[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.They told her not to worry because they didn’t believe a word of it, but the idea of anyone else believing it made them crazy, so they transferred her to a private school.They said that way she wouldn’t be burdened by the ‘stigma’.Then they rented a beach house in California for the entire summer and took off.”“Did you even get to say goodbye?”“Oh yeah, we both cried, and she said she’d miss me, but I think that she was secretly glad it was all over.I don’t think she ever got over the shock that she fell for a girl.”“How about you? Were you shocked that you fell for a girl?”“No, I always knew I liked girls.I guess that was the biggest difference.She never wanted anyone to find out, but I knew I’d have to face it someday.I mean, it scared me, but I knew I couldn’t avoid it forever.”“Yeah, I guess not.”They reached one of the places where the creek pools.It was completely shaded by trees, and there were rocks strewn throughout the water.Katie left the supplies on the bank and stepped out onto the rocks.“I love this spot,” she said and navigated her way across the pool.“It is beautiful.My dog Beau would just love it.”“You have a dog?”“Yep, he’s a golden retriever, and he loves to swim.If I brought him here, I might never get him home.”“Wait until tomorrow when we hike the blue trail.If you like it here, you’re really going to love that.It’s a way bigger pool, and the water’s much deeper.Beau’d be in heaven.”“Sounds like it.”“I always wanted a dog, but my mom is allergic.At least that’s what she says.I think she’s really just allergic to the mess they’d make.”Lara laughed.“I think my mom let me get Beau because she felt guilty that I didn’t have any brothers or sisters.Do you have any?”“Yeah, an older sister.She’s cool.”“Does she come to the camp too?”“God no, she’d rather die.She doesn’t like the woods.She says there are too many wild animals that she doesn’t want to come into contact with.”“But you hardly ever see them.”“I know, I’ve told her that, but she won’t budge.“Well, in some ways I don’t blame her.If I thought too much about everything that lives out here, I probably wouldn’t come either.”“Good point.”Katie made her way back to the bank.“You ready to get back on the trail?” she asked.“Sure,” Lara said.About ten yards down the trail, Katie froze.“Oh my God.”“What’s wrong?”“Look at the size of that snake.”Katie backed up until she was standing behind Lara.Curled up in the middle of the trail was a black snake about two inches in diameter and at least five feet long.It raised its head while they stared at it.“I thought you weren’t afraid of animals in the woods,” Lara said.“That’s no animal.Animals have fur.That thing has scales and slithers, and I’m not going anywhere near it.”“What are we going to do then?”“You could move it out of the way.”“Me? Why me?”“I thought you weren’t afraid of it.”“That doesn’t mean I want to touch it,” Lara said.“Let’s walk around it.”“I’m not walking within striking distance of that damn thing.It’s big and could reach a long way.”“Do they do that? I thought they wouldn’t bother with you as long as you left them alone.”“That’s what they say, but I’m not taking any chances.”The languorous snake uncoiled and moved toward the creek.“Oh good, it’s leaving,” Lara said.Once the snake was off the trail, it stopped and looked back at them.“What’s it staring at us for?” Katie asked.“Maybe it’s waiting to see if we’re going to come down the trail.”“It needs to move farther away before I’m doing that.”“It doesn’t look like it wants to.”“Probably too tired digesting its lunch.”The snake had a lump in its midsection that was visible now that it was uncoiled.“Maybe it’ll move if we start toward it,” Lara said.“You first.”Lara started up the trail, and the snake turned around so it was facing in their direction.“Oh shit, it’s coming back.”“Move away from it,” Katie said.Lara did, and the snake stopped moving, but its head was still up, and it was staring at them.“Great,” Lara said and smiled.“Now what?”Katie picked up a stick and tossed it near the snake’s tail.The snake moved away from the stick but continued to watch them.“Good,” Katie said.“It just needs a little encouragement.”They both looked for sticks and threw them toward the snake’s tail.After they’d thrown a few sticks at it, the snake stopped, raised its tail, and shook it.It made a soft hissing sound.“Is that a rattle?” Lara asked.“No, but it is coming from its tail, isn’t it?”“I think so, but I thought only rattlesnakes did that.”“Me too, but that doesn’t look like a rattlesnake.It doesn’t sound right either.”The snake stopped shaking its tail and wasn’t moving.“Maybe there’s a rattlesnake around that we can’t see and the noise wasn’t coming from that snake,” Katie said.“Throw another stick, and see if it does it again.”Katie threw a stick that landed on the snake, and the snake raised its tail and shook it harder than it had before.The hissing sound was louder this time.Both girls backed away and started laughing.“Now you did it,” Lara said.“It’s totally pissed off.”“But I didn’t mean to hit it.”“Don’t tell me, tell the snake.Maybe it’ll stop hissing at us.”“It isn’t coming this way, is it?”“No, but it’s not leaving either.”Katie started to laugh again.“This is what we get for making fun of my sister.”“We weren’t making fun of her.We said we wouldn’t come either if we thought about it too much.”“Yeah, well, we’re screwed just the same.”“I may not come back on this trail for the rest of the summer,” Lara said.“What makes you think snakes only live near this trail?”“Ok, I’m giving up hiking.”“You can’t quit, I’m not coming back out here alone.”“What good did company do you?” Lara laughed.“It wasn’t scared of two of us.”“Exactly, just think how bold it’d be if I was alone [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]