What's that hissing sound?
|“What, a kayak?” Ivy exclaimed. “You got me a kayak?”
“I did, indeed,” replied Emmet. “Inflatable. We’ve been together three years -- time to float off into our future.” Ivy stared at Emmet across the crumpled wrapping paper on the apartment floor. Then she remembered to smile. It was true, she had longed for a kayak. She had seen happy, hooting couples in them, skimming across Pine Lake below them as they hiked the ridge trail that Emmet always insisted they take, Ivy grunting behind him and fantasizing about slipping along the surface of the cool water instead.
The next day, they headed to Pine Lake. Emmet insisted on reading the owner’s manual aloud before pulling the folded block of triple-layer polyester with double PCV coating from its carrying case. Ivy headed for a log on the shoreline and sat gazing out across the water.
“Okay, “Emmet announced. “We’re ready. I’ll get the pump and paddles from the car –I thought of everything, you’ll notice.”
“Hmmm,” said Ivy, over at the log.
They prepared to lower the inflated kayak off the pier. “Grasp the D ring on the bow and lower your end into the water,” instructed Emmet.
On the lake, Emmet was afraid of the reeds poking up near the surface. “They might be sharp,” he noted.
“They’re not pins,” Ivy pointed out. She tilted her head to the sun, which felt like velvet pads against her closed eyelids.
“You’re not paddling,” said Emmet.
“You debark first,” Emmet said later as they bobbed back at the dock. Ivy climbed from the kayak, reached into her backpack, withdrew her blue Swiss Army knife, pulled open the small blade, inserted it through the triple-layer polyester fabric, just below the D ring, pulled the blade out, and walked off down the pier.
(Word count: 300)