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hs06150.jpgbuy prints of select* halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (*prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 6

“Get down to the gas station and pick up all the ice they got,” Tucky said. He tossed his son the keys to the SOLID GOLD Lincoln. Dave missed and the keys hit the concrete floor.

“You want me to drive that thing?”

Tucky was getting impatient. “Yes, David. I want you to drive that thing. Now go. We don’t have all night.”

Dave swung the door open and trudged off, kicking rocks on the worn path that snaked from the back of the lodge around to the parking lot in front. He brushed by Rebecca’s dad without a hello.

Bob caught the metal door and let himself in before it clicked and locked. The smell hit him: the rot of recent death and cinnamon buns. His eyes watered. He inhaled deeply — a reflex, the worst thing he could do — and coughed.

“Bob Richman!” Tucky strutted over and took Bob’s left hand in both of his and gave it a shake. “You had to see for yourself, hey?”

“I suppose,” Bob said. He didn’t smile. Tucky ushered him over to where Stew yanked at the Lady Sasquatch’s legs, trying to pull the body onto a long slab of plywood on casters.

“Give us a hand?” Tucky asked. “We gotta get her on ice ASAP. Andrea’s cleared out the meat freezer. I figure she’ll almost fit if we can bend her legs. It’s gonna be a bitch, though.”

Bob made no effort to move. “So where’d you find her?” He tried to sound casual, just some small talk with an old friend he rarely saw.

“Out near Teslin. Damn close to the town, too. Like last time.”

“Last time?” Jeremy the reporter piped up.

“Oh, yeah. Me and Bob used to hunt together – moved up from Toronto thinking we’d be these big tough hunting guys. We’d heard all about these Sasquatch and wouldn’t you know it, one day we’re out near Teslin, lookin’ to bag our moose, and there’s this fucking thing. Couldn’t believe it. We watched it down by Wolf River, and it’s swimming – caught a fish with its fucking hands. Then it stands up and turns around and it’s got these big tits. Sorry — it’s got these big breasts and she’s looking right at us holding up this fish, like what? We’re gonna have a fucking barbecue or something? So I’ve got my gun cocked and ready, then Bob here starts laughing and spooks her.”

Jeremy scribbled frantically. “The one that got away.”

“Yup. But I got her now.”

“So you think this could be the same creature you encountered – how many years ago?”

“Almost nineteen,” said Bob.

“Hell. We’re gettin’ old, hey buddy?”

Bob nodded.

“Do you think this could be that same one?” Jeremy asked again.

“Hell, I don’t know. They all look kinda the same to me. Whaddaya think, Bob?”

“It’s her,” Bob said, his voice barely a whisper. “I have to go.”

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke