Beneath the Sleeping Giant, Horne Lake

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To the left a sleeping giant rests, laying flush across the lake. He stares straight up into the stars, at once ambivalent and awed, still as a mountain.

To the right we congregate around the campfire, exchanging stories and staring deep into the darkness that surrounds us.

A crack sounds from the woods, a broken twig or crunched leaf.

A crackle springs from the fire, sparks flying into the night.

We are at peace.

The Pull

I was washed away by the waves.

Washed clean and away.

The salt stung the sunburn across my shoulders.

The water was biting, a cold just south of comfortable despite the hot, hot day.

I had been wading, shallow, only up to my knees,

But the current was strong, pulling and tugging and forming a sink hole of sand around my toes.

It pulled me down, under.

To be part of the ocean but never one with it. It is too vast, too above it all (while below).

My face went under and my eyes squeezed shut too late.

The salt stung and scratched.

Kelp brushed my arm and I grabbed it, the oily skin clutched between my fingers, bending to my will.

I heard shouts from the shore as my head broke the surface.

I managed to plant my feet, rush forward slowly, my sprint held back in water like running through molasses.

A second wave, as large as the first came and I braced.

I did not go under.

I made my way to the shore, the pull of water up to my thighs now, then my knees, then my ankles.

The kelp still clutched between my fingers.

The sand was warm between my toes, sun kissed and a jarring juxtaposition to the cold water.

I broke free and sat down on the sand with a deep breathe, close enough to the shoreline to still feel the waves brush my feet like reaching fingers.

My friends rush to me, speaking hurriedly and panicked but I tune them out.

It seemed even the ocean would not fight to keep me

The 9th Victim: Williams, an Introduction

An excerpt from the 9th Victim, Williams is a fictional town.

The town of Williams, like most coastal towns in Northern British Columbia, is one of devastating contradictions. With a permanent population of less than 2,000 people the tight knit community struggles to stay together amongst the fast money and violent culture that has taken over, fed by the huge transient population. Despite closures and dwindling jobs in all three of Williams’ main industries (fishing, logging, and mining) there is still a rampant tendency to live fast and let the money fly and the men come in droves to work, the more dangerous the job the better the payoff (and the better the party at the end).

But still there is beauty.

The stretches of coastal rainforest that have remained unscathed from logging offer a staggering wall of majestic greens and browns and the silence of the woods is at once sinister and oddly peaceful. Grizzlies and wolves are a common yet majestic danger and orca and humpback whales can be seen in the spring. Farther inland a maze of caves offers an otherworldly draw, their yawning mouths carved deep into the mountain face where underground springs and deep caverns seem to sink to the centre of the earth.

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