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hs102150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 102

“Well, isn’t this just fuckin’ cute.” Tucky staggered over to Dave and Rebecca; Stew trailed behind him. Tucky drank whisky straight from a bottle.

“Dad, don’t you think you’ve had enough?”

“What? You don’t approve? Well, fuckin’ fine then. It doesn’t fuckin’ matter. All of this doesn’t fuckin’ matter anymore.” Tucky tipped the bottle upside-down letting the liquor spill onto the ground. “I hope you’re fuckin’ happy,” he said. And then he lit a match.

The flames came first, followed by screams and smoke and more flames – a stampede to the exit. Rebecca leapt back. The fire sprinted past her and up the pedestal where her mother stood. Helene’s dry, coarse hair erupted in raging orange flames. Stew jumped up, trying to push the Lady Sasquatch out of the fire.

Dave tugged on Rebecca’s arm. “Rebecca! We have to go! Now!”

Rebecca shoved him off. She picked up the bottom of her skirt and ran.

Outside, it was mayhem – lights-fire-water-flashing cameras, the bleat of sirens, someone speaking through a megaphone. Remain calm and move away from the tent.

Rebecca barreled through the crowd, past the reporters and police. The spray from a fire hose soaked her gown, but she continued to run – through the grass, to the road. In the distance, she could hear someone calling her name. She pretended not to hear, but the voice got closer “Rebecca! Wait up!” It was Stew.

“It’s all I could do,” he said, panting. His skin and clothes were black. He coughed and handed her a pelt of coarse, grey hair. It was her mother’s head. Bits of the taxidermist’s plastic mould had melted to the inside. A glass eye fell to the ground and rolled off the shoulder of the highway.

Rebecca dropped to her knees, frantically feeling the ground in an effort to find it. Stew bent down beside her. He plucked the eye from the matted grass. “Here,” he said, giving it to Rebecca.

“Stay here. Let me get the car — I’ll give you a ride.”

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke