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Rudy.

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The steam hit us like an invisible brick wall, our smiling faces laughing as we struggled to breathe. A Rudy, we called it, named after Max’s roommate at the Select 15’s team in St. Cloud. Rudy played for Breck and is a big strong kid who likes to check. We imagined the force of the heat was what it felt like to get hit by Rudy.
“Blow on your arm,” a voice, possibly my own, perhaps Karl or Cameron, called from the darkness of the small wooden room. I obey and send a thin stream of cool air shooting towards the sweat-soaked surface of my skin. At first my arm felt the cold relief, a stark contrast to the almost painful heat of the sauna. I stopped to take another breath in and it came, a sharp tingling sensation, like thousands of tiny ballerinas with shoes made of carefully placed tacks, were doing perfect little pirouettes on my skin.
My smile grew into a strange, almost sociopathic grin. The experiment gave a rather peculiar sense of pleasure. I laughed along with the others, our faces hidden in the shadows, but I could tell they were all smiling.
After some time, one of my three companions suggested that we leave the dark confines of the sauna and voyage to the dock, a whole 75 feet away. We stepped out of the hot cave, grabbed a towel each and sprinted to the dock, relying on the light of the white moon to reveal the twisting tree roots and sharp rocks in our path. My feet hit the wood, coated with a thick layer of grey paint. We walked quickly to where the grey planks ended and the black water with the reflection of the big snow colored moon loomed.
I jump.
A moment of panic strikes me as my body is temporarily swallowed whole by the freezing black monster, with his one gleaming white eye.
Approval from my brothers means the world to me and even though they don’t always make the best choices and have made mistakes that I plan on avoiding, they are my idols. They are, from what I can tell, well liked and respected. Even though Max wasn’t with me that night on the lake, Karl was. And in many ways Karl’s approval is harder to achieve, therefore making it even more desired; not to mention he is closer in age to me than Max. More than anything the approval from Karl was special because he wasn’t only having fun and smiling with me, he was doing it with one of his friends as well, something he never used to do.
My face breaks the skin of the monster first, the mad-man grin returning as I look around at the others, their smiles basking in the light of the big white moon.





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