Four: When A Lake's Not a Lake?

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Aimee bolted to a sitting position and found herself in a darkened room.

Milky moon rays filtered through the nearby window casting eerie shadows on the hardwood floor.

"Bad dream?"

Aimee turned her head and saw Chad sitting on the floor a few feet away.

"Something like that." She said as she hid her shaking hands under the cover of the sleeping bag.

"How long was I out?"

"A few hours." He replied. "How's the head?"

"Well, I don't feel like I have a metal spike rammed in my skull anymore." She said.

"A slight improvement then." He smiled.

In the moonlight, she could make out the dimples in his cheeks.

If they were not in this predicament, she might have asked him out on a date.

"Penny for your thought?" He asked.

Her face warmed. Should she tell him?

"Um, got a girl?"

She wanted to smack herself as soon as the words came out.

What an idiot! She thought.

Chad laughed.

"No. You? Got a guy, I mean?"

Aimee heard herself giggling like some pathetic high school girl.

"Nope."

A scuffling sound turned her attention to the other side of the room.

It was Darcy.

"Guys, come with me."

***

Aimee felt much sturdier as she carefully made her way down the flight of stairs to the second floor.

Darcy was in what appeared to be the master bedroom, standing in front of an opened bay window.

The full moon was high in the sky. Its gleaming facade reflected off the water below.

Oh crap.

Aimee's legs nearly buckled at the sight.

If she didn't know better, she would have thought they were on a yacht out in the middle of the lake.

"Take a sniff and tell me what you smell." Darcy said.

Aimee watched as Chad went to the window and inhaled deeply.

"Smells like a lake to me." He replied.

"Okay. Try this then." Darcy handed him a glass of water.

He took it, gave Darcy a look before sipping the liquid content. And instantly spat it out.

His expression darkened as he stared at the glass for several moments.

"Where did you get this?" He finally asked.

"From the living room below." Darcy replied.

Aimee squared her shoulders and took a few steps forward.

"What's happening?" She asked.

"The salinity of this lake is incredible!" Darcy sounded out of breath, her eyes fixed on Chad's face. "I wish I had a refractometer to measure it."

"Hey, would someone fill me in on what's going on?" It felt like Darcy was intentionally ignoring her.

"The lake is becoming more like a sea." Chad slowly shook his head as he handed the glass to her.

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