The sky was threatening, pink with purple flush, like a whirlpool of clouds, funneling into heaven.
“Oh Greg, you’re here.”
Gregson looked at his mother, her peppered-white hair, and smile that lit-up the dark clouds floating above the family.
“Jon wants to talk to you,” she said. “He has something to give you. Is this your girlfriend?”
“No, this is my attorney. Now, I’ll let you talk.”
Gregson walked through the tall grass, jumping with ticks and crawling with coral snakes. It was good to be home.
“That’s your birthday present.” Jon pointed to a double-barrel shotgun resting on the bed of his beat-up pickup truck. There were four flounder fish and two dead ducks lying next to it.
“Just put the shells in here, like so?” Gregson asked.
“Yeah. I shouldn’t have to tell you.”
“This is a woman’s gun.”
“Do you know a lot about shotguns?”
“No… I know a few things about women.”
“Then, maybe you can help me understand your sister better?”
“I don’t think so. She’s impossible to figure out. You like to solve problems, and you married a big one.”
“That’s no way to talk about your sister.”
“What’s that?” The chocolate lab was swimming after a dead duck floating in the bayou.
“Third times the charm.”
“Not the duck or the dog, but that.” Gregson pointed out to sea. An enormous scaley tail from the blue water swam into the black.”
“That’s a croc!”
“You’re going to lose a dog.”
“Can you run an outboard?”
“Well, gun it!”
Gregson got into the rear and Jon stood in the front with his double barrels ready, gaining on the dog.
“I hit the bastard!”
“No, the croc, and he’s bugging out. Now, slip your hand over the side and grab his collar.”
Gregson’s arm touched the water, and the croc went under. The dog jumped into the boat without encouragement, and they quickly turned it around. That’s when the head emerged, twice the width of their craft, with amber eyes, prehistoric, and malevolent.
“The longer something lives, the longer it has to become evil. If it’s true for a man; it’s true for that croc,” Gregson said.