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WARNING! Coarse language- sexual content.

PART TWENTY-SIX

Having spotted Hot Mama waiting at the bike rack Caleb alternated his gaze, focusing on her for a pleasurable six heart beats and then scanning left and right with his field glasses for the same ten seconds. Caleb liked looking at Hot Mama and he liked fantasying about what he’d do to her and her little girl, but Caleb knew the importance of spreading his focus between his surroundings and his prey. “Won’t do me a lick a good if the po-po come sniffing around because some kid stumbled across me and hightailed it home to tell his mommy bout the bogie man in the swamp,” he mumbled to himself.

Caleb’s sniper’s nest provided an unobstructed view of the entire street side of Interlachen Elementary, but the church restricted his sightline to only the far northeast and southwest corners of Saint Peter the Apostle’s parking lot. The church, like the school, was new construction and the parking lot held six-dozen paved spaces along with three times as many grass ones. The southwest spaces, being closest to the school, were the most desirable and Caleb could see a dozen cars in these coveted spots.

Caleb hadn’t given much thought to the out-building in the back of the church when selecting his observation point because it was far outside his sight line to Interlachen. Angered at his lack of foresight Caleb reprimanded himself. “Shoulda thought of that, stupid!”

Caleb could tell that Hot Mama’s spawn was late. Not only was Hot Mama showing agitation, looking at her watch, shaking her head and forcefully exhaling, but the once overflowing bike rack was depleted to ten percent of capacity. One by one mommies and daddies had ridden or walked up to the rack, found little Dick or Jane and hightailed it outta Dodge. Hot Mama was all alone by the bike rack looking hot in both senses of the word in her little white minidress.

The view of Hot Mama in that minidress was more than compelling. Caleb’s Nikon Monarch Seven binoculars were some of the most powerful available. To get field glasses with more zoom he’d a had to buy digital ones, a choice he’d decided against. If Caleb was caught out in the wild with his Nikon he’d tell folks he was birdwatching, hence his Peterson Field Guide, but if he got caught totting two-thousand-dollar Canons a cop might get suspicious. His Nikon didn’t do great in low light but out here under the bright as can be Florida sun he had a great closeup view of Hot Mama in that tight little dress, a view so good that he could tell from where he sat that she wasn’t wearing any panties. “The better to fuck you with, my dear,” he said in a gruff Big Bad Wolf voice.

Caleb didn’t allow the pleasure of watching Hot Mama distract him from the hunt. The plan called for him to observe where Hot Mama went with her spawn so he would know where to follow. Caleb knew that mother and daughter had to live close by and he knew that they, like nearly all the walkers and riders, came from the west.

Long after yesterday’s daylight observations Caleb had driven his silver panel van through the neighborhoods to the west of Interlachen. Security gates blocked entry to most of the neighborhoods but gaining access was as simple as good timing. Caleb had driven back and forth twice from the nearby Publix store, both times following cars that headed south on Community Drive rather than east or west on State Road Fifty-four and had simply piggy-backed on their entry through the unmanned gates.

To avoid drawing unwanted attention Caleb had limited himself to two trips. The stolen tag that Caleb had placed on his van provided some protection against detection, but Caleb knew, just as the pencil-pushing gym teacher had stated, that the area was full of security cameras.

Caleb had gained access to The Preserve at Trinity and Trinity East, two close by, upper-middle-class, gated communities. He’d rolled down Robert Trent Parkway, contentedly smoking his Marlboros, to a gate that blocked access to a fifty-five and older community and backtracked to Hidden Hall Place and Longstone Court. Imperial Key, Mountain Spring Place and Crestridge Loop had followed. The GPS on Caleb’s phone led him to every street in Trinity Preserve, including Eagle Chase, Long View and Victarra. Caleb snorted, remembering his derisive laughter when he’d read the name Mountain Spring Place. “Right,” he said now, “like some reclaimed Florida swamp land’s gonna have a mountain spring. Assholes.”

Trinity East had proved the smaller of the two neighborhoods and Caleb had driven down Ketzal Drive, Solola Way, Halapa Way and Maza Place before coming to the neighborhood’s terminus and retreating back up Ketzel to its intersection with Interlachen. Caleb hadn’t expected to see Hot Mama or her spawn on his reconnoiter. Rather, the goal was to get a firsthand view of what he’d hoped would be the surroundings for his soon to be playground.