|Publisher:||Red Hen Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)|
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The “deep hole,” when they reached it, went down barely two feet. The bottom was a snarl of roots that stretched like shaggy tentacles out from the trees on shore.
As Scott’s fingers followed his leader to where it disappeared in green-black moss, the spinning in his head increased. He felt lightheaded, the way he had with the dying deer. Shadows danced on the water. Weird shapes flickered out and in. A tightness clamped down on his chest.
Is this a heart attack? he wondered, fighting panic. A stroke?
Don’t be a wuss, he thought. You just need a nap.
The moss looked like it could hide some knife-toothed North Woods eel. Poking through slime, he felt his fly, and tried to twist it free.
As if he’d turned a switch, the water in the hole began to glow. A woman’s corpse lay tangled in the moss and roots. Her head was gone. Ribbons of gray skin waved in an underwater breeze.
The rotting tube of her neck rose like a trout, gaped, and slurped his hand inside. He tried to yank it back. His hand went numb. Then his arm. Then all of him. He felt like a convict immobilized by one drug while another sank its teeth into his heart.
The monster’s throat felt like cold mud. Something rough as a cat’s tongue scraped his skin. His hand burned as if stomach acids were digesting his flesh. Some force was trying to pull him out of the boat. It could not be happening. And yet it was.
Then the neck-tube let go. Scott’s hand shot from the water, gripping his fly: slimy, but unharmed.
He looked around as if wakened from deep sleep. “Jesus!”