I wish I could get more writing done. But what writer doesn’t want that?
I wasted a lot of time, but I scribbled down something. Yay! Something!
Deva told Linnie to drive to the lake where Hutton had drowned. They walked to the beach. Enough moonlight glowed on the water. Sounds of frogs, crickets, and waves hitting sand filled the night around them. The croak of an alligator echoed from behind the cattails.
The girls stood on the narrow beach. Deva, her arms wrapped around herself, stared out over the dark lake. “I didn’t want him to die.”
“Not even a little bit?” Linnie asked, standing a few feet away. She kept looking out at the lake and back over her shoulder at the woods. It was four in the morning.
“You can’t die a little bit.”
“You know what I mean.” Deva pulled strands of hair away from her face. The wind carried the strands back over her cheeks. It was warm, but she shivered.
Linnie moved a step closer to her friend. “Why are we here?”
“I dreamed I should come here.” The white of the sand reflected like snow, albeit snow littered with shells and broken, browned, shards of reeds. She walked closer to the water and squatted down close enough to touch the water.
“I said I wanted him dead and then he died in this water.”
“You didn’t make anyone die,” Linnie said. “Other people have died in this lake. It’s the water, not you.”
Deva touched the water. It was warm, and a wave came up to her shoes. “What was he going to tell me? You know, at the funeral home. I think he was going to confess something.”
“That boy had too many confessions to fit in one chat in a funeral home parking lot.”
But the wild look in Hutton’s eye that last afternoon stayed with her. If only she’d listened. “Sorry, Lin.” Deva stood. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. We shouldn’t have come here.”
Linnie gave her half a smile. Moonlight glinted on the curls of her hair. “Whatever you need to do, we’ll do.”
“Let’s go to the woods.”
“What?” Linnie’s body stiffened. “The woods?” She looked back at the dark trees. “Okay. Sure. They’re just trees.”
“I want to go where they found them. You know. The little clearing.”
Linnie rolled back on her heels and nodded. She let her friend stomp by on the sand to the brackish grass. “A tour of the dead,” she muttered once Deva was a few yards away. “Sounds delightful.”
They left the car on the dirt road and walked. They were two girls walking down a dirt road after four in the morning. Enough silver of the half-moon lit the way. They felt far away from everything and very alone. But they were wrong.