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  • She knew that he was watching. She had gone down to the pond for a moment of peace, to get away from these people for a moment. Sure, she admired them for their courage in adapting to this hostile environment; for their humour; for their eternal optimism: but sometimes it was just too much. She had gone to the edge of the pond to feed the ducks but, then, retreated to a bench, away from the splashing creatures, and the locals. She saw D out of the corner of her eye, lurking on the opposite side of the pond, engrossed in some country task. Probably baiting bear traps or skinning eels, she thought and shuddered. Then a noise and motion attracted her attention as she watched, almost as an onlooker, but then more and more as a participant as a duck attempted to take off from the pond. She could see that she was directly in it’s flight path and it would probably pass right over her head. However, she also saw that it struggled to leave the oily surface of the pond and a small grain of doubt formed in her mind. It could just possibly hit her. But she stoically thought that she would look such a fool if she threw herself to the ground. She was Amanda Patterson and although she had made major steps to change who she had been she was still Amanda and she would not be made to look like a some dumb blond, throwing herself around the place. The duck grew closer and she thought, even at the last moment, that it would clear her head. She allowed herself a small glance in the direction of D, and yes, he was looking. She was right to stick to her composure. The duck hit her with such force that she thought either it or her would be seriously injured. She felt something sticky and warm running down her face. She fell backwards, off the bench, desperately trying to bunch her skirt around her knees as the stars burst in the sky.
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