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(continued)

Lake Merwin, WA

April 22nd, 2021

“There’s nowhere you can run that I can’t find you old man.”

It was the kid from the dock, his grandson. But how the hell?

“It’s not hard to find you, everywhere you go you tend to think that you’re untraceable and above the law, but I finally found someone that’s willing to pin you down like the bug you are.”

“Kid,” he breathed, “You’re like a turd that won’t flush. I don’t know you got this number-”

“It’s also not a good idea to go traipsing into someone else’s RV without an invitation,” the kid said, his tone calm and neutral as he continued, “The family that owns the one you’re sitting in right now were kind of surprised to find it locked when they got back from their walk. You might figure that this will make the place less of a sanctuary and more of a cautionary tale if word gets out.”

“I don’t know what you’re on about, but obviously you’re not too quick on the uptake kid. This is my RV.”

“Take a look around then.”

The kid said this so evenly, without a hint of malice or even irritation in his voice. Looking around though he could see the usual trappings of one of his places, the clean, neatly-kept counters, the utilitarian appearance of the cupboards, counter, and the like, and….

Wait.

Since when did he have a family portrait hanging on the wall nearest the driver’s seat? It was a simple frame, wooden, depicting two beautiful little girls that he just barely recognized thanks to their parents, a boy he’d left behind like all the others and his wife. He remembered them, but it had been so long ago that the slap she’d given him and the scathing rebuke his son had given still kind of stung….

Now wait a goddamn minute. Why would he feel a bit sorry about that?

“Is it sinking in yet?” the kid asked, his voice tinny but still audible.

(to be concluded)

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