Under Water

by Podge Dirkins
originally published at 04:18PM on Saturday, March 24, 2007

“It’s in the river,” I told him.

“The body, Mr Selkirk?”

He’s still smoking. Even after I’ve asked him not to, politely, three times. My migraine’s worse. “Yes, I already told you that. And it’s not a body. At least, not like…ours. It’s alive, though.”

“Where I come from, Mr Selkirk, ya don’t tend to find livin’ bodies at the bottom’a public waterways.”

I can’t stop looking at the sweatstains under his arms. It’s too warm in here, for both of us. Is he nervous? I tell him: “Like I said. That thing doesn’t come from where we come from. Go and take a look, you’ll see.”

“Mr Selkirk, county don’t go dredgin’ up a crick ‘less we sure we got a catch, unnerstand? And there ain’t no missin’ persons on record, son, nuthin’ like that.”

Now the overhead lights burn my eyes. “Listen. If you don’t kill it, I will.”

The sheriff sighs. “I’m sure you’d try, Mr Selkirk. But folks dunna like you emptyin’ buckshot inna waterbed their kids’re swimmin’ in. So you cin forget about that.”