[This might be part of my upcoming #RiverNovel  ]

Someone must have called 9-1-1 by now, so I head down the hill to The River. My dark slicker helps me blend into the daily life of the River Rats. The River will harbor me as it harbored many criminals before me.

As I push the boat from shore, I join the ranks of people who disappeared into The Thousand Islands. The quiet of the oars gives me the horrible advantage of hearing helicopters. I want to be quiet, in tune with those who are seeking me, but immediate concealment seems more important now, so I crank the engine.

I tie my boat to the cleats on the deck of a boat house. The main house burned to the ground a few months ago.

What's edible? Bats carry rabies. I eat seaweed from the ocean; is it much different from what's in The River? What are the mice eating? Can I raid their hoard? Do they pee on their food? I guess the mouse larder is safely theirs tonight.

The rain has let up. The River laps the dock. I look out to the darkness. Quiet.

Skittering wakes me as the sun brightens the sky. I see a squirrel running in and out, stopping to look quizzically at me, approaching me at times. I sit still, recalling walks with kids at a park where the squirrels were tame enough to climb your leg and eat out of your hand. I reach out my cupped hand to beckon it. It sniffs at my hand, and runs away a few times. I slowly move my hand closer to my hip. It comes back, tickling my fingers with the tips of its whiskers. I raise my other hand in a fist and smash its skull. I flip the squirrel on to its back, and press my knife blade into the warm flesh, recalling His flesh. I slice open the abdomen, recalling the days when learning taxidermy from Him hardened me. I toss the guts into The River. The River keeps secrets.

Firewood was piled in the boat house, nice and dry. Some newspaper and dry matches, too. The mice shredded some of the old news, but they left plenty for starting a fire. A campfire ring is clear beside the house's rubble. As I take a sheet, and crumple it into a ball, my rage flares up, and I take it out on the newspaper wads. I lay the tight balls in the ring, slam small splintery sticks on them, and then a couple pieces of larger wood.  After several matches fail to spark, I light the newspaper. Smoke swells as the ground's wetness evaporates. The splinters catch fire, and the flames rise. I offer the squirrel skin to the fire as a symbol for Him. If I can't roast Him, I can roast a memory that came from Him. Funny how memories of Him sustain me now, as I escape from Him.

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