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hs104150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 104

At six a.m., the newspaper landed on the Richman doorstep. The work was done — Helene’s head was groomed and stuffed. Rebecca had crafted a velvet-lined box for it and laid it inside, where she’d also placed a handful of photographs – of her, of her dad, of Dave, even of Lisa and Julie — and the matryoshka doll that was now complete.

UP IN FLAMES! LADY SASQUATCH DESTROYED; LOCAL MAN ARRESTED, read the front page of the Reporter. Rebecca smiled and patted the velvet-lined box that sat beside her on the kitchen table as the family ate their eggs.

“We should hit the road,” Bob said. “Get out of here before the reporters start swarming again.”
“Just let me brush my teeth,” Rebecca said and darted up the stairs, two at a time.

Bob drove his car around back and Rebecca got in. She placed the velvet-lined box in the backseat along with a small cooler. “Lisa made sandwiches.”

“Lisa made sandwiches?”

Rebecca laughed. “I know. Weird.”

When they reached Wolf River, Bob parked the car and they hiked up into the forest, pushing through the brush until they arrived at the spot where Rebecca was born, the spot where Helene had made her home that was part tent and part cave. Bob started to dig while Rebecca looked on, clutching the velvet-lined box tight to her chest. Once the hole was deep enough, Rebecca placed it in, and then helped Bob replace the soil. As she packed the last of the dirt down with her hands, something shiny caught Rebecca’s eye. She reached under a berry bush and pulled it out – a beer can, old and rusted.

“We should take this back with us – for recycling,” she said.

Bob looked up at the can Rebecca held in her hand and grinned. “No,” he said. “I think you should keep it.”

Rebecca was puzzled. “Why?”

“It was your mother’s.”

“What?”

“Come on, I’ll tell you about it on the way home.”

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke