“Hey, looks like the storm’s about over,” Brent said suddenly. Taylor and Jaime followed his gaze through the glass of the door of the building. They saw that the rain had slowed, and the wind had seemed to die down.
“Whew, that’s good,” Jaime said. “Tay, we need to go find that garage now and see about getting a tow truck to go get the car.”
you’re right,” Taylor agreed. She
turned to Brent. “Now where did you say
that garage was again?”
“At the other end of town. It ain’t too far to walk though – Redridge is a pretty little town,” he replied.
They nodded. “Well, we better get going then,” Taylor said.
“Hey, it’s three o’clock, and I’m off now,” Brent said. “My house is right near the garage. Would you mind if I walked with you?”
The girls exchanged glances and shook their heads. “No, of course not,” Jaime said.
“Okay,” Brent said, smiling. “Let’s get outta here.”
“You girls have a safe trip home now, ya hear?” Barry called from the back of the store.
“We will. Thanks, Barry!” Taylor called.
“Nice meeting you!” Jaime added.
“You too. Bye!” Barry said, as they headed out of the store, Brent holding the door open for them like a real gentleman.
As the three of them walked down the narrow, badly paved main street of Redridge, Taylor and Jaime looked all around, surprised that anyone could actually live in a town like this. It was so small and isolated, and although the people there seemed nice, everything around them was so hick and sleazy looking. They saw no signs of anything normal towns would have, like police stations, doctors offices, schools, or anything.
“Where did you go to school at?” Taylor asked Brent as they walked.
“Well, I didn’t actually go to school. I was homeschooled,” he replied.
“Oh,” Taylor said. “Are your siblings all homeschooled too?”
“Yup,” he said. “My mama and dad don’t believe in sending us to public schools.”
“Why not?” Jaime asked.
Brent shrugged. “I really dunno. They’re just weird like that,” he said, chuckling.
Taylor smiled tightly. The whole situation seemed weird to her, and she had a strange feeling in her stomach, like something bad was going to happen. But she blew it off, thinking she just felt weird because she was in a strange place.
“Well, here’s the garage,” Brent said finally, pointing to a run down little shack of a place at the end of the street.
“Where’s your house?” Jaime asked.
“It’s a ways down there,” Brent replied, pointing to a narrow dirt road that went to the left. Squinting, the girls could make out a few houses spread apart near it.
“Hey, you know what?” Brent suddenly said.
“What?” they asked.
“I just remembered – my parents went into Collinsville, that’s a bigger town nearby, today. They won’t be home until later. Maybe y’all could come see my house while you’re waitin’ for the tow truck to get your car,” Brent offered.
“Oh, I dunno,” Taylor started, but Jaime interrupted her.
“Sure, we could come,” Jaime said.
Taylor shot Jaime an acid look, as if to say, What are you thinking?! We don’t even know this guy!
Jaime just gave a little shrug and a smile, shooting Taylor a look that said, I don’t care, he’s a nice guy, and he’s pretty hot too.
Taylor just rolled her eyes. “Well, come on, Jaime, let’s go inside here and see about getting a tow truck to go pick the car up first,” she said. Jaime nodded, and they walked inside, Brent tagging along behind.
They went into the front door first, but there was no one inside that room. So, they headed back out and around to the actual garage part, where several beat-up cars were parked. Inside the garage was a man, dressed in an oily pair of overalls and bending into the hood of a car.
“Um… excuse me?” Taylor asked, clearing her throat.
The man’s head jerked up in surprise, bumping hard against the raised hood. A stream of cuss words came flying from his mouth.
Jaime and Taylor exchanged fearful glances. “Hey, Joe!” called Brent from behind them.
The man turned around, wiping greasy hands on the front of his overalls, and waved when he saw Brent. “Howdy, Brent!” he called.
Brent smiled down at Jaime and Taylor and led the way into the dirty garage, which smelled of oil and gasoline.
“What can I do for y’all?” Joe asked, studying the two girls standing beside Brent.
“These girls are travelin’, and their car’s stuck in some mud just ‘bout a mile outta town,” Brent explained. “They were wonderin’ if you could tow it.”
“Well, sure thing,” Joe replied. “You got the keys for the car?” he asked, looking between the two of them.
“Yeah, here you go, sir,” Jaime said, digging her keys out of her purse and handing them to him. “It’s a white Prism, and it’s in a ditch on the side of the road with a flat tire. You won’t miss it.”
“Okay,” Joe said with a nod. “Y’all gonna come with or wait here or what?”
“They’re comin’ to my place,” Brent said. “If you could give us a call or somethin’ when you get it here, that’d be great.”
“No problem,” Joe replied. “I’ll see y’all later.”
“Thank you!” Jaime called, as Joe climbed into a big truck parked to one side.
He gave them a wave and drove off down the road.
“Y’all ready to come to my house now?” Brent asked.
“Sure,” Jaime said. Taylor nodded hesitantly, and they all started down the dirt road towards where Brent lived.