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Willard wants to write a novel, but he doesn't have any ideas, until he meets Robert on the strand at Venice Beach. Robert offers Willard a story, a story about which he swears every word is true, but there are some complications that come with it. 

Robert appears to be harmless enough, but he seems frightening at the same time. He coaxes Willard onto the beach to tell his story, and in the telling of the story Willard begins to question Robert's sanity, and his own safety. No ordinary man could do the things Robert claims. He's just too old. And no ordinary women could do the things Robert claims Berta and Lores can do. 

What really offends Willard is Robert's observation that his timid nature is exactly what Robert needs to hear his story. Timid? What an insult. No one has ever told Willard he was timid, and Willard ceertainly doesn't see himself as timid. 

And what's worse is Robert's claim that Willard must tell the end of the story for the outcome to have the desired effect Robert needs. Robert is in love and he must have Willard's end of the story for him to have the woman he loves. There's simply no other way about it. How can every word of Robert's story be true if Willard makes up the ending? 

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