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hs34150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 34

Jeremy was startled by a sudden pounding sound. Bob Richman chuckled. “That’s just Rebecca – my daughter.”

Jeremy’s eyes widened. “She sounds awfully, er, rambunctious.”

Bob was confused. He was upstairs with Dave Thompson, hanging some new painting, working on their art.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you — I’m sure she’s a lovely girl. Actually, she’s the reason I wanted to speak with you today.”

Bob squirmed in his chair. He looked pale and uncomfortable. “She hasn’t been caught stealing dead animals again, has she?” It was his best attempt at sounding lighthearted.

“No. No, she hasn’t,” Jeremy said. He was as pale and uncomfortable as Bob. He didn’t want to do this, but he didn’t have a choice. He was the one who pocketed the blurred Polaroids of Rebecca and the Lady Sasquatch. He was the one who persuaded Tucky to send a second sample — the twig with bits of Rebecca’s blood and skin and hair — for DNA testing. He was the one who had the hunch. And now he was the one who was responsible for telling Bob Richman that the front-page story of the Reporter the next day would make public the results of the second DNA sample, the one that the geneticist in Edmonton determined was half-human, half-other — the one that confirmed that Rebecca was the Lady Sasquatch’s biological daughter.

“There was a second test,” Jeremy began. “When Tucky sent the hair and skin samples for DNA testing, there was a second sample as well — one from your daughter, Rebecca.”

“I see,” Bob said. He buried his face in his hands.

“The story is running in tomorrow’s paper. I wanted to come here personally to tell you.”

“Why?” Bob looked up at Jeremy, his eyes filled with rage and defeat. “What is it to you?”

“I thought you might want to, well, be prepared.”

Bob stood and walked toward Jeremy, who braced himself for a slap, a punch, a fatal blow to the head with a blunt object. “Be prepared?” Bob shrieked. “Be prepared? Be prepared! Be prepared!” He burst into hysterical laughter, doubling over. Jeremy couldn’t be sure whether the tears that streamed down Bob’s face were a result of the laughter or from knowing that his life, his child’s life, his family’s lives, would change forever the next morning. Jeremy’s hand hovered above Bob’s back. He thought for a moment that he’d give him a reassuring pat, but changed his mind and instead stepped over Bob, who was huddled at his feet, weeping and laughing.

“I’m sorry,” Jeremy said quietly as he opened the front door to leave, but he knew Bob couldn’t hear him.

      

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke