Ginny lightly tripped down the stairs with her towel over her shoulders, excited to be going to the swimming hole in the neighbor’s yard. The neighbors would be gone for two weeks and had given her permission to swim in the natural pool while they were gone. Under Ginny’s sunny-yellow smock, she wore nothing. She planned to get in a little skinny-dipping this afternoon.
As Ginny reached the bottom of the stairs, her big brother stuck his head out the door. “Where you going, Sis?”
“To the creek. What’s it to ya?” Ginny responded, afraid that Bruce was going to want to come with her and spoil her chance for some alone time.
“Just be careful,” Luke said. “I heard that one of the most dangerous boys in the camp escaped two days ago and no one has seen him since. You got your cell phone? “
“For what?” asked Ginny. “No service there, anyway.”
“Well, give a holler if you hear or see anything weird, “Bob said. “Don’t be brave, just get home if anything happens.”
Ginny lifted her arm high and waved off the warning as she started running across the neighbors’ field. When she got to the creek, she slid down one of the ridges that enclosed it. She slipped off her shoes and stuck her foot in the water. It was freezing, but she didn’t care. She was going in. She stood for a moment and listened to make sure no one else was in the woods with her, then slipped off the smock and stood naked for a few moments, savoring the freedom that feeling the air on your bare skin gives you.
Because the water was cold, Ginny jumped in quickly, knowing that her body would acclimate to the low temperatures better if she didn’t go in inch-by-inch. The hole was actually only five feet deep so she had to bend her knees to get her hair wet and when she came up, she leaned back and floated for a while.
As Ginny lay there floating, she suddenly heard a noise: Crunch, crunch, crunch. She pulled herself upright and stood in the water straining to hear the noise again. She hadn’t taken Bruce’s warning to heart, but maybe she should have? She suddenly pictured a perverted teenager jumping from the bushes, grabbing her, and doing all kinds of horrible things to her. She realized she was breathing heavily and tried to slow her breathing so she could hear better. But, there was no noise. Ginny turned 360 degrees, peering into the heavy flora that surrounded the pool. These trees and bushes always made her feel safe from prying eyes, but it suddenly occurred to her that they did the same for anyone hiding in them. Could there be someone hiding in there?
After a few minutes of not hearing anything else, Ginny decided that her imagination was playing tricks on her. After a time span that felt like an eternity of not hearing anything, Ginny laughed quietly at herself and started dog paddling around the swimming hole again. She had been amusing herself by twirling in the water when suddenly there it was again: Crunch, crunch!
“Who’s there!” Yelled Ginny. Those were definitely footsteps . Someone must be watching her. But, what should she do? It’s possible that whoever it was had not seen her yet. Maybe she should jump out and get dressed. On the other hand, he may have been watching her and she was naked! How could she jump out with him there.
“Come on! Speak up!” Ginny was trying to use her toughest voice. It wasn’t easy because she was trembling. “I’ve got a gun with me and if you don’t speak up, I’m gonna start shooting,” yelled Ginny.
Crunch, crunch, crunch. Whoever it was didn’t answer. They just kept walking and if Ginny’s ears were hearing right, they were getting closer! Ginny decided it didn’t matter if whoever it was saw her naked, she jumped out of the water, and struggled to put her smock back on. She was so scared that she couldn’t find the sleeve holes and kept running her hand into solid cloth.
“Don’t hurt me, please!” she screamed as the crunching noise came a bit closer and stopped. “Please! Go away!.” She finally got one arm in a sleeve and now couldn’t find the neck hole. The smock was over her head, making her blind, so she couldn’t even run back home half dressed. Ginny heard the noise again, only this time it was on the ridge across the creek from where she was standing. She turned toward the noise, but couldn’t see through the heavy material that covered her eyes.
“Oh, God!” she whimpered. “Please just go away and leave me alone!” But, the source of the noise didn’t go away. There were two more crunching footsteps and then a huge commotion of noise and action as something very heavy came falling down the wall that the ridge formed on the other side of the creek. She could hear the flailing of someone very large in the water, about 20 feet from where she stood. She was running out of time!
Ginny threw off her smock and ran to the top of the ridge on her side before she turned to look at her attacker. There in the water, splashing about, was a calf and up on the ridge, looking through the trees was a cow. Ginny’s legs collapsed and she sat down hard on the slanted ground under her. She started laughing as she slid down the slope and came to rest next to a big bush next to a creek.
“I’m so stupid!” Ginny said between giggles as she laughed at herself.
“Yup, you are,” said a deep voice as a rough hand, shot out of the bush and wrapped around her mouth, pulling her into the bush. The deserted, sunny-yellow smock floated downstream.