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“Oh look, a fire tower!”

“You don’t see those much anymore,” said Hilde as she unbuttoned her shirt.

    “I think they mostly use satellites now,” said Lars as he pulled off his left boot. “Especially here in America.”

    Lars was an aficionado of objects that jutted up toward the sky, be they spires, turrets, steeples or towers. He took his binoculars out of his backpack and gazed at the distant tower jutting up from atop a small mountain.

    “Must be a pretty boring job sitting up there all day looking around for a fire,” said Hilde as her flannel shirt fell onto the Autumn leaves.

   “Unless there is one.”


   “There’s something dangling down beneath the tower, on a rope,” said Lars, gazing through his binoculars as he unbuckled his belt. “I can’t quite make out what it is.”   

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A gentle mountain breeze whispered through Hilde’s strawberry hair like a cat’s paw as she unbuttoned her jeans.

   “It seems to be going down, slowly, like somebody’s lowering it. It’s turning round and round.”

   “Maybe it’s whoever is up there’s laundry.” 

   “I think they call them ‘lookouts’. But I don’t think fire towers have washing machines.”

   “Oh, yeah, I guess they don’t,” said Hilde, naked. 

   Lars laid down his binoculars as Hilde took him by the hand and, together, the two hikers took a breath and scampered into the stream for an ice-cold skinny-dip.


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