“Help!” she says. “Damn it, somebody help me!”
The bear looms above her. From this angle, it’s huge; it’s all Dawn can see. Its harsh breathing is all Dawn can hear. And it suddenly seems stupid that this is how she’s going to die, eaten by a bear -a black bear- in the middle of nowhere, screaming for her life and probably peeing her pants.
And then a gunshot cracks behind her.
I’m going to write you until this pencil wears out. Until all of me wears out. I’m not sure what’s real and what’s not anymore, but these words, they feel real. Solid. And there’s a chance my letters to you will wash up on the right shore.
The wreck, the one that started all this, lies a hundred feet under the Atlantic, close to Key Largo. Ten miles offshore, you’ll find a place where the water turns blue-black and the salt spray tastes different, coppery. And you’ll feel it as soon as your boat passes over the spot. Something wrong beneath your skin, as if the blood moving through your heart has gone sour, like old milk.