By Bettyann Moore
Rufus stood dead still, all his senses alert. He turned his head – and his headlamp – in a slow circle. He couldn't imagine Bud, superstitious, rabbit-scared Bud, taking off on his own. So, where'd he get to? The passenger side door was shut; Rufus hadn't heard it open or close.
“That don't mean nothin',” he said aloud, but not too loudly. “A guy can get pretty het up on somethin' and never hear or see hell-all.”
Rufus shut off the lamp and waited for his eyes to adjust. He listened hard. The quiet was absolute. Not a rustle of critters in the grass nor a whisper of cattails by the pond. The back of his neck prickled. He felt like he was being watched. With slightly shaking hands, Rufus turned on the headlamp and whipped his head around to shine the light behind him. Something, something inky black slithered just out of sight and back into the mist.