Out in the depths, the surface of the lake began to bubble again. James gasped and rolled to where she had torn a parting in the reeds to spy through. She stretched out blindly for the radio and stopped.
The bubbles had started to move, snaking forward towards the shoreline leaving a foamy trail behind them. James didn’t dare move, only her eyes followed the steady progress of the bubbles as they drew nearer to the wooden jetty close to her hiding place.
As they reached shallow water, the bubbles stopped, the water erupted…and a finely dressed gentleman walked out of the lake, with a neatly folded newspaper.
James’ mouth dropped open, her hand hovering, frozen beside the abandoned radio.
The gentleman was completely dry and he whistled an upbeat tune as he strode purposefully up the bank and disappeared into a shroud of bushes.
James was frozen in place staring after the gap in the leaves. Was it her imagination or were the branches beginning to close in on themselves, concealing the hole the gentleman had made? James did not blink, did not breath, but her hand began to scramble madly to her side, trying to feel for the radio. She found it in the same pile of rushes and dragged it by the antenna to raise it to her mouth.
She began to whisper breathlessly, still not taking her eyes off of the bushes.
“May… May can you hear me?”
“Yes,” came the reply, clear as day. There was a crunch of footsteps on dry grass and James craned upwards to see her friend standing over her.