Tommy

by Podge Dirkins
originally published at 08:00PM on Sunday, March 25, 2007

Dobson finished his beer and went to the dock.

The Selkirk kid was cuckoo, no doubt. Three hours of questioning and not once did the story change. Dobson knew that meant his detainee was lying. He’d done the reading.

Coming onto these worn wood planks he’d set in place himself all those years ago, he saw the Renfrew kids upstream, splashing around as the sun began its lazy midsummer descent out of God’s country. He smiled. No more crazies shooting at monsters underwater. Order restored. It felt good. Always did.

Vaguely wanting another beer, Dobson settled his bulk into the threadbare lawn chair he’d left here last night. He knew not to watch the kids too closely – that’d be creepy – but he kept them in his peripheral vision just the same. Their folks were only a call away, barbecuing on the river-facing patio, but they couldn’t see everything. He’d do his part.

And so it was Dobson who saw Tommy go down first. There was no sound. One moment, the tyke’s head above water, laughing, the next: gone.

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