The Simsville Inheritance
Copyright ©2006 Elizabeth G. Cox. All rights reserved.

Chapter 16 - Take Me Home! Please?

The first signs of the Sumter suburbs were in view when I heard the rustling, then the voice from the back seat. I glanced back to see Charlotte struggling to get her seat belt unbuckled and slowed the car.

"You low down skunk, where are you taking me now?" Charlotte seemed to be having trouble focusing. She was squinting her eyes and they didn't seem to want to stay open. She shook her head a few times, then grasped her head with both palms, as if the movement had been painful.

"Hey, hey, you're okay, I'm not the kidnapper, I'm Avery Alderson. I found you. Are you all right?" I pulled the car over onto the shoulder of the road and coasted into the parking lot of a closed service station.

"Yeah, I think so. My head hurts like the dickens, it must have been that stupid water he left me. I drank about half the bottle." Charlotte sat up, gathering the quilt up around her, flinching as she rubbed her forehead. "Where are you taking me?"

"I thought we should get you checked out at the hospital, call your folks while we're there. We're headed into Sumter."

"Can't you just take me home? I'm all right, really, just mad as hell. If I ever get my hands on that low down jerk of a skunk..." Her angry voice sounded stronger. I wasn't sure it was a good idea to just take her home without a doctor's check first, but with her awake it was time to call her parents. I tried the cell phone again. Still no signal.

"Well, there's no cell tower out here, we're going to have to keep going toward town. Once we get a signal I'll call your house. Better yet, you can call your house and your mom and dad can decide what we should do. How's that?"

"Fine. I'm coming up there with you. You didn't pick up my other boot by any chance?" She was opening the back door and transferring to the front seat as she talked, dragging the quilt with her.

"No, I'm sorry, I didn't notice you didn't have it on at first and then I was afraid to take the time to go back for it." Cranking up, I turned back onto the highway. We were about a mile at most from the city limits, surely we'd pick up a cell tower by then.

"Who are you, exactly? How come you found me?" We spent a few minutes exchanging stories as we drove, Charlotte's color improving by the minute. I spotted a McDonald's up ahead about the same time I realized I finally had a signal on the phone. A cup of coffee and a phone call would be next on our agenda, with maybe an Egg McMuffin on the side.

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 |