On the first day of September, the water wheel at the old mill house came to a stop. There was no witness. Nicknamed the "house of hanky-panky" by the residents of New Bosford, the building had been the go-to hangout for illicit love. Christine Pendry had lost her necklace there, when Bryce Stanley went to pull her in for a kiss - but accidentally caught his fingers on the strands of prehispanic crystal beads. They smacked on the plank floorboards like a hundred tiny ice-cubes. Christine was in tears, knowing her anthropologist father, Dr. Harold Pendry, would strap her with his New Guinea feather headdress when he found out. Bryce felt like a dolt at his clumsiness. And the moist kiss he longed for could only be imagined. Many years earlier, the slightly-retarded (and constantly picked on) Tom Hicks, had tried to hang himself by the mill house rafters. His life was saved, however, when Steve Jenkins and Tricia Wyatt showed up in their wet bathing suits. They'd hoped for a little twist and shout, but instead became life-savers of the mentally challenged. Grateful to this day, Tom Hicks routinely has his IQ checked.
© BILL BLAIR 2009