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Geez that gray woman has been out there quite a while, Shelley thinks, having woken up in a strange camper in the sim above Mortons Gap but then recalling the story.  She could hear the crashing of the waves when she stirred, a reassuring sound. Arthur must be around. They were just too tired to walk all the way back to the hotel after visiting the Ant Castle up on the mountain, quite a climb to get to. So they just bunked down here as the sun set into the ocean, just to do something different, they agreed. “No one around,” spoke her newlywed husband. “Why not,” she replied. But that gray person… actual owner? Telling me I’m intruding on her property? Could just ask, she thought as she took another sip of coffee and continued reading the article she started, it seemed, a 1/2 hour ago. Ooo, she thought. Just there. The woman took on appearance; just for a second. Yes, staring right at me, it seems (!). Better gather up Arthur and head back to the hotel. Probably down on the beach.

—–

He comes here often and just sits and listens. “Getz/Gilberto” always seems to be spinning on the turntable, the record that started it all for bossa nova, as he learned. Steely eyed Luther stirs the patriotic soup slowly and deliberately, like an automaton instead of an actual person. ‘Nother “gray” being. And what has Clifton Mahoney got on the docket today? Well — beach. Just like Shelley and Arthur. Coming up is a collision course of information that would change everyone’s world. The Ant Castle was not what it seemed (!).

—–

Barry down at the pier would be involved too. Because after 8 straight days of angling it was about time to head home. Art studio. Just below the castle. Barry’d seen and heard things there he didn’t want to dwell upon, didn’t want to be in such close proximity to. Thus the trip into town, to the beach, to the pier. Sanity in contrast. Warm sense of people around. F-ing cold in the gray granite mountains above Mortons Gap this time of year, but not necessarily that kind of cold. Remote kind of cold, the worst type. Barry liked privacy when he painted but enough was enough. But, also, he couldn’t stay away forever, had to face the devil sometime.

(to be continued)

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