Trip of a Lifetime
Up the Creek
A Note to the Reader
Ed and Brenna have left the Albany
River behind. They've paddled up a tributary stream, searching for the answer
to a puzzle. But the mystery's still as deep as it ever was, and things have now
taken a deadly turn.
A REMINDER This is a work of fiction. All the characters are figments
of the authors' imaginations. It's NOT a paddling guide. If you're planning a
trip on the Albany River, consult the most recent edition of a good guide-book
and be sure you're thoroughly familiar with all applicable regulations. While
maps of Ontario show some of the waterways mentioned here, the places depicted in
our story exist only in the authors' mindsand in yours.
A new chapter in Trip of a
Lifetime, our paddlesport novel-in-progress, will appear on the first
Tuesday of each month. If you've missed a chapter, or if you're joining us for
the first time and you want to catch up, just use the hot-linked title to go to
the In the Same Boat Archives. It's all there.
Our story continues
April 2, 2002
Brenna stared at the muzzle of the gun in the man's
hands. The small, black hole seemed to grow in size until it filled her entire
field of view. She wondered if she'd see the bullet that killed her. It was an
unsettling thought. She wanted to tear her eyes away, but she couldn't.
No one moved or spoke. The man with the gunEd recognized it as an
AKMexamined them in silence. Two dark eyes set deep in a blocky face stared
unblinking over the gun's elevated front sight. A wild tangle of curly hair
spilled out from under a greasy woodland camouflage cap.
Mist swirled around the three figures. The little river hissed and slapped
against the cobbled shore. Ed and Brenna's big green canoe was nowhere to be
The gun dropped from the man's shoulder. He cradled the stock beneath his
upper arm. Suddenly, he shouted, "HANDS UP!" The English words came haltingly at
first, but in seconds they were spilling out of the gunman's mouth in quick
bursts: "COME CLOSE! Come close, NOW! MOVE SLOW!" Ed and Brenna shuffled forward
together, their hands held above their heads.
"Stop! Now!" the man commanded. The muzzle of his gun twitched, pointing first
at Brenna's belt, then at Ed's boot. "Your knifes. Throw knifes on ground! One at
a time." The muzzle of the gun was now pointing at Ed's chest. "You first!"
Ed did as he was told. Moving slowly, he bent over. Still holding his left
hand above his head, Ed eased the long blade from its boot-top sheath with his
right. Holding the knife by its blade, he placed it on the ground at his feet and
then took one short step backward.
The muzzle of the gun now returned to Brenna. "You next!" the man said, and
Brenna, too, complied, copying Ed's careful movements.
"Back!" the man yelled, and Ed and Brenna stepped back till the gunman
Then the man walked forward. He squatted, still holding his gun with the stock
tucked under his arm. With his left hand he reached for the knives. He examined
Brenna's first, holding it up to one side of the gun. Without a word, he tossed
it into the river. Then he picked up Ed's knife. He lifted it carefully, feeling
the balance. He examined the worn grip and felt the edge with his thumb.
The gun twitched toward Ed's boot again. The man in the camouflage cap yelled,
Ed removed the metal-tipped leather sheath from his boot and tossed it toward
the gunman, who slipped it awkwardly over the blade. Then he stood, thrusting the
newly-sheathed knife under the waist-band of his filthy jeans.
"UP!" he yelled next, jerking the muzzle of the gun toward the steep bank. Ed
and Brenna started climbing clumsily, holding their hands above their heads. The
gunman followed close behind.
Sliding and slipping, kicking steps in the slippery clay, they reached the top
at last. The mist was thinner there, and a watery landscape greeted Ed and
Brenna's eyes. A small, sluggish stream meandered through a wilderness of low
scrub, bog, and spruce. A barely-visible trail paralleled the stream. It led
right toward the heart of a dense spruce forest.
"Go!" the gunman ordered from just behind them, and Ed and Brenna didn't have
to ask where. They slogged onward toward the dark wall of spruce, now several
hundred yards away. It was slow going. The ground beneath their feet was the
consistency of oatmeal, and water bubbled up around their boots as they walked.
Leatherleaf and dwarf willow tugged at their ankles.
Just as they approached the green wall, a second man emerged into view.
"Stop!" the gunman ordered, but the command was unnecessary. Captives and
captor alike waited for the second man to come closer.
Ed and Brenna watched silently as he approached. A short, lithe figure, with
the dark hair, broad cheeks, and wide-set eyes of a Mongol horseman, the man
moved quickly and easily over the sodden gumbo of the trail. And he, too, carried
a rifle. "Another AKM," Ed thought, but then realized immediately that it was
something elsethe short barrel, bulky flash suppressor, and folding stock
bore the stamp of a specialist's weapon. What, Ed asked himself for the tenth
time, had they stumbled into? Try as he might, he couldn't find any answer that
The new arrival exchanged a few words with their captor. Neither Ed nor Brenna
could understand what either man saidit sounded like Russian, Brenna
thoughtbut there was no doubt who was giving the orders. The lithe man
gestured toward Ed's knife, and with an almost comical expression of petulance
and disappointment, their captor handed it over. Then he turned back toward his
prisoners and jerked the muzzle of his gun in the direction of the wall of
spruce. Ed and Brenna plodded on, walking ahead of their guards.
The dense-packed trees closed over their heads. After several minutes, a small
clearing opened before them. Coals glowed in a stone firepit. Beyond it stood a
rough, slab-wood table, and standing beside the table was a third man. He was
tall and heavily built, with a mop of thick, sandy hair crowning a large, square
head. Pale, steel-gray eyes rested briefly on each of the new arrivals in turn.
The tall man wore a black turtleneck, dark blue chinos, and high-topped black
leather boots. A canvas holster and a sheathed bayonet hung from a heavy green
webbing belt. In the man's left hand he held a steel cup. Curls of steam rose
from the contents. In his right hand, he, too, held the same short, businesslike
Kalashnikov that had puzzled Ed earlier.
"Here," Ed and Brenna thought simultaneously, "is the Boss."
The gunman who'd captured them said, "Stop," and this time he didn't shout. Ed
and Brenna halted. The lithe guard walked forward and spoke quietly to the tall
man by the firepit. The conversation had the air of an official report. The tall
man looked up. He nodded, and the third gunman motioned for Ed and Brenna to step
The Boss set his cup down on the slab table. The steel-grey eyes inspected his
prisoners. Ed and Brenna looked away, taking in their surroundings.
Even in the clearing, the light was failing, but they could see that the camp
had an air of permanence. Two large canvas wall tents hung from pole frames,
their walls spray-painted with a crude but effective camouflage pattern. A
second, smaller slab table stood beside one of the tents, supporting a large
steel washbasin. Several well-trodden paths led off in different directions. At
the very edge of the clearing stood a low log hut. Its roof was covered with
thick slabs of peaty sod, and it appeared to have been built into the soil. The
only opening was a small door.
A faint, sweet, slightly metallic odor hung in the air. Both Ed and Brenna had
smelled it before. It was the smell of fresh blood.
"And just who might you two be?" the tall man asked, without any preamble or
introduction. He had a clear, deep baritone voice, and his English was excellent.
Brenna was the first to reply: "Who are you," she demanded, "and what
do you think you're doing?"
"Such want of courtesy," the tall man said, his voice taking on a note of mock
outrage. Then he smiled, but his eyes remained alert. "Still, you are right. It
is for me to introduce myself. And you may stop waving your hands in the air, if
you wish. I am called Sergei. And you are
To their mutual surprise, both Brenna and Ed replied immediately. They winced
as circulation returned to their hands.
Sergei made a slight bow. "My apologies for any discomfort," he said. He
paused for a moment. "Brenna
," he continued, thoughtfully. "A delightful
name. And what, may I ask, are you doing here?"
colleague made us an offer we couldn't refuse," Ed answered.
Sergei smiled again. "Ah, yes. Nikolai can be
what should I say?
bit overpowering at times. But that's not what I meant, of course. You are very
far from home, I think. What has brought you to our river?" The pale eyes looked
inquiringly at Ed.
"Henry Hudson," Ed said. And he said nothing more.
The steel-gray eyes never left Ed. "I see," the tall man said simply. He
turned to his lithe companion, who wordlessly handed over Ed's knife. Sergei
removed the blade from the sheath, inspected it carefully, and then replaced it.
He placed the knife on the slab table. Then he spoke again: "Please remove your
boots and socks."
Brenna opened her mouth to object, but immediately thought better of it. She
and Ed did as they were told.
"Good," Sergei said. "I think we are going to get along well." He turned to
Ed. "This is a Fairbairn-Sykes knife, I believe. An odd knife for an explorer to
carry, I think. Have you had it long?"
"Yes," Ed said.
"It is a good knife," Sergei said, reflectively. "A very good knife
for some purposes. And unless I am mistaken, it has seen hard
service. Am I right?"
"You are," Ed replied.
Sergei nodded. He studied the knife on the table silently for several minutes.
"Now," he said, you will remove your life jackets, your hats, and your belts."
"Why?" Brenna asked.
"Because I have told you to do so," Sergei answered. He wasn't smiling now.
Once again, Ed and Brenna obeyed. The empty sheath for Brenna's knife dropped
to the ground at her feet. No one moved to retrieve it. Their pants were loose.
They clutched at the waistbands to keep them from slipping off.
Sergei picked up their life jackets and systematically searched the pockets.
He removed their compasses and whistles and placed them on the table alongside
"Now," Sergei said, indicating the lithe man with a quick bob of his head,
"Pavel is going to search you. Do nothing stupid." His eyes rested on Ed's for a
second. "Nikolai, as you know, is sometimes overexcitable. He is, however, a very
good shot. And I, too, am a very good shot. Place your hands on top of your
heads, and do not move until I tell you that you can. Your pants will fall to the
ground. Leave them there."
Ed and Brenna placed their hands on their heads and waited. Pavel slung his
rifle, and stepped behind them. The search that followed was swift and thorough.
When Pavel was done, he carried the contents of Ed's and Brenna's pockets over to
the table: a small Swiss Army knife, two match-safes, a red bandanna, a strip of
fruit leather, a hank of parachute cord, and Brenna's "rock
collection"three polished stones from the bed of the little river.
Sergei examined the items. When he had finished, he slid Ed's knife into his
own boot-top and said, "You can pull up your pants now. After that, take a seat
on the ground. And please keep your hands in front of you. I would like to avoid
Brenna and Ed sat quietly. Pavel retreated behind the wall tents, while Sergei
continued to study his prisoners. He paused only to speak to Nikolai, who
promptly jogged off down one of the paths.
When Pavel next emerged, he carried a large tin, its contents identified only
by black Cyrillic lettering, barely visible in the failing light. He set the tin
down on the table, then lit three gasoline pressure lanterns, hanging one in the
doorway of each tent. The third remained on the table, where it hissed and
sputtered continuously. Every few seconds, a moth or other insect would immolate
itself against the incandescent mantle. Tendrils of river mist infiltrated the
clearing. Pavel blew on the still-glowing coals in the fire-pit, added short
lengths of split wood from a near-by stack, and placed an enormous tea kettle on
the grill. Next, he opened the tin can, dumped its contents into an aluminum pot,
and set the pot on the grill next to the kettle.
After some minutes, Sergei squatted down next to Ed and Brenna. "Why are you
here?" he asked. Neither answered. Sergei shrugged. "I had hoped to avoid any
unpleasantness," he said, adding, "It is a simple question, is it not? Please
Ed sighed. There seemed no alternative. "We're on a summer holiday," he said.
"Canoeing the Albany river. We'd even planned to spend a little time searching
for evidence of Henry Hudson's fate once we reached the Bay. It sounds absurd, I
suppose, and perhaps it is, but it seemed like a good idea at the time
His voice trailed off.
Brenna picked up the thread of the story. "We thought we'd explore the little
river where your man found us. Ed wanted to do some fishing. I wanted to make a
few sketches. That's all." She said nothing about the sturgeon or the gunshots.
Sergei looked at her, his face creased by a momentary smile. "So," he said at
last, "you are an artist, are you? Now that is interesting. I find art
much more entertaining than fishing. I would like to see your sketches someday."
He said nothing more. Nikolai returned to the clearing, wiping his hands on
his pants. Pavel stirred the pot and began to spoon the contents out into steel
dishes. Once they were full, he handed them round. When he got to Brenna, he
said, "Bon appétit," and Brenna could have sworn that he winked at her. The
stew was good, too, and it was followed by mugs of strong, sweet tea. Pavel then
joined Sergei and Nikolai at the table. The clearing was silent except for the
scrape of spoons against steel bowls, the hiss of the lanterns, and the hum of
insects. Everyone ate with gusto.
After he'd scraped the last bit of stew from his bowl, however, Sergei spoke
at length in Russian to Pavel and Nikolai. Then he turned back to his captives.
"You are Americans, of course." It was a statement, not a question.
"Yes," Ed confirmed, and then asked, "And you? Who are you? And why are you
holding us here?"
"Let us just say that you are our guests," Sergei replied. "I could treat you
like prisoners, of course. I could tie you up and keep you under heavy guard. But
that would be a nuisance, don't you agree?" He stared at Ed, who nodded slowly,
not trusting himself to make a reply.
Sergei continued: "But on the other hand, if you promised not to run away, and
not to cause mischiefin short, if I could trust youthan that would
make life easier for all of us, would it not?" Ed and Brenna both nodded now.
"Then we have an agreement," Sergei concluded. "You will not leave this
clearing except to use the latrine, and you will use only a single path to go
there." He gestured in the direction of one of the trails. "Also, one of you will
remain in the clearing at all times." He paused. "Do you still agree"?
"Yes," said Ed and Brenna together.
"Good," said Sergei. He pointed to one of the canvas tents. "That is your home
away from home for the night. I will have to insist that you keep the flap open,
howeverthough of course you can close the mosquito netting. I regret the
loss of privacy, but I'm sure you understand the reason."
Ed and Brenna nodded sullenly.
Sergei grinned. "It could be worse, you know. You could be in a Canadian
Ed and Brenna exchanged glances. Ed looked up at Sergei. "What the hell are
you talking about?" he asked.
"Is it possible?" Sergei spoke in bemused wonderment. "You do not know?" He
stared at Ed and Brenna, seeing only confusion in their faces. "No," he said.
"You really do not know. Incredible! I suppose you do not have a radio, do
you? Well, let me explain
." And then he told his captives the story of the
"So you see," he concluded, "America and Canada are not on the best of terms
at present. In fact, you are both enemy aliens now, almost. If the Canadian
authorities find you, they will wish to question you. And when they are done
questioning you, they may very well intern you. Therefore, be glad you are our
guests." Then he and Pavel burst into peals of laughter.
Ed and Brenna sat in stunned silence till the laughter died away. "Is this
true?" Ed asked, looking from one man to the other.
"Oh, yes, my American friend. It is true." Sergei replied, wiping his eyes.
"And it is very funny, I think. Look. It is almost twenty-two hundred hours. In a
few minutes, Pavel will turn on the short-wave for the CBC news. Then you can
hear for yourselves
straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Until
then, though, perhaps you two would be good enough to help Pavel with the dishes.
It is uncharitable to ask such a thing of guests, I know, but Pavel will be very
glad of your help."
Just before the hour, Pavel disappeared into his tent. He returned almost
immediately, carrying a radio the size of a suitcase. "My God," thought Ed, "that
looks like an old Zenith tube set!" Pavel turned it on and extended the antenna.
As the set warmed up, it delivered a chorus of squeals, interspersed with bursts
of static. Looking a little like a safecracker with a difficult job ahead of him,
Pavel adjusted the tuning dial by tiny increments. Despite his care, however, the
big pointer moved jerkily across the large, illuminated dial. Suddenly the static
faded, to be replaced by the voice of a CBC announcer. Pavel smiled. Then a howl
obliterated the announcer's words. Pavel touched the tuning dial. He was rewarded
by a crackle of static. He looked ruefully over his shoulder. "Solar flares," he
explained. It was the first time he had spoken in English.
Sergei chuckled. "Pavel is perhaps a little too proud of his antique. Still,
this radio is what we have, and Pavel is very patient. He will tune it."
Notwithstanding Pavel's best efforts, though, they heard only short snatches
of the news broadcast. That was enough.
American forces have raided Camp X, the former World War II
Special Operations training center in southern Ontario
. There has been no
report of the whereabouts of suspected terrorist Lesserson Null
American AC-130 gunship has crashed into a Kingston, Ontario, shopping mall.
Scores are feared dead
. Canadian Premier Pierre LeClerc demanded an
immediate meeting of the United Nations Security Council
. In a speech
before both houses of the United States Congress, American President Chuck Heston
declared, "America's old friends must not presume upon our friendship. In this
new age of international terrorism, there is no middle ground. Our friends must
decide whether they are with us or against us"
Ed and Brenna listened in stunned silence, straining to make sense of the few
words they could hear. Pavel and Sergei paid close attention, too. Only Nikolai
seemed uninterested. He sat on the bench seat at the slab table, excavating
foul-smelling snuff from a small, circular tin and packing it into the gap
between his front teeth and his lower lip.
Then a swirling drizzle swept across the small clearing. Pavel snatched up the
radio. It gave a last, loud squawk and was silent. "Damn!" he exclaimed, and
muttered what was almost certainly a long and intricate Russian epithet.
As Pavel packed his radio off to the tent, Ed looked at Brenna. "Some trip of
a lifetime, eh?" he said, rolling his eyes toward the weeping heavens. Despite
herself, Brenna laughed. "Trip of a lifetime, indeed!" she echoed, and pressed
It had gradually become dark. Sergei motioned to their tent and said, "You
will wish to go to bed now. We rise early. There are blankets and heavy sweaters
on the cots. Good night."
Nikolai shambled off to the edge of clearing, turned his back and fumbled with
his fly. The splash of urine sounded very loud in the sudden silence.
Ed and Brenna rose to their feet with difficulty and picked their way
carefully over the uneven ground. While Ed waited by the door of their tent,
Brenna followed the short trail to the latrine, clutching the waistband of her
pants. She didn't stay long. Mosquitos were now making touch and go landings on
all her exposed flesh. When she returned, Ed took his turn. In his absence,
Brenna turned back toward the light on the slab table. "Sergei
?" she began.
"Yes?" a disembodied voice replied. Sergei stood outside the circle of light,
lost in the larger pool of darkness. "What is it?"
"Our canoe," Brenna stammered. "All our gear was in our canoe
"Of course" Sergei replied. "A big, green canoe. A very serviceable boat, I
think. Rather careless of you to mislay it. But do not worry. We have found it,
and it is safe. Now go to bedand remember to leave the tent flap open. And
please, no whispered
what is the phrase?
ah, yes, 'pillow talk.' Speak
in your normal voices at all times. There is no need for secrets between friends,
is there?" He hesitated, as if waiting for a reply. When none came, he added,
"Good night again, Brenna."
On his return, Ed extinguished the lantern and pulled the mosquito netting
across the door of the tent. In the sudden, total darkness, Brenna hugged her
husband. "I love you," she said, and Ed kissed her. Neither said anything else,
and within minutes they were both in their cots. A few minutes more, and Ed was
asleep. Brenna, however, lay awake, listening. The swirling rain returned. >From
time to time she heard short snatches of conversation. Then the silence deepened,
broken only by Ed's soft snores and occasional footfalls.
* * *
Brenna woke with a start. The rain had stopped, and the half-light of the long
northern dawn shone through the open tent door. Nothing moved outside. Brenna
suddenly realized she had to peebad!
She sat up. She ran her fingers through her matted hair. Ed continued to
snore. She thought about waking him, but decided against it.
Brenna stood and hobbled on stiff legs toward the door. Pulling back the
mosquito netting, she stepped outside. A sharp root reminded her that she was
barefoot. Then her pants fell down around her knees and she stumbled, almost
collapsing. She fought to stay upright, cursing silently, and set off down the
path to the latrine, holding her pants up with one hand and fending off
low-hanging spruce branches with the other.
By the time she reached the latrine she was soaked. She squatted over the
reeking trench, letting her pants drop round her ankles. She tugged her
underpants to one side. Relief!
As she was starting to rise, a filthy hand closed over her mouth.
She bit down hard and was rewarded by a squeal of pain. She tasted blood, and
the hand was snatched away. Before she could stand or shout, however, she was
jerked onto her back. Her head hung down into the fetid latrine trench.
She felt a heavy weight straddle her. A hand groped for her breasts. She
smelled the stink of sodden, stale tobacco.
A leering face was silhouetted in the uncertain half-light. Nikolai! Brenna
cocked her right wrist back and thrust the heel of her hand toward the center of
the silhouetted face. The blow carried all the force she could bring to bear, and
it landed just below Nikolai's nose. Brenna heard the sound of small bones
breaking. Nikolai grunted in pain. His blood dripped on Brenna's face.
Then she felt a burning lance across her throat. A warm fluid oozed down
around her neck. "A knife!" Brenna thought. "He's got a knife!"
In a panic, she lashed out with her other arm, aiming for the leering face
above her. This blow connected, too, and in the next instant she followed
through, sweeping her arm down and to the side, striking hard at the wrist of
Nikolai's knife hand. She felt the blade fly from her throat. The burning
The weight of Nikolai's body eased as he rolled to the side, his hand clawing
at the forest floor, desperately searching for his lost knife. "Now!" Brenna
thought. She screamed like a demented thinga wavering banshee wail
shattered the early morning stillnessand arched her back, throwing Nikolai
off. Then she was up and running, kicking the tangle that had been her pants away
from her with her first stride.
She ran blindly. Her only goal was to get away. Sharp branches tore at her
face, feet, and body. Her breath came in agonized gasps. And still she ran,
moving her arms before her like a swimmer, clearing a path into the silent heart
of the forest.
And then, suddenly, she pitched forward across a shallow mound of fresh earth.
Stunned, she lay where she had fallen for several seconds. There was no sound of
pursuit. She struggled to her feet again, only to freeze in place when she saw
what had tripped her up. A boot sole protruded from the mound of earth.
Involuntarily, Brenna kicked at it. Nothing. The boot appeared to be anchored in
the earth. Curiosity overcame her fear. Brenna reached down and tugged on the
boot. It came away in her hand, revealing a human foot, sheathed in a soiled and
* * *
Nikolai could not find his knife. Blood dripped from his shattered nose. He
wanted only one thing nowrevenge. He unsnapped the flap on a small holster
that concealed a well-worn Makarov pistol, and he began to run after Brenna. Then
Nikolai heard a dry branch snap behind him. He whirled around just in time to see
Ed burst into the latrine clearing. Without breaking stride, Ed lurched forward,
butting his head hard into the hollow below Nikolai's ribs. Nikolai gasped, but
he kept his balance, lashing out with his left hand while he fumbled for the grip
of his pistol with his right.
The blow caught Ed squarely on his adam's apple. He fell back, his arms
splaying out to either side. His glasses flew off. Nikolai had his pistol out
now. Ed rolled away to the right. His hand closed on something on the ground.
Something hard: the grip of a knife. Deliverance! Ed clutched at it. He tucked
his feet beneath him and vaulted up, throwing himself at Nikolai. The gunman
fired. Too late. Ed was already inside Nikolai's outstretched arm. His right hand
darted up. The blade went in.
Nikolai's body shuddered. Ed lifted, drove the blade in further, felt the edge
catch in the notch of Nikolai's breastbone. The pistol fell from Nikolai's hand.
The gunman stood on tip-toe now, straining to free himself from the blade within
him. Ed locked his right hand over his left and heaved. His pants fell down to
his knees, but he didn't even notice. Nikolai hung suspended, his fingers moving
convulsively. His mouth opened and closed, but the only sounds to emerge were
feral grunts. Warm blood spiraled down over Ed's arms. He felt the knife beat a
slight, insistent tattoo in his hands. The tempo of the tattoo accelerated,
became urgent, and then became more urgent still. Seconds passed. The tattoo now
lost all coherence; the rhythm became wild and desperate. More seconds passed.
The tattoo slowed, stopped, started again, stopped, resumed, and then ceased
altogether. The two men stood close together in the early morning light. One was
alive. The other, dead. Nikolai's head fell back between his shoulders. A dark
ribbon of blood emerged from the silent, gaping mouth. Ed lowered Nikolai's body
to the ground. He tugged at his fallen pants. Then he pulled on the grip of the
knife. Wedged deep in cartilage and bone, the blade barely moved. Ed put his foot
on Nikolai's chest and pulled again.
Sergei and Pavel arrived at the threshold of the clearing just as the blade
came free. Ed turned toward them, the knife in one hand, the waistband of his
pants in the other. "You'll want this back, I suppose," he said. His voice was a
hollow, expressionless monotone. "I've no more use for it, at any rate." And then
he hurled the knife at the ground. It stuck upright, just inches from Sergei's
Pavel raised his short-barrelled gun, but Ed had already turned away. His eyes
swept the far side of the little clearing. A mad trail of broken branches was
just visible. It led directly into the dark heart of the forest. Even without his
glasses, Ed could see that a discarded pair of pants marked its beginning.
"BRENNNAAA!" Ed screamed. The churr of an alarmed red squirrel was the only
To be continued
Copyright © 2002 by Verloren Hoop Productions. All rights