Up or Out

I’ve got Benhá crammed in my tooth like Heath bar crumbs. What follows will hopefully cross between ignoring it and picking it out with my nails. And not be too interrupted with parenting.

Charming awoke in the thinning mist of the riverbank fog. Darnday willows occluded her view of the water but not the stink of dead fish and clay. A sleepy memory of several flits passing over in the night reminded her where she was and why. She crawled to her knees careful of the snapped willows that had been her bed. The thick brush felt safe so instinctively she stayed low while she wriggled down her skirt and peed.

“Just back from the edge. Where the willows is high. There. Right there.” Charming’s guts seized and her blood beat against her eardrums. Had the voice come from behind her or in front? It was close. She leaned forward to hook her thumbs in her panties. Whatever happened next it wouldn’t happen with her skirt down. The put-pat idle of a fanboat helped her gauge the distance—too close to sneak off unseen.

Charming put her knees to the ground and eased on her skirt.

“I don’t see nothing up here son.” The humidity and flat of the river carried an older voice directly to her ears.

“Put on the spot?” the first voice asked.

“Sure, sure. See for yourself.” A cone of mist to her right became opaque. Unsearchable.

“Oh.” Charming heard the light click off.

“Roundmartin isn’t paying us to be stupid. Now you’re not…so stupid.”

“Ha ha. Thanks. Up or Out?”

“Your choice.” The fanboat revved and came out of the mist straight at her. It rounded in a tight circle and headed Up. The wake pushed water up the bank but not all the way to her toes.

311 words on day 507