She knows she saw it. The sea had DEMO written all over it, like it was mocking her very existence.
But she can’t seem to recreate the vision.
Wait: there it is.
Is that woman nude over there? The owners said: no nudity. And… well, where is perpetual birthday boy Tropp? It’s not Allen Y. obviously. That’s Pine Ridge. The bastard. Going rogue on Baker and me and creating his own batch of lousy characters. Dollie — what the heck? And a *frog*? I’ve seen *him* before: Middletown, where he was called Brazilian Bill. I assume soon enough a puny, sickly apple tree will show up sprouting off some craggy rock or such. “Make it so,”
Treelor Tropp might say, and it would be. Why… do I keep writing thinking Treelor instead of Tropp? Another 2-n-1? 2 Hearts in One. The glue? She better get back to the lodge. Of course she’s not going to report *these* 2. It’s going to happen here. The rule is more a suggestion, perhaps, as long as you do it in a harmless, non-graphic way.
Now back to looking for a nice car for when I get back.
When she looked up again the couple were gone. In their place, Allen Y. and Archibald Duke sat around a nearby campfire. Dollie and Piper are probably luring somewhere nearby, Jennifer rationalized, hidden by the tall grass or something. Looks like the lodge came to me. Better go see what they’re up to. I suppose. Or… she could just walk the other way. She eyes the exit route. Nah, too easy to spot — can’t get away with it. So it’s be *friendly*, true to my name. A last name I might share with Allen Y. someday. If he’s so inclined. Could be an interesting story. Story within a story.
“S’up guys?” She spots Dollie hidden in the nearby grass. “And gal.”
“Did you know Johnny Appleseed supposedly planted his *last* apple tree right here in these mountains.” Allen Y. pointed back in the direction they came. “Said so in the lodge brochure. Probably really old and shriveled by this point, wouldn’t you guess. Let’s go take a look.”
Jennifer looked west. *Knew* it, she thought.
The mists move in…