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hs91150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 91

For the first time in days Bob Richman shaved and got dressed. He went to Rebecca’s bedroom. He picked one of the rose-and-skull pillows she’d made off the vintage red velvet chair and held it tight to his chest. He looked at the rows of narrow shelves, occupied by so many of her made-over dolls, and at Rebecca’s collages.

There was a soft knock at the door. “You ready to go?” Lisa dangled her keys.

“Yeah. I’ll meet you out there.”

Lisa was eager for Bob to talk to Rebecca. She’d offered to go with him, take him to the house where she knew Rebecca was staying. Julie wanted to go, but Bob thought it would be best if he went alone. They compromised. Lisa would drive Bob to the house and she’d wait in the car. He promised to give Rebecca a card from Julie.

Lisa and Julie’s about-face was unexpected. Lisa said something about a party Rebecca had. Julie mentioned karaoke. Bob didn’t ask for details. He was resigned, not angry, when he’d heard that both his wife and his daughter had seen Rebecca. Besides, any anger he could muster was directed at Devin.

Lisa tried to engage Bob in small talk on the drive over to the activists’ house where Rebecca was staying. She chatted about the fires and the crack bust. They talked about the weather.

“Wish me luck,” Bob said once they’d pulled up in front of the house.

“Good luck, Bob.” Lisa lifted her hand as if to set it on his, but stopped. She put her hand back in her lap. “Good luck,” she said again.

Aaron answered the door. He knew who Bob was, and what he looked like. He’d seen his face flash up in the box beside a newsreader’s head countless times. He’d read all the stories, heard the pundits go off. Crusading right-wing zealots called him a sicko on American TV and demanded he be locked up. More moderate critics suggested therapy. Journalists on newsmagazine shows trumpeted their unbiased attitude and encouraged viewers to reserve judgment before launching into another salacious piece about fetishism and bestiality that more often than not involved Tucky Thompson defending the Sasquatch hunting lifestyle. “We’re not all pervs, you know. You gonna throw out the whole bunch ’cause of one bad apple?”

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