Choir Practice

Ellen didn’t plan on punching Betsy in the nose, at least not until the idea suddenly came to her. The girls were expected to play Marco Polo, an activity that Betsy’s parents and Ellen’s recently widowed dad thought was a good way for eight-year-old girls to get to know each other.

“What is there to know about us?” Betsy asked in a deadpan voice as the girls approached the kidney-shaped swimming pool. “What we see is what we get.”

She shrugged, eyeing not Ellen but the flapping door of the pool skimmer, as if it might suck her in, like the toads it was her job to scoop out of the basket. Promptly the girls sat on the very first step, up to their belly buttons in water, and began inching down toward the second step.

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