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Treasure Lake – Moonless

March 17, 2017 Leave a comment

The silence in the afternoon heat on the small river was ominous. The cacophony of bird and insect songs had died away as if on siesta in the midday sun. It was fortuitous however, because Caroline Rich was able to hear a hacking cough and spitting in the dense foliage to their right.

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“Stay quiet,” Caroline whispered. “They’re over there somewhere. I heard a guy coughing.”

“You’re right,” Solly Cohen said. “I smell cigar smoke.”

“I can see it!” Phyllis Snitzer said.

“It’s a good thing we stopped to discuss how to proceed,” Rob Snitzer said.

“How will we proceed, come to think of it?” Solly said.

“I’m sure they don’t want to spend the night,” Caroline said. “They’ll probably take off long before it gets dark.”

They sat in their canoes in the shade of overhanging willows. Quietly, they made ham and cheese sandwiches and drank some of their bottled water. They all took an afternoon nap. They hadn’t realized how much energy they had exhausted, as well as the toll taken by stress. Caroline and Phyllis in their bow positions lay back onto the packs that filled the centre of each canoe. With their hats over their faces, they dozed.

Solly and Rob, in the stern seats, lay back onto the small. They also fell fitfully asleep. Rob was the first to get up, wakened by the active insects that swarm after sundown. Darkness was only an hour away, and the aircraft hadn’t moved. Its engine was so loud, it could not possibly have started up without waking them.

Again, even over the din from the night creatures, coughing could be heard from the plane’s hiding place, and the cigar smoke continued to foul the pristine forest fragrance.

“This might be a break for us,” Rob said. “In the dark, we can cut straight across the lake.”

“What if they hear us?” Phyllis said.

“Solly and I can paddle silently, like the natives did,” Rob said. “We learned how at summer camp, years ago.”

“So if you don’t know how, just don’t paddle,” Solly said.

“It’s no big deal,” Caroline said. “You just have to break the water gently to avoid making an audible splash.”

“And don’t hit the gunnel with the paddle,” Phyllis said.

“Okay,” Rob said, “You know how to do it. So let’s eat light and wait ‘til after eleven to cross.”

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“Why after eleven,” Solly said.

“The moon will be down by then.  It’s going to be bright tonight, and it’s going to set at about ten-thirty.” Rob said.

The time dragged and they were getting stiff from sitting in the canoes for so many hours. Finally, the sky grew darker as the moon sank below the horizon. With the removal of the brightness that obliterated most of the distant stars, the pure sky shed a dim, serene light. There were billions of tiny specks of light beyond the more familiar, closer stars.

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The surface of the lake was absolutely motionless, like a black mirror.  As the four friends set out to stealthily cross the lake, the stars appeared to envelope them. The stars above were reflected flawlessly in the mirror surface, giving the canoeists the sensation of paddling through eternity, with stars all around, above and below them.

The Black Lion – act 2

June 28, 2015 Leave a comment

I got a bit of a lucky break. I hadn’t known that the three victims had lived with black girls before they married white girls. When the police announced it, it was the first I’d ever heard of it. That had nothing to do with the fact that they had to be stopped. Their lives had to be stopped. The cops will now be trying to figure out what might have motivated the perpetrator. They will soon find out that their former relationships with black lovers were not motivation to eliminate them. The next victim will have no personal relationship with a black woman, I’m sure.

I was in a perfect position to follow the police activities as they investigated the murders of three prominent and popular men in the small, exclusive enclave of Malibu Beach. A neighbourhood of movie stars, movie moguls and other sorts of overly wealthy people. As crime reporter for a relatively obscure cable news show, I was welcomed into many official places where I might otherwise be banned, while still reporting hard news.

I’m not going to pretend, at least with you, that I am unaware of one very important reason why I have access. I have been blessed with a good face, good complexion and good figure. When I enter the detectives’ offices, conversations cease and several pairs of eyes are drinking me in, obliterating whatever it was they were discussing. I just had to greet a couple of the guys and go over to the coffee machine and they would resume their conversations. I sat at the small table in the rest area and just listened. When I heard talk of a case that interested me, I memorized the information.

At home alone in my small apartment I eagerly read all I could about crimes on the Internet. Sometimes there were stories of behaviour by wealthy senior executives that should not be tolerated. Sometimes they abused women, sometimes they abused children, even sometimes abused their own families. The authorities are not able to respond to many of these abuses because of laws and because of lack of evidence.

I know when I reported the rape that was done to me, little action was taken. I was nineteen when three bikers kidnapped me and took turns with me all night. When they took me home, I couldn’t walk. They left me on the front walk of my parents’ home but I couldn’t walk to the door. My father came out to take the garbage to the curb and he found me there beside the road. I don’t know if the police tried to find my rapists or not. I didn’t care, because I was going to do it myself. I wanted to.