Tanner sat back on the bank of the river and stared at the abandoned fisherman's cabin, "Do you think someone lived there or just hung out there when they fished?"
Tom skipped a rock half-way across the river in the direction of the cabin before answering. "They probably lived there. Why would you build a fishing shack this close to town? You could just walk up the hill and be home. It's not that far."
"Yeah, but when it flooded, and it wouldn't even need to be that big of a flood, you'd be wet, like really wet. I bet it floods every spring."
"It can't or it wouldn't still be there. I don't think it floods that often. It's higher over there than here. It'd flood this way first."
Tanner pushed himself to his feet and dusted the grass off his pants. "Let's go look at it."
"And we'll get there how? The river's low, but it's not that low."
"We'll walk across the dam."
"First there are signs saying not to do that and second there's a fence between us and the dam."
"Well if we don't read the signs they don't apply to us. We'll just say that we didn't see them."
"But I did see them. I just told you about them," Tom said.
"I didn't hear you. I was listening to my iPhone."
"And the fence?"
"Well, that we're going to have to climb over."
"And then we'll get onto the dam by way of..."
"We'll go through the power station part of the dam there's a door right there." Tanner pointed at the locked and rusty door, "Then out the other side, onto the part where the gates are mounted, they're rusted open so it's not like they're going to move, and then it's just a short jump down to the concrete dam wall and we're there."
"How do you propose we get back?"
"Or... if you'd let me finish, we could walk up there to the bridge, cross it, and walk down the deer trail to the river."
"Thank God. I thought you'd lost your mind."
"If we had a crowbar we could maybe get that door open but not without one."
Behind them a voice said, "Or a key. That works."
"Jesus!" Tanner and Tom, both high-school Sophomores, spun and saw a man in a city water department work shirt.
"So, about those signs," he started.
"Never saw them." Tanner interrupted.
"That's what I hear. It was a fishing cabin."
"What?" Tom asked.
"That was a fishing cabin. My grandpa built it before world war two but he only used it the one time before he was sent off to Germany. He didn't come back and Gramma wouldn't sell so there it sits. On private property, with a locked door." He stared at Tanner as he said the last part.
"Well we weren't going in. We just wanted to look at it."
"I'll go with you. I've got a key and can let you in and keep an eye on you to make sure the window that it still has stays in one piece."
"Cool!" Tanner started toward the bridge with Tom following.
Tom said, "I'm Tom, that's Tanner."
"You can call me Al."
"Is that your name?"
"No, it's a line from a song."
"Never heard it. Is it new?" Tanner asked.
"Not really, no. Yes. It's my name. What're you boys doing down by the dam?" Al gestured to where he'd found them talking about breaking into the abandoned hydro-electric dam from the beginning of the bridge across the river.
"Nothing." Tom said.
"Then I came just in time," Al said.
They walked in silence until they got to the top of the trail that lead from the road down to the river's edge. It wasn't a groomed trail and was more of an animal path than a trail. Branches and bushes infringed from both sides making it hard to see where they were going as they descended the steep hill. "You a pervert?" Tanner asked as he stutter stepped down the last few yards of the hill to the flat along side the river. Tom followed right behind and stopped just past Tanner.
"You should've asked that before you went down into the weeds with me," Al said as he walk-ran down the steep embankment, stopping before he got to where the boys stood looking at him. "And no. I'm a Libra."
"Well that's okay then," Tom said, because you know. That's science and there's never been a mass murderer that was a Libra before." His voiced dripped with sarcasm.
"Oh. You didn't ask if I was a mass murderer. He asked if I was a pervert." Al said pushing past them to move towards the cabin.
"So, are you a mass murderer?"
"Well, I don't know. I haven't murdered a helluva lot of people but I suppose there was a point in time when Saddam Hussein hadn't murdered a lot of people or Hitler hadn't either but they are mass murderers aren't they?"
"You really need to work on your putting people at ease skills," Tanner said, looking back at Tom and letting Al get slightly further ahead of them.