Counting the Way to Dietz Lake

The blue bus stopped in front of the only gas station in Dietz. I counted my steps as I crossed the road to the gas station. 12 steps across the asphalt, 14 to the door. My heart beat harder the closer I came to the squat brick building. Maybe they knew something about me.

“Excuse me. Could you tell me how to get to Dietz Lake?” My voice sounded calmer than I really was. My heart was beating so fast it practically fluttered, my legs wanted to run, my palms were sweaty and adrenaline coursed through my body icily.

The man behind the counter paused to size me up through his squinty eyes. He hadn’t shaved and had on a filthy white t-shirt. I counted the seconds before he answered. One, two, three, four, five, six,..

“Go up the road that way about a half mile. You can’t miss it.” He then spit on the floor to his right behind the counter. One. One crazy old man with a nasty habit.

Two. My two feet were not happy with the long walk to the big brown sign that announced the lake. The sign had yellow letters.

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