About The Secret in Mossy Swamp
I swung my arms in the dark, but it was on top of me, its wet mouth snarling in my ear. Was it…?
“What’s going on in here?” Papa rushed through the door holding a lantern. The room lit up with the pale glow of kerosene light.
“Hah, I got you good.” Jesse stood up over me.
“Papa, Jesse tried to scare me.” My voice trembled.
“I did scare you.” Jesse jumped around on my bed. “Hahahaha.”
“Did not! I knew it was you.” I threw my legs over the side of the bed. “Papa, you’ve got to get him out of my room. I can’t have anything. He’s always in my stuff.” I jerked my finger at him. “And now he’s on my bed. I can’t even sleep!”
“It’s not that bad, is it, Tadpole?” Papa usually called me Tadpole unless he was being serious, then it was Nikki, or Nicole Elizabeth Landry if I was in big trouble.
My face felt hot and my eyes watered. “This has been my room since I was born—eleven years and four months to be exact.” I took in a long shaky breath. My brother was almost six, and Papa had moved him in with me last summer, promising to put the houseboat on land and build a room on for him.
“As long as our house is on the water, there ain’t no place to build another room,” Papa said.
“Well, park us on land,” I whined. “You promised.”
“I haven’t decided if I want to stay here permanent.” He scratched the stubble on his chin. “The crabs are biting real good here, but that could change any time. I have to stay mobile.”
“But you got the job as game warden so we didn’t have to move. You ain’t leaving that job, are you?”
Papa was in the habit of moving our houseboat to a new place a couple times a year, until I talked to the sheriff about that game warden job in the paper. Papa had been raised in the swamps and bayous all his life and he was smart enough to pass the tests to get that job, even though he said it didn’t pay as much as being a swamper when the times were right. I think he just liked being his own boss and being able to move when he wanted to.