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Posted: February 9, 2017 in Book I Terror in Texas

Matt walked into the manager’s office and placed Claire in the portable crib for her nap.  He sat down in the recliner and watched Amy as she prepared a bottle and gave it to her sister.

“You take good care of your sister, pumpkin.”  He smiled.

“When we go to Pampa’s, I want Mommy to see I did a good job,” Amy answered.  She walked into the living room and handed her sister the bottle.  “When are we going to Pampa’s?”

Matt rubbed his hand across the stubble on his chin.  “I don’t know pumpkin.”

Amy’s bottom lip quivered.

Matt leaned toward Amy, picked her up and pulled her onto his lap. “I’m sorry, pumpkin.  We have a lot of people depending on us right now. Larry, Jake and I can’t leave the rest of the soldiers to take care of them.  There’s just not enough people to take care of all the other children.”

“What about the preacher man and his friends?”  Amy answered.

“Preacher man?”  Matt asked.

“Mr. Larry brought them back when they found the new campers.  He wanted to move in here.  He said he needs a place to hold church, but Mr. Jake told them no.”

Amanda stepped through the door with Jake close behind.  “Good grief, Jake.  I can walk across the parking lot.”

Amanda picked up Claire and headed back to the bedroom.  “Let’s put your sister down then you can get ready for bed, Amy.  Let Mr. Matt and Mr. Jake visit.”

Matt walked to the kitchen and got a glass of water.  He took one of the pills Doc had given him then turned back to see Larry had also arrived.  “I guess I’ve missed a few things around here.”

“No shit.”  Larry lamented.  “What are you taking pills for?”

“I got a problem, and Doc is helping me over the worst of it,”  Matt answered.

“Do I need to worry?”  Larry asked.

Matt sighed.  “Fucking drink too much.  Happy now?”

“Sorry. I ah….”  Larry stammered.

“Move on.  When we’re done here, collect all the bottles and store them with the rest of the supplies under lock and key. Now, what’s with the new people?” Matt asked.

“We found a map of the surrounding campgrounds two days ago and decided to check a few out. The thought was, maybe they’d have salvageable campers.  Yesterday we came across the preacher and his little group at one of the campsites where we found the campers.  If it weren’t for the three kids, I would have left them there.”

“Only way he’d let us take the empty campers was to come along,”  Larry grumbled.

“I guess, they are not integrating well.”

“He started making demands the minute we arrived” Jake settled on the couch.  “He thinks he deserves special accommodations.” Matt started to ask about the accommodations when there was a commotion at the door.

A big, burly man is bib overalls jerked the front door open and stepped aside to allow a man in a black suit with a white clerical collar to enter the front room of the Manager’s Office.  A second man followed as if the preacher required protection from attack.

Matt jumped to his feet with his hand on his gun.  “Who in the hell do you people think you are?”

Both Jake and Larry joined him with pulled weapons.

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