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  • Discovery at Little Hog Island

    All current links for Little Hog Island installments

    Chapter 3, Part 3


    Dana looked up at the camouflage skin of the tent. The amorphous brown and green spots on the nylon were further dappled by light. The sun, she thought, must be low to be coming through the few bushes ringing the campsite in the east, since the site was mostly rock. She closed her eyes and opened them again as it occurred to her that she was in a different site, a site she hadn’t seen in the daylight. And there were footsteps outside.

    Male footsteps, by the sound of them.

    She sat up and rubbed her eyes. She unzipped the tent and peered out. Someone was crouched over her crumpled kayak. She remembered it had been wounded by gunshot. The whole previous evening seemed like a dream.

    The man turned toward her. It was Buck. No, Ross. She wanted to call him Ross.

    Ross rubbed the kayak material with sand paper. One by one, as she watched, he glued on patches.

    “Let me take you to breakfast,” he said. “Then, after the patches dry, to make sure she is seaworthy, we can come back and test the kayak.”

    Dana hesitated.

    “And don’t even think of saying ‘no,’” Buck said. “I won’t take no for an answer.”

    “No,” she said, laughing. She pulled on her jeans and crawled out of the little tent. She ran her fingers though her hair, splashed some water on her face, and staggered over to the outhouse.

    “I brought a second helmet,” he said, “and another BMW.”



    “You never mentioned having a bike. If you did, I probably would have tagged you for a Harley man.”

    “That’s because you’re still thinking of me as Buck Skillin. Why don’t you call me Ross? Ross Dennison. Then it will be easier to remember I drive a BMW.”

    “Okay, Ross, I’ll try.” She had been trying, but apparently not hard enough.

    Ross looked different than Buck. He was cleaned up, his hair was combed, and he was shaved. Dana worried that it might be because of her. Perhaps it was just as well they were riding separate bikes. Putting her arms around Ross might be different than putting her arms around Buck.


    “Your research project is bringing up memories for me,” Ross said, leading her to where he had parked his bike. “I had a dream last night about Billy Owens.”

    At first, Dana didn’t understand him. His back was turned, and his words, reflecting back from the trees, came out a bit garbled. She was about to say, ‘What?’ when she realized what he had said.

    “Are you going to share it with me?”

    “If I hadn’t intended to, I wouldn’t have brought it up.”


    “I dream I am in a bathtub and everyone is looking down at me. I am surrounded by people, and they are trying to get me out of the bathtub. I want to tell them to hurry, but I can’t speak. Someone knocks the drain release and the water turns into a huge whirlpool. I am sucked down the drain. The last thing I see are all these hands reaching for me, but they look like hands through a fish-eye lens. As through a big bubble.”

    “What does that have to do with Billy Owens?”

    “In the dream, I am Billy Owens.”


    1)This is a portion (part 3) of chapter 3 of my serial novel hopeful, Discovery at Little Hog Island. Find links at the top and below to other parts of the novel.
    2)The illustration is a drawing my son Graham made of a BMW motorcycle when he was 12 years old. (He's 18 now, and away at his first year of college.)
    3)Part 1: Chapter I part 1,
    4)Most recent previous part, part 15: Chapter 3, part 2: Chapter 3, Section 2 (15)
    5)Links to all the parts that have been published on Cowbird so far: All current links for Cowbird's Little Hog Island installments
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