Tommy slipped through the grass, doing his best to be quiet. He moved from behind a stump to a spot behind a thorn bush and then back out into the grass. Each step brought him closer to the water.

The wind was strong, blowing away what little noise he made. It also muffled the sounds of laughing, screaming and splashing from the creek.

Mary Ann’s friends had stayed for the weekend. Her lights burned into the night and he watched her and Sarah braiding each other’s hair. With weather this hot, there was no way that they wouldn’t have come down to the swimming hole.

Thirty more slow, careful step and Tommy settled in behind a multiflora rose bush that was almost as big as Mary Ann’s Beetle. He used a stick to move the thorny branches, pushing a few of them down to open a window through the bush.

The girls were there. On the rocks beside the creek, each of the four had placed a neat pile of cloths. His eyes widened as he watched his babysitter and her friends splashing each other. For a boy of his age, this was a dream come true.

He was so focused on them, that he didn’t hear the crunch of a heavy step behind him.

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