Valentine – Part 2

Posted: August 5, 2017 in Book I Terror in Texas

“Trailer axle on the truck would be my guess.” Steve turned and looked through the back window.

“You think we can fix it?” Della asked.

Steve laughed. “With what? We don’t have any tools. We’re gonna have to leave the trailer. I knew pulling that big trailer was a bad idea.” He answered as he slid on his walking prosthetics. “You three stay here, we’re going to disconnect the trailer and let the horses loose. Come on Zack.”

Zack opened the driver’s door and stepped out into the afternoon heat. “Sure is hot.”

“Let’s get this done.” Steve stepped out of the truck and made his way to the back of the truck.

Steve stared at the hitch for a moment, then pulled the handle of the jack up and began turning it. He turned to Zack. “Unhook the chains and the catch on the hitch, so it’ll come off the hitch.”

Zack raised the latch then asked. “Want me to do that?”

“No, head to the back and get the horses out. Tie them up for now.”

Zack disappeared around the back of the trailer. One by one he led the horses out of the trailer and tied them to scrub brush near a streambed to drink from the trickle of water still remaining.

When all five horses were drinking, he hurried back to the truck just as Steve finished the last turn of the jack. He sniffed then commented, “I smell gas.”

“Gas?” Steve whispered as he wiped his arm across his forehead damp with sweat. He sniffed, bent over then slammed his hand against the tailgate. “Can’t we get a break?”

“What?” Zack asked.

Steve pointed to the ground under the truck. “Unless I miss my guess, most of the quarter tank of gas we had left is now on the ground.”


Della and Darlene got out of the truck with Penny on their heels.

“Are we going to go?” Della asked. “It’s really getting hot in the truck.”

“We can’t leave the horses tied up,” Darlene commented.

“We have to make a decision,” Steve said as he leaned against the back bumper.

“What do you mean?” Della asked.

“The truck won’t go much farther. There’s a hole in the gas tank, and we can’t fix it. We might go a few miles but no more than twenty then we’ll be walking.”

“We have the horses.” Darlene protested.

“We can’t bring them, the trailer is shot,” Steve answered. “Or…”

“Or what?” Della asked.

“Or we ride off into the sunset,” Steve answered. “Without the sunset.”

Penny grabbed her mother’s arm. “We cowboys?”

Steve laughed. “I guess, we be cowboys.”

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