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hs18150.jpgbuy prints of select* halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (*prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 18

While Jeremy spent his allotted time with Tucky in the shed, Paula collected quotes from the enthusiastic onlookers who waited to in line to pay to have their picture snapped with the Lady Sasquatch. It didn’t take long before she was satisfied that she had enough material and she slipped away from the chaos, back into the lodge to begin work on the story she was really there to find.

Paula stuffed her notebook in her bag and applied a thick layer of gummy pink lip gloss before striding into the lobby. On a usual workday she’d wear a blazer, often with a skirt and sometimes pantyhose and pumps. She’d apply foundation and pressed powder to her face, stain her lips dark in hopes of looking older, of being taken more seriously. On this day, however, she purposefully left her face clean, save for a swipe of black mascara and the gummy pink lip gloss. She wore skinny black pants and a stretchy T-shirt, abbreviated at the waist. Her hair was tied back in a messy low ponytail and there were stylish black boots on her feet. Strolling through the lobby she practiced looking lost.

She traipsed up and down the corridors of guest rooms that curved around each of the lodge’s two storeys. Nothing. She crossed back through the lobby. She poked her head into the bar, then Andrea Thompson’s White Rapids Bake Shoppe. A short hallway with two washrooms separated the bar from the bakery. Paula noticed another door marked Private. She turned the handle. Locked.

Paula lurked in the hallway, waiting. Should anyone wander by she would adopt her helpless, lost look and, if necessary, inquire as to the whereabouts of the ladies’ room. “Why, it’s right under my nose!” she’d exclaim, then squint and say she wasn’t wearing her glasses.

After almost forty minutes the locked door opened and a groggy Dave stepped out, his long black coat halfway on. He gripped a pile of photocopied papers in one hand, a staple gun and roll of packing tape in the other. Quickly, Paula grabbed her coil-bound reporter’s notebook from her purse and dropped it against the frame of the slow-moving metal door, preventing it from closing and locking into place.

Dave yawned and brushed by her, then turned. Paula froze.

“Is there something I can help you with?” he asked.

“Uh, yeah. I was…” her voice came out squeaky. “I was looking for the ladies’ room?”

Dave pointed to the door directly behind her. “It’s German.” He rolled his eyes. Fraulein was painted in curly script letters. “People get confused.”

“Sure. Thanks,” Paula said and scurried inside.

One minute. Two minutes. Three. He must be gone by now, she thought. She crept out of the washroom to find her notebook still wedged in the door. She slid it out and slipped through the private entrance where she immediately encountered a staircase that she hoped might lead her closer to the answers she was looking for.    

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke