The boat glided across the river in stealthy silence. The flames from the forest fire leapt high, dancing in the water’s reflection. From where I stood, it looked as if the flames were administering lashes to the small craft. The otherwise crystal surface appeared orange, as if the sun had already begun to set.It was hard to believe it was only four o’clock.
I squinted at the boat. Could this be them? It was so hard to see through all the smoke. Jasper and Angus had left over two hours ago on the rescue mission. I didn’t think it would take this long. Where could they be? I paced, distraught with apprehension. No sounds greeted me save for the thunder in the sky, and the dreadful roar of the fire that assaulted my ears. Even the normally peaceful lapping of the water rising to meet the sand was vicious that day.
I became so frantic that I thought I would jump into the lake and attempt the rescue myself. I waited on the shore, dancing in my impatience for the craft to draw near. When it drew close enough to get a good view, I stared in disbelief. I saw only two figures on board.Just two! Where was the third passenger? Surely they’d found her, hadn’t they? The one in front looked haggard and worn, dragged down by despair and what—defeat? I dared not think so.
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