Like 11

“I don’t like fishing.” It seemed the words coming out of her mouth were being spoken by another person, but Midge liked what this person was saying. “Some crazy algorithm on one of my social media sites — some of my friends went on camping trips, they posted some pictures, I clicked Like on them.”

“Oh.” Marcellus lay his paddle across his lap, momentum carrying the canoe towards the dock. The young accountant took off his enormous sunglasses, his eyes examining Midge’s face. “So, why’d you come here?”

The canoe bumped softly against the side of the wooden dock. A mosquito bit into Midge’s neck; she slapped, felt the insect’s remains splatter under her palm. “Curiosity, really. Find out if what I think I like, is really what I like. Or whether some of the things I don’t think I like, I actually do like.” Another mosquito landed on her forearm, but she was able to kill this one before it bit. “Think I’d like to get inside now.”

Marcellus grabbed a post on the dock, pulled the canoe up tight, motioned for Midge to get out. She stepped onto the dock, saw a cloud of mosquitos hovering over the water on the other side. Seeing Marcellus was nearly finished with tying down the canoe was the only thing that kept her from running.

The rubber soles of their sneakers squished into the dirt and gravel as they walked towards Tosh’s cabin. Midge suddenly felt very tired, and she began thinking of explanations she could give her friends for turning in early.

“That stuff I said back there.” Marcellus pointed with his thumb behind them. “I’m not, you know — real sure — ”

“Don’t worry.” Three more steps, and she’d be at the cabin door. “Your plans are safe with me.”

[And here’s where I’m going to end this story, at least for now. Have a feeling I’ll come back to it at some point, but if I don’t, I feel good leaving Midge where she is.]


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