Stick after stick they flung into the water before tearing along the muddy riverbank in chase.
Each twiggy sacrifice hurried along the current to its destiny; a big leap over the edge of the rocky outcrop. The sticks plummeted into a deep, dark pool and disappeared beneath the surface. It wasn’t long until they rose again, buoyed by the amber, peaty water.
Then the gnarled hand reached up and snatched. The sticks were lost to the bottomless depths.
“None of them come back up after that,” the boy observed.
His sister nodded. “It’s true then. Franny isn’t coming back, either.”