“Maybe Troy told Greg that he saw Bigfoot out here yesterday when he was collecting samples of the flora for his botany class, because he knew you were listening.” Parker skipped a stone across the lake’s surface. “He’s been mad at you ever since you stole his girlfriend last semester. He’d like to see you waste your time on a wild goose chase.”
“I don’t think so,” Carl said, “Stacy and I aren’t even together anymore, and this place is as good as any to look for Bigfoot, woods with a lake where fresh water and fish are available. Besides, I looked it up on the internet. There was a Bigfoot sighting here last year.”
Parker and Carl walked slowly around the lake, peering behind all the trees and shrubs. Parker stopped. “You never did tell me why you and Stacy broke up, but if you don’t want to talk about it.”
The leaves were changing from summer green to an autumn mix of gold and red. Carl jerked a red leaf from a nearby tree. “She thought we should be able to date other people and not just each other.” Carl shredded the leaf. “So now she’s dating jocks. I saw her with Steve, the quarterback of the football team, last week.” He tore a vine from the tree and plucked the leaves off it.
“Uh, maybe you shouldn’t be doing that.”
“Why? Are you a plant lover like Troy?”
“No, but doesn’t that look like poison ivy?”
Carl looked at the clusters of three leaves on the vine he’d just snatched from the tree. “Uh-oh.” He went to the lake, squatted down, grabbed some mud from the edge and vigorously scrubbed his hands before rinsing them in the water and wiping them on his blue jeans. “Think that’ll help?”
Parker shrugged as Carl stood up. “Let’s hope it was some other kind of plant with three leaves, but you might want to get some calamine…”
“Did you see that?” Carl interrupted Parker.
Parker looked in the direction Carl was pointing. “I don’t see anything. What was it?”
“Well, it looked big, but it ducked behind a tree fast.”
“You think it was Bigfoot?”
“Let’s head that way. Get your phone out.” Carl pulled his phone from the pocket of his windbreaker.
Parker did the same as he followed Carl. When they got to the place where Carl had seen something, nothing was there.
The next time Parker spotted something shaggy first. “Over there. On the other side of the lake. Hurry.” When they reached the place, they didn’t see any creature or movement.
“He’s playing hide and seek with us.”
“I don’t know. Maybe he’s bored. You never told me what happened between you and Belinda. You used to spend your weekends videophoning her instead of with me hunting Bigfoot.”
“We’ve just been drifting apart ever since she went to that university up north. We only saw each other on holidays, I’d go up there or she’d come down here. But the last couple of holidays, she’s made some kind of excuse. I think she’s seeing someone else but doesn’t know how to tell me.” Parker selected another flat stone and skipped it twice.
Movement in a distance caught Carl’s attention. “Do you see those bushes moving right over there beside that leaning tree?”
“Yeah.” Parker noticed the same thing. “Let’s go.”
They had only gone a short distance when they saw two shaggy creatures emerge from the underbrush. One was larger and picked up the smaller one, carried him to the lake, took a few steps into the water and then threw him on in.
Parker and Carl moved closer and videotaped the incident with their phones. Parker followed the bigger Bigfoot, who vanished back into the woods, with his camera. “Wow! We’ve seen two Bigfoot!”
They gave each other a high five. “Did you get a good close-up picture?” Carl waved his phone. “I’m having trouble with my zoom.”
“Oh yeah, I got a great picture. This video is going viral.”
“What happened to the other Bigfoot?”
They both turned to look at the lake where the smaller Bigfoot was floundering in the water, trying to stand up, and gasped when the wet shaggy creature removed his head.
“It’s Troy!” Parker began recording again. “This is really going viral!”
Troy tried to get out of the lake but found it hard to move in the wet Bigfoot costume. “How about a little help, guys?”
Carl was laughing and couldn’t hold his phone straight enough to record. “You keep filming.” He handed Parker his phone. “I don’t know how waterproof these things actually are.”
Carl got soaking wet helping Troy out of the lake. “Don’t you owe us an apology?”
“I’m sorry, I was just having a little fun. I followed you guys out here today, then I put on the Bigfoot costume. I rented it yesterday after I talked to Greg in front of Carl; I was sure you’d come here.” Troy unzipped the costume, peeled it off, and looked with alarm at all the clumps of shaggy material in his hands. “I’ll have to pay Stanley Costumes for this outfit, it’s shedding.”
“Right, but how many other people get to say they’ve been thrown into a lake by Bigfoot and be able to prove it?” Parker started showing Troy the video.
Carl stripped off his wet coat. “We can look at it back at the dormitory. I’m freezing.”
“Me too,” said Troy. “Let’s leave.”