|Excerpt from "Charlene"|
After an hour or so of paddling, Charlene started to feel very tired. "Can you take over?" she asked Mike.
"Sure," he replied. "Let’s switch places."
Krissy turned to look at them. "That’s not such a good idea," she said. "We’re at the deepest part of the lake, and moving around in the raft could cause it to tip over."
"We’ll be careful," Mike assured her. Charlene got to her feet, slowly and stiffly. She felt so tired, to the point of being slightly woozy and unsteady.
"Look!" Krissy shouted, pointing towards the edge of the lake. "There’s a moose swimming in the lake. It looks like he's heading right for us!" As she twisted around, her paddle hit Charlene in the back of her left knee. Charlene felt her knee buckle, she lost her balance and toppled over the edge of the raft and into the lake.
The water was icy cold and Charlene felt it close over her head. She bobbed to the surface, held up by her orange life vest, feeling disoriented and dizzy. She flailed weakly at the water, but couldn’t summon up even enough strength to shout for help. Then she felt herself being hauled back into the raft. She lay there, teeth chattering, as Mike and Krissy peered worriedly down at her.
"Are you okay, honey?" Mike asked.
"I feel so c-cold and tired," she replied.
"She doesn’t look good," Krissy said. "I think we’d better get her back
to the lodge as soon as possible. Wrap her up in the blanket that we used
for the picnic." As Charlene drifted off to sleep, a nagging suspicion
flashed through her mind. Had Krissy deliberately pushed her overboard?
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