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A hidden jewel discovered in Dover, Idaho
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Schweitzer, What's in the Name
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A short story by Stefanie Freele
On Stage - Local music reviews
  He fell asleep there, but woke up here. At least that is what he says, without explanation, with the bewilderment of a man who is feigning confusion, and doing a poor job of it.

  Janice notices the kayak is more out of water than in, a phenomenon that wouldn’t occur unless he pulled it onto the beach.

  Annie rolls her eyes, without even hiding her annoyance; men can be so pitiable sometimes, a topic they talked about last night in front of the fire, hours before Phillipe materialized,

  Barb is irritated by Phillipe’s obvious lies, enough to want to argue. “You mean in the middle of the night, your kayak up and floated downriver, with you in it, and without navigation, landed at our campsite?”

  Annie, the type of woman who doesn’t need Phillipe’s apology, nor his confession, interrupts. “What do you want, Phillipe? Food, sex, water?”

  Phillipe, the type of conniving male who enjoys the tug and pull of frustrating an uptight woman like Barb, doesn’t want to jump right to his excuse, needing beer; he wants to be invited. “Ladies. How distrustful women are today. I would think three lovely ladies camping alone would be happy to see a man, just in case they needed help.” As soon as he finishes his sentence, Janice put her hands on her hips, and he knows he spoke the wrong words.

  “Phillipe, if we wanted a man around, we would have brought one. ”It was Annie that came out of her tent that morning and found sleeping Phillipe, dreadlocks, Coors cans, and beaten red kayak at the edge of their quiet beach. “I think you did fall asleep, I mean pass out, but after you crashed our campsite. With that mystery solved, now we deal with why you’re here.” “And how to get rid of you,” adds Janice.

  Phillipe tsks. “Man haters. I wake up on a beach full of man haters.”Barb walks closer to his kayak. “Not going to have much fun without your paddle, ladies’ man.” Phillipe tugs at his packs and tosses cans. “What! Where’s that paddle?”

  Annie points to the far shore. “Looks like it fell asleep here and woke up over there.” “Oh no.” They study the short calm space just a few feet above riffles. “I’ll have to jut across quick to get that paddle or I’ll be heading downriver.” Annie takes charge. “Get in. We’ll push you out. You can use my paddle, but better bring it back.” Barb starts. “Annie. He’ll never make it back with it; he probably won’t get to his paddle in the first place, the rapids start right away.”

  Annie winks. “Big strong man. He’ll make it.”Phillipe climbs in and they push. Annie makes to hand him the paddle, but at the last instant, holds it close to herself. Phillipe heads right into the rapids, yelling.

  Janice says, “Useless.”

  Annie says, “Prime example why I’m no longer married.”

  Barb mutters, “Nobody drinks Coors anymore.” | | | |
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