“It’s really nice out, isn’t it?”
“It really is. I love our Wednesday Daytime Duck Dates.”
“Me too. I could just glide around with you like this everyday.”
Their little orange flippers turn them around so they are facing each other, swimming in parallel, and following one another.
“It’s so quiet here, isn’t it?”
“Sure is, Phil. Remember when there used to be all kinds of creatures splashing around in this here lake?”
“Yep, sure do. And in the winters all the families would bring their kids ice skating. This lake is so big. Stretches far out past those trees. We should go over there sometime.”
“Okay. Let’s cruise out there tomorrow for our Thursday Travels.”
The lake ripples as if it were a piece of silk being ruffled by a gentle spring breeze.
Further out toward Sally and Phil’s planned excursion, the water appears to be a dark indigo color. The water, as it gets shallow and close to the shore, fades to unnatural colors—a rusty brown and ending in a deep and bright amber shade.
“I wonder why there just aren’t that many other ducks around here. I mean, I like the solitude, don’t get me wrong. I could spend my entire life just floating here with you, Sal, but I do wonder.”
Phil takes a small drink of lake water. It has a kind of metallic quality to it, but he drinks it anyway.
“Ya, it sure is beautiful. I can’t imagine why there aren’t too many other birds in the water. Good thing we got each other, huh?”
“Yep, I sure do love you.”
“Aw, I love you too, Phil.”
In the near distance, encircling the park, one can hear the roar of traffic. The highway sits right past the eerie green landscaped grass surrounding the playgrounds and picnic tables.
On the other side of the lake, where the man-made beach sits, a little girl swats at a swarm of flies circling her head. She points to a sign in front of the lake and says, “Mommy, I don’t understand. Why can’t we swim?”
Her mother looks up. The sign reads:
DANGER: LAKE POLLUTED. DO NOT SWIM.