- A Serialized Novel -

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

Author’s Note: Because all the cars in Carson’s life are wrecks.

Transportation Issues

“I had forgotten about the other reason why you shouldn’t head home,” she said, giving his car a look, almost like it was something to be scraped off the bottom of her boots, and since Carson knew how she felt about cars, that said a lot. “You can’t drive that thing. I can’t let you. I know I said that before, but I’m saying it again. I’ll say it again and again as long as necessary.”

“I told you—I don’t have the money to repair it, and even if I did, I don’t think I’d want to. I think I’d rather put that kind of money into Phantom, not that thing.”

Mackenna smiled. “I don’t blame you for that, but we’re going to have to find something else you can use in the meantime. I’ve got tires coming for Phantom—those wheels are different from the ones on the other two, wooden spokes instead of metal ones, but we can probably get by with some of the spares for now—that should help in moving her around, at least a little, but we’re not going to have her up and running before the run. I can almost guarantee that. We don’t have the parts, and I haven’t started to look at the engine, which is where we’re bound to have the most trouble.”

He nodded. “I’m sure we will.”

“Did you make an appointment with your doctor?”

“Yeah. Tomorrow. They had a cancellation, and they offered me the spot. I will have to go back home tonight so I can make it since it’s first thing in the morning.”


He almost teased her. She sounded so disappointed, almost pouting, but he knew he didn’t want to leave anymore than she wanted him to go. The whole thing got awkward then, and he fidgeted. “I bought a day or so from work because I told them I had a doctor’s appointment. They might actually believe I’m sick now. Not that I wasn’t that first day, but I’m not nauseous anymore, and Sanders has to know I’m avoiding what I’m supposed to do with Myers. He’ll assign it to someone else, and I’ll be out of a job.”

“Well, better that than stealing family legacies, right? That’s not what you signed up to do, it’s not what you want, and it’s not right. You know it, I know it, and you’re not going to do it.” Mackenna stepped closer to him, and he forced a smile for her. “Don’t argue. I’m right. You had no intention of going through with what they wanted you to do. You might have thought you’d go back and do it eventually, but you were lying to yourself. You couldn’t go through with it, and you ran from it.”

“That makes me sound like such a coward.”

“Well, I still think you should do what you can to block your company and help this guy Myers, but you’re the one with the degree and all that. You know what you can and can’t do.”

“The degree means nothing. You’re the smart one.”

She grinned, and he felt, again, like he should hug her, but he wouldn’t. She wasn’t upset this time; he wasn’t dealing with his past. They were fine. No hugs were needed; they were not necessary. He would not make a fool of himself doing it.

“So now that I’m stuck being the brains of our operation, I suppose I need to make our plan. We need a car to get you safely back to the city, and the ones around here… Well, they require special permission or a lot of work.”

“The truck, even?”

“That’s the one that needs a lot of work. Well, that one and Phantom. Let’s go see if Mac will loan us the Airstream.”


She gave him a smile that was more of a grimace. “Well, the thing is… While I may have adopted you, I don’t think Mac has, and no one but family gets to drive his cars.”

“I thought you offered to let me drive Shadow yesterday.”

“Well, it’s different when it’s under his supervision. Or mine. Hence the ‘us.’”

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