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By Matthew J. Costello

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He was barely keeping his head above the surface, and he gulped down whole mouthfuls of water. And then he splashed his free hand down. And he felt something close around it. And then, almost gently, begin to pull him down. No, please. 38 m atthew j. costello He screamed. But it was cut off by the water filling his wide-open mouth. And then there was only the churning sound of the lake water slapping against the dam, and the occasional throaty hum of a car quickly passing by. THREE He looked down at her face.

He kicked and pulled through the water, glancing up to see how close he was to shore. The shore didn’t look any closer. He seemed to be in the same damn place. He swam some more, feeling the choppy water spitting and gurgling around him. He looked up. What? There was the shore, and their blanket, and the brown food bag. But he just didn’t seem to get any closer, no matter how hard he kicked. He tried some more kicks, some more strokes— Some more fear. What the hell is going on here? He looked up out of the water.

He heard the cop pause. “Nobody saw him drown, Max. Nobody knows what happened to Tommy. He wasn’t drunk. They hadn’t eaten yet. ” Then Wiley thought of the celebration. The biggest event in Ellerton. The fiftieth-anniversary celebration of the dam and the reservoir. Speakers, parades, all ending in a grand celebration on Saturday night with fireworks, picnics, and— The perfect way to launch his congressional bid. This, though, was bad news. Nasty news. A mysterious drowning in a local lake. He didn’t want his name connected with the drowning.

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