- A Serialized Novel -

Sorting out Carson's legacy only leads to more questions.

Author’s Note: I had to have them meet with the car club. So this is just set up, but it’s there for a reason.

Simple Necessities

“So, you feeling like being social? Need anything from your apartment?”

Carson lifted his head from his knees and frowned at Mackenna. She’d left him alone after he came inside, and he didn’t know how long he’d been here, on this borrowed bed, trying to sort himself out and convince himself that he was wrong. He didn’t want to do this anymore. He needed answers. He couldn’t handle the dark turn his thoughts kept taking. He needed to know the truth before this drove him completely insane. “Why?”

“Well, I’d forgotten that the monthly meeting of our local car club is tonight. They try and do it before the run just in case anyone needs anything. So… I should have remembered, but there’s been a lot going on lately. Either way, we still have to drive into the city, but we can leave you here or at your apartment if you want.”

He shrugged. He didn’t need anything from his place, and he didn’t know that he’d do anything there but stare at the walls, letting them close in on him. “I’m not real sure what would be best. I don’t know. After earlier, I’m just—I’d be lousy company, but at the same time…”

“You shouldn’t be alone. Nah, come with. You can have pizza, meet a few other car nuts, enjoy something that has nothing to do with the crap that’s screwing you up right now.”

He nodded. “That might be nice.”

“You will be okay, Carson. You will get through this, and you will get your memories back. Once you know, it won’t be like now. You’ll know, and all the unanswered questions won’t hurt as much. You’ll know. You can deal with what you know.”

He let out a breath, trying to keep himself calm. He didn’t want to react like he had earlier. “I wish I was as confident as you are. Not that I don’t want to believe you, but I’ve been here before. It didn’t go so well.”

“We already discussed how this time is different.”

“I have you.”

She smiled. The look was a bit grim, but it was still a smile. “Exactly.”

He needed her, and that wasn’t going to stop. He’d been alone in here for long enough. The time hadn’t made any difference. He still felt the same. She was right. He would be better off with her and Mac. He shouldn’t be alone. “Okay. Let me change.”


“Can’t go to your car club meeting like this,” he said, rising. She got a good look at his clothes and snorted. He rolled his eyes.

“Oh. Right. Yeah, sweatpants are not very flattering, not on anyone.”

“Thanks a lot.”

She shrugged. “I can’t help it if your wardrobe sucks—other than your socks, that is.”

He stuck his tongue out at her. He’d picked this outfit because it was comfortable, not for fashion. After that horrible thought about his grandfather, all he’d wanted to do was hide. He’d thought about drowning himself in the shower, but that wasn’t going to happen. He was stronger than whatever memory was buried in his head, and he would be okay. He just had to remember that. Still, it was easier to try and get back to normal in comfortable clothes instead of jeans or a suit or anything else he might have put on.

“And, of course, added bonus—the car club might have some answers about your car, too. We’ll have to see.”

Carson frowned. He stopped in the middle of reaching for his jeans. “Oh. I hadn’t even thought of that. You’re right. Why didn’t you just say that in the beginning?”

“Well… The last attempt at that didn’t go as planned, and I was trying to encourage you to think of it as a distraction.”


“There’s something else, isn’t there?”

He hesitated. “I don’t know. It used to be a joke in my family—Carson gets all the cars. That was the main toy people bought me as a kid.”

“Oh. That must have been fun.”

“I’d kind of forgotten about it. It stopped happening… around the time I was eight.”

“So… something about your father?”

“Maybe. Maybe not. It’s hard to say. Everything seems to be about him, but it can’t be.”

“You need pizza.”

He laughed. “Sure. That’s it. All right. I’m going to change now, so if you don’t want to see more than my socks, you might want to leave.”

She leaned over to get a better look at the ones he was wearing, and she grinned. “Nice. Love the smiley face.”


“I’ll let Mac know you’re coming. Meet us at the car.”


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