The boys left early with their straw hats on, barefoot, fishing poles in hand. One of the boys had the wicker kreel to put the caught fish in. But in truth, they only wanted one fish: the big one, the king bass of the whole pond.
They fished until late afternoon, when it started getting so hot a haze was coming off the top of the pond. They put their straw hats over their faces and dozed in the heat, while now and then sharing sips off of still-cool wellwater from a big Mason jar.
They saw a bare arm just under the surface of the water, out near the middle of the pond. They decided to head home and tell their parents. On the way, their barefeet padded against the orange dirt, and their fishing poles beat at the roadside weeds.
The pond was so far off the beaten path, so out-of-mind, that it didn't have a name like most other ponds. But it was in McKinnon, which was place of woods and rolling hills, named after a trapper of old.
Dispatch sent Kurtzweil out.
He pulled Sandy's dead body out of the pond, crying all the while, thinking of his own wasted youth and now discarded dreams. He put her on the bank, with her seaweed colored eyes staring up at the placid, sleepy sky, while Kurtzweil himself had a good cry at remembering his own past failings.
The sheriff and the other boys came. Kurtzweil thought how the sheriff would tell the parents of Sandy about what happened. Just then, the sheriff asked Kurtzweil to go see the parents, and hurry up before they heard it from someone else.
Son of a...
Later, he went into Wallsmark(tm) while sipping on a Cheerwine(tm), and descended on the clothespin aisle. Ideas were coming to him, ideas that opened a mental pathway to a transcendent level of pain, and pain was the only way to advance, Kurtzweil had just reasoned.
Here was the pathway.