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Excerpt from Half Bitten Revamped
by PJ Hawkinson

The water tower had a large bulb at the top where the water had once been stored and around the lower part of the bulb was a grated walkway. Paint had peeled off in places, leaving rusted patches scattered across the surface. I skulked around the bottom of the tower, peering cautiously up, attempting to spot Pete’s location.

I found him opposite the ladder, approximately halfway around. He was sitting with his legs swinging off the platform, staring off into space, obviously deep in thought. Thinking it a stroke of luck that he was on the far side, I ducked out of sight and made my way back to the ladder.

Carefully, I began to ascend, taking each rung slowly, stopping to listen often. I made it to the top without drawing Pete’s attention. Now what? I stared at the massive structure in front of me. What’s that? Is that a door? I walked a little way to my left and sure enough, there, in the side of the tower, was a door. Hmmm, must be an access to the inside for repairs. Will it open? I wondered.

I grabbed hold of the door and pulled; to my surprise, the door sprang right open. Wow, I thought, nothing like safety first. Then I remembered the lock on the gate of the surrounding fence below, the one that should have kept trespassers out.

I stepped closer to the doorway. Light seeped through the opening, dimly illuminating the interior. I could barely make out a second catwalk running at the same level as the outer one. A ladder extended down the inner wall of the tower. This has possibilities, I thought as I moved warily onto the interior grating. Cautiously, I moved down a couple of rungs on the inner ladder. Oh, shit, I gasped silently, jumping back onto the walkway. The ladder swayed wildly and I realized it was barely tethered to its surroundings. I had thought I was a goner there for a minute.

After regaining my composure, I looked down; at the bottom of the tower was a pool of stagnant water from which an unpleasant smell had been creeping, ensuing itself on my sub-consciousness. PU, I thought holding my nose. That is some nasty water.

As I stood there gazing down, a plan slowly came to mind, one that would eliminate Pete from my world, one that was sure to be unpleasant for him.

I reached out, grabbed hold of the door, and slammed it against the outer wall of the tower with all my strength; the damn thing rebounded shut and I nearly had a heart attack thinking that I had sealed myself inside. I grabbed the door and, thank god, it opened right up. I let it fall open and ducked out of sight just inside the entrance. Outside was dead silence; I held my breath and waited.

 


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