The Water's Edge

At the edge of the lake, the killer leaned down, grabbed the tarp firmly in his fists, and pulled the body up over the gunwale into the rowboat. Something heavy thudded against the thwart, and the tarp looked bent at an odd angle, but it was good enough for the short trip to the middle of the lake.

Before loading the heavy rock, the killer looked around carefully. Color drained from the landscape as the sun set out past the wooded horizon. He could smell the muck and mud. A chorus of peepers chirped among the cattails in the marsh to the right. All was quiet and calm.

As he wrestled the rock into the boat, he thought how this had become routine, and as such a bit boring. He wondered if he might improve this part of the plan. Instead of the quick dump-and-run, maybe he could smoke a clove cigarette here at the water’s edge, maybe read a poem. Yes, that might bring a little excitement back to the routine.

Then, as he stepped into the boat, a hand rose from the black water and seized his ankle in a bony grip.

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