. It looked like it might be on the brink of some
kind of sudden, catastrophic failure. Bubba started thinking about
Dolly Parton. He tried to speak, but no words came out. He swallowed,
desperately wanting a swig of Mountain Dew. He tried again, producing
a harsh, croaking gabble. "You're not wearing a life jacket, ma'am,"
Zoe didn't let him get any further. Her voice was like honey on a
razor blade. "And if I was wearing my life jacket, officer,
what would you and that other fine example of American manhood over
there"she nodded dismissively toward Deputy Tromblay"have
to look at, I wonder?" She paused, looking Bubba up and down like a
butcher inspecting a diseased carcass. Then she reached under her seat
and pulled out a green Seda PFD. "You may not know what this is,
officer. Let me help you out. It's a Type III Personal Flotation
Devicethat's PFD, officerand its been inspected and
approved by the United States Coast Guard. It may have escaped your
it's not written on my cleavage, after
but New York doesn't require adults to wear their
PFDs, just keep them available. And as you've already noticed, I'm an
adult. Since I used to swim for my college team and since the water
temperature here is around sixty degrees, I figure I'm not taking too
many chances if I choose to take my PFD off from time to time. And
while we're on the subject, officer, isn't there something in the
state navigation law about reckless operation? Or are jet-skis
Having said her piece, Zoe stopped and waited for a reply with an
air of patient expectancy. A family party in a slow-moving pontoon
boat burbled along within fifty feet. In the bow of the boat, an
elderly woman wearing huge, wrap-around sunglasses sat in a rocking
chair. She stared at Bubba and the canoeists. Then she spoke to a man
standing beside her, and her shrill voice shattered the sudden
silence. "Whass goin' on, Carl? Is that Royal Buck over there? The fat
one talkin' to that lady, I mean. He's a deppity sheriff now? Jeez! I
wouldn't trust him with a ham samwich. When he was a snotty-nosed
brat, I caught him stealin' candy bars from the store more times 'en I
can remember. And dirty! Couldn't never get him to take his finger
outta that big nose!"
Her embarrassed companion made shushing noises, but Zoe and Abby
were already shaking with laughter. Bubba flushed, shut his ticket
book and dropped heavily into what he liked to think of as his command
chair. He started to say something to Zoe, but then thought better of
it. Instead, he gave the Whaler a little gas and pulled away.
"Yaa!" Zoe exclaimed in triumph. And then she made loud oinking
noises in the direction of the receding patrol boat's wake.
"Cool it, Zoe!" Ken shouted across the water as he put the
camcorder down in his lap.
Ed and Brenna exchanged glances and shrugged. Sonny, still resting
on his oars, shook his head and said, "Well, that was fun. Where're we
going to camp?"
Abby scanned the shoreline with her binoculars. "There's an empty
stretch of beach up there," she said, pointing toward the northwest.
All eyes followed her finger and squinted in an attempt to penetrate
the heat shimmer over the lake's surface.
Ed took the ten-power monocular from the pocket of his life jacket
and examined the beach carefully. It certainly looked inviting. A
fringe of tall white pines framed a small bay. There were no cabins or
camps nearby. "Deserted," he said at last. "And that's kind of
strange. An empty beach on Memorial Day weekend? On state land? What's
wrong with it?"
"Maybe nothing," said Brenna. "Maybe we just got luckyfor a
change." And she grinned.
"I'm going to push for it," Sonny said, setting to work with his
oars. "If it's trashed or something, we've got plenty of time to look
for someplace else."
"Right," Abby agreed. "Let's go for it!"
Ed looked across the lake, its surface broken only by the wakes of
passing power boats, and thought regretfully of their new sail rig,
stowed in the bilges of their canoe. Then he shrugged and started to
paddle. "Must be some kind of natural law," he grumbled, more to
himself than to Brenna. "When you don't have a sail, the wind's always
blowing a gale. When you get one, it's always calm."
They'd gotten a late start to begin with, waiting for Pete and
Karin Neary to arrive. Just as Brenna had concluded they'd simply
forgotten the whole thing, Karin had called to say they had to cancel
because something had come up with their daughter, Jennifer. Karin
hadn't said what the problem was, and Brenna hadn't wanted to pry, but
the others had taken the news philosophically, their growing
impatience eased by a giant box of Shirley's World Famous Buns. Now
the Nearys were planning to meet them all at the foot of the lake on
Sunday. They'd keep Ed and Brenna company down the Raquette River to
Tupper, while the others remained behind for the rest of the weekend.
When the gang finally reached the Long Lake Village put-in, they
discovered that a canoe race and a community garage sale had filled
almost all the available parking spots. The weather was hot, the lake
was buzzing with powerboats, and they worried that every campsite
along the north shore would be claimed.
Now, however, it looked like they were in luck. They'd found an
empty campsite. Brenna kept Leviathan's bow pointed just off
the northern tip of a large island. The beach was a half-mile beyond.
Drops of sweat slid down her spine. Her eyes smarted and her throat
Zoe lit another cigarette and puffed as she paddled. Even in the
still air, it was hard work. She and Abby had just finishing tilling
more than five acres, and then they'd planted row after row of
vegetables for their new business, Earth Goddess Organic Veggies and
Free-Range Chickens. Now their backs were killing them. They fell
further and further behind the others.
Ken, on the other hand, was having a great time. He trailed his
fingers in the water, flicking droplets at Sonny now and again. "I
didn't think being a passenger could be so much fun," he said,
grinning from ear to ear. "You don't happen to have box of chocolates
and a parasol, do you?"
"If I did have any chocolates, they'd have melted by now," Sonny
grunted, not amused. "How're we doing?"
"Getting close to the island," Ken replied. "Then it's only, oh,
ten or twelve miles more." He grinned again. "Hey!" he exclaimed.
"There's a house on that island. And what a house! I can't see
it too well. It's sort of hidden in the trees. But it looks at lot
What's that place by Frank Lloyd Wright?
That's it. And there's someone else rowing a guideboat, too, just
coming round the tip of the island! We're headed right for her. I
wonder if she's the owner?"
Sonny threw a glance over his shoulder and saw a blue guideboat
just emerging from the shade at the north end of the island. The other
rower had heard Ken's voice. She turned to look his way, and waved.
She wore a white tank-top that revealed evenly-tanned, well-muscled
shoulders and arms. Her short, dark hair was a symphony of tousled
curls. Ken thought she looked like some kind of movie star. And could
she ever row! Ken watched her, entranced. He decided she was just
about the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. He wished he weren't
wearing the damned cast. He particularly wished that Zoe and Abby
hadn't written lewd limericks all over it in red magic marker.
Further up the lake, Jerkin' Jake was watching the clock. He knew
he had to get himself and the WFLU Brain Trust down to Rock Island in
plenty of time to catch the canoeists as they turned round for the
return leg of the race. But that didn't mean he wouldn't have time for
a little fun, did it? "See that big tree?" he shouted to Brad. "Watch
this!" And he headed for a huge overhanging hemlock on island's
Deep in the pool of shadow under the hemlock, Joe Sergeant sat
quietly in the little plywood rowboat he'd made for himself more than
ten years back. It wasn't much to look at, he knew, but he was proud
of it, nevertheless. He'd even stuck a handkerchief-sized American
flag on the bow in honor of the coming holiday. Joe didn't hear the
throb of the Floozie's 275-horse inboard up the lake. In fact,
he didn't hear much of anything. He'd lost his hearing when he was
nineteen years old, at exactly the same instant that he'd lost most of
his body below his pelvis, after a bobby-trapped 155-mm howitzer round
had gone off almost at his feet. He'd been angry at first. It had all
seemed so God-damned stupid. But he'd come round. He knew he was lucky
to be alive, and he'd gotten used to living in a silent world. Enjoyed
it, even. (He missed the bird songs, though. He had to admit that.)
He'd even gotten used to living without legs. His arms were real
And Joe loved fishing. It kept him sane. He about went crazy in the
winter before the lake froze up hard and he could put his shanty out.
He had no close friends, and no family, either. No family, that is,
except for what he called his "wild family"the mice and the
squirrels and the other critters that lived in and around his cabin.
Once a month, the local postmaster would take an unofficial walk down
the trail that led to Joe's cabin, bringing what little mail he had in
his post-office box. The postmaster also brought Joe some groceries.
What with the groceries and his garden and the fish out of the lake,
Joe got by pretty well.
Come ice-out, Joe fished every minute the good Lord gave him, right
up till the lake started to freeze again in December. He'd wheel
himself from his cabin down to the water on the ramp he'd built when
he first moved in. Then he'd row along the shoreline, fishing in the
shade of the overhanging trees. When he was in the boat, Joe almost
forgot his legs were gone. Who needs legs in a boat? Fish didn't need
legs, did they? On the water, in his little boat, Joe didn't need legs
The island that was owned by the Hollywood Lady was his favorite
spot on the whole lake. He'd met the Hollywood Lady. Not to talk to,
of course. Joe was pretty shy even before he'd had half his body blown
off. And he wasn't much of a talker even when he could hear what other
folks were saying. But he'd met her. Often. She'd see him when she was
out rowing her guideboat and she'd smile at him and wave to him every
time. Not like some folks he could think of.
So he spent a lot of time in the shade of the island's big hemlock,
casting and retrieving. Patiently waiting for a strike. Like he was
doing today. Only today he'd been so quiet that the Hollywood Lady had
passed right by him without seeing him. "Well," Joe said to himself,
as he saw her blue-painted guideboat row past, "there'll be another
day." And he started his retrieve.
Off the north end of the island, Sonny was closing on the blue
guideboat. "Hi!" shouted Ken. "Love your boat!" Even though the island
hid Floozie's approach, the growl of the big motor was already
making conversation difficult.
"It's an original William Allen Martin," the woman shouted back.
"She's my pride and joy. That's why I named her Old Glory." And
she gestured to the gold-leaf lettering on the bow. Then she smiled at
Ken and Sonny, her teeth dazzlingly white in her bronzed face.
Sonny brought his boat closer. He stopped rowing when the two
guideboats were only about fifteen yards apart. Both were still in the
island's shadow. He was breathing hard. He removed the red bandana
from around his neck, wetted it in the lake, and wiped his face.
Ken knew he'd seen the woman somewhere. But where? Maybe she
was a movie star! Was that possible?
Suddenly, Ken realized he could feel the throb of an enormous
engine. Feel, not hear. It was like being caught right under a
thunderhead in a storm. He grabbed the gunwales and opened his mouth
to shout a warning.
Ed, Brenna, and the twins saw Floozie speed up the lake and
disappear around the other side of the island. "Sonny! Ken!" Ed
screamed, cupping his hands around his mouth. But it was no good. He
could barely hear his own shouted words.
Floozie roared along the island's western shore. "Look at
me!" crowed Jerkin' Jake, reaching up to snatch a low-hanging branch
from the hemlock as the big boat skidded underneath. The branch
snapped and came away in his hand. Jake brandished it like a sword. In
his imagination, he was a gladiator preparing to receive a reward from
his Emperor. He swung in even closer, following the shoreline. Then he
saw two men in a guideboat in the shade at the foot of the island. He
twisted the wheel to the right, only to see another guideboat with a
lone occupanta blue guideboat. Floozie slewed and skidded
between the two boats at fifty mph and then roared away, missing the
blue boat by just five feet. The noise was deafening.
Joe Sargent didn't notice. The big powerboat's wake had tossed his
little rowboat up into the air while he was in the middle of a
retrieve. It also threw him into the water. He landed hard, his head
slamming against a large, wave-washed cobble. The impact made a sound
like an eggshell cracking, but no one heard. A single, convulsive
shudder wracked Joe's legless trunk. Then he was still. He bobbed
quietly in the shallows, deep in the shadow of the sheltering hemlock
where he'd spent so many hours fishing. His small boat floated beside
him. A dark stain spread out through the water as the wakes of passing
powerboats lifted and dropped Joe's abbreviated body against the
rocks. Little by little, the cobbles began to wear away bits of Joe's
The Hollywood Lady was luckier. Floozie's wake lifted Old
Glory and dropped her, too, but her owner stayed with the boat. A
rock cracked a 125-year-old plank and water started to poured in. One
oar washed overboard.
Sonny, in deeper water, recovered first. He brought his guideboat
alongside the blue boat and grabbed the nearest gunwale.
"That bastard smashed my boat!" the woman screamed, shaking her
fist in the direction of the rapidly-disappearing Floozie.
Ed and Brenna now appeared, paddling furiously. "Anyone hurt?"
Brenna shouted across the water while they were still a hundred yards
"Only my boat. My lovely, lovely boat!" the woman replied. She was
bailing frantically with a wooden scoop, but it was no use. Old
Glory settled deeper into the water.
"We've got to get your boat to shore," Ken said, watching the blue
boat sink underneath her owner, who choose just that moment to step
out of the foundering craft and stand beside it. "Where's your dock?"
Before the woman could answer, Floozie came into view again,
engine throttled back, moving at a walking pace. Jerkin' Jake was at
the wheel, squinting down over the bow. "Hey," he said. "I'm real
sorry 'bout that. Looks like everything's OK, though, right?"
"No, everything is bloody well NOT OK!" a woman screamed, standing
thigh-deep in the water, her arms held rigidly at her sides, her hands
balled into fists. "Just wait till my lawyers get through picking your
bones, you irresponsible lout! You won't even have a rubber duckie to
put in your bath."
A distant rumble of thunder could be heard to the south. Ken gazed
wonderingly at the figure of the woman standing beside the sinking
boat. She's beautiful, he thought. He blushed deeply and looked down
at the water to hide his face. A tattered, handkerchief-sized American
flag floated up to Sonny's boat. "Wonder where that came from?" Ken
muttered to himself.
To be continued
Copyright © 2001 by Verloren Hoop Productions. All rights