Chapter 13

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The lakeside trees diminished as the rocky shoreline crept up to the road around the last bend to South Point.  There were three spots on the lake where Willow Lake road ran next to the shore, in the village, Peters beach, and at the rocks at South Point.  Now out of the shade of the trees the winter sunlight shown on Abby as she drove her father’s truck.  To her left nestled in the trees across the rocky shore lined cove Abby could see the deck of the South Point Inn.  Perched on the hill above her, ever watching the lake as in her childhood, Abby could see the Johansson house.  At the end of the bend the blue pickup turned right onto Johansson drive and ventured up and around the hill away from the lake.

From the lake the house appeared brilliant white against the snow, up close the paint was chipped and faded in many spots, revealing stripped patches of black and grey wood siding beneath.  Having been untended for years, unremembered stalks of tall grasses and clovers, brown and withered, poked out through the snow around the base of the house and the yard.  By the side of the house, the doors of the three-bay garage were open.  Two bays were filled with lumber, large sheets of compressed wood, and stacked in the back with what Abby thought might be drywall and hardwood flooring.  A large table saw stood in the third bay surrounded by sawdust and wood chips.  When Abby stepped down from the pickup truck she could smell the fresh cut of the sawdust mixed with the oil of the saw and leading from the bay into the side door of the three-story house she could see the trail of wooden dust.  Coming from somewhere inside the large house Abby could hear saws and the rhythmic stomp of a hammer so she headed toward the side door.

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