This story is so good. Thank you Pac.
This story is so good. Thank you Pac.
I think Lainey's going to shape up quite well. It's all a huge learning experience, overwhelming, but she'll do just fine.
Love, love, love this story! Thank you!
If we aren't showing a little love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?
Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
thanks for the new chapter
J and Tammy were ready, so was Alan. Benny and Lainey led them out of town in the Sheriff's SUV. Deeper and deeper into the woods they went until the makeshift road ended. There was a pond, and a trail about 600 feet long. The cabin at the other end was snug, and larger than the term cabin implied.
Over the years Wayne, Brett, Benny, Clora and Sandy with the help of Ev, Cheryl and Evie had built the cabin on ground that had been given to Wayne. A family man had taken a shine to the land once owned by Wayne's uncle. There was a land for land trade, with Wayne winding up with a nice piece of forest ground set off the beaten path.
It was probably the only thing that saved Wayne from going crazy. That and Grandma Evie.
The McCann children toted their meager belongings to the cabin in silence. They didn't say a word, but they could tell their parents and uncle were sad about their house in town.
Being in the woods was kinda neat, it smelled good and the wind made the trees sing.
Too soon, they were packaged back in the Suburban and were following Benny. He had said he had a job for all of them.
All hands on deck made quick work of the Elk. In return for the help, Evie was pleased to share.
Lainey had a real cast on her hand, Evie had her burned hand wrapped, Ev hobbled around with his muscle sprained back and Cheryl and Christy rested in chairs in the shade. Clora was introduced, as was Cheryl.
The warm day prompted Evie to send half the elk with the McCanns, and split the rest between herself and Ev and family. Evie did keep the liver, that was too great a delicacy to give away. She inspected it carefully, and declared 'liver and onions for supper. Can you stay?" she asked Ev, Cheryl and Christy.
Lainey blanched white when she thought about eating that huge bloody red blob in the dishpan. She watched in horrified fascination as Clora washed her hands and then the liver in several changes of water. When Clora mixed up a pitcher of dry milk and poured the milky liquid into the dishpan covering the liver, her eyes got big and wide.
Staring hard as the milk turned pink and then red as it drew blood from the liver. Lainey felt queasy and had to sit down. My goodness, the things they did around this place just in order to have something to eat.
Benny was busy helping butcher, but not so busy he didn't have time to keep an eye on Lainey. She helped as much as she could using one hand, but it was obvious to Ben that she had never butchered before.
Clora amused herself watching her brother and friend look at each other when they thought the other wasn't looking.
Evie amused herself by watching all of them. The McCann's were not experienced, but worked hard with direction. The brother was the one that was unsettling. He was jumpy, hard edged and bored with the whole proceedings. The dad was a quiet man, knew what he was doing with a knife and stopped often to instruct his grandkids on how to do what they wanted done.
Evie certainly approved of his demeanor. His grandkids were polite, and listened and used their intelligence well.
The late afternoon ended with Benny taking the McCann's back to the cabin. The last thing Evie asked Benny was if he had seen Sandy. He hadn't. In fact, he thought she had come out to the ranch when Wayne improved. She hadn't.
Last edited by PacNorWest; 03-23-2012 at 04:44 PM.
Sixty minutes on the dot, after Benny and the McCann's left town, the jet Bell Ranger personally piloted by Kent Lawrence set down on the former school ball field. He waited for the rotors to still and then helped Mary Lou down. The small town looked exactly like any decrepit, over the hill, has-been collection of unkempt, half earthquake destroyed homes and businesses.
Mary Lou did a 360 and said softly. "Oh my. This looks so sad and abused. Kent, do you really think she is here? Or is this some kind of extortion or kidnapping attempt? It spooky here. Did you bring protection?"
Her husband of many years nodded and unconsciously his hand went to his jacket pocket. It had been warm in San Diego, and it was almost cold here in Ever..what it's name is. Kent cased the area again and finally noticed the faded and rustic sign that said Cafe. "Let's try there," he decided. Surprised that the Ranger hadn't stirred any curiosity from the locals, Kent and Mary Lou walked in the door of the quaint and dilapidated diner.
The place was warm and smelled deliciously like stew and home baked bread. The woman was a friendly and efficient waitress. Her son played in the corner, and they guessed her husband worked in the kitchen.
Bowls of stew with a loaf of personal bread later, they started asking questions. Abby waved Brett over to help with the answers.
"Sure I know Lainey. She's staying out at my Grandma's along with Clora. She was in town this morning to have Doc look at her wrist, and my brother took her back home.
"What's wrong with her?" Kent demanded roughly, as Mary Lou sucked her breath in sharply.
"Oh, her wrist is broken," Brett said offhandedly unconcerned. "She's doing OK," he added. "The Doc is my uncle and he's a good one."
"Where is she?" Mary Lou nervously asked, "can we see her?" still believing this was a setup for a kidnapping and ransom.
"Yeah, when ever you want to. We have to go out to Grandma's however, there's no phone. I'm sorry" he apologized, "we have to walk. I don't have a car. Do you want to go now? I have to finish the supper special, and then I could take you." Brett offered as nicely as he could.
Kent and Mary Lou looked at each other and silently agreed to wait till Brett could show them the way. If she was going to do any amount of walking, ML decided to change shoes into loafers. She hated walking.
They waited and waited impatiently. The young man worked industriously, but it seemed like he was taking forever. Neither Kent or Lainey's mother were accustomed to waiting for much anymore, and this was a humbling situation.
Finally, finally, Brett was ready to go. He donned a coat and started out briskly, leaving Mary Lou eating their dust. "Wait, wait," she cried. "I can't walk that fast."
Brett said "Sorry," and slowed down. It was close to dusk when they saw Evie's sun silhouetted house hunkered down in the distance.
Inky barked...strangers incoming...and stood guarding the door. Ev stood up from his brimming plate of crispy fried liver and soft, pungent onions and looked out the window. "It's Brett and two other's coming down the driveway."
Evie looked at Clora and the young woman got up and dredged more slices of liver and sliced more onions. By the time the people had made the door, she was turning the slices and stirring the wonderful smelling onions. Kent and Mary Lou stopped short just inside the door. The scene looked like a wood cut picture from Oliver Twist where the orphans demand more porridge in the smoky fireplace lit room.
Frightened, Mary Lou grabbed Kent's arm. She couldn't make out Lainey's face or form. What were they getting into. Her iron grip held Kent's gun hand immobile, and he placed his left hand over her's and squeezed harshly, signaling her to let loose.
"Mom,Dad! I can't believe you got here. It's so good to see you." Lainey pushed back her chair and flew around the table to hug her parents. Mary Lou leaned forward to envelope Lainey in a 'thank God your safe' hug and her cheek met sharply with Lainey's new cast. Bumping her mother with a hard rap, Lainey and Mary Lou both cried out.
That cry of pain excited Inky and he pushed hard against Mary Lou, wiggling between the stranger and another member of his family, protecting Lainey from harm.
The one thing Inky didn't know was that Mary Lou Lawrence was deathly afraid of dogs, especially dogs as big as Inky. Her shrieks of fright reverberated through the kitchen. The one loose cannon in the room manned up and followed his dad's footsteps. Junior bit Mary Lou on the ankle.
Lainey and her family just don't do well with dogs do they! Thanks for the chapter Pac.
Pinky goes on the attack!!!!! Thanks for the update. Have I mentioned how much I love this story?
I think I hear a mountain lion, I better go
"How big a boy are ye?"
So say we all. . . .
So, Lainey's fidophobia is learnt behaviour ?
Yeehaw! Welcome to the real world folks.
Absolutely love this story. You have such a way with words to paint the most wonderful pictures. I can see it as clearly as if I were standing right there.
The resulting scream rattled the windows, curdled milk in the cow 3 counties over, and blasted the pattern off the worn linoleum in Evie's kitchen.
Evie placed her hands together and prayed for strength and wisdom. More city folk than she could handle. Quietly she ordered Inky back to his place by the stove. Where papa went, Junior followed. Ev helped Mary Lou into his vacated seat and asked to see her ankle.
"Don't you touch my wife," Kent bristled with anger at the wild bushman looking Ev. "My wife has been viciously attacked, and I want you to know someone will pay!"
"Dad," Lainey interrupted with a smile. "Inky was protecting me. He doesn't know you or mom, and Junior is just a puppy. Granted his teeth are sharp, but com'on Mom, are you really hurt?" Amazed that his daughter would speak to her parents in such a manner, Kent drew back and Mary Lou ceased her incessant wailing like the air raid siren had stopped.
That was a bit fast of a 180 for Laniey.
I'm thinking Momma and Daddy have come to find a daughter that sees the world in a different light now.
Mommy and Daddy came to get her, but I bet she's not going. I don't think she's in love with Benny yet but she seems to have a strong case of hope. Thanks Pac.
To say the atmosphere at supper was strained and tense, was putting the words lightly. Ev ate as rapidly as possible, trading plates with Christy to wolf down her portion of liver and onions. That earned him a smile of delight and gratitude from his daughter. He winked at her and wagged his eyebrows up and down, causing Christy to laugh outloud. Cheryl looked up from her meal and caught her husband aiding and abetting their daughter's lack of good manners.
Cheryl just couldn't eat. She was tired, felt rotten and desperately wanted to go home. She had been pampered all day, and felt like she was ready to blow her stack. "Ev," she said tiredly. "I really need to go home. Please excuse me, Mr and Mrs Lawrence, I'm expecting and having problems." Cheryl stood up and grabbed for Ev, "thanks Evie. I'm sorry to grab Clora and run, but I need to be home."
Lainey said, "be strong Mizz Cheryl," she nodded back at Cheryl when the woman smiled at her.
Kent and Mary Lou swiveled their heads back and forth as people left. Brett had kissed Grandma on the cheek and split with unseemly haste. With Ev, Cheryl, Christy and Clora gone, the kitchen was quiet and almost cozy. Lainey got up and cleared the table, put coffee on to perk, put a plate of cookies in the center od the table and used a small sauce pan to fill the larger stockpot on the stove.
Lainey poured 3 cups of coffee and put the pot back on the fire to reach Grandma's degree of sludge. Carrying them to the table, she served her parents and placed one at her chair. Kent's eyebrows went up, but they didn't reach the lofty heights achieved by Mary Lou's. Their daughter didn't drink coffee.
She had allowed Lainey's silly idea of teaching to over reach the boundaries of good sense. And this place, why it was so dark in here that it was impossible to see. And her little girl was working just like a waitress in some hash house. Deplorable, shame on that old woman for expecting her daughter to work as she was doing. The nerve!.
"Do you think it's right, Grandma," Lainey hovered close to the stove with a hot pad ready to fill Evie's cup.
"I believe so," Evie answered, "It sounds right."
Kent nearly choked when his girl called that wizened up old lady Grandma. He felt a little upset that the two of them seemed to have such a comfortable relationship. Kent might have been upset, but Mary Lou was livid. Her darling daughter was at ease with what she was doing and acting like she was a part of that other woman's family.
Evie could see that Lainey's mother was visibly angry about something. Talking to that uptight woman was an adventure in itself.
"So, Mary Lou," she started, "did you bring clothes for Lainey?" Evie asked in her nicest, curious way. "Coat, shoes, underwear, supplies, you know the things she uses the most."
Mary Lou sputtered, and deflated. She had forgotten to bring any supplies what so ever. The comical, astonished expression on her face wasn't helped by Lainey's gentle admonition. "OH MOM, how could you forget things to wear. You and Dad knew the tsunami wiped everything off the map."
Kent was very angry with himself, of all the lame brained tricks to pull. They had been so emotional devastated when they thought she had died. Then so elated when the message had come through that she was OK, they had left immediately with little thought to anything else but getting to their baby girl.
"Lainey," Evie laid a soft touch on the girl's good hand. "Your parents were besides themselves with worry and grief. We can work this out, don't worry."
Inky heard the sobbing and went to comfort Mary Lou. He stood beside her waiting to be acknowledged. When that didn't happen, he rooted at her arm, hoping to comfort her and make her drop a cookie.
Last edited by PacNorWest; 03-25-2012 at 10:26 AM.
One less cookie for ML and more for Inky. ;-)
Very good chapter. Thank you.
I do believe Inky will get the cookie
I bet ML does more than drops a cookie as afraid of Inky as she is. Thanks for the chapter.
Ev and family were climbing the stairs to the cabin when they heard the second scream. "For a little woman, she sure has lung power," he opined laconically.
Clora couldn't help but laugh out loud. "The stories Lainey tells about growing up in that family, would curl your hair. Her mom is a germ-a-phobic. If she so much as sneezed, Lainey was hauled off to the doctor. Her Dad was no help. The man spent most of her childhood gone, out chasing news stories and stacking up fame." she held hands with Christy on the way in the door.
"How about a peanut butter and jelly?" she questioned the child. Her eyes had seen the sleight of hand Ev had pulled with the plate of despised liver.
"Can I?," Christy implored. "I hate livers."
Clora looked at Cheryl for affirmation, she had quickly learned that Cheryl was the disciplinarian in the family. Ev, well Ev would probably give Christy a mirror and a hammer if she wanted it. Cheryl nodded yes as she shuffled to the bedroom. "Then bed," she said firmly, "with no problems."
"OK," Christy replied. At Clora's gentle nudging she looked at her mother and amended, "yes Ma'am." Cheryl smiled her first genuine smile of the day. "Good night sweetheart. Sleep tight."
It didn't take long for the Wilson household to wind down and settle in quietly for the night.
"Well," Kent pushed away from the table as Mary Lou flipped her mug of coffee. The slow motion arc of brown liquid hung in the air as long as possible before splashing the length of the table. Most of it puddling in the plate of huge, golden brown, chunky with oatmeal and nuts cookies.
Mary Lou was babbling incoherently in fright as Inky opened his cavernous mouth lined with shiny, wicked white teeth and so very gently removed the cookie from her hand. He then smiled his thanks. That sent ML, [as she was known to her friends] into another trembling frenzied panic. "Oh Dear God," she whispered, "he's going to eat me alive." she prepared to die.
Evie spoke sharply to Inky, drawing him back to his spot by the stove. "Mary Lou, are you alright?" she grabbed the hand towel from the sink counter and mopped at the wetness pooling in the woman's lap. Above the lap or below, there was plenty of wetness.
Mary Lou was paralyzed in the chair. Only one function had worked, and now she was embarrassed beyond belief that she had wet herself. The petite woman who carefully crafted her startling resemblance to Nancy Regan with a steel resolve, started crying.
Lainey felt awful beyond belief. "Mom, Inky really likes you. He cares about the people in this house, he wouldn't hurt a fly. He has been such a wonderful dog to me; I had no idea dogs were so friendly and sensitive."
Inky lay on the floor, massive head on his paws and a soulful, expressive hangdog look in his eyes. He was imploring Mary Lou to forgive him for past, present and future transgressions. She couldn't look at him, so great was her fright. Her mouth opened and closed with no sound. With great difficultly, she raised her hand to her heart, the rapid raging thump going out of control.
Kent rushed the few feet to his beloved wife as she slumped over, banging her forehead on the coffee wet table.
Evie took in the scene in a moment. "Lainey, grab the flashlight and run to Ev's. We need his pickup. Your mom is having a heart attack."
Evie on the ball as usual. Great updates. Poor Inky, all he wants is to get his head rubbed, and maybe grab a cookie. What's a dog gotta do?
I think I hear a mountain lion, I better go
"How big a boy are ye?"
So say we all. . . .
Poor wilting flower. It must be as rigorous as having coffee and cookies with the help back home. Of course how many of us wouldn't have a heart attack if we had wet all over ourselves at our hostess' kitchen table. LOL There is no keeping up appearances after that happens. LOL again.
Good chapter Pac.
Bang, BANG, Lainey slammed her fist hard against Ev's door. "Clora! CLORA!, we need the pickup, Mother's having a heart attack." she beat frantically on the door. Ruby was barking and she could hear Clora shushing her.
"Hold on, we're coming," Clora said against the door, as she flipped over the lock and pulled it open. Ruby was right there growling, ready to fight the intruder invading her house. Ev came to the door, his usual state of bed head hair and rifle in hand.
Lainey didn't blink, she was accustomed to the fact that rural folks were prepared for trouble when someone pounded on their door late at night.
"You need the pickup? Here.." he dug in his pocket and flipped Clora the keys. "Drive careful."
Clora drove the old Ford faster than than usual, but Lainey was sniffling and snuffing with worry and tears. At Evie's, they put the old quilt on the box floor and gently walked Mary Lou out and helped her to lay down. Covering her with the quilt from her own bed, Evie climbed in the back with Kent and Lainey got in the front.
Clora beat on Doc's door and he came shuffling to the opening mumbling and muttering.
"Uncle Doc, Lainey's mom is having a heart attack, we need help" That's all Doc needed to hear. He roared at Inga to get the room lighted and find oxygen. The lights slowly came on as Inga placed the oil lamps around the exam table. Doc used aspirin under the tongue and whiff's of oxygen and listened to ML heart slowly come down to reasonable levels.
Kent was all business once Mary Lou was stabilized. "I'll get the bird and fly her into Olympia," he assured Doc. "I can't thank you enough for getting her heart under control." he let them know he would be right back as soon as he had done the pre flight.
When Kent went to the ball field he had the greatest shock of his life. His helo was gone. Even in the dark, he could tell it was gone. He hit the clinic door running, "It's gone," he gasped as he tried to get enough oxygen to his own lungs. "Our helicopter has been stolen."
Clora moved to the door, "we need Benny. I'll go get him."
The dim light illuminated Benny hunched over paperwork. Clora tapped lightly on the door window, and Benny reached for his gun before he answered the door. "Benny, what happened to the helicopter. The guy that owns it is Lainey's Dad. Her mother is having a heart attack and he needs to fly her to Olympia."
"Ain't gonna happen," Benny said succinctly. "The National guard heard it flying and beat feet up here to confiscate it for relief work. It left just at dark." he rubbed his stubbly face. "It's down to the fact that if Doc can save her,...she'll live. If not, then we have done as much as we have available to help her with."
"Kent is beside himself, this won't be the news he wants to hear." Clora mentioned softly. "Grandma came into town, she's over at Auntie Inga's. Lainey came too," she added mischievously. "She's really upset, probably needs comforting." she added with a wicked grin.
Benny answered by punching her lightly on the arm. "Mind your own business," he advised calmly. "You won't get in trouble that way. And I won't have to hurt you..." he added smartly. Clora smiled and felt Benny's interest flow toward Lainey and her folks.
Laughing, she said."Come on over, you'd better be the one to tell Kent his bird has been requisitioned. That's going to be as bad as the earthquake."
"Can't say I'm looking forward to this," Benny locked the office door and they made their way through the total darkness to the clinic.
"WHAT," Kent's roar rattled the windows and caused the lamp flame to jitter. "What do you mean my helo was confiscated for relief work? That's my personal property!"
Lainey slipped out the door and made her way into the waiting room. Her stomach was churning with stress and worry. No doubt Dad would be able to blame this on her. A deep sigh and and she twisted her fingers together anxiously. Suddenly she felt like a little girl in trouble.
From behind her, a deep voice said "Lainey, are you OK?" Her head bobbed up and down and then sideway's no. "No," she whispered thickly. A strong arm in uniform brown reached around and clasped her shoulder, drawing her close to the strength he was interested in sharing.
Tingling all the way to the ends of her toes, Lainey stood still as she tried to sort out all the feelings clog dancing Irish Thunder on her heart. Feeling suddenly shy, she ducked her head and let her hair hide her face.
Benny was real encouraged, Lainey didn't pull away, or run screaming from the room. She felt good under his arm, and smelled even better. Up real close, he could smell faint roses in her hair. Dressed in some of Grandma's old clothes, she looked like a 1930's reincarnation.
Quietly they stood together, simply enjoying each other's company. Evie and Inga walked into the room and silently backed out again. In the kitchen they looked at each other and giggled. Inga put the kettle on for tea water and filled the percolator with coffee. "That's interesting," she observed, referring to the scene in the waiting room.
"It's been trying to happen ever since she got here," Evie said with a grin and a twinkle in her eye. "May, or may not...we'll see."
Kent came storming into the kitchen, blood in his eye and looking for something to destroy. Angry to the point of being unreasonable and incoherent, he stomped and frothed at the mouth. He wasn't treated that way. He was an important person and had long ago passed the point of being used without his say so.
His news columns caused fame and fortunes to appear or evaporate. His power had toppled tin gods and elevated porn stars. He felt invincible; but helpless in the face of what was happening. All his status may not be enough to help save his wife's life.
"Kent?" Evie stopped him as he paced by. "Do you want to end up like Mary Lou?" He whirled around, ready to bite her head off with a vitriolic stream of anger.
Dignified to the point of being regal, the old lady stared down the uncouth peasant.
What ever Kent had been prepared to spew, dried up instantly. He slumped into a chair and collapsed into a tired, frightened man.
Inga shoved a mug of strong hot tea in his hands, and slapped a napkin beside it. "Drink," she ordered.
"Your son?...Grandson? is the Sheriff?" Kent said tiredly. "Can he tell me how I can get Mary Lou to a specialist?"
Inga bristled at the suggestion that her beloved Doc wasn't good enough physician to save the woman. Evie patted Inga's hand to forestall her pursed lip explosion that was building. Fixing a steely glare at the back of Kent's head, she was ready to tear a strip of hide from his elegantly coiffured hair.
Doc strode in the room. "She's asking for you," he addressed Kent, grabbing the mug of tea Inga held out for him. In the waiting room, Lainey heard plainly. She stiffened and then resignedly looked out the window to hide her disappointment.
thanks for the new chapter
Oh no, now they are stuck with them. Was it really a heart attack and where are the two of them going to stay while they're in town? Poor Lainey and everybody else.
Took his chopper, eh? That's what you get for being all high-falutin and getting something better than what eveyone else has, like a Rolls or a Bentley.
Very enjoyable chapter. Thank you.
Tammy McCann was having a bad day, a bad week a bad month, hell she thought, might as well make it a year. She had a cast iron frying pan and a dutch oven and a small air tight wood stove to cook for 8 people. They had 5 plates and forks. Nothing else in the way of cooking or eating utensils.
Did any of the Neanderthal men or children she was forced to cohabit with, care about how difficult providing meals was turning out to be. No they didn't. Tammy fried slabs of the elk they had been given for supper and placed the children's on the same plate. Her children picked up the hot meat and tore at it like little savages.
Davis and J waited patiently for their turn at ripping and growling for their supper, while she pan fried more meat. Alan paced up and down and in general drove her crazy. Tammy gave him several pointed looks hoping to encourage him to stop, or at least go outside and act like a jerk.
The more that Alan paced, the more aggravated Tammy acted until she was slamming the plates and stabbing viciously at the meat. Davis tapped on the table to snag J's attention. J had been resting with his eyes closed and mind thinking about the possible problems Kent Lawrence was bringing to them. Besides, he was tired from the unexpected butchering work. Tired, but thankful for the food.
Finally, Tammy exploded before Davis could get J to understand what was going on. "Alright guys, SIT DOWN ALAN! You are making me crazy with that pacing up and down." Tammy waved the two pronged meat fork at them in a menacing manner. "If I thought for one miserable minute that this was going to be how the rest of our life would be, I vote to move. Sooner than later!"
"I need help, and if you want to eat, you'll darn tootin find a way to get me what I want." stressed and tired from sleeping on the hard floor, Tammy was fed up and grouchy.
"First of all Alan, didn't it ever dawn on you that each trip you made the length of the cabin, I had to stop what I was doing and step aside for you to pass? You can't be that obtuse. If you are compelled to walk,...go outside."
Alan looked at her blankly so wrapped up in thinking his way around his problem, he was oblivious to his behavior. Tammy might have been his only sister-in-law, but she wasn't his favorite. She was snarky and snippy and didn't give a hoot about him and his status. Of course, he told himself, she didn't know about the threats. She'd probably really unload on him if J had been inappropriate and told her about the danger to their lives.
Alan thought Tammy acted like a momma saber tooth tigress concerning her kids and J. He guessed she like their Dad well enough, but himself; he was prime floor mat material. A real good reason to never get married, he concluded.
"Sit down Alan," Davis spoke firmly. "Give it a rest."
J watched his wife with one half open eye. Boy, she sure was on the peck about something. He noticed the kids ate their supper in a hurry and skedaddled outside.
J paid careful attention to the fact that Tammy's face and voice softened when she looked at him and Dad. So it was only Alan that was ringing her chain. When Tammy turned to poke at the meat, he shot his Dad a quick glance to see what he thought. Davis smiled and said "Tammy, did you get any information about your mother?"
J could have popped his hand onto his forehead in comical vexation. Good grief, in this whole mess, he forgot Barbara most likely was affected by the tsunami. As mother-in-laws went, she was a pretty good one, didn't deserve the treatment he was affording her. Suddenly he wondered if they should have considered her under the threat evaluation. He was really missing the mark on this one.
A peek at Alan told him that his brother was having the same thoughts.
Davis stood up and accepted the plate of elk and fried potato halves that Tammy handed him. "Let's go outside boys," he said with no nonsense authority. His sons might be grown men, but he was still their father.
Sitting at the picnic table in the early evening dusk, he said forcefully, "I want to know what is going on. It's time you boys gave us the truth." With their backs to the cabin door, neither J or Alan saw Tammy lean against the opening with interested attention..
Davis saw her and ignored giving away her presence as he unsheathed his knife and cut his meat.
Sandy crouched in her hiding spot, listening to the strange adults that had taken over the cabin. Obviously, they were here with Wayne's knowledge. She had watched as they butchered at Grandma's, and was real disturbed that they had come to the cabin where she had been staying.
She was pretty sure that the woman knew someone had been there recently, the warm stove ashes were a dead giveaway, but Sandy didn't know how astute the woman was. If she was like 99% of the population, the presence of a former occupant wouldn't have registered in the pink fluff of her brain.
Living in the cabin and depending on foraging the woods for her grub, Sandy for the first time felt the freedom she and Wayne had talked about. Wayne liked being feral, as he called it and Sandy was discovering the depths of his commitment to that idea.
Sandy enjoyed the opportunity to practice some of the skills she and Wayne had been learning. This was going to be fun.
Evie sat on the waiting room couch asleep. Inga had covered her mother up with a blanket and had gone down to Wayne's room to check on him before calling it a day. Just to mess with Wayne, she had started sneaking up on the room as quietly as possible. So far, he was always awake when she went through the door. It was a harmless game she played with him to help with the boredom.
Tonight, he and Benny were deep in conversation, talking in very low tones. Wayne raised his hand to wave his acknowledegement of her presence, but did not stop his hushed exchange with Benny.
Sandy's at or was at the cabin? When did that happen? Man I gotta pay closer attention.
Sandy's been mia, since she was last at the clinic with Wayne. Up to 4 days gone, if I have my counting correct.
Secrets, secrets, everybody's got secrets. I hope Sandy doesn't get caught. Great chapter, thanks Pac.
Lainey and Clora sat in the waiting room speaking softly, they didn't want to wake Evie. Clora offered a solution, talking about the house they owned across from Evie's place, where her Mom and Dad could stay. "There arn't many livable houses left in Evergreen that are rentable," she shared with Lainey.
Clora looked at her friend sharply. Lainey was unhappy and uncomfortable, wiggling in the seat and drumming her fingers on the table top. Clearly something was wrong.
"I don't want them here," she finally said reluctantly. "Clora, it has taken me all this time to become 'me', I was a nobody, and am not a somebody yet. I will never be anything as long as my parents run my life. I'm selfish; I don't want to let go of this freedom and independence. I'm thinking I might be at the beginning of something pretty specular," Lainey blushed a pretty rosy red. "I am real unsure, but the signs and feelings are growing. I want to know where this might go."
Clora reached over and patted Lainey's hand in a pure 'Grandma Evie' type move. "Lainey, if they don't stay at the house, they will be with you at Grandma's." she added sagely. "It's a choose your poison situation,"
"Brother," Lainey grumbled. "This must be what the hand basket in hell looks like."
"I'm excited about starting up teaching again. Benny said something about splitting classes and getting the kids back in control," Clora smiled happily. "Are you interested in giving it a try?" she looked at Lainey hopefully. "It will take both of us to make it go."
"Yes I am," Lainey said firmly. "I'm so sad the school was destroyed, and the children, I hope they are OK. It makes my heart hurt thinking about it." Blue eyes got teary as tender hearted Lainey thought about her students. "What is available," she stopped to blow her nose with feeling, "that we could use for books, paper and supplies?"
"Clora, do you miss what we had in our apartments? The things, books, plans, clothes, pictures?" Lainey asked wistfully, twirling her finger around a lock of her hair. "I had my silver baby spoon. I really wanted to pass that on to my children, if I am ever lucky enough to have any."
"I didn't have anything from my childhood," Clora said softly. "If it wasn't for Grandma, I wouldn't be alive, neither would Benny or Sandra."
"Oh Clora, I didn't know. Forgive me for being such a whiner," Lainey grabbed Clora's hands with her own, squeezing gently.
"Someday Lainey, I'll tell you the long story," Clora promised.
Kent Lawrence leaned against the wall, listening to his daughter. Fame, fortune and power didn't seem so satisfying when he realized he had been a non parent. The one job he had no training for, no handbook, no human resources director, no editor, he had failed miserably. It was humbling to think his daughter didn't want him around, and he didn't have a clue what to do about it.
Benny closed the door to Wayne's room, startling Kent into slipping back into Mary Lou's room as silently as possible. Benny was a lawman, he had noticed the shadowy figure. He walked into the waiting room and his gaze settled on his sister and her friend.
Lainey was very aware that Benny was near. She looked up at the handsome Sheriff and felt her little heart go pitter-pat. Oh no. She definitely wasn't leaving this town any time soon.
Benny said goodnight and walked back to the office. The paperwork fairies hadn't come while he had been gone, so he went back to work.
Sandra used the dark to slip into Evie's and supplement her glorious forest experience with some real food. The house smelled heavy of liver and onions, a meal that Sandy detested. There were cookies in the jar. Beautiful, substantial oatmeal and raisin cookies that two of them were almost a meal. The kitchen was in disarray, a state that Grandma wouldn't have left it in unless there had been an emergency of some sort.
Sandra opened the draft, loaded the stove with wood, poured a glass of water and washed the dishes. She heated water and had a bath. She thought about getting while the getting was good and question free; but the lure of her soft bed was too much to overcome. Besides, she needed to wash her clothes tomorrow. Inky and Junior wanted in, and she agreed. Yawning, she went to bed.
Excellent chapter Pac, thank you.