Did you see something?” he asks.
“It’s just that—” I stumble here, wondering how much to say. “We’ve all felt something right? Something watching us? What about Guillermo’s legends? Those perrorap things? Do you think they could be real?”
Sully seems relieved. “Ah, the legends of an island people and their magical dictators,” he says. “Remember, legends are sometimes meant to distract people from seeing the truth.
“Look,” he takes a pocket knife from his pocket and unties from it a thin rope knotted into a small cube. It’s a monkey’s fist. “You see this little knot?” He holds it up in his palm, then waves his other hand over it. The knot remains in his palm. “No magic,” he says, “right?”
“Right,” I nod. Seriously? He’s going to do one of those corny sleight of hand tricks that I’m supposed to giggle over.
“Do you believe I’m going to make the knot disappear?” he asks, curling his fingers around the monkey’s fist and waving it around my head. “Well, if I can control what you believe, then I can get away with whatever I want. Now, reach into your pocket.” Somehow, his knife is there. I’m amazed, and for just a second, I’m not thinking about what’s lurking in the water beneath us.
“Don’t worry about Guillermo’s sea monsters.” Sully pats my knee and winks. “I have powerful magic of my own to keep them away.”
Sully groans his way up to a standing position. “Of course, the Commission is another story. No joking around there. We’d just better keep our eyes open and our noses out of places they don’t belong, right?”
I nod, and hold his pocket knife up to him.
“Keep it, sweetie. You just let me know if something scares you,” he says. “You can talk to me anytime.”
I turn his knife over in my hand and watch him walk away.
No, Sully, I can’t talk to anyone about this.

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Kara Lynn Conyer graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in journalism and anthropology. After many years as a science writer and a science diver for the Smithsonian Institution, she has learned a few things about what it's like to be on an expedition in the middle of the ocean. When she's not gathering the facts, she likes to imagine what secrets might lie beneath them. This is her first novel.