Safety – Part 2

Posted: November 10, 2015 in Book I Terror in Texas

“You folks pull right up there.” Ollie pointed to the corner unit of a double story motel then stepped from the running board and called back. “I’ll get the keys and then see if we can locate a chair for you, son.”

Della spoke up. “Thank you. He needs to stay on his butt for at least a week.”

Zack looked around. “Is this for real?”

Steve shrugged. “Appears to be. I got a feeling they’re going to want a lot more information about Baker.”

Ollie reappeared two minutes later. “You folks go on inside. I got you two rooms. They aren’t adjoining, but they are next to each other. You folks can get cleaned up and I’ll see you get some food.”

He opened the door of the first room and stepped inside. He opened the curtains and the windows. When he reappeared, he commented. “Sorry. No electricity but we do have water. Just be quick in the showers. We’re trying to conserve since we have to run a generator to fill the water tower.” He disappeared into the second room and did the same then stepped into the afternoon sun.

“Go to the office if you need clean clothes. Got a bunch of stuff in there. Most people show up with just the clothes on their backs.”

Zack pulled the keys from the truck and pocketed them. He stepped from the truck and twisted his back spreading his arms. “God, I’m tired of sitting in that truck.”

Della and Sandy opened doors and stepped from the cab. Steve reached for his prosthetics, but Della slapped his hands away. “Zack! You need to get Steve in the room, please.” She picked up the blades and slid them under her arms, then grabbed two backpacks and marched toward one of the rooms. “I’ll go to the office and see what I can find in the way of clothes.”

Zack walked around to the passenger door and shrugged. “Sorry, man. She scares me.” He backed up to the opened door.

“Me too,” Steve laughed. “Let’s get this done. Just take me straight to the bathroom.”

“Got it man.”

Zack squatted and Steve leaned over to wrap his arms around Zack’s neck. He accepted Steve’s weight and straightened up as if the one hundred and sixty pounds were nothing. Zack clasped his hands around Steve’s legs and walked into the last door. He walked into the bathroom and bent his knees to deposit Steve on the toilet lid.

“Need anything else?” Zack asked.

“No, I got this. See if you can get my blades back from the wicked witch of the west.” He chuckled.

“Uh huh. Not me, man. She’s got that look in her eye.”

Steve shrugged. “Pansy.”

Zack pulled the door closed. He walked outside to sit at a picnic table under a spreading oak tree. He opened a bottle of water he had found inside the room and took a long gulp.

A little girl of about four or five walked up to Zack. “Hi.”

He turned and saw a little girl with blonde hair and huge blue eyes. “Hi.” He smiled back.

“Do you want some soda water?” She held out the red can in her hand.

“I don’t think so, little un. What I really want is a big juicy hamburger or Kentucky Fried Chicken.” He answered with a grin.

“My name is Penny.” She took a sip of the drink then added. “My mommy goes to the clinic and works. We’re going to get a house with Mrs. Jackson. I stay with Ms. Jackson when my mommy is working.”

“Penny? Where are you, child?” A wizen old black woman barely five-foot-tall stepped from a nearby room and looked around. “Oh. Well, hi there, young man. Now, Penny, don’t you be bothering that nice young man.”

“I’m not. I’m sharing.” Penny answered in her little girl voice.

“Child, that young man needs more than a swallow of soda.” She disappeared into the room and came back with a bright red can. She passed it to Zack with a grin.

“Thank you, mam.” He answered. “That’s really nice of you.”

“You and your friends have been out there. Outside the walls?”

“Yes mam,”

“I’m Millie Jackson and this little minx is Penny Crawford.  Her mother Darlene works at the medical clinic.

Ollie walked up to the picnic table pushing a wheelchair. “Got this for your buddy, big guy. The person who used it didn’t make it so your friend can have it.”

Della and Sandy both stepped from their room in fresh clothes. They walked up to Ollie and Della stuck out her hand. “I’m Della Marshall. This is Sandy Thompson, and you’ve met Zack Davis, here.”

Ollie nodded to each of them.

“You’ve sorta met Steve Benton. We’re really grateful for a place to rest. Steve really needs some down time. He’s done a lot to keep us alive.”

Zack reached for the chair. “I’m gonna take this to Steve and then get cleaned up.”

Ollie laughed. “Good idea. No offense big guy, but you all were more than a little ripe.”

Zack laughed. “No offense taken.”

“Don’t take too long. I have food coming for you folks since we’ve all eaten our dinner this evening.”

Zack disappeared into the room and Steve rolled out in the wheelchair. He maneuvered the chair around the parking barriers and crossed the lot to the green space in two strong pushes of the large wheels. He made a three sixty turn and then rocked back onto two wheels.

“Nice, chair.” Steve grinned at Ollie.

“Glad it suits,” Ollie answered. “There’re a couple candles in the rooms, but use ‘em sparingly.” He looked up toward an approaching hand-cart being pushed by a bearded man in a white apron.

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