Finders Keepers – Part 1

Posted: June 13, 2016 in Book 1 TERROR IN TEXAS
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Harry and Liz changed places. He settled behind the wheel and kept watch for pursuers using the side mirror. Liz gathered her medical supplies and made her way to the man and his children.

“The minute I see him, I’m getting this rig cranked and we’re out of here.” Harry announced. “Get that guy fixed up.”

Liz studied the man sitting at the table. His sandy blond hair was matted and greasy. His thin face was drawn and haggard looking.

Finally, she spoke. “Hi. My name is Liz. You have an injury?”

“My name is Jack Green.” The man answered. “Needn’t bother.”

“Well, let me try to patch you up for now.” Liz answered as she passed him a compression bandage. “How old are your children?”

“Cody is thirteen. Trace is only nine.” Jack answered.

Liz smiled at the kids. “Hi. Are you two hungry?” Both kids nodded emphatically. “We have some food in the cabinet in the kitchen behind you. Get something to eat and drinks. Bring something for your dad.”

When the kids had stepped away, Liz pulled the cloth from the wound and cringed at the site of a human bite.

“I know what this means. Your friends should have left me behind.” Jack protested.

“Well, they didn’t, so now I’m going to try to help.” Liz responded.

“It’s a waste of resources. I’m going to die.” Jack answered.

“Look, I’m doing this for the kids. They need to learn to trust us. You’ll be gone and we’re their only hope of survival. I don’t want to have to worry they’ll sneak out in the middle of the night.”

Jack looked down. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I’m grateful you took us in.”

The engine of the camper roared to life and the side door jerked open. John climbed into the camper and slammed the door. “Go!” Still gasping for air he slumped into the passenger seat. “Those fuckers are crazy.” He spun the seat around and glared at Jack. “What in the hell did you bring down on us?”

“Sorry.” Jack whispered. “We were….”

“Enough!” Liz interrupted. “It’s not their fault. They could be the same people that attacked us and have been looking for us all along. They might have driven by and seen the padlock broken. These people could be caught up in our problems not the other way around.”

John sighed. “I suppose you could have a point there.”

“It doesn’t matter how they found us. I hope your little stunt slows them down enough to get us out of this.” Harry laughed.

“I thought it worked out pretty well.” John rubbed at his side. “It didn’t help that cracked rib, though. I’m getting too old for this shit.”

“Hey, at least, we’re driving in style.” Harry answered. “Get your rifle and be ready in case that crew follows us.”

“Got it.” He grabbed a bottle of water and a package of trail mix. He went to the back of the vehicle and opened the window.

Liz poured peroxide over the wound and finished bandaging Jack’s shoulder. The children came back from the kitchen, their arms filled with packages and bottles. They squeezed in next to their father and began gulping at the food.

Liz returned the supplies to the cabinet then settled at the table across from the family. “Been a while since you had something to eat?”

Jack sipped at a bottle of water. “Three days, I think. A dozen of us were in a small “mom-n-pop” store. We’d been there nearly a week. It was amazing. It had a wood stove, a creek in the back and plenty of canned and packaged foods. I guess they supplied hunters and back packers. We ate packaged foods, cleaned up in the creek, and had plenty of water. They even had some clothes.  We found clean shirts and cargo pants, boots and socks. Shit, we thought we were in heaven.”

“I’ll bet.” Liz answered.

Jack sighed as he wiped at the moisture that had collected on his face. “Can the kids get cleaned up?”

“Sure.” Liz smiled at the kids. “Just use a sink full of water. We’re trying to save what’s in the tank since we don’t know if we can get it filled up again on our way.”

The kids headed to the back of the camper.

“You sound like you have a destination in mind. Where are you heading?” Jack asked.

My dad has property in the mountains. We’re headed there.”

“I know it’s a lot to ask, but I won’t be around much longer and my kids will be left alone. Will you take them with you?”

“Dad, we don’t need them!” Cody called from the back of the camper. “I’ll take care of us.”

Jack sighed. “Cody, you know what’s gonna happen. You saw what happened to your mom.”

“Dad?” Cody’s voice broke. “You can’t leave us. I won’t let you just give us away.” He ran to his father and collapsed into the seat next to him.

Liz got up and moved to the passenger seat. Tears threatened as she listened to Jack talking to his son.

“Cody, it’s time for you to grow up. I got bit, you know it and you know what it means. I want you to stay with these folks. They didn’t have to save us, but they did. You need help protecting your sister. You know what they did to those women in the store.”

“Dad?” Cody cried.

“Enough. I mean it. You promise to do what these folks say and help them protect your sister. She’s going to need you. Now, more than ever. Promise me.”

Cody remained quiet. The only sound was him sniffling. Finally he whispered. “Yes sir.”

Jack leaned back and took a long deep quivering breath. Trace came out of the bathroom and settled on the bench across from her father and brother.

For the first time Liz could see the younger child was a girl. She had dark hair that had been cut short with heavy bangs across her forehead. She had combed her hair.

When she gave her father a hint of a smile, her dimples reminded Liz of her own daughter. She quickly turned back to the road ahead. Two stray children would not replace the daughters she lost.

From the narrow gravel road, Harry found a blacktop the GPS identified was State Road 54. They turned on the highway and Harry kept the speedometer hovering around sixty miles after mile.

“This is dangerous. What if we come over a hill and run into something?” Liz protested.

“Is it any more dangerous than those assholes finding us?” Harry answered.

Liz shrugged. “You may have a point. “ She walked back to the father and children.

One look at the father and she announced.

“You need to lie down.”

Jack rose then slipped back into the seat. “You need to stop and leave me.” He sighed. “You can’t let me hurt my children.”

Liz reached out to gently pull Jack to his feet. “You come lay down. Right now, we need to let you rest.” When Jack lay down, she whispered. “We won’t let you hurt anyone, but for now, we need the kids to see they can trust us and you can help with that by letting us take care of you.”

Comments
  1. Joyce Stokley says:

    This sounds like it will be a awesome read thanks for the look into it
    Thank you for using kindle unlimited as on fixed income but read 5-9 books a week and ow you defintly on my TBR LIST

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joyce Stokley says:

    This sounds like it will be a awesome read thanks for the look into it

    Liked by 1 person

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